Not many Americans understand that our military and spy agencies chief purpose is to protect our corporations. Very deep in Thomas Friedman's book "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" he mentions a fact rarely mentioned in public. Basically he said that without our military powers, we would not have MacDonalds all over the world. Just like the Chinese, we also steal corporate and military secrets to enhance our profits. Out goal is not to support real democracies, but to control countries for our economic good. What is ironic that Americans are clueless about this, but the people of the third world know this in their souls.
Mubarak always got 90 percent of the votes because he controlled the counting process and eliminated candidates who could challenge him. Republicans and Democrats cheat when they can get away with it which has become easier with computer voting machines. We Americans also think we have lots of freedom, but those who have read Orwell's 1984 know that distracting the common people and propagandizing the elites who serve power is a very good way to largely maintain control.
When I was using the treadmill this afternoon, I was watching C-Span a security Think Tank led by Schaeffer of CBS asking experts about what was happening in Egypt. He had a mix of people from Youseff of McClatchy and a guy from Al Jazeera plus several guys from the Think Tank NSIS. They all don't seem to have a clue why the riots in Egypt took place except what we hear from the media. Not one peep about how we have exploited Third World countries in a similar manner China is exploiting us by out thinking us and getting us to give them all our technology which is gradually depleting our ability to be a top rate country in the next several decades.
Did the economy cause the unrest in the Arab World? China buying wheat and rice from USA, Russia’s Shortage of grains due to fire and droughts, Federal Reserve Printing trillions of dollars and Wall Street borrowing the money at zero percent interest and buying out the Commodity Futures Market have caused food prices to sky rocket. Many commodities are bought in dollars such as oil so if the dollar is devalued by the Federal Reserve printing trillions of dollars to help out Wall Street who used the money to buy up Wall Street to further increase the wealth of the Rich. Watch Fleckenstein, a hedge fund manager, explain this to Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC 4 PM ET and 1 PM PT. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/
Rice has doubled in price, wheat has gone up 87%, soybeans up 45%, corn and other commodities have also gone up sharply. Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have bought out the Futures Market which prevented farmers from using the futures market to keep prices stable. Goldman Sachs cornered the futures market in red hard wheat used for making bread in 2008 which caused riots in the Third World.
Robert Fisk, a longtime foreign correspondent for the Independent, UK lived most of his life in the Arab world and speaks the language fluently. He tells the truth while others tend to shade the truth by not giving you crucial information. Amy Goodman interviews Robert Fisk below. You can also watch the video at the link below.
Jim Kawakami, Feb 3, 2011, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
By the way, you can follow Sharif’s tweets at www.democracynow.org, our senior producer on the ground at Tahrir Square in Cairo, and as well as the blogs and the latest reports.
I want to turn now first, though, to Robert Fisk. The longtime Middle East correspondent of The Independent newspaper in London has been voted best correspondent by reporters and editors in Britain for years. He’s the author of a number of books, including The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East. Writing from the streets of Cairo, he wrote, "One of the blights of history will now involve a U.S. president who held out his hand to the Islamic world and then clenched his fist when it fought a dictatorship and demanded democracy."
We reached Robert Fisk just hours before the broadcast and asked him his reaction to the unfolding events in Egypt, as well as the U.S. response.
ROBERT FISK: Well, immense courage displayed by those who are demanding the overthrow, effectively, of Mubarak, oddly matched by the complete gutlessness of the U.S. administration.
In fact, the cowardice of the language coming from Mrs. Clinton in the State Department, the endless calls for restraint and the endless calls of Mubarak being a friend of America, etc.—Mubarak himself being a dictator, runs a secret police state, in effect—against these lone Egyptians who are being filmed by state security, who are being filmed on television around the world, who are giving their names, identifying themselves as being against the regime, it’s been an extraordinary example of lost American opportunities, in fact.
You know, I’m on the street with these people. They’re not anti-American. There are no anti—nobody is burning American flags, though I probably would if I was among them and I was an Egyptian in these circumstances. They’ve been immensely understanding of the international situation, but of course immensely betrayed.
What they’re buoyed up with is basically a simple fact. When you throw constant humiliation and fear and repression and increased education, when you throw off your shackles, as the old cliché goes, when you say, "I’m not afraid anymore," you can never re-inject a people with fear. They’re on their feet. They may get defeated temporarily, but they’re still going to be standing up. And that’s why more and more people are coming to join the protesters.
And now what we’re seeing is that having shown their defiance of the state security police on Friday of last week in those big battles in Cairo, having now had to fight literally against the Mubarak people with stones—I mean, literally fight and be wounded—they’re showing that their courage is real. It’s not just voices on a screen that are going fade back to middle-class homes later or go back to farming or something. It’s the real thing. And this is something that Mubarak clearly doesn’t understand. I think the army is beginning to.
The key that I’ve seen over the last few days has been the way in which the army on Friday was told by Mubarak to clear the square, and the individual tank officers refused. I actually saw them tearing off their tank helmets, where they were receiving orders on their own military net, and using their mobile phones. And in many cases, they were phoning home, because they come from military families. They wanted to know from their fathers what they should do. And, of course, they were told, "You must not shoot on your fellow citizens." And that, I think, was the actual moment when the Mubarak regime broke. Or if we look back historically, that’s what we’ll believe. So I think it is broken, it’s finished, whatever Mr. Mubarak may dream about in his pantomime world. And I think that was a very critical moment.
Now, of course, the great drama is this. The Americans want the military to control the situation and get rid of Mubarak, but then are we going to have Mubarak’s vice president? Are we going to have an Egypt led by the former intelligence officer for Mubarak, a chief negotiator with Israel, Israel’s favorite Egyptian, running this country, and running the army to run this country? We’re going to have just another benevolent military dictator running another army which runs another country in the Arab world, which is basically what we’ve had all along. So, the protesters, who tend to be about 24 hours behind in working this sort of thing out—they’re awful tired, and they’re trying to stay alive and so on—they’re going to have to struggle hard to make sure that the political future belongs in their hands and not in another bunch of generals who grew up under Mubarak and got tired of his rule. Because the army is against Mubarak, which I think it pretty much is now, does not mean that the army is going to support wonderful, free, open elections in Egypt. It will be nice to think so, but I can’t think of an army that’s ever actually done that in history, certainly not in Egypt. So I think that these are the questions that are going to come up.
And it’s been interesting watching the behavior. I mean, I’m right up right next to the tanks and, you know, where stones are falling and so on. Yesterday, for example, a young soldier was standing in tears as the stones went in both directions past him. And he was obviously torn apart by what he should do between his duty as a soldier and his duty as an Egyptian. And in the end, he jumped down from the tank, right in front of me, crying and throwing his arms around one of the protesters. And that—you know, that was a very significant moment, I thought, in this. You know, if big history is made on the streets, this was a little tiny microcosm of what was actually going over. The army are against Mubarak. I think that’s what’s going to come across in the next 24 hours.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Robert Fisk, the longtime Middle East correspondent of The Independent newspaper in London. He’s based in Beirut, but of course speaking to us from the streets of Cairo.