Samir Amin – Movements in Egypt: The US realigns

Samir Amin has recently written an interesting article (posted below) about the situation in Egypt and has been made comments that echo many of those that JMP made in his post about the “spontaneous” uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and agrees with an assertion that I have consistently been making: that the post-Mubarak period will most likely seen a Muslim Brotherhood-led government as it is the most organized opposition party in Egypt today. However, Amin is quick to point out that the emergence of a Muslim Brotherhood-led government does not necessarily mean that we will see the rise of a political Islamist anti-imperialist government in Egypt, but rather, another government comprised of a section of the comprador ruling class that is  not only willing to negotiate with the American government, but is also willing to be subservient to the Americans on pivotal issues like the Palestinian liberation struggle. It is not surprising considering the fact that all of the major news and discussions shows have been emphasizing the increasingly “moderate” and “secular” politics of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially with its repudiation of the armed struggle in the 1970’s (however, I must note that there remains a very large section of the American right that continues to parrot the groundless arguments that Benny Lewis has repeatedly made that Islam and democracy are incompatible systems of thought and that the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood-led government should given reason the American government  to pause and think out its options including possibly propping up the Mubarak regime and others  like John Bolten have suggested that the events in Egypt should further pressure the Israelis to attack Iran!)

Furthermore, Amin like many skeptics and cynics also is quick to temper the over-enthusiastic responses by some in the Left about the beginning of a new revolutionary process which is outside of the conventional political order as he argues that the most that this new regime could garner for the masses that have been mobilized for days despite such severe repression by government forces are a few minor reforms to tackle problems of employment.  Amin is quick to remind us that until the basic rules of the economic system change that many of the grievances that the protesters seek redress to cannot be adequately dealt with. Indeed, what we are witnessing in Egypt is unlikely to be a “permanent”, “continuous”, or “socialist” revolution as some hoped and most likely will result in the formation of another military-led  – especially with a military that has carefully aligned itself with the people whilst making it clear that it will not tolerate a situation which would fundamentally alter the contours of power in Egypt, as seen on the first day of the protests when the military quickly regained power over all fundamental resources and government departments/offices – “democratic”  government akin to Pakistan or Indonesia.

Movements in Egypt: The US realigns

Samir Amin

Egypt is a cornerstone in the US plan of control of the planet. Washington will not tolerate any attempt of Egypt to move out of its total submission, also required by Israel in order to pursue its colonisation of what remains from Palestine. This is the exclusive target of Washington in its ‘involvement’ in the organisation of a ‘soft transition’. In that respect the US may consider that Hosni Mubarak should resign. The newly appointed vice-president, Omar Soliman, head of army intelligence, would be in charge. The army was careful not to associate with the repression, thus protecting its image.

Mohamed ElBaradei comes in at that point. He is still more known outside than in Egypt, but could correct that quickly. He is a ‘liberal’, having no concept of the management of the economy other than the ongoing, and cannot understand that this is precisely at the origin of the social devastation. He is a democrat in the sense that he wants ‘true elections’ and the respect of law (stop arrests and torture), but nothing more.

It is not impossible that he would be a partner in the transition. Yet the army and the country’s intelligence will not abandon their dominant position in the ruling of the society. Will ElBaradei accept it?

In case of ‘success’ and ‘elections’, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) will become the major parliamentary force. The US welcomes this and has qualified the MB as ‘moderate’, that is, docile and accepting the submission to the US strategy, leaving Israel free to continue its occupation of Palestine. The MB is also fully in favour of the ongoing ‘market’ system, totally externally dependent. They are also, in fact, partners in the ‘compradore’ ruling class. They took a position against the working-class strikes and the peasants’ struggles to keep their ownership of land.

The US plan for Egypt is very similar to the Pakistani model, a combination of ‘political Islam’ and army intelligence. The MB could compensate their alignment on such a policy by precisely being ‘not moderate’ in their behaviour towards the Copts. Can such a system be delivered a certificate of ‘democracy’?

The movement is that of urban youth, particularly holders of diplomas with no jobs, and supported by segments of the educated middle classes and democrats. The new regime could perhaps make some concessions – enlarge the recruitment in the state apparatus, for example – but hardly more.

Of course things could change if the working-class and peasants’ movement moves in. But this does not seem to be on the agenda. Of course as long as the economic system is managed in accordance with the rules of the ‘globalisation game’, none of the problems which resulted in the protest movement can really be solved.


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