By Anderw McCleese
As Egypt descends into chaos while millions take to the street demanding a new government, the response by the Obama administration and a large portion of the mainstream media has been one of hypocritical lunacy. However, this is nothing new in American policy or public relations as the freedom (sic) spreading Federal government of the United States often finds itself in bed with world leaders who practice entirely antithetical policies to professed American principles. Accomplished author and cartoonist Mark Zepezauer writes, “Egypt under Mubarak uses its billions in U.S. military aid to detain, beat and torture dissenters, opposition politicians and journalists; many have died in custody. Thousands of political prisoners and pro-democracy activists are held in overcrowded, disease-ridden prisons, without charges or trials. Press restrictions, including newspaper shutdowns, are widespread.” Egypt and the Mubarak regime is the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid behind Israel.
This aid money, when handed to a repressive regime inevitably puts blood on the hands of the America government in the eyes the common Egyptian. In a practice eerily similar to U.S. – Chinese finance, the U.S. government, for all practical purposes, loans the Egyptian government money to simply pay the interest on outstanding debts to the U.S. Treasury. That aside, the Egyptians rightfully see U.S. aid as helping supply the Mubarak regime with the resources and international credibility needed to repress the population. Could it be any clearer when protestors are taking to the street holding up tear gas canisters stamped made in the U.S.A.? Americans can at least claim to still make something in this country, mainly munitions, armaments and of course, funny money out of thin air (which some suggest is the real cause of the uprising around the Middle East as food prices rise and populations become desperate).
Recently President Obama said of the Egyptian crisis, “I want to be very clear in calling out the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters. The people of Egypt rights that are universal … these are human rights, and the United States will stand up for them everywhere.” This is the same president who resided over the heavy handed tactics used on peaceful protestors and citizens of “mistaken identity” not involved in any protest activity during the Pittsburgh G-20 conference. This is the same administration that has extended the Patriot Act, given us “prolonged detention”, extrajudicial murder of U.S. citizens with no due process and is in the habit of issuing DOJ memos, reports and lexicons describing virtually every American as an enemy of the state. Additionally, the Obama Administration and the corporate press use every incident of violence to vilify free speech of their political opponents. It is difficult to forget the legacy of the freedom (sic) spreading Federal government that has given us Kent State, Ruby Ridge, COINTELPRO, warrantless wiretaps, Echelon, Carnivore and most recently, Cass Sunstein’s cognitive infiltration.
Then there is the Internet. In a vain attempt to quell dissent, the Mubarak regime has shut down social networking sites and the Internet inside Egypt. Any question what cyber security is really about? Mr. Obama was quick to declare that access to the Internet and social networking sites are fundamental human freedoms. Yet it was only last week there was a renewed attempt to grant the President broad powers over the Internet, giving him what some, including Jay Rockefeller (D) of West Virginia and Joe Lieberman (I) of Connecticut have called a “kill switch.” The remarks about the right to social networking are less curious, considering social networking sites have proven to be a treasure trove for government snoops and analysts to peer into the political discourse of the nation to gauge the effectiveness of the establishment’s propaganda. Nothing highlights this more appropriately than the infamous Scare Force One incident or when the White House monitors Twitter and Facebook accounts for political speech and protests.
But what would be the good old fashion American response be without input from the likes of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck’s and Bill O’Reilly? Glenn Beck is already calling this a leftist style takeover ala “The Coming Insurrection” while Hannity, Limbaugh and O’Reilly are working their listeners into a frenzy over the Muslim Brotherhood (which only makes up 20% of the current polity in Egypt and is backing a secularist Nobel Peace Prize winner and former IAEA Director General). To these blowhards and Fox News, this is it, the Muslims are finally taking over and establishing an ancient caliphate where modern nations (some nuclear armed) now stand. Sean Hannity has ironically spent days on his show comparing the current uprising to the overthrow of Shah Pahlavi in Iran in 1979. The fact that an American CIA coup installed the bogus Shah while overthrowing a democratically elected government in Iran is never factored into this commentary. These same commentators who profess love of democracy and freedom when it is forced on an unwilling nation through the barrel of a gun have no use for true organic freedom and democracy when it is a result of a ground swell. These same commentators helped the GOP hijack a good portion of the Tea Party movement. Actual human action is inferior to elitist planned and directed color revolutions and coups. Regardless of the talking points on conservative talk radio and Fox News, the Muslim Brotherhood is not the impetus of this uprising, no matter how many times Sean Hannity repeats the lie.
For Americans who stand for freedom and our founding Constitutional philosophy, this current Egyptian crisis is a test of principle. To support the right of people to self rule and honest government sometimes requires you to stare into the abyss of the unknown. To rely on a soft dictator simply because he is amenable to specific agendas should never be compared to freedom. Freedom is not for the faint of heart.