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Dilip Hiro: Behind the Coup in Egypt
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Think of Barack Obama’s recent return to West Point at graduation time to offer his approach to an increasingly chaotic world as a bookend on an era. George W. Bush went to the Academy in June 2002 — less than a year after 9/11, seven months after the U.S. had triumphantly invaded Afghanistan, 10 months before it would (as he already knew) invade Iraq — and laid out his vision of “preemptive war.” In that commencement address to a class about to graduate into the very wars he was launching, he threw the ancient Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment to the sharks and proclaimed a new, finger-on-a-hair-trigger vision of global policy for a country that wasn’t about to step aside for anyone or anything. “If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long,” he said to resounding applause. He added, “Our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.”

Speaking to the class of 2002, Bush conjured up an epic struggle without end (that certain neocons would soon begin calling “the Long War” or “World War IV“). It would be global, Manichaean, and unquestionably victorious. “We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries, using every tool of finance, intelligence, and law enforcement. Along with our friends and allies, we must oppose proliferation and confront regimes that sponsor terror, as each case requires. Some nations need military training to fight terror, and we’ll provide it. Other nations oppose terror, but tolerate the hatred that leads to terror — and that must change. We will send diplomats where they are needed, and we will send you, our soldiers, where you’re needed.”

It was Bush’s initial foray into the dream of a subjugated Greater Middle East and a planet destined to fall under the spell of a Pax Americana enforced by a military like no other in history. It was visionary stuff, a genuine Bush (or Cheney) Doctrine. And the president and his top officials meant every word of it.

Twelve years later, the results are in. As President Obama pointed out to the class of 2014, some of those “terror cells in 60 or more countries” have by now become full-scale terror outfits and, helped immeasurably by the actions the Bush Doctrine dictated, are thriving. In Afghanistan, a long-revived Taliban can’t be defeated, while neighboring Pakistan, with its own Taliban movement, has been significantly destabilized. Amid the ongoing drone wars of two administrations, Yemen is being al-Qaedicized; the former president’s invasion of Iraq set off a devastating, still expanding Sunni-Shiite civil war across the Middle East, which is also becoming a blowback machine for terrorism, and which has thrown the whole region into chaos; Libya, Obama’s no-casualties version of intervention, is now a basket case; across much of Africa, terror groups are spreading, as is destabilization continent-wide.

ORDER IT NOW

Facing this and a host of other crises and problems from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea, and “pivoting” fruitlessly in every direction, Obama, in his second trek to West Point, put together a survey of a no-longer American planet that left the cadets sitting on their hands (though their parents cheered the line, “You are the first class since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan”) and critics from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times bored and dismissive. It was, all agreed, the exhausted speech of an exhausted administration addressed to an American public exhausted by more than a decade of fruitless wars in an exhausting world.

If that commencement address had just been visionless words offered by a rudderless president, it might not have mattered much, except to the nattering class in Washington. As TomDispatch regular Dilip Hiro makes clear, however, in a magisterial look at where the Arab Spring ended up in Egypt, it isn’t only unfriendly states or stateless terror groups that aren’t cooperating in the organization of an American world. The former “sole superpower” of planet Earth that the president (with “every fiber” of his being) insisted was still both “exceptional” and “indispensable” seemed to be losing its sway over former allies as well. If there is no Obama Doctrine, it may be because the world of 2014 is in a state of exceptional and indispensable entropy.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Egypt 
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  1. Andrew says:

    We recently saw “election” of two “Presidents” by landslides: Al-Assad of Syria and El-SiSi of Egypt!!! Junta in both states used the approach documented below to hold a sham election and pulled out of thin air ridiculous numbers to claim popular support, while all independent evidence belied their claims.

    Egyptians did not rise up against a dictator and suffered for all these years to get another one from the same junta who has terrorized and oppressed them for 60 years. And they did not!

    The Bubble Has Burst in Egypt
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-hearst/no-show-in-egypt_b_5413515.html

    “For three days, the Egyptian state pleaded with, demanded, threatened, cajoled, bribed voters to turn up at the polls. Egyptians were warned it was nothing less than a national duty to vote and they could be fined 500 Egyptian pounds for not doing so. They were told that Egypt would become Libya or Syria if they did not vote. The second day of voting was made a national holiday, and travel was made free to encourage voters to return to their constituencies. The TV anchors panicked and became hysterical. Voting was extended into a third day.

    Still they did not show up. An AFP crew touring Cairo’s polling stations found deserted halls. CNN reported likewise. Photos appeared on Twitter showing election officials asleep at their desks. …

    Hamdeen Sabahi, the only challenger in the race, said the claimed turnout figures (claimed by the police state) were an insult to the intelligence of the Egyptian people…

    Estimates of the actual turnout ranged from figures as low as 10 percent, which would be 5.5 million votes, to 15 percent. The Arab Observatory for Rights and Freedoms put the turnout at 11.92 percent which equates to 6.425.989 voters. It reported numerous election violations and fraud….”

    Indeed, El-Sisi could not even get a simple majority of 10-15% votes casted! The majority of those who voted would have soiled their votes or vote for the sole opposition, since they were being threatened to just show up at the poles, so the regime could cook the books, while showing bodies at the poles. That did not materialize… It is ridiculous to claim a “landslide victory” or buy into the junta’s unfounded claim of 47% victory or 24 million votes. The fact is the political parties that had won 80% of the votes before the coup had all boycutted this farce.

    The author neglects to consider that the dictators in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, far from not “cooperating” with USA, are exactly following the USA policy in the region for 6 decades. The pretend opposition to coup in Egypt, for instance, is betrayed by the fact that the US / EU governments did not even call the coup what it was and cotninued supporting the coup regime, instead of working to reverse it fully, as they do in other places around the globe, when the coups oppose their interests.

  2. Rehmat says:

    The so-called “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Syria and Libya was the work of the US State Department and several Jewish lobby groups. The agenda was to destabilize the Muslim countries for the benefit of Israel. The plan succeeded in Libya and Egypt, but has failed so far in Syria.

    Calling Syrian election “shame” is nothing but a case of stupidity comparing with elections in the United States, Britain and France which are controlled by the powerful Jewish lobby groups in those so-called “democratic and civilized nations”.

    The heavy turn-out by voters in Syria and abroad has proved beyond any doubt that president Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian people believe in democracy even after under attack for the last three years by United States and its “willing thugs” to destroy another stable Arab country for Israel.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/06/05/syria-usrael-is-barking-on-the-wrong-tree/

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