Tahrir II: Neoliberal Harder

Remember September 11, 2012 and the embassy attacks?

I'm not talking about the aftermath and controversies over its handling.  I'm talking specifically about September 11, 2012, as events unfolded.

Do you remember what was happening in Egypt?  Do you remember the protests, and reports of people climbing the embassy walls, pulling down an American flag?

Do you remember the American media, squawking in unison  that the entire thing was about anger over a shitty film with all the sophistication of a World War II era racist propaganda film?  Do you remember that the film was an obvious fraud, all the way down to the $5,000,000 price tag on a $50,000 production?

I wrote about how much of this conflict was already festering and yelled at the media for their lack of integrity,  Pepe Escobar excepted as always.  There's a good bit of background on Egypt contained in my piece, but the point I want to focus on is how the Egyptian election and the revolution leading up to it actually played out.

Morsi was running against Ahmed Shafik, who had been the prime minister during the final month of Mubarak's administration.  Many were scared of this association and thus voted against him, as opposed to casting votes "for" Morsi.  In the end, 51% of the eligible voting population were counted.  Morsi won slightly more than half of the ballots cast, for a total 27% of the eligible voting population.  American style results.

Morsi won and immediately went looking for development loans from the IMF, then begging for fatwas to give his western style bank loan a hall pass.  The protests kept going, but somehow with the Benghazi thing happening few people talked about Tahrir or the embassy anymore.  I guess all the youtube hating conservative muslims got the memo - cooperative little guys.  Morsi consolidated more power into the executive branch.....which sounds American too.  Protests happened, and alt-facebook passed them around.  Of course none of it mattered to the normals who couldn't tell the difference between a conservative and a liberal policy without Rachel Maddow and NPR chewing it up and spitting it right into their twittering mouths.

And the protests started getting bigger.  Then protests got really big.  I've seen reports that over 14 million of the country's citizens are actively protesting and striking.

Now the military has given Morsi 48 hours to get the fuck out.  Yay, woo yay, military!!! Does this mean that the people have won?  Does it mean there will be an American response?  If the military is helping the people, shouldn't the United States and Israel be shitting bricks?  

On May 10, 2013, John Kerry granted $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt - America's preemptive response.  So it seems this is a dance between two corporate puppets, differing from our corporate elections only in detail.  Republicans and Democrats dance for the same masters on whose behalf the Muslim Brotherhood and the Mubarak holdovers are performing now, the shadowy lords of transnational commerce.  I'm going to call this phenomenon of 2 counter-revolutionary forces trading power between themselves repetitively a 'captive dialectic', because it makes me feel cool to do so.  As long as the deposed power center is not destroyed, it is repackaged by the neoliberal masters and sent back onto the floor when the next song starts, leaving the revolutionary vanguard once again holding its coat at the very last minute.

Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, Israel and Saudi Arabia to the east, and the United States is bringing  the fireworks to this fucked up Independence Day picnic.  I don't mean to imply that the military couldn't possibly be motivated by support of the people.  I am saying, however, that it's also possible that Egypt is about to be annexed in a U.S. funded coup against an American puppet, and I fear for what the future holds.  I'm afraid that to see the next sequel from the executive producers of Innocence of Muslims.

As far as that forgotten, crappy film goes, it's author, known as both Naboula Bassely Naboula and Sam Becile, is a bit more than halfway into his 1 year prison sentence.  His background story is pretty crazy.  It's worth reading a bit about him, this man whose film was so readily available to be scapegoated.

Indulge me in an experiment, and using any engine with advanced search tools, search for the phrase "Egyptian Flag Embassy".  Set the custom range to be between the dates 9/11/2012 and 9/11/2012, ordered by time.  In my results, every single article about the "attack" includes the reference to conservative muslims who are outraged.about what Susan Rice would later call a "hateful, offensive video".  Dozens of pages of links.

Now set the search range back to 9/10/2012 thorugh 9/10/2012.  Make sure it's ordered by time.  I got less than one page that mentioned it, and the very first one on my list was from the caption of a photo on the Voices of America blog.

Know what else happened?  A report of an attack on the Israeli embassy that left 3 Egyptian police officers killed, 1,049 people injured, and the Israeli ambassador fleeing for his safety, receiving condolences and outraged support from the United States, England, Spain, and Portugal, not to mention Morsi himself.  It seems that would have been important, but it kind of never got picked up.

Months later, Argo came out and won some awards.

UPDATE:  Morsi has refused to step down.  More at Democracy Now!.




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Outstanding commentary

geomoo's picture

There are many aspects to gnash one's teeth over.  Perhaps most fundamental is that the collective unconscious is broken.  There is neither the collective awareness nor the infrastructure for channeling the fundamental urge toward a mutually beneficial approach to solving our overwhelming problems.  Paranoia dominates through the auspices of the few who can only see protecting their own and are blind both to the long view and to the collective view.

Coming from a low information place on the specifics of Egypt, I would posit that what we see here is what can have seen in the US and what we can expect to see elsewhere.  They don't admit it, but clearly powerful people see the coming crises of land, food, water, etc. as well and probably with more detail than we do.  What is their response?  My guess is they are predicting widespread resistance to a few people owning everything while a lot of people starve.  Since they now live in the delusion that what is most real is what people can be convinced to believe, their approach will be to channel the anger toward red herrings and false problems, thus continuing to pretend to be the one's with the solutions.  We see clearly with the example of Obama the power of a brand, an emblem (what the glorified advertisers in control understand best) for blinding people to what is happening before our eyes.

Take the astro-turf Tea Bag party as an example.  A party created by the corporations to channel anger at very real problems away from the root of those problems (corporate greed) and toward those who would attack the root of the problem (liberals).  If there is a revolution, the overlords think, let's be sure it's a right wing "revolution", a 360 degree revolution which will have the side benefit of taking the teeth out of actual forces for actual change.

I wonder whether this sort of paranoid, Macchiavellian, anti-people thinking is dominating the situation in Egypt.  Until and unless the people can find their own clarity concerning mechanisms and events which can lead to their own empowerment, leader-based solutions will fail.  Unfortunately, the mechanisms for developing consensus, for converting mass consciousness into action are hopelessly, aggressively infected.  Mass media can change the zeitgeist overnight.  Propaganda works.  The collective unconscioius is broken.

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