|Egyptian protester holds a "Made in USA" tear gas canister, Jan. 28.|
All revolutions throughout history demonstrate the capacity of working people, and especially young people, to enter the political stage and, through their own deeds, their own heroism, become the force that shapes and changes society.
The political convulsion in Egypt is part of a growing wave of rebellion and uprising throughout the Arab world. From Tunisia to Jordan and Yemen, the entire region is become a political battlefield where the oppressed, the impoverished, the unemployed are taking to the streets against U.S.-backed proxy dictatorships and monarchies.
The Middle East is viewed as a geo-strategic pivot by U.S. imperialism. It is in this vast region that two-thirds of the world’s oil supplies exist. The anti-colonial struggles of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s made the Middle East the primary focus for U.S. military intervention, subversion and occupation.
U.S. relies on client regimes
While the U.S. government sent hundreds of thousands of troops to invade Iraq, destroy its government, occupy its territory and hobble and diminish the regional stature of the entire country, U.S. imperialism has largely maintained its domination through the exercise of a colonial-type proxy strategy.
Primarily, U.S. imperialist domination has been maintained through a network of proxy and puppet governments that function as clients for the U.S. military and for U.S. banking and corporate economic interests.
Central to this network of proxy regimes is the settler regime in Tel Aviv. As a settler regime viewed by the indigenous people of the Middle East as an extension of colonial power, the Zionist government is entirely dependent for its survival on the protection and guarantees provided by U.S. imperialism.
But even a nuclear-armed Israel is incapable by itself of policing this geo-strategically vital region. For that, the United States used the Mubarak dictatorship, the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia, the monarchies in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the government in Yemen and others.
While these U.S.-backed dictatorships have brutally used U.S. military hardware and equipment and dollars to beat down and suppress their own people, each of them has a significant vulnerability that does not exist for the U.S.-backed Israeli regime.
As evidenced by what happened in Tunisia in recent weeks and what is happening today throughout Egypt and elsewhere, the puppet regimes of U.S. imperialism are inherently vulnerable to revolutionary uprisings of their own people. Guns, missiles, torture and the other instruments of repression cannot by themselves seal the fate of the Arab nation. The working class, the peasantry and the youth constitute the vast majority of these class-divided societies. These social forces can rise up and topple the U.S. client government that rules over them.
Israel, on the other hand, is a settler regime. If any of its governments were toppled by a domestic internal struggle, the next government would be equally dependent on U.S. aid and support to guarantee its continued existence in a region populated by 300 million Arab and other indigenous peoples. Israel is thus an inherent extension of U.S. power, and is viewed as the most stable U.S. client in the region.
Mubarak: Anchor of U.S. strategy
The Mubarak regime, like the Sadat government that preceded it, is an anchor of the strategy of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. This huge nation of 80 million, possessing the largest army in the Arab world, was a principal target of U.S. designs. The so-called Camp David Accord, signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979 under the stewardship of then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter, constituted a historic setback for the entire Arab nation and especially the Palestinian people. It created a U.S.-Israeli-Egyptian partnership ratified in the Camp David treaty and removed the largest Arab country and the largest Arab army from the historic Arab alliance.
While they embraced Tel Aviv, the Sadat regime and the Mubarak government that followed opened the door for the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1982 and the intensification of Israeli aggression against other Arab lands, and especially the Palestinian people.
In recent years, the Egyptian government cooperated with the Israeli regime, under the watchful supervision of Washington, to maintain the murderous siege of the people of Gaza. Egypt and Israel are the two primary recipients of U.S. foreign aid.
As it has over the years, the reaction of the U.S. government has been fundamentally supportive in all ways of the Egyptian regime. Even recently, P.J. Crowley, the Obama administration’s State Department spokesperson, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that “Egypt is an anchor of stability, friend, and an ally of the United States.” He continued to state that the United States “wants to see a peaceful transitional into democracy.”
Tear gas canisters "Made in the USA"
While representatives of the Obama administration cheered on the pro-Western “Green Movement” street protests in Iran last year, in the case of the Egyptian people’s uprising, President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urged both the government and protesters to “use restraint” and be “peaceful.” The matchless hypocrisy of these appeals have been illuminated by demonstrators in Cairo holding up tear gas canisters marked “Made in the USA.”
But events have gone far beyond the careful diplomatic clichés uttered by the administration in Washington. The fear that allowed the Mubarak administration to remain in power despite the people’s hatred has been lifted, and a new stage of heroic resistance has shaped the latest events.
Thus, the Obama administration is preparing a “Plan B” if Mubarak is overthrown. It is seeking to promote pro-imperialist leaders from within the multi-class opposition movement that could function as a post-Mubarak transitional regime and maintain the nexus with U.S. imperialism. Specifically, the presence inside the opposition of Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Emergency Agency (IAEA), who has now returned to Egypt, could provide the United States with a pro-imperialist political leader in the event of the overthrow of Mubarak.
The unfolding uprising in Egypt is dynamic. It is impossible to know what the final outcome of the current phase of this struggle will be. The replacement of Mubarak with another pro-U.S. political leader will not solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, inflationary food prices and dependency on Washington.
The historic potential for Egypt and the peoples of the Middle East
Egyptian society can be reorganized on the basis of a new social and class power. The working classes, both urban and rural, can take hold of the vast resources of the nation and use them for the benefit of the masses of people rather than the international corporate and banking elites, the International Monetary Fund and the Egyptian comprador capitalist class. It could reverse the IMF/World Bank-imposed neoliberal policies which have impoverished tens of millions while enriching a tiny handful at the top.
New political and social forces are crystallized alongside a spontaneous uprising of the masses of people. In them lies the true historic potential for Egypt and the oppressed people of the Middle East.
For our part, the people of the United States must—as we are—go into the streets in the coming days to show solidarity with the people of Egypt to demand an end to all U.S. imperialist aid to the Mubarak government. All people engaged in revolution become the symbol and the inspiration for those who suffer a similar injustice and oppression everywhere. We must denounce the multi-layered efforts of the U.S. government and its military and intelligence resources that have been used for decades to maintain the dictatorship in Cairo.
Long live the struggling people of Egypt!
Click here for a list of demonstrations taking place across the United States in support of the uprising of the Egyptian people.