Neocons, nutballs, and the US government
by Justin Raimondo - Antiwar.com
A long-oppressed people finally rises up and braves tanks, secret police thugs, and the inertia of routine humiliation to say: “Enough”! Who could fail to sympathize? Well, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan), for one:
“The Egyptian demonstrations are not the equivalent of Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution. The Egyptian demonstrations are the reprise of Iran’s 1979 radical revolution. Thus, America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrannical government capable of harm.”
Why compare Egypt to Iran at all? Well, you know, those people over there in the Middle East are all alike: no need to differentiate. No need to cite any facts, which McCotter doesn’t. Those clean-shaven Egyptian kids in the hoodies and black leather jackets we’re seeing on our television screens may not look like Iranian mullahs, but we all know those icky brown people over there are all the same – don’t we?
Rep. McCotter continues:
“For if Egypt is radicalized, all of the reforms sought by the Egyptian people and supported by the United States with them – including consensual and constitutional government; free elections; open and unbridled media; and Egyptian control of their natural resources – will be lost.”
What universe is this guy living in? How can the Egyptian people “lose” that which they never had? It’s interesting how people like this – I mean crazy people, of course – routinely invert the true meaning of words, employing Bizarro-speak to communicate their underlying nuttiness. He talks about how the Egyptians will “lose” an “open and unbridled media”– at the very moment his buddy Hosni is turning off the Internet and kicking Al Jazeera out of the country. Bizarro-speak is his native language.
The reality is that McCotter could care less about freedom in Egypt: long a knee-jerk supporter of Israel, he leaps when AIPAC says jump, and is a favorite of fanatic anti-Arab bigot Debbie “Bad Hair” Schlussel. He babbles on about the alleged “control” of the anti-Mubarak movement by the Muslim Brotherhood – the line being put out there by the Israel lobby – but has zero evidence to back up his assertions. In order for this to be true, it would have to mean that virtually the entire population of Egypt, sans the security forces and the ruling party, are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and yet we have seen nothing of the kind manifested in the massive demonstrations launched by grassroots activists and ordinary Egyptians.
McCotter isn’t some fringe nut job, a bald male version of Michelle Bachmann – he’s the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and a GOP bigwig. These are the types of people who inhabit the upper reaches of the Republican party – clueless dogmatists who only care about how much campaign money they can get from the money-bags at AIPAC. (McCotter bagged $10,550 in the past two years.)
If the Egyptian people succeed in overthrowing Mubarak and his regime of torturers, according to McCotter, they will create a government similar to “the mullahs’ radical jackbooted murderers, who remain bent upon grasping regional hegemony and nuclear weaponry. Nascent democratic movements in the region will be co-opted and radicalized. The world’s free and open access to the Suez Canal’s vital commercial shipping lanes will be choked. And the Sinai Accord between Egypt and Israel – which must be protected as the foundation and principal example for Mideast peace – will be shredded.”
Israel, Israel, Israel – it’s all about Israel, even when it isn’t. That’s the explanation for the coolness of the major pro-Israel organizations to Egypt’s valiant democratic upsurge. As Alan Elsner, an analyst with the “Israel Project,” put it:
“We understand very well that this is a regime that has been there for 30 years and is an authoritarian government. It hasn’t allowed free and fair elections – we understand that. We also understand that this is a government that made peace with Israel in 1979 and Mubarak’s predecessor paid for that peace with his life.”
“We understand” – and we don’t care. All we care about is that shitty little country in the Middle East which is fast turning into a racist theocracy and thrives on the $3 billion of taxpayer dollars we shovel down its greedy maw every year. We don’t care about democracy, liberty, the right of human beings to live and breathe – all we care about is our narrow little tribal ambitions. Asked why the Project supported the Iranian “Green” upsurge, and not the Egyptian version, Elsner replied: “”There is a huge difference between the governments of Iran and of Egypt. The government of Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel and has observed it.” So unacquainted with morality and any concept of basic human decency are the Elsners of this world that I doubt they realize how bad this sounds.
Elsner’s colleagues in the Lobby have a similar case of tunnel vision: Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, complained that “Getting rid of Mubarak will create such disruption and potentially dangerous change.” Dangerous – for whom? Why, for Israel, of course.
The worst dictatorships could prosper, thousands could be tortured and killed – but as long as Israel is served by the course of events, all’s right with the world. That’s what people like McCotter, Elsner, and Hoenlein fervently believe. And the government of Israel agrees with them. In a story headlined “Israel Has Faith Mubarak Will Prevail,” top Israeli officials are cited:
“With a deep investment in the status quo, Israel is watching what a senior official calls ‘an earthquake in the Middle East’ with growing concern. The official says the Jewish state has faith in the security apparatus of its most formidable Arab neighbor, Egypt, to suppress the street demonstrations that threaten the dictatorial rule of President Hosni Mubarak. The harder question is what comes next.
“‘We believe that Egypt is going to overcome the current wave of demonstrations, but we have to look to the future,’ says the minister in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel enjoys diplomatic relations and security cooperation with both Egypt and Jordan, the only neighboring states that have signed treaties with the Jewish state. But while it may be more efficient to deal with a strongman in Cairo – Mubarak has ruled for 30 years – and a king in Amman, democracies make better neighbors, ‘because democracies do not initiate wars,’ he says. ‘Having said that, I’m not sure the time is right for the Arab region to go through the democratic process.’”
Has such unmitigated arrogance ever been seen or recorded?
In a normal world, such chutzpah would be widely condemned, and repudiated: instead, in our Bizarro World, it is kowtowed to and appeased. This appeasement is what stands between the Obama administration and the wholesale rejection of the Mubarak regime. Netanyahu says he’s been on the phone with President Obama, and we don’t have to strain to imagine the conversation. It’s sickening to consider how damaging US support to Mubarak has been for American interests in the Middle East and around the world, but American interests don’t matter to the Americans – as long as Israel is appeased.
Unlike many, this commentator isn’t urging the Obama administration to endorse the demonstrations, or call for Mubarak’s ouster: this isn’t about America, after all, but about Egypt and its long-suffering people. Instead of rhetoric about “democracy,” what the Egyptian people need above all is action, and this means an immediate cut off of all aid to the Mubarak regime. How many times have we seen the demonstrators hold up tear gas canisters being shot at them with “Made in U.S.A.” stamped all over them? This hurts us, it hurts our national interests, but our rulers are oblivious. As Mubarak’s paid murderers cut down Egyptians in the streets, the Americans are worrying about Israel and the Suez canal. If post-Mubarak Egyptians have an ounce of self-esteem, they’ll ban American ships from the canal for all eternity.
If we were living in a rational America, instead of Bizarro America, the US government would have cut off all aid to Egypt days ago – heck, years ago. Unfortunately, we live in a country where the national interests of the American people are routinely ignored in favor of a nation that has spied on us, sold our secrets to our worst enemies, and ruthlessly pursued a policy of expansion – using our tax dollars to do it.
Hosni Mubarak’s American fan club is a coalition of neocons like John Bolton, nutballs, like Pamela Geller, and the Israel-appeasers who inhabit the US national security and diplomatic establishment and don’t dare sneeze without Tel Aviv’s permission. These people are a tiny minority of the US population – the average American, seeing what is going on in Egypt, reflexively supports the Egyptian people. But ordinary Americans don’t control US foreign policy: the Interests do. And one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Interest in the foreign policy realm is Israel’s amen corner in Washington. We’ll have nothing remotely resembling a rational foreign policy until the all-pervasive influence of Israel’s lobby is effectively neutralized. Until then, you can chalk up Uncle Sam as a charter member of the Hosni Mubarak Fan Club – to our everlasting shame.
I have to say that, as corrupt and downright stupid as the GOP hierarchy may be, I never thought they’d come right out and endorse Mubarak, but it looks like I was wrong. Here’s Rick Santorum:
“We abandoned [the shah] and what we got in exchange was from the people if you will, notionally, was a radical Islamist regime. That happening in Egypt would have a profound effect on the Middle East.”
Incoherent in both expression and content, Santorum is no genius, but he’s sufficiently savvy to have absorbed the pro-Israel line after six days of watching the Egyptian people’s torment. Bring back the Shah! – that’s his solution to the suffering of millions.
Mike Huckabee avers that Egypt’s nonviolent revolution
“Threatens the very existence of our children and our future. If in fact the Muslim Brotherhood is underneath much of the unrest every person who breathes ought to be concerned. Already we’ve seen across the world the influence of radical Islam. Sometimes we just don’t understand that this is not an enemy like we’ve ever faced before. Jihadism is more than an enemy that has a flag and a country and geographical borders. It’s an enemy that has a fanatical intent to kill every last person who does not completely adhere to their radical view of Islam.”
Like the rest of his Flat-Earther flock, the Holy Huckster knows nothing about Egypt, in spite of his trip to the region years ago, and gets his talking points from the Lobby. If the Muslim Brotherhood – a strategically conservative and ideologically mushy group of aging ideologues, which had nothing to do with organizing the rebellion – didn’t exist, Mubarak’s American friends would have to invent them.
Indeed, the Brotherhood has been completely sidelined by the Egyptian events, caught just as unawares and flat-footed as American and Israeli intelligence: they never saw it coming, and haven’t been able to take advantage of it. No doubt, in a post-Mubarak democratic Egypt – if such ever comes to pass – they’ll be one of many parties vying for power and influence, but the secular and liberal movements which were the spark plug of the Jasmine Revolution represent the Egyptian mainstream.
Both Huckabee and Santorum are considered contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, but their open support for a murderous dictator ought to disqualify them from the ranks of serious candidates. Along with presidential aspirant John Bolton, the foreign policy “expert” whose crazy anti-Muslim rants will at least ensure that the upcoming GOP presidential debates will be entertaining if nothing else, they should be relegated to the fringe.
Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (ISI, 2008), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996).
He is a contributing editor for The American Conservative, a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and an adjunct scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.