By Rosa L. Blanc
After three decades of military and economic support for the Mubarak dictatorship, and of sending billions of dollars annually to sustain it, the first declarations of western leaders following the fall of Mubarak have been to sell us the idea that it was their “liberal democratic principles” that have prevailed, attempting to capitalize on the Arab revolution in order to now appear as the ones who have at all times supported democratic reforms in Egypt. If you listen to their rhetoric, you would think they are revolutionaries from Tahrir Square. No public excuse or self-critique before the Egyptian people for having supported the atrocities, sacking of resources, torture, assassinations, and the neoliberal economic destruction that the West has exercised throughout the Mubarak dictatorship. Now the wolves disguise themselves as sheep. The same leaders that up to a few days ago were trying to instill fear about “political Islam” to justify support for the dictator Mubarak, today appear as if they were anti-Mubarakians all their lives. If we allow ourselves to be taken by their speeches, it would look as if at all moments the western imperialists have been supporting popular-democratic revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. The only western leader that showed the real face of the west, without hypocrisy or dissimulation, during this entire process has been the Zionist leadership through Netanyahu, who unabashedly called for support of Middle East dictators. Let us not confuse ourselves: Netanyahu is the true face of the West in the Middle East. While the western leaders make declarations with the hypocrisy that characterizes them, they work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the demands of the Egyptian and Tunisian people are cut short in reforms that do not touch the substance of neocolonial domination and exploitation in the region. In the case of Egypt, the western/Zionist interests seek to ensure the continued functioning of the Suez Canal, the exportation of gas and petroleum and the strangling of Palestinians in Gaza. To ensure their control, they have left Suleiman as President of Egypt, an agent of the CIA that was up to a few days ago ex-Minister of death and tortures for the Mubarak dictatorship, and the same military officials of the dictatorship that work for the Zionist/imperialist interests. Suleiman himself said, just a few days ago before the fall of Mubarak, that the Egyptian people are not ready for democracy.
Western leaders are terrified of a truly democratic process where the people freely exercise their right to self-determination because it can lead to many other changes. If we want to anticipate what will be the struggle in Egypt and Tunisia in the coming months, let’s look at the Palestinian experience. The victory of Hamas in free democratic elections is the closest example that we have of the hypocrisy of the “pro-democracy” discourse of the imperialists and Zionists. After Hamas cleanly won the elections, the Zionists and imperialists launched a genocidal war with the complicity of all the western leaders that today appear on the news speaking of “liberty” and “democratic principles” upon the fall of Mubarak. The Palestinian experience is in the memory of not only the peoples of the Middle East, but also Zionist and imperialist leaders. As such, the coming months will be decisive. The struggle will be between the popular movement that seeks to democratize their societies and have truly free elections, and the internal allies of the imperialists/Zionists that will seek to cut short the right to self-determination of the Egyptian people by looking to eliminate or hinder free elections. Let there be no doubt that Suleiman and other corrupt neocolonial officials will follow one of two paths to create obstacles for the democratization of Egyptian society:
a) The continual postponement of free elections
b) Undermine the elections beforehand by stating whom the candidates will be and which parties will be able to participate freely in the electoral process.
The factors that can change the equation are the following plausible scenarios:
1-The people—What if the popular mobilization does not stop until achieving a radical democratization of society? The fall of Mubarak would be in this case the first step among others in the coming days and months. Will the unity of the people and of the popular mobilizations continue without rest until achieving their objectives?
2-The military—What if the internal struggles of the military gets intensified in the coming months? To this day, this is the same military of the dictatorship and its officials have received millions of dollars annually for their operations. Will there be changes or fractions of the military that, influenced by the popular revolution, take side with the people?
3-The contagion effect—What if the victories of the Tunisian and Egyptian popular movements influence the rest of the region? If after the fall of Ben Ali and Mubarak there are other popular uprisings in other countries of the Middle East, the relation of forces in the entire Middle East can take a fundamental turn, giving a breath of fresh air and opening possibilities for the revolutionary mobilizations in Egypt and Tunisia. Will other countries of the Middle East catch the contagion of the revolutionary process in Egypt and Tunisia?
4-The imperialist front—What if the imperialist start having conflicts among themselves about how to proceed with the fall of Mubarak? The imperialists and Zionists will conspire to manipulate the process, but there exists internal conflicts among them as well. Will there be contradictions among the imperialist themselves that can be taken advantage of by the popular movements?
For those of us that live inside the empires, the situation poses the following challenges:
1—Support unconditionally and with all of our strength the popular-democratic movements of the Middle East and their will for the popular democratization of their societies.
2—Hold our governments responsible for their collaboration with the dictatorship of Mubarak and denounce their maneuvers to destroy and cut short the success and democratizing potential of the popular-democratic movement. The temptation of our governments is to postpone the democratization of society through the search for an authoritarian exit or through the promotion of a democracy remote controlled from the West with the tanks and machine guns of their neocolonial puppets.
3—Denounce Islamophobic and racist maneuvers using the fear of political Islam to create confusion in international public opinion against liberty and democracy in the Middle East. Political Islam in the majority of the Middle East is a democratic force that follows the democratic example of Erdogan in Turkey. That reality has been distorted by western media and Zionist/imperialist leaders to instill fear in the public and to justify authoritarian solutions to Arab revolutions. Our task is to denounce these lies with all our strength and speak about these movements with correct information.
Lastly, in the coming months there will be debates and discussions about the internal strategy to follow within the popular-democratic movements throughout the Middle East. Our duty is to support them and avoid the temptation of publicly taking the side of one sector over another. Such debates will be important for the future of the popular-democratic movement. But our task of solidarity in the first world does not consist of putting ourselves in a position to determine these debates in public opinion. Our task is to impede the imperialist/Zionist maneuvers, hold our governments accountable and unconditional solidarity to the radical democratization and right to self-determination of the peoples of the Middle East.
Our chants to our imperialist governments:
HANDS OFF THE MIDDLE EAST!
DOWN WITH THE ZIONIST/IMPERIALIST DICTATORSHIPS!
SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIZATION IN THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST!
DOWN WITH ZIONIST COLONIALISTS IN PALESTINE!
IF YOU WANT TO DEMOCRATIZE, BEGIN BY DEMOCRATIZING YOUR OWN COUNTRIES WITHOUT INTERFERING IN THE THIRD WORLD!
Translation: Roberto D. Hernandez (Decolonial Translation Group)