Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt and King George's olive branch

Mubarak and Condi yuk it up...

Remember the heady days in the middle of the reign of King George II, when a moment of calm, a lull, an eye in the maelstrom of Iraq's civil war, allowed the mad king to dream of democratic contagion. It was argued for a moment that like so many of Kissinger's dominoes the dictatorships of the Middle East were going to morph into peaceful bucolic multi-party democracies. There was the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, that; that is going well. There was also the full-court press on Egyptian President Hosni Murbarak who made just enough of the right noises to pass the muster of Condi Rice. A sad sack herself, she will go down in history as a world-class dupe.

Sadly, the Obama Administration represents continuity within the American Empire rather than fundamental change, as things stand, Veep Joe Biden is now playing the Condi role. Unfortunately, the fire brigades brought in during the mad reign of King George the II, as they did in so many other places, threw fuel, rather than water, on the fire. Egypt has gone from smoldering to smoking. Faux moves toward democracy gave Murbarak what he thought was cover to attempt to squash and imprison leading voices of dissent and plurality. There were no real changes or democratic accommodations. Mubarak, and more importantly the people of Egypt, fully expect his son to succeed him under the status quo ante. America has ignored, to its detriment, any moderates within the powerful Muslim Brotherhood.

Today a full-fledged uprising grips Egypt. Stock market worldwide are tumbling in response. Gold and crude oil prices are soaring.

What a wonderful world.

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