Mubarak Toppled by CIA Because He Opposed US Plans for War with Iran
US Eyes Seizure of Suez Canal
Was this the Threat that Forced Mubarak to Quit?
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
Washington DC, Feb. 18, 2011 — There never was an “Egyptian revolution,” but rather a behind-the-scenes military putsch by a junta of CIA puppet generals who evidently could not succeed in their goal of ousting Hosni Mubarak without the help of a heavy-duty ultimatum from Washington in the night between Thursday, February 10 and Friday, February 11, 2011. There is growing evidence that the threat in question involved the seizure or blocking of the Suez Canal, the Egyptian waterway which carries over 8% of all seaborne world trade, which the imperialists tried to grab back in 1956, and from which they would today like to exclude China, Iran, and Russia. As for Mubarak, there are strong indications that he was toppled by Washington and London because he opposed the current US-UK plan to organize a block of Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Gulf states — under a US nuclear umbrella and shoulder to shoulder with Israel — for purposes of confrontation and war with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and their Shiite and radical allies.
This means that, with the fall of Mubarak, the Middle East has taken a big step on the road to general war. As for the junta, they have now dissolved parliament, shredded the constitution, and announced six months of martial law.
In the days after Mubarak’s fall, the Anglo-American controlled media chorus chanted obsessively that this was one regime change in the Arab world which had been brought about by the Egyptian people, all by themselves. In reality, the relatively limited popular agitation was actually the least important factor in toppling the long-serving Egyptian rais. Since there was no real mass organization capable of seizing power, and no program of economic reconstruction, development, and reform which could have united the efforts of larger sectors of the Egyptian population, Egypt was left to the tender mercies of the now standard CIA/National Endowment for Democracy color revolution, people power coup, or postmodern putsch. According to this recipe, the destabilization was begun by gathering the privileged youth of the upper middle classes — the ones with access to the Internet, Google, Facebook, and Twitter — in Tahrir Square, where, despite their relatively anemic numbers in a city as big as Cairo, they provided a photo opportunity for the Al Jazeera television network, which shamelessly served as the demagogic speaking tube of British intelligence, the former colonial power in Egypt.
The incendiary role played by Al Jazeera also reflects the strange brinksmanship currently going on in Doha, Qatar, where this network is based. As Gamal Mubarak supposedly told US Senator Joseph Lieberman in February 2009 according to a State Department report purloined by Wikileaks, ‘Unfortunately, Qatar is playing “spoiler” in order to get “a seat at the table….” They are coordinating closely with Syria and Iran, Gamal said, “in an orchestrated attack on Egypt and other moderate Arab states.”‘1 Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and the other Al Thani royals of Qatar may soon find themselves hoist by their own petard of regional destabilization.
So it was therefore the golden youth of Cairo who kept up some kind of a presence before the TV cameras , allowing the Al Jazeera agitators and provocateurs to argue that these young dupes, anarchists, and nihilists represented the incarnation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s popular will, and therefore the court of last resort for all political decisions regarding the future of Egypt. Sometimes there were only a few hundred young enthusiasts in the square, but for Al Jazeera they were the supreme oracle of what Egypt wanted. Egypt has upwards of 80 million people, and the Cairo metropolitan area numbers almost 20 million, but the anti-Mubarak forces had a very hard time ever getting above 50,000 or so — even in the days when they bombastically promised a Million Man March or even a Two Million Man March. Compared to Kiev, a smaller city, in November 2004, Cairo was a feeble effort.
The gaggle in the square was simply a made for television moment, and its participants — what ever their subjective intentions — were reduced to props, scenery, extras, or walk-on parts at the very most. They hated Mubarak. They wanted the entire regime out. They rejected hierarchy. They wanted transparency. With such a pathetic and primitive level of political consciousness, the mob in the square could never hope to determine events, but was always condemned to become the tool of some organized force which actually knew what it wanted — such as the CIA.
The mob was not organized, but there were organizations inside the mob. One was the April 6 Movement, which turned out to be a clone or knockoff of the original color revolution vehicle, the Serbian Otpor! of 1999-2000 which had been used by the National Endowment for Democracy to overthrow Milosevic. Apparently feeling the pinch of budget austerity, the CIA had recycled the fist salute logo of the Serbian group directly into the Egyptian one. Other aspects of the mob also reflected the recycled debris of earlier color revolution attempts — the much-vaunted slogan “Game Over” was in fact left over from an attempt to destabilize Tibet in the service of the Dalai Lama.
A century and a half ago a certain British agent, looking at the London-backed coup of Napoleon III of France, wrote that the tradition of past generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. Today we would say that the accumulated junk from past color putsches, now recycled by the CIA to save money, is making their discredited destabilization techniques even easier to identify. It is amazing to see intelligent but gullible adults fall victim to the romantic Schwärmerei of The Revolution, even to the point of believing that the emotional cripple Assange is Lord Byron, or the subversion operative Ghonim of Google is Robespierre, instead of a refugee from the Revenge of the Nerds.
When the golden youth needed numerical reinforcements, they called in the British Freemasonry known as the Moslem Brotherhood. The Ikhwan provided the big battalions, but also brought public-relations problems. To neutralize these, a propaganda campaign was mounted by a number of CIA alumni, including Bruce Riedel, to assure the US public that there was nothing to worry about.
It should be stressed that the Egyptian destabilization became quite violent very early on. On Friday, on January 28, protesters committed a massive act of arson by burning down the large office building in central Cairo which housed the headquarters of Mubarak’s political party. It is not known whether there were fatalities on this occasion. Other protesters systematically burned police stations. Several policemen were reportedly lynched by the mob. There was also an armed attack by gunmen on the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, which was repelled after a firefight with riot police. This violence by the shining heroes of democracy was not noticed, much less condemned, by Ban-ki Moon, the European Union, or other guardians of world morality.
The Anglo-Americans evidently believe that the current combination of the world economic breakdown crisis or depression (complete with rising prices for food and fuel as well as high unemployment and economic despair), plus the presence of a youth bulge throughout the Arab world offers the opportunity of toppling governments like bowling pins, somewhat on the model of what the British did to the Metternich system or Holy Alliance in Europe in 1848, or of what the Anglo-Americans did to the Soviets in Eastern Europe in 1989. This time the goal is to overthrow the entrenched authoritarian rulers of the Arab world, among them Ben Ali of Tunisia, who had been in power for some 23 years; Mubarak of Egypt (31 years), followed then by Gaddafi of Libya (41 years), Bouteflika of Algeria (12 years), the Assad dynasty in Syria (about 40 years), Saleh of Yemen (21 years), plus Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and other nations. Some of the more manic denizens of Foggy Bottom and Langley seriously believe that they can ride the current wave of destabilizations all the way to Tehran, Beijing, and Moscow.
Not Dependent Enough: Why the CIA Wants to Overthrow the Existing Arab Rulers
The goal of these operations is to remove entrenched client rulers who have been in power so long that they have acquired a significant degree of autonomy vis-à-vis the imperial dictates coming from Washington and London, and have grown accustomed to acting to some degree as national rulers, rather than as the pure puppets the CIA and the State Department are always seeking. The Washington consensus is that these multi-decade rulers are not dependent enough on NATO, the International Monetary Fund, and so forth. Washington and London need total kamikaze puppets, who will be willing to take the point in coming confrontations with Iran, China, and Russia.
One US hypothesis for the future of Egypt is simply a continuation of the existing regime, largely based on the Army, the state bureaucracy, and the security forces, and led by military officers in civilian clothes. But in this case the rulers would be the Suliemans, the Tantawis, or the Annans, or perhaps the Baradeis or Moussas, all much weaker figures than Mubarak. Another possibility is a period of chaos — such as what is happening right now in Tunisia — followed by a seizure of power on the part of the Moslem brotherhood, leading to the creation of a de facto Cairo Sunni caliphate which the US could use to challenge (and consolidate) the de facto Shiite caliphate in Tehran. Both of these alternatives could then be used to support the fundamental US-UK strategy for the Middle East, which is to assemble a block of Arab and Sunni countries (notably Egypt, Saudis, Gulf states, and Jordan) which, formed into a front with the participation of Israel, would collide with the Iranian Shiite front, including Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and various radical forces. Another possibility is that Egypt and many other countries simply descend into chaos, leaving the imperialists the possibility of intervening to seize selected assets, such as the Algerian or Libyan oil fields, or Egypt’s Suez Canal.
As a manufactured, synthetic, color revolution, the Egyptian exercise had certain glaring technical weaknesses from the point of view of branding and marketing, which are crucial in such an operation. It had no color or catchy symbol, like the orange of Ukraine, the roses of Georgia, with the cedars of Lebanon. It had no hegemonic slogan, such as the Georgian “Enough!”, the Serbian “He’s Finished!”, the Obamabots’ “Yes we can!”, or the Ukrainian “It’s time!”. They had no charismatic, telegenic demagogue such as the Georgian Saakashvili. The Mubarak regime deprived them of Facebook and Twitter on January 27, and after that Al Jazeera became their main electronic medium, until this channel was shut down as well.
Mubarak also had strengths and weaknesses. His regime evidently knew that the destabilization was coming, and had taken the elementary precaution of preparing a way to quickly shut down the Internet almost completely. On the other hand, the regime proved incapable of keeping out foreign television correspondents who were little more than destabilization agitators. As the world’s largest grain importer, with much of the grain either coming from the United States or being financed by US food aid under the Camp David treaty, Egypt also has a dangerous vulnerability to use of the food weapon by Washington.
Mubarak’s two most salient weaknesses can be seen by comparing his response to Iranian leader Ahmadinejad’s successful resistance to the CIA’s Twitter Revolution in Tehran in June 2009. When the NED unleashed its protests, Ahmadinejad was quick to mobilize the basij — drawn significantly from the underprivileged classes — against the CIA’s golden youth and desperate housewives of north Teheran. Mubarak had his equivalent to the basij in the form of the so-called baltagies, but they were not deployed until the destabilization was more than a week old, and then soon retreated after having been shelled by army tanks. The other thing Mubarak lacked was visible international support. When the Anglo Americans made their move against Ahmadinejad, he was able to fly to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, where he met with Putin and others, visibly demonstrating the falseness of the Anglo-American propaganda line that he was totally isolated. Mubarak, although he got some support from Russia, Berlusconi, and the PLO, was not able to make use of similar options.
The Egyptian protesters, of course, did have valid grievances — no destabilization is possible without them. Food prices in fuel prices had been rising rapidly, and Egypt’s highly beneficial system of price subsidies for low income workers had been mercilessly slashed over recent years under pressure from the IMF, although it could still provide some degree of protection. Egyptian wages remained much too low. Unemployment was very high, especially among college-educated youth. Many of these problems are of course of the responsibility of Wall Street and London zombie bankers and hedge fund hyenas, and are beyond the purview of the Mubarak regime. Finally, there was a heavy weight of authoritarian repression under the emergency laws which Mubarak had implemented in 1981, in the wake of the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat by the US-UK — with the help of networks inside the Muslim brotherhood, including one led by Zawahiri, later the legendary right-hand man of Osama bin Laden.
Thursday February 10: Mubarak Defies the CIA Coup
For many days, the Obama regime had been using all of its channels, including personal ties to Egyptian officers who had trained in the United States, to force Mubarak out and to consummate regime change. On the morning of Thursday, February 10, a high-ranking army officer visited the crowd in Tahrir Square and promised them that by nightfall, all of their wishes would be satisfied. A vast program, as General de Gaulle might have said. It was leaked that the Supreme Military Council, which meets very rarely, had come together in the absence of Mubarak and deliberated that it was time for him to go. The Associated Press dispatch announcing these events, which was widely reported on CBS radio news, characterize the event as a “soft coup.” A jovial CNN commentator opined: “It’s a coup!” In a gesture of incredible stupidity, CIA director Leon Panetta told a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee that there was a “high likelihood” that Mubarak would fall from power before the end of the day. Panetta thus told the world that the real authors of the imminent putsch were not the Egyptian people in any form, but rather the hacks of Langley. The feckless, fatuous, and incompetent Obama, eager to harvest some good will from left liberals which he could use to cover his next round of budget betrayals of the American people, then proceeded to climb out very far on the same limb with the CIA boss: “We are watching history unfolding,” babbled the tarnished Messiah. On Thursday afternoon in Washington, it was expected that Mubarak would make a television speech within an hour or two to announce that he had finally succumbed and would resign.
The Counter-Coup of Thursday, February 11
I commented on these events in real time in an interview broadcast on the Alex Jones radio program shortly after 2 p.m. eastern time. I noted in passing that it was not at all certain whether Mubarak would quit. Invited back by Alex Jones shortly after 3 p.m. eastern time, I started off by saying that there was now growing evidence that a countercoup directed against the US putsch designs was now in progress. More than an hour after that estimate was broadcast, a taped statement by Mubarak was telecast by Egyptian state television. As this telecast proceeded, the manic hopes of Foggy Bottom, Langley, and the Old Executive Office Building next to the White House (where National Security Council staffer Samantha Power was reportedly playing a key role) were dashed when it became clear from Mubarak’s tone, and then from his specifics, that he was insisting on remaining in office until his successor was duly elected and inaugurated in late September or October.
Obama Chews the Carpet
In the late afternoon and evening of that Thursday, there was no joy in Mudville. Washington had good reason to fear a partial collapse of US imperialism, which would have occurred if the existing model of the color revolution had turned out to be unworkable because of growing US weakness. Already, the Georgian roses revolution had been thoroughly tarnished as its top honcho, Saakashvili, had been revealed as a warmonger, an oppressor, and a fascist madman. The 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine had been thoroughly aborted and rolled back with the ouster of its two most visible kleptocrats, Timoshenko and Yushchenko, meaning among other things that the US had not been able to orchestrate a gas crisis in eastern Europe in the winter of 2010-11. The Cedars Revolution in Lebanon in 2005 had succeeded in driving out the Syrian troops, but had not been able to break the organized mass power of Hezbollah, and the latest Lebanese government was more under the influence of Hezbollah than any previous one. The Twitter Coup of June 2009 in Iran had fizzled. The use of soft power, subversion, and destabilization in the Carter-Brzezinski tradition, which had always been the central pillar of the Obama foreign policy in contrast to the stress on direct military intervention seen during the Bush-Cheney era, would have been revealed as impotent. Given the growing conventional military power of Iran and Hezbollah, of which the Israeli defeat in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 had provided a harbinger, Anglo-American imperialism was at risk of being left without both its military option and its subversion option in the middle of a depression. If that happened, what would be left? There was a glimmer of hope for the rest of us that the Middle East might cease to be the unipolar playground of the Anglo Americans and Israelis, and might revert to its previous status as a normal multi-polar arena in which Russia, China, Turkey, and possibly even Europe would have influence, allowing the countries of the region to assert their national independence and right to full-scale modern economic development.
CIA’s Egypt Putsch was Dead in the Water Thursday Night
On CNN Thursday evening, Fareed Zakaria whined that the Egyptian army had now definitively chosen to be on the side of Mubarak, at least to the extent of granting him the long transition he wanted. The Dickensian hypocrite David Gergen was more militant, thundering that Mubarak’s defiance “will not be allowed to stand.”
Most apoplectic of all was reportedly Obama himself. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Obama was furious, …seething about coverage that made it look as if the administration were protecting a dictator and ignoring the pleas of the youths of Cairo….”2 From the US point of view, the long-prepared Egyptian putsch was dead in the water on Thursday night.
Gamal Mubark and the Countercoup of Thursday
What had actually happened? According to published reports, Mubarak had indeed recorded a televised message in which he tendered his resignation. This was the tape which the Anglo Americans had seen or become aware of, and which was the basis for much of their gloating. But after this tape had been made, Mubarak’s elder son Gamal had intervened with his father, and had successfully talked him out of resigning.
Here is an Egyptian account of how this transpired: “A heated argument broke out between Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, the two sons of the former Egyptian president, inside the presidential palace last Thursday during the recording of their father’s last speech to the nation, Egypt’s government-owned al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Sunday. Hosni Mubarak reportedly was supposed to announce his resignation in a speech that the military sent to him on Thursday but his son Gamal and senior officials in his entourage pressed him to deliver a different speech in which he insisted on staying in power until September. The newspaper said Gamal lost his temper after he heard the recording of the speech that his father was supposed to deliver that night and in which he was going to declare stepping down. According to the report, American officials were aware of that recording but they did not know that Gamal had prompted his father to discard it and record a different speech, which was delivered that night. Earlier in that day U.S. President Barack Obama had told an audience in Michigan that ‘we are witnessing history unfold,’ a sign that Mubarak was stepping down. Hours later, President Obama heard something perplexing: Mubarak was not quitting. Obama apparently did not know that Mubarak’s resignation speech was discarded by Mubarak’s son in the last minute.”3
But then, on Friday, the situation was abruptly reversed. According to reports, Mubarak left Cairo by helicopter for the resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh at the southern end of the Sinai Peninsula. Soon Egyptian government television said that an important announcement about the presidency was imminent. Then Vice President Suleiman came on television and declared that Mubarak had resigned, and that he had transferred power to the Supreme Military Council — something which the Egyptian constitution gave him no power to do. What had happened?
The US Cover Story about Mubarak’s Departure
The reasons for Mubarak’s sudden departure now constitute a highly explosive political theme in themselves. US intelligence was quick to come forward with an account which portrayed the toppling of Mubarak as an indigenous coup, the work of Egyptian military officers. This approach is necessary to mask the imperialist nature of the coup, and to keep alive the pathetic illusion that the Egyptians did it “all by themselves.”
A detailed summary of these fables appeared as an article by Joby Warrick which appeared in the Washington Post of February 12. Here the author repeats at least twice that Washington bigwigs were out of the loop as far as the events in Cairo were concerned, and could only “learn of” the accomplished facts which the Egyptian army officers were creating on the ground. Here we read: “Late Wednesday, CIA and Pentagon officials learned of the Egyptian military’s plan to relieve President Hosni Mubarak of his primary powers immediately and end the unrest that had convulsed the country for more than two weeks….Communication between top U.S. and Egyptian officials had become increasingly sporadic early this week as Mubarak deputies complained publicly about U.S. interference in Cairo’s affairs. But then U.S. intelligence and military officials began to learn details of the plan by Egyptian military leaders – something between a negotiated exit and a soft coup d’etat – to relieve Mubarak of most, if not all, of his powers.”4 Here it is alleged that Mubarak disappointed his backers above all by the tone of his remarks, leading them to conclude that he was incorrigible and had to go: “In the end, Mubarak’s efforts only ensured a hasty and ignominious departure, the officials said. Within hours of the speech, Egyptian army officials confronted the discredited president with an ultimatum: Step down voluntarily, or be forced out.”5
But this is a fiction, since it was clear to the entire world that Washington officialdom, starting with CIA boss Panetta, were the prime movers behind the Egyptian putsch. The problem was that the US puppet officers, even operating behind the smokescreen provided by the golden youth in the square, simply did not have the raw political muscle to kick Mubarak out. As the Italian Middle East expert Franco Macchi pointed out on the morning of February 13, “In fact, I do not think that Gen. Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and his supreme council could have been able to force Mubarak out. They tried, as expected from Washington, and failed for quite some time. Even at the last minute the idea of Mubarak was clear: I don’t care, I will stay. This would have provoked (or had already provoked) a split in the army with their CIA puppets risking isolation and hostility from the backbone of the army. It is not even clear to me how much Tantawi is chained to the US side (and could be relied on) and how much he is trying to mediate a compromise. However, the key element is what kind of decisions and passions will develop from deep inside the army. And these could be very non-linear….” In other words, new Nasserist-nationalist colonels may soon tire of discredited US puppets like Tantawi and send them packing, with incalculable consequences for the US.
Achilles’ Heel of the US Cover Story: Communiqué Number 2 of the Supreme Military Council
The truly insuperable obstacle for Joby Warrick’s thesis of an indigenous coup stamped Made in Egypt is the fact, which Warrick nowhere mentions, that a meeting of the Supreme Military Council was held on Friday morning and came out with an endorsement of Mubarak’s plan for a gradual transition into September or October supervised by the incumbent president — and said so in their Communiqué Number 2. The main facts were reported by the Press Trust of India in a dispatch where we can read: “Egyptian military today came out in support of a beleaguered President and asked protesters to go home, assuring them of free and fair elections in September and the lifting of a much-hated emergency law, in a stand that caused widespread disappointment among the people who pledged to take their campaign to its ‘final stage’. As the powerful military unexpectedly threw its weight behind Hosni Mubarak, tens of thousands of angry people converged again on the streets and vowed to take the protest to the “doorsteps of political institutions.” This dispatch continues: “As Mubarak dashed hopes of millions of his countrymen and global expectations by refusing to step down, the military Supreme Command Council met twice in less than 24 hours before announcing that it supported Mubarak’s move to transfer some of his powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman. Egyptian state-television interrupted its programme to read out the Council’s ‘communiqué number 2' in which it vowed to lift the much-criticised emergency laws in the country, without specifying a date and said it would guarantee ‘free and fair elections’ in September, as outlined by Mubarak. But, in what appeared to be a warning to protesters, who for 18 days have been calling Mubarak to stand down after three decades in power, the military asked them to go home and get back to work.”6
These decisions by the Supreme Military Council were announced on television little more than an hour before the first indication that Mubarak was going to make an important statement. The US theory of the indigenous coup will therefore have to explain why, if the Egyptian generals had turned against Mubarak in the night between Thursday and Friday, they still gathered on Friday morning to proclaim and publish their continued support for the incumbent president. All indications are that the Egyptian generals, including the CIA puppets, were as surprised as the rest of the world when Mubarak announced that he was leaving. The military had proven itself incapable of forcing this decision. There must therefore have been some outside force which acted directly on Mubarak and induced him to tender his resignation on his own power. Given the nature of current world affairs, that power could only have been the United States, perhaps with some help from the British.
The Reality: US Threats to Mubarak
To ask the question, “How could the Obama regime had squeezed Mubarak?” is already to answer it. Given Obama’s carpet-chewing rage, the entire gamut of CIA and other capabilities could have been unleashed on the Egyptian president and his family, including his wife Suzanne, his sons Gamal and Alaa, his granddaughter, and other relatives inside Egypt or abroad. We need only suggest the endless possibilities for wetwork, torture, kidnapping, rendition, criminal prosecutions, the confiscation of assets, and so on down the line. “Al Qaeda” could have put out a contract on the Mubaraks, etc., etc. In fact, we can speculate with some confidence that some or all of these threats were made or implied in some form.
But there were perhaps other threats which might have been more eloquent in persuading such a proud, elderly, nationalist autocrat and patriarch as Mubarak. The most obvious of these, for which we also have some evidence, is a threat for US move against the Suez Canal, one of Egypt’s greatest national assets.
Evidence for a US Threat to the Suez Canal
In terms of imperialist mentality, not all that much has changed since the days of 1956, when British Prime Minister Anthony Eden would become apoplectic at the mere sight of Colonel Amal abd-el Nasser, the gallant Egyptian leader who successfully nationalized the Suez Canal in defiance of the British and the French. When the imperialists look across the northern edge of Africa, the valuable assets they see are the oil of Algeria and Libya, and above all the Suez Canal, one of the classical naval choke points of the world, through which 8% of world maritime trade currently passes. The Anglo Americans are acutely aware of the endless possibilities for mischief against countries like Iran, China, and Russia that could be derived from a reassertion of the old imperialist control of Suez. If some pretext could be found for banning Chinese ships from the Suez Canal, China’s entire trade with Europe would be severely disrupted. However, in order to make a grab for Suez politically feasible, Egypt would have to descend into chaos. This may in fact be one of the prime motivations of what is currently going on. If the national states collapse, then the empire is free to step in and seize what it wants.
In any case, the early 2011 destabilization of Egypt has already been unmistakably accompanied by a series of threatening gestures towards the Suez Canal. No sooner had Mubarak left office than Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman began vociferating about the intolerable threat to his country represented by the allegedly imminent passage of two Iranian military vessels through Suez; he seemed to be threatening open war over this incident. In one account we read: ‘Israel’s foreign minister claimed Wednesday that Iran is about to send two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time in years, calling it a “provocation,” but he offered no evidence. The Egyptian authority that runs the canal denied it. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the ships would cross later Wednesday, en route to Syria. He offered no evidence and did not say how he knew it. “This is a provocation that proves that Iranian audacity and insolence are increasing,” he said in a statement. The Egyptian body that runs the Suez Canal denied the claim.’7 Lieberman’s rhetoric knew no bounds: ‘”This is a provocation that proves that the self-confidence and insolence of the Iranians is growing from day to day,” he said. “This happens after the Iranian president’s visit to south Lebanon and his aggressive declarations there towards Israel.”‘
Washington was more than willing to take this matter quite seriously: U.S. State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley declared “We’ll be watching to see what they [the supposed Iranian warships] do.” Crowley confirmed that he was talking about the same ships which had so upset the Israeli foreign minister.8
February 5: Egypt-Israel-Jordan Natural Gas Pipeline Bombed; al Qaeda Accused
But the question of the Suez Canal and its security had been raised repeatedly over the previous weeks, during the entire time of the Egyptian crisis. This issue came up during the first week of February when a mysterious bomb hit the gas pipeline across the Sinai Peninsula which delivers natural gas from Egypt into Israel and Jordan. The bombing was soon blamed on alleged terrorists, specifically Hamas and a branch of al Qaeda. The website Debkafile, which reputedly reflects the views of the Israeli intelligence community, had this to say: “Intelligence updates reaching Israel reveal that Hamas plans to follow up its attack on the Egyptian-Israel-Jordanian gas pipeline Saturday, Feb. 5, with more large-scale operations against Israel, using Egyptian Sinai as its launching-pad. Since the uprising began in Egypt two weeks ago, more than 1,000 Hamas gunmen have infiltrated North Sinai from the Gaza Strip and seized control of the region. They were followed by Al-Qaeda cells which redeployed from Iraq in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has established a command center in North Sinai for coordinating its operations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo…. Debkafile‘s military sources report that Hamas and Mumtaz Durmush, head of Jaish al-Islam (The Army of Islam) which is linked to Al Qaeda, have struck a deal for Hamas to transfer the Islamists to Sinai and provide them with the weapons and explosives for attacking Israeli patrols along the Egyptian border and Egyptian security forces posted there.”9
Another website commented on the strategic significance of this gas pipeline: “On Saturday, February 5, an explosion cut off distribution from a natural gas line in the Sinai region. The pipeline delivers gas to Israel and Jordan. Originally, government officials ruled the explosion an accident; however, new intelligence is reporting that the incident may have been a planned terrorist attack. The guards on duty to protect the pipeline are now claiming that they were restrained by four masked gunmen who remotely detonated explosives—intentionally cutting off gas supplies to Egyptian neighbor countries. Israel is dependent on Egyptian natural gas to help supplement upward of half of their electricity needs, and Jordan in response has, for the time being, converted their power plants to run on diesel and oil reserves. Egyptian officials are stating that the gas line will be repaired and operational within one week. The security implications of the Egyptian riots are severe, especially in light of this terrorist attack.”10
We can already imagine the headlines: “Obama Orders Marines to Seize Suez Canal to Stop al Qaeda Grab of World’s Most Vital Waterway.” A great strategy for the upcoming primary elections, Obama may imagine.
The Kearsarge Task Force in the Suez Canal at the Great Bitter Lake
A concrete US capability for beginning a move on the Suez Canal was represented by a task force around the USS Kearsarge, which was officially portrayed as being there to help with the evacuation of US nationals in case the political situation in Egypt further deteriorated. According to one account: “The USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group has sped its way into the Suez canal, and is now waiting in Suez Canal’s Great Bitter Lake nearby Ismailia Egypt; this is telling in that its specific function is to carry Marines and equipment designed for beach landing and land deployment operations…. The USS KEARSARGE’s principal mission is deployment, landing and support of a Marine landing force anywhere in the world. The USS KEARSARGE’s armament suite includes the NATO Sea Sparrow point defense missile systems, the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) defense system, the PHALANX close-in weapon system, 25mm chain guns and Electronic Warfare (EW) protection systems for defense against anti-ship cruise missiles, aircraft and surface vessels. The USS Kearsarge also lands tanks, trucks, artillery, and the complete logistic support needed to supply an assault. The question is, what are the intentions of the U.S. government and military, given that thousands of Marines are now offshore and could amphibiously launch at a moments notice…Could this be a combat operation? Or is it a non-combat operation, to pull out and evacuate certain people should it become necessary?”11 At least one attack carrier, the USS Enterprise, was nearby throughout the crisis.
On February 11, other reports suggested that, in conjunction with the US moves, the Israelis were seeking to reestablish their siege positions in the so-called Philadelphia corridor in the Sinai between the Gaza strip and Egypt: “Egyptian media sources have confirmed reports from Israeli intelligence agencies that the US has moved some of its naval forces from the Fifth Fleet closer to the Suez Canal. It is feared that the situation in Egypt could spiral out of control and threaten navigation in the Canal. The Egyptian newspaper Al Masri Al Yawm has said that the naval personnel include 850 US Marines. They have taken up a strategic position near Ismailia, giving easy access to the main Egyptian land mass and the Sinai Peninsula. The newspaper cited Israeli sources regarding the deployment which came about following the statement by Vice President Omer Suleiman that Egypt faces a choice between a coup d’état or dialogue. Al Masri Al Yawm also referred to a recent report published in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in which Israel Defence Forces officers have called for the re-occupation of the Philadelphia corridor located between Egypt and the Gaza Strip in the event of the total collapse of the Mubarak regime.”12 For the Italian commentator Bernardino Ferrero, the conclusion was clear: “Mubarak will leave, but the US will stay in Suez.”13
Chaos and Confusion Scenario, as in 1956
When the British and the French took back the Suez Canal from Nasser in 1956, one of their main propaganda arguments was that the primitive Egyptians were far too backward to ever be able to manage such a complicated enterprise as the Suez Canal Authority. Therefore, the European colonialists had to reassert their control in the public interest of the world. This was of course nonsense, but such arguments may be about to make a comeback.
One pretext which neo-imperialists might use was the sitdown strike of the employees of the Suez Canal itself, which was reported by Bloomberg news on February 8. Tolls were not collected, and the constant upkeep which is necessary to keep the canal functioning apparently came to a halt. As Bloomberg reported: “Shipping on Egypt’s Suez Canal, used to carry about 8 percent of global seaborne trade, is transiting on schedule after service workers linked to the waterway began striking, the Suez Canal Authority said. Workers from Suez Canal Co. began a sit-in today, Al-Ahram newspaper reported earlier today in its online edition, without saying where it got the information. The 6,000 workers are from Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, Al-Ahram said…. The canal has the capacity to handle 2.2 million barrels of oil a day while that of the adjacent Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline is 2.3 million barrels, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.”14
A few days later, shooting broke out along the canal as police clashed with protesters: “Ismailiya, Egypt – Egyptian protesters in the north Sinai town of El-Arish exchanged gunfire with police on Friday and hurled Molotov cocktails at a police station, witnesses said, amid nationwide anti-government rallies. About 1,000 protesters broke off from a larger group and headed towards a police station, lobbing firebombs and burning police cars, witnesses said.”15 We should also recall that in Egypt, 2011 had begun with the murderous bombing of a Coptic Christian Church.
Israel Claims Sinai Front was Denuded
In the midst of these events, Debkafile summarized accounts in the Israeli press according to which three decades of peace in the Sinai peninsula under the Camp David Accords had lulled the Israeli high command into a false sense of security, leading them to neglect what Debka called the Sinai front: “Thirty-two years of peace with Egypt leave Israel militarily unprepared for the unknown and unexpected on their 270-kilometer long southern border: the current generation of Israeli combatants and commanders has no experience of desert combat, its armor is tailored for operation on its most hostile fronts: Iran, Lebanon’s Hizballah and Syria; it is short of intelligence on the Egyptian army and its commanders and, above all, no clue to the new rulers’ intentions regarding Cairo’s future relations with Israel and security on their Sinai border. The Israeli Defense Forces are trained and equipped to confront Iran and fight on the mountainous terrain of Lebanon and Syria. After signing peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel scrapped the combat brigades trained for desert warfare, whose last battle was fought in the 1973 war, and stopped treating the Egyptian army as a target of military intelligence. Israel’s high command consequently knows little or nothing about any field commanders who might lead units if they were to be deployed in Sinai.”16 Much here is fanciful, but the purpose of the article is evident enough.
Franco Macchi summed up these ingredients as follows: “First, the pipeline sabotage (at the very beginning of the ‘revolution’ in Tahrir square); second, the exaggerated representations by Israel that a vital source of energy had been cut, creating a problem of national security; third, the military-style attacks on Egyptian barracks and soldiers in the Sinai; fourth, the rumored revolt of the ‘uncontrollable’ Bedouin tribes in the Sinai; and fifth, the strike of the Suez canal workers.” Macchi’s conclusion: “The danger of the scenario of ‘Chaos and Loss of Control by the Egyptian government’ as a credible pretext for a military intervention has been hanging like a sword of Damocles over Egypt since the beginning of the crisis.”
Based on the circumstantial evidence, we therefore advance the hypothesis that one of the elements inducing Mubarak to resign as president of Egypt could well have been a threat by the United States to seize the Suez Canal in whole or in part.
Why the US Dumped Mubarak
We must now examine in detail the specific reasons why the US chose to bring down Mubarak, and why now. The overall pattern that emerges from this survey is one of a Mubarak who was increasingly and outspokenly hostile to the overall direction of US policy, especially on the central question of whether Egypt, the key Sunni Arab state, should participate in the State Department’s planned regional alliance against Iran and its allies. No one knew better than Mubarak that the division of the Arabs over the last three decades into a rejection front of radicals on the one hand, and a moderate Arab bloc on the other, had reduced these states to the status of expendable pawns. There are signs that he was seeking to do something about this situation.
Lebanon: Mubarak Bitterly Opposed to Obama and Hillary on Frameup of Hezbollah
The last known conversation between Obama and Mubarak before the Egyptian crisis exploded appears to have taken place on January 19. According to read-outs, Obama called Mubarak to thank him for Egyptian support in the US policy towards Lebanon, which can only mean the United Nations kangaroo court tribunal which the US was using to indict the leaders of Hezbollah, along possibly with Syrian and Iranian officials, in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri. Less than a week before the rioting began, we find the following wire service dispatch: ‘WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday about the U.S. desire for calm in Tunisia and thanked him for Egypt’s support for a U.N.-backed tribunal set up to try the assassins of Lebanese statesman Rafik al-Hariri…. Obama thanked Mubarak for Egyptian support of the tribunal, “which is attempting to end the era of impunity for political assassination in Lebanon and achieve justice for the Lebanese people,” the White House said.’17
What makes Obama’s tactic so unbelievable is that Mubarak was one of the leading opponents of the entire UN kangaroo court/tribunal indictment scheme against Hezbollah, clearly because this was nothing but a recipe to restart Lebanese civil war, and then quite possibly a general regional war. Mubarak wanted no part of Obama’s policy, and Obama must have known it. This incongruous phone call therefore takes on the character of some form of oblique warning to the Egyptian president to stop sabotaging one of the main US gambits to the destabilization of the entire region.
Mubarak: Iran a Part of the Solution
Mubarak’s favorite formulation on this theme was that the entire future of the Lebanese nation should not depend on the looming UN frameup. Here is how Mubarak expressed his dissent last October: ‘Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak said a verdict against a senior Hezbollah official could be detrimental to the internal security of Lebanon and added that “The fate of Lebanese consensus and coexistence should not become hostage to this indictment regardless of its content.” Mubarak also warned that the Middle East peace process “cannot afford a new failure.” “It also cannot afford escalation of violence and terrorism in the region if negotiations collapsed,” he said. Mubarak believed any progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track opens the way for similar progresses and agreements on both the Lebanese and Syrian tracks.” On Iran, he said Tehran “can become part of a solution to the Middle East crises, rather than being one of the causes of problems.”‘
Iran a part of the Middle East solution!! Iran was supposed to be totally isolated, and was the main US target!! It was pure heresy, the diametrical opposite of the sermon so stridently preached by Hillary Clinton during all of 2010.
Mubarak Rejects US Nuclear Umbrella, US-backed Sunni Arab Alliance with Israel Against Iran
As already noted, the main US diplomatic gambit of the first year of the Obama administration was the creation of a Sunni-Arab bloc centered on Egypt, together with Israel, under the protection of the US nuclear umbrella, for purposes of regional confrontation and possible war against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and their associates. One of the by-products of the scheme would have been to force Egypt and Saudi Arabia into a military alliance with the Israelis against Moslem Iran. The first Gulf War had shown the lasting aversion of Arab leaders to participating in the military enterprise shoulder to shoulder with the Israelis, who therefore had to stay out of Kuwait. Nevertheless, an alliance with Israel was precisely what Obama and Hillary Clinton were demanding. Saudi Arabia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, would very likely have been obliged to open them. As for Egypt, even though the Camp David peace treaty with Israel has been in place for three decades, there are still many aspects of Egyptian-Israeli bilateral relations which are far from being normalized down to the present day. Mubarak had no intention of allowing such an automatic normalization, and of course did not want Egypt to become cannon fodder in the US attempt to smash and partition Iran.
The “nuclear umbrella” plan would also have necessitated the creation of US military bases in Egypt, which Mubarak has always rejected. There are about 500 US military personnel in Egypt, but these are stationed in the Sinai desert as part of the Multinational Force and Observers, along with troops from 10 other countries as part of the surveillance of the Israel-Egypt border under the terms of the Camp David peace treaty of March 26, 1979. Mubarak has never wanted any US bases in Egypt. He has also systematically rejected all demands by the US that he provide Egyptian forces for the war in Afghanistan.18
Here is how the “nuclear umbrella” proposal was formulated in the summer of 2009: ‘US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on Wednesday to sketch out how the United States might cope with a nuclear Iran – by arming its neighbors and extending a “defense umbrella” over the region. She said crossing the nuclear threshold would not make Iran, which Washington believes is pursuing nuclear weapons, safer or more secure.’19
Mubarak was vehemently opposed to this strategy, as we can see from the tone of the following report published in one of the semi-official Cairo papers, and made available through the Israeli Ynet: ‘Al-Gumhoria newspaper says Egyptian president strongly objects to American proposal to Israel, Arab states to create nuclear umbrella against Iranian attack. The United States has offered Israel, Egypt and Persian Gulf countries to be part of a nuclear umbrella against an Iranian attack, Egyptian newspaper al-Gumhoria reported Thursday. According to the idea, Israeli and American aircraft would be deployed in those Arab countries in preparation of a response against any expected Iranian strike. Everyone knows, the editor wrote, that those bases would be used to launch a war on Iran if the American diplomatic dialogue with Tehran were to fail.’
The Ynet summary of the Al-Gumhoria commentary, obviously inspired by Mubarak’s presidential palace, continues as follows: ‘”The deceptive thought was that Israel would in actual fact defend the Gulf states against the danger they are saying is approaching. We cannot rule out a possibility that they would even present the Gulf rulers with satellite images showing that an Iranian attack against the region is imminent. And this will lead to a war Israel has been planning for some time, with Israel turning later on into the only nuclear regional force in the Middle East, which will be a huge gain as far as they are concerned,” the editorial said.
According to the Ynet summary, ‘”The American defense umbrella which Israel will be part of is aimed at allowing Israel to enjoy the Gulf countries’ trust and be part of the defense lineup over the economic wealth of oil-producing countries. This is indirect normalization and a concealed bribe to Israel.” According to the editor, “The only one to reveal this satanic plan was President Hosni Mubarak, who was very firm in his response. He stressed that Egypt does not support free normalization with Israel, regardless of its reasons.” According to the editorial, Cairo is against taking part in the defense alliance, even if Israel is not part of it. Several days ago, the newspaper’s editor wrote, more than 200 Republican and Democratic Congress member send a letter to Saudi King Abdullah, expressing their disappointment over his failure to accept President Obama’s call to make steps of normalization towards Israel.’20
From this we can also glean that Mubarak’s categorical rejection of the US “nuclear umbrella” plan provided the weaker Saudi leadership with enough political cover so that they could also reject Obama’s demands, which they probably wanted to do anyway, but might have otherwise been bullied into accepting.
Mubarak’s Ultimate Deviation: Signs of Egyptian Rapprochement with Iran
During 2010, the US was bending every effort to impose a new round of economic sanctions on Iran, and also to browbeat individual countries and groups of countries to go beyond the UN Security Council sanctions with extra sanctions of their own, cutting off every conceivable commercial and financial link with Iran. In what must have been a carefully calculated affront to the State Department, Mubarak chose this moment to inaugurate direct flights between Cairo and Tehran, a service which had not existed for the past 30 years. As AOL News reported, “In what many see as a calibrated rapprochement between two of the Muslim world’s most powerful and long-embittered foes, Iran and Egypt this week announced an agreement to resume direct flights after more than 30 years. Hamid Baghaei, an Iranian vice president and the head of culture and tourism, said the agreement was ‘one of the most valuable economic agreements that have been signed between Iran and Egypt over the past 30 years,’ according to Iranian state TV. He suggested it could be a first step toward issuing visas to Egyptian and Iranian citizens and otherwise furthering ties between the two usually hostile states. The agreement between Egypt’s civil aviation authority and Iran’s national aviation company, signed Oct. 3 , provides for up to 28 private flights a week but does not specify a start date or a reason for their resumption. The deal has baffled observers long accustomed to watching the two regional adversaries spar. Ties between the two countries fell apart in the wake of the Iranian revolution and Egypt’s peace accord with Israel in 1979. Neither has an embassy in the other’s capital, operating instead through interest sections. ‘At a time when the world is cutting off its ties to Iran, it seems strange that Egypt, a close ally of the United States, is broadening its ties to Iran,’ said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In that bellicose context, restoring flights between the two feuding capitals carries symbolic significance at the very least. ‘It’s not exactly like they’ve normalized relations, but the direct flights after 31 years, it’s a pretty big deal,’ said Steven Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Cook said the agreement might be an indication that the Egyptian government is distancing itself from the U.S. as Egypt approaches a potential transition of power.“21
Mubarak appeared to be acting on the basis of an understanding that the perpetual division of the Arabs and Moslems into two contending and hostile camps was playing into the hands of the Israelis, enabling their recent atrocities. After Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s visit last autumn to Lebanon, where the conciliatory note was very prominent, we may conclude that Ahmadinejad was also aware of the sterility of pure ideological rejection-front politics, since such an approach guaranteed Moslem division and defeat, while facilitating imperialist divide and conquer tactics..
The pro-Israeli MEMRI site recently carried the following report of a political attack on Ahmadinejad in an Iranian newspaper close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. This polemic accuses of Ahmadinejad of moving away from dead-end sectarianism in favor of compromise and cooperation with the moderate Arab states, lead by Mubarak: ‘In a December 20, 2010 article titled “The Diplomatic Mirage of Amman, Riyadh, Cairo, and Sana’a,” the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not only criticized these countries’ regimes but also attacked Ahmadinejad’s foreign initiatives aimed at rapprochement with them. The criticism came in response to a number of recent developments, including a meeting held in Amman between King ‘Abdallah of Jordan and Ahmadinejad’s advisor Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, and an invitation of the former to visit Iran; statements made by Iran’s newly appointed caretaker foreign minister ‘Ali-Akbar Salehi, in his swearing-in ceremony, which emphasized the importance of developing special ties with Saudi Arabia in light of its prominent religious and economic status; and reports in the media of improving economic ties between Iran and Egypt. Kayhan claimed that Ahmadinejad’s gestures of friendship towards the moderate Arab states contradicted the regime’s official policy, which was determined by officials senior to Ahmadinejad, most notably Khamenei. Kayhan wrote: “[Iran's moves of] sending [Esfandiar Rahim Mashai] as a special envoy to Jordan [on Ahmadinejad's behalf], [holding] two teleconferences with the Saudi royal court in a single month, expressing hope for the establishment of relations with Egypt, and intimating that a special delegate will be sent to Yemen are all extremely logical [moves] in an atmosphere of bilateral cooperation or when both sides express a willingness [to cooperate]. However, they are entirely illogical in an atmosphere where one side is begging [for rapprochement] and the other is playing hard to get.”‘22 Mubarak was also interested in cooperation with Qaddafi’s Libya.
The evidence suggests that a convergence of two historical regional powers of the Middle East, Mubarak’s Egypt and Ahmadinejad’s Iran, may have been in progress, with Saudi Arabia and Jordan also participating. We are left with the impression that Ahmadinejad, for his part, was attempting to free himself from the foreign policy prejudices of the mullarchy. Ahmadinejad, himself a general, was looking more and more like a Nasserist, and was more able to get along with Mubarak. This may well be the real diplomatic revolution which the duped and hapless youth of Tahrir Square were mobilized by the CIA myrmidons to bloc.
An obvious question in regard to these diplomatic maneuvers is whether they enjoyed the support of any of the great powers from outside of the Middle East. Here it might be useful to know more about Russian President Medvedev’s recent visit to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, which had been preceded by a trip to Syria earlier last year and a meeting with Mubarak in Cairo on June 30, 2009.
Mubarak as Peacemaker for Lebanon and Syria when Bush-Cheney Wanted More War
In the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Mubarak attempted to mediate a modus vivendi between the Israelis on the one hand, and the Lebanese and Syrians on the other. This, again, was the diametrical opposite of the US policy under Bush and Cheney, which aimed at maximizing this conflict and prolonging it as much as possible. Mubarak spoke out quite openly against the US warmongers, as the London Daily Mail reported on January 5, 2007: ‘Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused the United States in an interview published yesterday of obstructing peace between Israel and Syria. “I believe America is preventing (Israeli Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert from achieving peace with Syria,” Mubarak told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth during Olmert’s visit to the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh on Thursday….’23
Rather than hiding behind the stonewall refusal of the US neocons to negotiate, Mubarak recommended a strategy of testing Syrian intentions through a policy of active engagement, without preconditions: ‘”Bring the truth to light, if it’s just a (tactical) manoeuvre or true intentions. Check out which peace he (Assad) wants to achieve. Why say no to a peace offering?” he said. He added: “Now, when the president of Syria calls for peace, don’t imagine he will come to Jerusalem. That won’t happen. No Arab leader will come to Jerusalem until peace is achieved.”‘…
Mubarak wanted help for the Palestinian Authority, which Bush and Cheney were interested in destroying: ‘Mubarak said in the interview that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is in conflict with a cabinet led by Hamas, needed financial help to strengthen him. “We have to strengthen him so he can make decisions. He has a government, but he has problems with his government. We must assist him financially, unfreeze money and make conditions easier so people can live,” he said. …
Mubarak: Execution of Saddam under US Auspices “Illegal,” “Revolting and Barbaric”
Mubarak also sharply condemned the “revolting and barbaric” US role in the public execution of Saddam Hussein before the eyes of the world: ‘In his first comments, Mubarak said: “No one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed. They turned him into a martyr and the problems in Iraq remain. People are executed all over the world, but what happened in Baghdad on the first day of Eid Al Adha was unthinkable. I didn’t believe it was happening. Why did they have to hurry? Why hang him when people are reciting their holiday prayers?” Mubarak said he had written to US President George W. Bush asking him to postpone the execution, arguing that it would not be helpful at that time. He did not say how Bush responded. “Then the pictures of the execution were revolting and barbaric, and I am not discussing here whether he deserved it or not. As for the trial, all experts in international law said it was an illegal trial because it was under occupation. Also, there was a conspiracy to carry out the execution before the end of the year,” he added.24
Mubarak condemned the US attack on Iraq in 2003, and refused to contribute military forces. Then, at the end of 2006, when he saw that the US was eager to leave Iraq, he once again contradicted Washington by warning against the problems that could be created by an over-hasty withdrawal: ‘ (Reuters) 6 December 2006 DUBLIN – An immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would be dangerous but staying is also risky, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview published on Wednesday. He told the Irish Times Iraq needs a strong leader…’25 Again the opposite of the US, who wanted the puppet Allawi.
Color Revolutions on the March
The Obama-Zbigniew Brzezinski foreign policy tacitly concedes that the US is now too weak, too isolated, too hated, and too bankrupt to undertake direct military attacks on the long list of countries which Bush, Cheney, and the neocons were eager to assail. The new policy of subverting existing governments and replacing them with regimes far more susceptible of being played as kamikaze puppets against the regional enemies of the United States is described in detail in my Obama the Postmodern Coup — the Making of a Manchurian Candidate, which was published almost three years ago.
The indispensable allies of this Obama-Brzezinski policy are ignorance, stupidity, gullibility, and the willingness to be blinded by hatred. During the first phase of the Egyptian destabilization, Brzezinski boasted to Newsweek of his ability to manipulate the youth bulge across the Arab world, using them to accomplish at low cost what Bush and Cheney failed to do through direct military attacks, with extravagant military and financial losses. Like a Mephistopheles, Brzezinski gloated that his destabilization cohorts, his revolutionaries, are the “somewhere between 80 million and 130 million young people around the world who come from the socially insecure lower middle class and constitute a community of mutual infection with angers, passions, frustrations, and hatreds. These students are revolutionaries-in-waiting. When they erupt at volatile moments, they become very contagious. And whereas Marx’s industrial proletariat more than a century ago was fragmented in local groups, today these young people are interacting via the Internet. What young people want is political dignity. Democracy may enhance that. But political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights. All of this now takes place in a wired world where the youth are acutely aware of economic, racial, and social inequities. Egypt is seething. To the extent it is possible, it is best to channel these aspirations. So I think Obama started out right in outlining in his Cairo speech a notion of how to deal with, specifically, the Islamic problem. But since then, he has simply lapsed into passivity.” Now, the CIA-NED destabilization ops have created a fait accompli to which Obama has had to respond.
Mubarak’s stubborn resistance to the putschist generals of the CIA has had the effect of further exposing Washington’s cynical sponsorship of the current wave of color coups. Unfortunately, Mubarak’s fall has cleared away one of the principal obstacles to a US plan for the reorganization of the Middle East in a way which radically increases the short-term chances for a cataclysmic general war in this region.
2 “In U.S. Signals to Egypt, Obama Straddled a Rift,” New York Times, February 12, 2011, at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/world/middleeast/13diplomacy.html
3 “Gamal Mubarak convinced his father to change his last TV speech and to refuse to quit,” AlArabiya.net, at http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/02/13/137490.html
4 Joby Warrick, “In Mubarak’s final hours, defiance surprises U.S. and threatens to unleash chaos,” Washington Post, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/11/AR2011021106690_pf.html
6 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, Feb 11, 2011, 06.08pm IST, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Army-sides-with-Mubaraks-transition-plan-people-outraged/articleshow/7476575.cms. See also the Deccan Herald: “Egyptian military today came out in support of a beleaguered President and asked protesters to go home, assuring them of free and fair elections in September and the lifting of a much-hated emergency law, in a stand that caused widespread disappointment among the people who pledged to take their campaign to its ‘final stage’.” http://www.deccanherald.com/content/136818/army-sides-mubaraks-transition-plan.html. See also http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-egypt-army-promises-free-and-fair-polls/20110211.htm
7 Mark Lavie, “Israel claims Iran warships to transit Suez Canal,” AP, February 16, 2011, at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110216/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_iran/print
8 “US To Monitor Iranian Ships Sighted In Red Sea,” AFP. February 16, 2011 at http://ae.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZW20110216000226
10 John Shimkus, “Terrorism: Natural Gas Explosion Highlights Egypt’s Energy Security Risks; A pipeline explosion cutting off natural gas supplies from Egypt to Israel and Jordan is believed to be terror-related,” at http://www.energydigital.com/sectors/oil-and-gas/terrorism-natural-gas-explosion-highlights-egypt-s-energy-security-risks
11 Marine Landing Force, Ismailia Egypt, http://modernsurvivalblog.com/current-events-economics-politics/marine-landing-force-ismailia-egypt/
12 “US moves naval forces off Ismailia while Israelis call for re-occupation of Philadelphia corridor,” 11 February 2011, at http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2048-us-moves-naval-forces-off-ismailia-while-israelis-call-for-re-occupation-of-philadelphia-corridor. According to Wikipedia, “The Philadelphi Route or Philadelphia Corridor refers to a narrow strip of land, 14 km in length, situated along the border between Gaza and Egypt. Under the provisions of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979, the buffer zone was controlled and patrolled by Israeli forces. After the 1995 Oslo Accords, Israel was allowed to retain the security corridor along the border.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphi_Route)
13 “Seguiamo la rotta della Uss Kearsarge e della Uss Ponce, le navi da guerra americane che sorvegliano la zona dello Stretto pronte a un’azione di salvataggio del personale diplomatico e dei civili americani. Un contingente di duemila marines aspetta il da farsi. Barack Obama vuole Suez, centro nevralgico dei traffici marittici internazionali. Non più di questo. Mentre si rivolge idealmente ai giovani egiziani, pensa prosaicamente alle “transizioni” sullo stretto.” Bernardino Ferrero, “Mubarak se ne andrà presto ma gli Usa restano a Suez,” (L’Occidentale, 11 Febbraio 2011, at http://www.loccidentale.it/node/102299)
14 “Suez Canal Still Operating as Service Workers Strike,” Bloomberg, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-02-08/suez-canal-still-operating-as-service-workers-strike.html
15 “Egypt protesters, police clash in north Sinai,” AFP, February 11, 2011, at http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Egypt+protesters+police+clash+north+Sinai/4265381/story.html#ixzz1DfWACdd1
16 “Israel’s military caught unready for Sinai front. Tantawi is no friend,” http://www.debka.com/article/20660/
17 “Obama and Egypt’s Mubarak discuss Tunisia and Lebanon,” Patricia Zengerle, Reuters, January 19, 2011, at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/19/us-usa-egypt-idUSTRE70I07N20110119, emphasis added.
18 Mubarak “refused to send troops to Afghanistan…. Egypt also opposed US military intervention of March 2003 in Iraq, continued to oppose US occupation of the country after the war and further refused to comply with US requests to send troops to the country even under a UN umbrella.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Egypt)
19 “Clinton promises ‘defense umbrella’ against Iran; US secretary of state outlines how her country may cope with nuclear threat – by working to upgrade defense of allies in region,” Reuters, July 22, 2009, at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3750303,00.html
20 “Report: Mubarak opposes US defense umbrella,” Roee Nahmias, YNET, August 21, 2009, at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3765075,00.html
21 Sarah A. Topol, “Are Bitter Foes Egypt and Iran Burying the Hatchet?,” AOL News, Oct 7, 2010, emphasis added, at http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/07/are-bitter-foes-egypt-and-iran-burying-the-hatchet/
22 “Iranian Daily Kayhan: Ahmadinejad’s Rapprochement with Moderate Arab States is ‘Capitulation,’” MEMRI, February 11, 2011 at http://m.memri.org/14499/show/ffb3a4c758b1d8b04eeb3359d0990ca4&t=20320d97cb30b6845cb6422bedb5dfbe
23 “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused the United States in an interview published yesterday of obstructing peace between Israel and Syria,” London Daily Mail, January 5, 2007, at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-426677/U-S-blame-obstructing-peace-Israel-Syria-says-Mubarak.html; see also. “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused the United States in an interview published yesterday of obstructing peace between Israel and Syria,” http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/washington-is-obstructing-israel-syria-peace-says-mubarak-1.153789; and http://archive.thepeninsulaqatar.com/component/content/article/342-gulfmiddle-eastaarchiveafrica/90474.html
25 Khaleej Times 2006-12-06, at http://article.wn.com/view/2006/12/06/Egypts_Mubarak_opposes_US_withdrawal_from_Iraq/