sábado, 5 de fevereiro de 2011

About the situation in Egypt

(This post is written in english so that, not only the usual readers of our blog, but also other people from outside our country (Portugal), who do not speak portuguese, can read it and understand it. This post is dedicated to all the friends and companions of activism, from all parts of the globe I had the pleasure of meeting. Namely, my Egyptian friends, to whom i send my solidarity, in this, probably, turning point of their lives and that of their people.

Este Post é escrito em inglês para que, não só os habituais leitores do nosso blog, mas também outras pessoas de fora do nosso país, que não falem português, o possam entender. Este post é dedicado a todos os amigos e companheiros de activismo, de todas as partes do mundo, que tive a sorte e o prazer de conhecer. Nomeadamente, aos meus amigos Egípcios, com quem estou, sem dúvida, solidário, neste momento, provavelmente, de charneira das suas vidas e da do seu povo.)

First of all, to understand the phenomenon of this revolution, it is necessary to understand the causes of it. Thousands of people are participating in this movement, thousands and thousands of people have reached their maximum level of poverty, lack of freedom, or both. All of them, certainly, are tired of living in this liberal economic system full of government corruption and disloyalty towards the people of Egypt, as a result of the very few people who controle finances in Egypt.

All in all, the people of Egypt have been suffering. Suffering from poverty, from oppression, from human rights violations, from lack of free elections, lack of democracy, and more.

Poverty, because, as the reader might know, Egypt's social and economic policies are highly dependent of the very strict program imposed by the IMF (FMI) in the country, since 1991. Because of that, the people of Egypt have been suffering from a very serious unemployment crisis.

Let me remind the reader, in what conditions did the Egypt accept IMF's "support". It was during the period of the golf war, that, in exchange of the annulement of Egypt's enormous military dept to the US, the Egyptian government agreed that their people should be submitted to the devastating measures of the IMF. In these measures are included the liberalization and privatisation of economy, as well as the severe austerity policies, of which, us, in Portugal, have already had a little taste of.

Concerning the oppression of the Egyptian people, by the Egyptian Authorities and government, it is necessary to say, even though it is the most talked-about vindication of the Egyptian revolution, that pratically anyone who would publicly demonstrate himself against the government would probably end up killed, tortured, or outcasted. Many demonstrations in the past have ended with extreme violence against the peaceful protestors. There are no free elections in Egypt, and president Mubarak has been in charge for over 30 years, and already preparing his son to follow. (Here's an example of the 2005 elections episode).

There is, although, no protest against the influence and interference of the USA in Egyptian affairs. This is, exactly, the only vindication that still needs to be done in Cairo and Alexandria, the sovereignty of the Egyptian state and people. Those of us who have been watching the news and reading newspappers, might have noticed that Washington has been making public declarations of the Egyptian situation every day. Most of these declarations seem to be a little inconsistent for such a powerful and influent country as the USA. They say they support the revolution, the egyptian people's vindications, but, at the same time, their previous support to the Mubarak's regime is obvious and leaves Washington in this dilemma: How will the USA's interests catch the wave of the Egyptian people's vindications, and, at the same time, maintain their influence and power of decision in what concerns to Egyptian's internal affairs?
First of all, we need to understand the enormous influence of the USA on the Egyptian political scenario. Michel Chossudovsky, canadian economist, calls Mubarak, the dictator, a puppet of the external entities that invest and "support" Egypt's economy and society (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22993): "Dictators are invariably political puppets. Dictators do not decide. President Hosni Mubarak was a faithful servant of Western economic interests and so was Ben Ali. "

But the USA are not caught in this situation without resources to solve their dilemma. They actually have great experience in catching waves of political movements and turning them to their own benefit.

At the same time as the US maintained good relations with Mubarak, and supported his government and policies, they also supported the activists and opposition leaders in Egypt.

Chossudovsky tells us more about this matter:

"The cooptation of the leaders of major opposition parties and civil society organizations in anticipation of the collapse of an authoritarian puppet government is part of Washington's design, applied in different regions of the World.

The process of cooptation is implemented and financed by US based foundations including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Freedom House (FH). Both FH and the NED have links to the US Congress. the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the US business establishment. Both the NED and FH are known to have ties to the CIA."

Concluding, at the same time as the government officially supports the Mubarak's regime, certain institutions (that are undoubtedly linked to the government) such as NED, or FH, are supporting the opposition. All of this, to ensure that, no matter what happens in Egypt, there is one thing that cannot be put in danger: The imperial machine of the USA; the influence of the USA's politics and economics.

That's the vindication Egyptian people still need to do, in favour of their own sovereignty.

Chossudovsky says:

Actual decisions are taken in Washington DC, at the US State Department, at the Pentagon, at Langley, headquarters of the CIA. at H Street NW, the headquarters of the World Bank and the IMF.

The relationship of "the dictator" to foreign interests must be addressed. Unseat the political puppets but do not forget to target the "real dictators".

The protest movement should focus on the real seat of political authority; it should target (in a peaceful, orderly and nonviolent fashion) the US embassy, the delegation of the European Union, the national missions of the IMF and the World Bank.

Meaningful political change can only be ensured if the neoliberal economic policy agenda is thrown out.

I hear, now and then, people saying stuff like: "What's this international solidarity for? To promote the fundamentalists who will take over the Egyptian government? No thanks. "

I don't agree. It's always very uncertain, the directions a country will follow after a popular revolution - but the one thing everyone of us should not forget is the legitimacy of the Egyptian people to rebel, to revolt, against the injustices.

quarta-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2011

Poema: 'A political critique'

"A life of beliefs fake like American democracy
And morals look nice like religious hypocrisy.
Donate money for free and call it humanity.
Tax the old and the poor and call it liberty.
Slaughter women and children and call it strategy.
hide the drugs, slugs on the street, thugs who compete
In jungles of concrete - and call it stability.
Give yourself a raise and call it job security.
Export weapons for cheap, the A-bombs we keep,
"Sleep my children" - and call it morality.
Preach with a bumper sticker and call it loyalty.
Confide in talking heads and call it philosophy.
Let them stand in the back of the bus,
Gas the rebellious, feed the prosperous - and call it equality.
Exterminate our forests and call it practicality
When in actuality
It's insanity.
Unemploy your people and call it economy.
Fill the air with smog from factories that clog
Our coasts to roast our most wondrous resource and
Call it maturity, efficiency, ability, industry:
How 'bout absurdity?
So if you tell me we're okay now - I'll call it a lie.
But if you tell me we can change, I'd say, let's give it a try."

Brian P., Huntingtown, MD

http://www.teenink.com/ [revista de literatura jovem]