World Affairs

U.S. plotting to install intelligence chief as the new Egyptian strongman

The New York Times reports on White House machinations to kick out Mubarak and install the former head of intelligence as the interim president.

I think the secular grassroots opposition understands that it is not about Mubarak the person. The boss of the intelligence agency was at the heart of the national security state. Replacing Mubarak with another henchman is not a move towards democracy. According to the Times profile of Omar Suleiman

“. . . the former general is also the establishment’s candidate, not the public’s. Mr. Suleiman’s elevation to the presidency, if it were to occur, would represent not the democratic change called for on the street, but most likely a continuation of the kind of military-backed, authoritarian leadership that Mr. Mubarak has led for nearly 30 years.”

and even more tellingly, “In secret diplomatic memos sent from the United States Embassy in Cairo to Washington and made public by WikiLeaks, Mr. Suleiman is described as sharing Washington’s foreign policy agenda.”

Gotta go back to the drawing board President Obama. This is unacceptable. The biggest wave of democratic revolutions is underway in the Middle East and neither state terror nor US intrigue can stop this train.

Its rare for the veil to be lifted and the real mechanics of US control exposed. We have understood the patron-client relationship of the US and the Arab dictatorship as an abstraction. Now we can observe it in real time.

P.S. The bond market thinks its going to work. As an aside, the Economist has a incisive cover story on the protests in Egypt and else where in the Middle East. One of the more interesting stories is on the latest Arab guessing game, ‘Who will be next?’. Don’t miss it.

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