Saturday, February 12, 2011


You did it! You sure did. You did it!

Power - Zionism's Murky Future

"Egypt moves to reassure allies," reads the lead headline today on the BBC's web site. Clever headline, because it doesn't come right out and say what the story is about, while making it clear, to anyone who halfway follows the Middle East, what the story is about -- namely, that Zionists can breathe easy.

The headline could have read "Fellow Zionists, stop freaking out because Israel isn't going away... not just today, anyway." It is based on one sentence in a statement issued today by Egypt's military, which took control of the country following dictator Hosni Mubarak's resignation Friday -- his ouster, you might say, by 18 days of massive, nationwide street protests that were coupled with, later on in the drama, a series of general strikes. The military will rule the country only temporarily, however, until elections can be held.

That sentence the BBC story refers to is as follows:

"The Arab Republic of Egypt is committed to all regional and international obligations and treaties."

Zionism, of course, is in trouble. For all Israel's existence it has relied on the cooperation of co-opted, US backed, dictatorial regimes in the Middle East, all of which now are either in some degree of trouble, or have already been deposed, as in Tunisia and now Egypt.

It's interesting to see the proliferation of stories similar to the BBC's on web sites of major news outlets. It's also interesting to read statements posted on the web sites of the major Zionist organizations, like the Anti Defamation League and AIPAC. After making sure to be on the right side of history by congratulating the Egyptian people, they turn to their real concern, which is what will the effect of this unforeseen and unwanted development be on the Zionist project, Israel, and the Zionist dream of finally eliminating the last of the Palestinians from their homeland.

Read and listen to news reports and analysis of the Egyptian uprising and it isn't long before you come across worried references to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood began as a social organization in Egypt in 1928 and eventually became more of a political organization. Like right wing religious groups in the US, it believes political life should be guided by religious principals.

The Brotherhood, especially in Egypt, is nothing for Zionists, or American Imperialists, to worry about. It has spread to other Muslim countries and a few of its more obscure offshoots have promoted and practiced violence as a means to its ends, but the Brotherhood itself professes nonviolence, and has long-standing ties to the intelligence services of Great Britain and the US, who have used the Brotherhood as a tool, first to counteract Arab Nationalism, with its drive to end western colonialism, and later to combat socialism. Socialism has always had many adherents in the Arab world, as it has pretty much everywhere outside of the US, where the fear of socialism among the Capitalist class isn't combined with its complete control of the government, and the coercive arms (police, military, prison system) and tools of propaganda, government has at its disposal.

University of California-Stanislaus political science professor As'ad AbuKalhil, a leading Middle East authority, has commented on the Muslim Brotherhood repeatedly, showing that their role has been the opposite of what they are reported to represent. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,  10

The worried references to the Muslim Brotherhood are just the latest examples of stoking the fear of Islam and using that fear as a political tool, of the use of the Islamist bogeyman, the tool the Bush administration used to lead us into two wars serving Neocon fantasies of global domination, and Zionism.

What the Zionists fear, and what our leaders fear, really, of course, is us. What has been the truly stupendous undercurrent of everything that has gone on in the past couple of months in Tunisia and then Egypt, has been the utter powerlessness of the ruling class to do anything in the face of people rising up in unison.

The US has a serious stake in these matters, but President Barak Obama, despite having at his control all the tools of the most powerful empire in the history of the world, has been powerless to affect anything. The same with the rest. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, powerless. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, powerless. The Zionist lobby with the billions and the congress it controls, powerless. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Saudis with their billions, powerless. The combined power of European Capital and of all the states of Europe as expressed by the European Union, powerless. All attempts by the mass media to label the uprising riots, to downplay them, to stoke fears of radical Islam, and of the loss of US prestige and power, and the almost whispered warnings about the dangers to Zionism, all of it failed, and now, somewhere in the subconscious of everybody who has witnessed these events, there resides the idea, and the knowledge, that all power ultimately resides in we the people. It always has -- we have handed that power over to others, and we have been unaware that we have it -- but now we know it, again.

Notes on NPR and the BBC: Being that I drive most of the time and have internet access only now and then, most of my news of the uprising has been coming from National Public Radio, and the BBC, which is broadcast over NPR in many places during the nighttime hours.

The BBC, and its American counterpart, the Public Broadcasting System with its  National Public Radio, are organs of their respective governments, ultimately. They are granted a certain amount if independence, for propaganda purposes, but never stray far from the official line and can be relied upon to defend the interests of those who control their purse strings and grant them their privileges of access. They are located at the centers of their respective government's power, expend most of their efforts reporting their governments' points of view, and get their information from, and conduct interviews with, an endless stream of government officials and members of the ruling elite from enterprises interested in promoting the official line. Further, the American version has come to rely more and more on corporate donations, and so is directly beholden to the corporations that support it, and not just as a matter of ideology and political expediency. Never is heard a discouraging word about Archers, Daniels Midland on NPR.

Neither of these news organizations demonstrated much enthusiasm for the uprising. As in the mainstream media in general there is an assumption that the West knows what is best for the Middle Eastern people. Instead of asking Egyptians what they want to come next, the NPR and BBC ask members of their own ruling elite what should come next. There were many worried stories and remarks about the possibility a new government in Egypt might be influenced by Islam or "radical Islam" The Muslim Brotherhood was often mentioned.

Also, as the uprising gained strength, NPR and the BBC began to do stories about the impact on Egypt's economy. References to the uprising in hourly news reports would often end something like this: 'the uprisings, which began January 25th and show no signs of petering out, have seriously impacted Egypt's economy, analysts say.'

I always was left with impression that they were cheering for Mubarak, but felt limited in the way they could do that. Mainly they did it by portraying the uprisings negatively whenever they could.

NPR and Israel: For years, NPR's correspondent in the Middle East was Linda Gradstein, a Jew who is married to an official in the Israeli Defense Forces. Invariably, whenever Gradstein filed a story about anything having to do with the Palestine-Israel conflict, she only reported the Israeli side. Typically, her stories consisted almost entirely of phrases like: "Israeli officials said this", and "Israeli officials said that." I know this from experience. I, personally, never once heard her interview or quote a single Palestinian, and in more than 1.5 million miles of driving, I have listened to many NPR news stories coming out of Israel. Complaints were made about her biased reporting, and about her taking cash from pro-Israel groups for speaking engagements while she was reporting on Israel, but she continued in her position at NPR as the primary source of news about Israel for millions of Americans for years (from 2000 until 2009 according to Wikipedia)  and still reports for public television.

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