What's Behind the Tumult in Egypt?

by Dr. K R Bolton, February 1, 2011, www.foreignpolicyjournal.com


It seems that mobs of youth marching through the streets, fists clenched, chanting banal slogans and using "democracy" as a buzz-word, is sufficient to send Western liberaldom into spasms [of] delight, despite it all by now being a very well-worn formula in the process of globalization. There seems to be a lack of explanation as to why those who feign opposition to globalization and American world hegemony get so enthused about phenomena that serve both of these.

Overthrowing a regime because it is not "democratic" in the Western parliamentary sense seems a poor result when the outcome is yet another brick in the foundation of what is often called the "new world order." It is somewhat akin to the universal ecstasy that took place when the evil Afrikaners were overthrown and a regime was established behind the façade of "human rights" and "democracy," when the only real achievement has been to privatise and globalize the economy; as in Kosovo also, and a bunch of states of the former Soviet bloc that have undergone the same process of "color revolutions" that are taking place now in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world.

Perhaps something good will come of the unrest, and the new regimes will offer some sound Arabic ideals beyond Western-inspired clichés about "democracy," of the type offered by Nasser's "Arab socialism." However, given the way such bourgeois revolutions have usually worked out elsewhere, there is not yet sufficient reason to be optimistic.

As I have tried to point out in my recent article on Tunisia for Foreign Policy Journal,[1] the present tumult over the Arab world is following precisely the same revolutionary formula as that which resulted in the dismantling of the Soviet bloc, and via "color revolutions" the installation of "open societies" (sic); that is to say, "open" to the ravages of global capitalism and subordination to US foreign policy, all in the cherished name of "democracy"--of course. Excuse me if I am not grateful to George Soros, NED, et al for dismantling the Soviet edifice in the name of "democracy."

As for the situation unfolding in Egypt, a few salient features are already apparent. The Los Angeles Times has carried an illuminating interview with Ahmed Maher, the "leader of the youth movement that has shaken the Egyptian Government by rallying thousands of protesters into the streets this week."

The first paragraph for the L. A. Times article is itself telling, as we are informed that there is a "youth movement," which implies something more than a "spontaneous protest" (sic) in the way in which such "color revolutions" are always depicted.

Maher heads the April 6th Youth Movement. The L. A. Times states that (as with the other "color revolutions,") techno-savvy youth are the ones playing the lead role, using gadgetry that is not so easy for regimes to control. These young Egyptians, states the Times, are not beholden to any particular religion or ideology. They are not part of the "traditional opposition voices." This (and other "color revolutions") has indeed been a revolt generated by what Maher calls "a generational gap in Egypt. Young activists are fired up, and they have no allegiances to anything but change." Maher states: "My inspiration comes from experiences, not personalities. I admire the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the [Serbs] who overthrew Slobodan Milosevic."[2]

April 6th Youth Movement

Maher's organization, based on cyber networking, was founded on April 6, 2007 when a General Strike was called in support of mill workers in Mahalla.[3]

Several days ago Wikileaks exposed a document from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington, which details the American support for the April 6 movement and other activists. The document was published by The Telegraph, as follows:

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 002572 SIPDIS FOR NEA/ELA, R, S/P

AND H NSC FOR PASCUAL AND KUTCHA-HELBLING E.O. 12958: DECL:

12/30/2028 TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, EG SUBJECT: APRIL 6 ACTIVIST ON HIS

U.S. VISIT AND REGIME CHANGE IN EGYPT REF: A. CAIRO 2462 B.

CAIRO 2454 C. CAIRO 2431 Classified By: ECPO A/Mincouns

Catherine Hill-Herndon for reason 1.4 (d ). 1. (C) Summary and

comment: On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed

satisfaction with his participation in the December 3-5 \”Alliance of

Youth Movements Summit,\” and with his subsequent meetings with USG

officials, on Capitol Hill, and with think tanks. He described how

State Security (SSIS) detained him at the Cairo airport upon his

return and confiscated his notes for his summit presentation calling

for democratic change in Egypt, and his schedule for his Congressional

meetings. xxxxxxxxxxxx contended that the GOE will never undertake

significant reform, and therefore, Egyptians need to replace the

current regime with a parliamentary democracy. He alleged that

several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten

plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim.

xxxxxxxxxxxx said that although SSIS recently released two April 6

activists, it also arrested three additional group members. We have

pressed the MFA for the release of these April 6 activists. April 6′s

stated goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary

democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections is highly

unrealistic, and is not supported by the mainstream opposition. End

summary and comment. —————————- Satisfaction with

the Summit —————————- 2. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed

satisfaction with the December 3-5 \”Alliance of Youth Movements

Summit\” in New York, noting that he was able to meet activists from

other countries and outline his movement’s goals for democratic change

in Egypt. He told us that the other activists at the summit were very

supportive, and that some even offered to hold public demonstrations

in support of Egyptian democracy in their countries, with xxxxxxxxxxxx

as an invited guest. xxxxxxxxxxxx said he discussed with the other

activists how April 6 members could more effectively evade harassment

and surveillance from SSIS with technical upgrades, such as

consistently alternating computer \”simcards.\” However, xxxxxxxxxxxx

lamented to us that because most April 6 members do not own computers,

this tactic would be impossible to implement. xxxxxxxxxxxx was

appreciative of the successful efforts by the Department and the

summit organizers to protect his identity at the summit, and told us

that his name was never mentioned publicly. ——————- A

Cold Welcome Home ——————- 3. (S) xxxxxxxxxxxx told us

that SSIS detained and searched him at the Cairo Airport on December

18 upon his return from the U.S. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, SSIS

found and confiscated two documents in his luggage: notes for his

presentation at the summit that described April 6′s demands for

democratic transition in Egypt, and a schedule of his Capitol Hill

meetings. xxxxxxxxxxxx described how the SSIS officer told him that

State Security is compiling a file on him, and that the officer’s

superiors instructed him to file a report on xxxxxxxxxxxx most recent

activities. ——————————————— ———-

Washington Meetings and April 6 Ideas for Regime Change

——————————————— ———- 4. (C)

xxxxxxxxxxxx described his Washington appointments as positive, saying

that on the Hill he met with xxxxxxxxxxxx, a variety of House staff

members, including from the offices of xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx),

and with two Senate staffers. xxxxxxxxxxxx also noted that he met

with several think tank members. xxxxxxxxxxxx said that xxxxxxxxxxxx’s

office invited him to speak at a late January Congressional hearing on

House Resolution 1303 regarding religious and political freedom in

Egypt. xxxxxxxxxxxx told us he is interested in attending, but

conceded he is unsure whether he will have the funds to make the trip.

He indicated to us that he has not been focusing on his work as a

\”fixer\” for journalists, due to his preoccupation with his U.S.

trip. 5. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx described how he tried to convince his

Washington interlocutors that the USG should pressure the GOE to

implement significant reforms by threatening to reveal CAIRO 00002572

002 OF 002 information about GOE officials’ alleged \”illegal\”

off-shore bank accounts. He hoped that the U.S. and the international

community would freeze these bank accounts, like the accounts of

Zimbabwean President Mugabe’s confidantes. xxxxxxxxxxxx said he wants

to convince the USG that Mubarak is worse than Mugabe and that the GOE

will never accept democratic reform. xxxxxxxxxxxx asserted that

Mubarak derives his legitimacy from U.S. support, and therefore

charged the U.S. with \”being responsible\” for Mubarak’s \”crimes.\”

He accused NGOs working on political and economic reform of living in

a \”fantasy world,\” and not recognizing that Mubarak — \”the head of

the snake\” — must step aside to enable democracy to take root. 6.

(C) xxxxxxxxxxxx claimed that several opposition forces — including

the Wafd, Nasserite, Karama and Tagammu parties, and the Muslim

Brotherhood, Kifaya, and Revolutionary Socialist movements — have

agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a

parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an

empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011

presidential elections (ref C). According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, the

opposition is interested in receiving support from the army and the

police for a transitional government prior to the 2011 elections.

xxxxxxxxxxxx asserted that this plan is so sensitive it cannot be

written down. (Comment: We have no information to corroborate that

these parties and movements have agreed to the unrealistic plan

xxxxxxxxxxxx has outlined. Per ref C, xxxxxxxxxxxx previously told us

that this plan was publicly available on the internet. End comment.)

7. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said that the GOE has recently been cracking down

on the April 6 movement by arresting its members. xxxxxxxxxxxx noted

that although SSIS had released xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx \”in the

past few days,\” it had arrested three other members. (Note: On

December 14, we pressed the MFA for the release of xxxxxxxxxxxx and

xxxxxxxxxxxx, and on December 28 we asked the MFA for the GOE to

release the additional three activists. End note.) xxxxxxxxxxxx

conceded that April 6 has no feasible plans for future activities.

The group would like to call for another strike on April 6, 2009, but

realizes this would be \”impossible\” due to SSIS interference,

xxxxxxxxxxxx said. He lamented that the GOE has driven the group’s

leadership underground, and that one of its leaders, xxxxxxxxxxxx, has

been in hiding for the past week. 8. (C) Comment: xxxxxxxxxxxx

offered no roadmap of concrete steps toward April 6′s highly

unrealistic goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary

democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections. Most opposition

parties and independent NGOs work toward achieving tangible,

incremental reform within the current political context, even if they

may be pessimistic about their chances of success. xxxxxxxxxxxx

wholesale rejection of such an approach places him outside this

mainstream of opposition politicians and activists.

SCOBEY02008-12-307386PGOV,PHUM,KDEM,EGAPRIL 6 ACTIVIST ON HIS U.S.

VISIT AND REGIME CHANGE IN EGYPT [4]

Of course, this US backing for such revolutionary upheaval does not accord with America's cultivated image as a defender of reactionary regimes. This is the image maintained by both mainstream and alternative media, one such example, stating that: "Egyptian officials know that because their country is an official 'friend of the US', Cairo's undemocratic behavior always gets a pass in Washington."[5]

However, the public image of the USA is far different from the reality, and the USA has embarked on a world revolutionary mission since the time of Woodrow Wilson. The US Establishment, far from being the epitome of conservatism, has been up to its neck in subversive activities throughout the world, which were often misidentified by conservative commentators as "Soviet" plots. The "color revolutions" are a continuation of a process that has been going on since Woodrow Wilson expounded his revolutionary manifesto for remaking the world in America's image: The Fourteen Points.

US Secretary of State Clinton has been less than helpful to America's supposedly great friend President Mubarak, whom the media tells us the "West" is propping up, when she stated:

We're trying to promote an orderly transition and change that will respond to the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, which the protests are all about.

We are urging the Mubarak government, which is still in power, we are urging the military, which is a very respected institution in Egypt, to do what is necessary to facilitate that kind of orderly transition.[6]

This is a blatant call for Mubarak to go, and an openly stated declaration that the USA is aiming to secure "regime change" through revolution. Why should it be up to the Secretary of State of a corrupt, failed and bankrupt state to dictate what political course another state should take?

The Hand of Soros--Again

The above-cited UNFree Media ridicules allegations that George Soros, the currency speculator and patron of the world "color" revolution is a factor in the current turmoil, dismissing such claims as "conspiracy theory." Yet the same article quickly goes on to state that a new monthly opposition magazine Wasla, which is widely distributed to strategic quarters such as the military and academia and has an electronic edition read throughout the Arab world:

[A]ims to link Arab bloggers with politicians and it was in fact launched at the initiative of a women's group backed by Soros. Wasla — or "The Link" — is being touted as a first for the Arab world, with plans for articles by bloggers as a way of giving them a wider readership. It is published by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and financially supported by the Open Society Institute created by Soros, said ANHRI director Gamal Eid. "We want to challenge our audience, and open its eyes to the changes society is experiencing, particularly through youths and blogs in which they appear," he said.[7]

It might be recalled that Soros' Open Society Institute funded the primary opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima.[8]

The Soros network has been working extensively in Egypt. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has the aura of a Soros front about it, and at the least works in tandem with the Open Society Justice Initiative,[9] and is an "OSI grantee."[10]

In December 2010, the Open Society Institute advised:

The Open Society Foundations will consider projects from domestic and international NGOs or civil society groups active in Egypt. Coalitions of NGOs are also encouraged to apply. [11]

National Endowment for Democracy

As one would expect, NED, the Congressionally-funded neo-Trotskyite Establishment Bolsheviks that work in tandem with Soros to ferment America's version of "world revolution," have been very active in Egypt, as they have in Tunisia.[12] NED's 2009 report for grants to Egypt includes, but is not limited to:

American Center for International Labor Solidarity $318,757.

Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies (AITAS)
$48,900. The description of the purposes for this grant again, as in Tunisia, points to NED's activities in funding and training revolutionary cadres in precisely the techniques that are being used in the current strife:

To strengthen youth understanding of the Egyptian parliament and enhance regional activists' use of new technologies as accountability tools. AITAS will conduct a series of workshops for 300 university students to raise their awareness of parliament's functions and engage them in monitoring parliamentary committees. AITAS will also host 8 month-long internships for youth activists from the Middle East and North Africa to share its experiences using web-based technologies in monitoring efforts.

Arab Foundation for Supporting Civil Society (AFSCS)
$25,000. "AFSCS will conduct four training workshops for a total of 100 journalists and representatives of civil society institutions on monitoring violations against civil society organizations, and extend its outreach on these efforts through a web site and newsletter focused on civil society issues."

Arab Society for Human Rights (ASHR) $22,600. ASHR undertook a workshop for 80 journalists.

Bridge Center for Dialogue and Development (BTRD)
$25,000.

To promote youth expression and engagement in community issues through new media. BTRD will train youth between the ages of 16 and 26 in the use of new and traditional media tools to report on issues facing their communities. BRTD will also create a website for human rights videos and new media campaigns in Egypt. The website will host trainees' completed projects and provide a blog-like forum for them to engage in an ongoing dialogue on their projects.

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) $187,569

To engage civil society organizations to participate in the democratic process by strengthening their capacity to advocate for free market legislative reform, and to build consensus on needed changes to the Egyptian legal environment to remove impediments to competition in a free market.

Again, the above is telling. NED's global propagation of the virtues of "free market' economics is more likely to indicate the real purpose behind these "color revolutions" than the touted slogans about democracy.

Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth (EULY) $33,300

To expand the use of new media among youth activists for the promotion of democratic ideas and values. EULY will train 60 youth activists to use filmmaking for the dissemination of democratic ideas and values. The Union will lead a total of four two-month long training workshops in Cairo to build the political knowledge and technical filmmaking skills of participating youth involved in NGOs. Each participating NGO will then produce and distribute a short film about its organization's mission or about an issue for which they are advocating.

Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies (ICDS) $65,000 "To disseminate information on civil society and democratization in the Arab world and promote democratic ideas and values"

Lawyers Union for Democratic and Legal Studies (LUDLS) $20,000 "To support freedom of association by strengthening young activists' ability to express and organize themselves peacefully within the bounds of the law"

Our Hands for Comprehensive Development $19,200 "To engage Minya youth in civic activism and encourage youth-led initiatives and volunteerism"

Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) $45,300 "To explore the feasibility of establishing a Cairo-based policy center to support Egyptian civic organizations' and activists' ability to advocate for policy reforms."

Youth Forum$19,000

To expand and maintain a network of youth activists on Egyptian university campuses and to encourage the participation of university students in student union elections and civic activities on campus. Youth Forum will conduct a civic and political awareness training program for 150 university students in the Gharbeya, Suez, Minya, and Assiut governorates.[13]

Given the nature of the funding by NED, of its focus on "youth activists" and their training into cadres, and the use of new technologies, the portrayal of the Egyptian riots as "spontaneous" seems implausible. They have been, like others around world, well panned, for years in advance, waiting for a catalyst.

ElBaradei: Leader-in-Waiting

One of the common aspects of the "color revolutions " in whatever part of the world they "spontaneously erupt" (sic), is that there always seems to be an internationally-respected figure waiting in the wings, ready to assume leadership; and it also seemingly always happens that by coincidence, this respectable leader has been associated with George Soros. Mohamed ElBaradei fits the role. ElBaradei, as is now widely recalled, achieved his eminence on the world stage as a Nobel Laureate and as Director General of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency.

In February 2010 ElBaradei helped form a non-party movement, the National Association for Change. ElBaradei is on the Executive Committee of the International Crisis Group, yet another globalist think tank promoting the "new world order" behind the facade of "peace and justice," or of the "open society," as Soros terms it. ICG was founded in 1994 by Mark Brown, former Vice President of the World Bank. Soros is a committee member, along with such luminaries of peace and goodwill as Samuel Berger, former US National Security Adviser; Wesley Clark, former NATO Commander, Europe; and sundry eminences from business, academe, politics and diplomacy of the type that generally comprise such organizations.[14]

"Senior advisers" of the ICG include the omnipresent Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Adviser, and founding director of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, an individual up to his neck in seemingly every globalist cause and think tank going, and a de facto foreign policy adviser for Pres. Obama; and Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, former Secretary General of NATO.[15] Financial backers of the ICG include the Ford Foundation and Open Society Institute.

The tumult in North Africa could conceivably backfire on the globalists terribly and create a quagmire of the Iraq variety. At the moment however, the indicators seem to be that the "spontaneous" regional tumult has been carefully planned and funded for a long time, and that the "revolutionary" potential of the bourgeois "youth activists" is about as phony as that of their 1960s American forebears in the "New Left," who were created sand sponsored by the same types of plutocrat and for similar reasons.

Notes

[1] K R Bolton, "Tunisian Revolt: Another Soros/NED Jack-Up?," Foreign Policy Journal, January 18, 2011, http//:www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/01/18/Tunisian-revolt --another-sorosned-jack-up/all/1/

[2] "Young Egyptians Fight for Change. Twitter Generation Seeks its Freedom," The Dominion Post, Wellington, New Zealand, January 29, 2011, A21.

[3] "Shahab 6 April Youth Movement," http://shabab6april.wordpress.com/shabab -6-april-youth-movement-about-us-in-english/

[4] "Egypt Protests: Secret US Document Exposes Support for Protesters," The Telegraph, London, January 28, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ africaandindianocean/egypt/8289698/Egypt -protests-secret-US-document-discloses-support-for-protesters.html

[5] "Citizen bloggers 'white-anting' the Mubarak regime," UNFree Media, unfreemedia.org, http://www.unfreemedia.com/mideast/2010/04/ egypts-citizen-bloggers-white-anting-the-mubarak-regime.html

[6] "Egypt Crisis: Mubarak under pressure from West as lawlessness takes hold," The Telegraph, London, January 30, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ africaandindianocean/egypt/8291645/ Egypt-crisis-Mubarak-under-pressure-from-West-as-lawlessness-takes-hold.html

[7] "Citizen bloggers 'white-anting' the Mubarak regime," op. cit.

[8] K R Bolton, "Tunisian Revolt: Another Soros/NED Jack-Up?," Foreign Policy Journal, op. cit.

[9] EIPR, http://www.eipr.org/

[10] "Challenges to Religious Freedom in Egypt," OSI, August 13, 2009, http://www.soros.org/initiatives/ mena/news/egyptreligion_20090813

[11] OSI, December 14, 2010, http://www.soros.org/initiatives/mena/news/egypt-legal-aid-20101214

[12] K R Bolton, "Tunisian Revolt," op. cit.

[13] "Egypt," National Endowment for Democracy, http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/middle-east-and-northern-africa/egypt

[14] "Crisis Group Board of Trustees," http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx

[15] "Crisis Group Senior Advisers,' http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board/crisis-group-senior-advisers.aspx

K R Bolton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and Political Research, and an assistant editor of the peer reviewed journal Ab Aeterno. Recent publications include 'Trotskyism and the Anti-Family Agenda,' CKR website, Sociology Dept., Moscow State University (October 2009); 'Rivalry over water resources as a potential cause of conflict in Asia,' Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, and Russia and China: an approaching conflict?, Vol. 35, No. 1, Spring 2010; Vol. 34, no. 2, Summer 2009.