The Pigeons Come Home: Iran Redux

2011 February 3
by Roman Stoad

Shortly after this image was found in the AOL image bank, it disappeared along with another photo of people burning the same poster on the street

Mohamed ElBaradei, who has emerged as one of the leading opponents of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said Sunday that President Obama needed to press Mubarak to give up power and that failing to take more forceful action to make that happen will cost the U.S. “whatever is left” of its credibility. “People expected the U.S. to be on the side of the people … and to let go of a dictator, ” ElBaradei said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Credibility indeed. The people do seem rather naive in their expectations. American pundits left and right are yelping and drawling on and on about a democratic fever sweeping the Middle East, while subtly taking credit for the fact that its was American-made media (twitter and facebook) (go USA!) that have fueled these revolutions, not to mention American freedom. And, we must remember it was twitter and facebook that helped fuel the failed Iran protests on 2009, and the successful (so-far) Tunisian revolution or 2011. Perhaps there is another factor in all this. Since our government would like to hang Julian Assange high from the tree of US self-righteousness for embarrassing them, no one is pointing out those other possible influences, Wikileaks and Al Jazeera, both of which exposed embarassing documents in the last few weeks, exposing just what duplicitous world leaders really think and do behind the media’s back. Al Jazeera’s “Palestine Papers” shone the light of truth on Israeli hypocrisy concerning the “peace” agreement. No one would blame the Palestinians themselves if they tried to throw out their leaders.  But Mubarak is our man, and he is getting his overdue come-uppance for his crimes.  And, incidentally so will we.

It seems to be the policy of American foreign policy to encourage revolt, then to clam up and or disappear when back-up is needed. Afghanistan and again in Afghanistan, and in Eastern Europe, Iraq, Iran in 2009. Despite the constant pleas from across the globe from “huddled masses yearning to be free,” the American response seems to be “Where’s mine?” The vacuous proclamations of Obama, Clinton, and David Cameron ring like empty advertising campaigns in the chaos of of Egypt.  Early statements of support from the West might have made a difference, but competing agendas are lending more and more credence to the Muslim Brotherhood paranoia.  We lost our chance to be advocates of democracy here.

People are talking Iran flashback.  A Western-friendly dictator is overthrown by the people who seek a better life; there is a power vacuum (as American politicians cower) that begs for leadership, and into the leadership gap flows Islamic fundamentalism. It is now too late for the West to get behind the freedom fighters, and another country descends into violence. The US has too much invested in their dictators, and we need them. Oh and sure, we are for the people of Egypt, too. This may seem obvious, but it is only one among many obvious conclusions arrived at by the suffering masses in the Middle East, such as: Yes, we want everyone to have democracy except when it works against our interests–then democracy is not so interesting. (I am not claiming by this that we in the US actually have democracy here in the US, but that’s another subject.)

The true sadness here is that the Obama administration has been so noncommital. The American promise (based in guilt and misguided Biblical subscription) to fund and protect the state of Israel forces America to go against its own professed democratic beliefs. We can use the term “Realpolitik,” but we know the underlying truth. We know that democracy in America is a propagandist sweet served up to a population addicted to the consumption of sweets. And by that I mean the sweets of consumption. But that’s all old news now in light of recent developments.

Here I would like to draw attention to two pictures from the revolution. One photo shows the hand of a protester holding up a copy of The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine. Note the cover illustration of “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugene Delacroix. Ah, the philosophy of freedom, who remembers? Indeed, Enlightenment rhetoric may underlie much of this unrest, but it is fragile. The whole middle east could move further in the direction of totalitarianism and fundamentalism. And as proof of this I point out a second photo.

The burning of a poster with an American flag and the picture of Hosni Mubarak (see above).  The actual picture of the burning of the flag poster disappeared from the image bank shortly after I found it. This propaganda is being matched bv anti-Western propaganda in Egypt.

Mubarak has decided not to go away and his regime is now engaging in Iranian tactics, blaming foreign instigators.  The frustrated protesters and the Mubarak goons have resorted to violence. Wasn’t it the great the great Dick Cheney who said, “Free people are free to do bad things.” I guess that’s why we have so many prisons here in America, to keep all those free people in chains.  Good luck to all of us.

Hosni Mubarak and Dick Cheney are Corrupt Politicians in the pocket of the Corporations who pay them.

Roman Stoad is a Hobo Politician, with holes in his pockets.

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p.s. -  It is interesting to note how much media attention is being is paid to the rallies in Tahrir square. Think back to the coverage of the anti-war movement at the start of Bush’s Iraq attack, and you were barely able to find more than 60 seconds coverage on any channel; even the liberal radio talk shows, gave it slight attention.  Different story when it’s not in your backyard.

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