Friday, February 11, 2011
Several of my nationalist friends have asked me what my opinions are of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. One of them has sent me an article, by F. William Engdahl, the Larouchian conspiracy theorist, which essentially blames the uprisings on a shadowy cabal of US NGOs like the Rand Corporation and the Carnegie Endowment, and governmental institutions like the CIA, who are pulling strings and manipulating the Arab masses in order to bring about liberal democracy in Egypt, and are, in effect, serving George W. Bush's agenda for bringing democracy to the Middle East. (See 'Egypt's Revolution: Creative Destruction for a "Greater Middle East"?'). In other words, the Egyptian and Tunisian masses are pawns, are being manipulated by conspiratorial forces - forces who dwell in the darkness. The same forces orchestrated the 'coloured' revolutions in the Ukraine, Georgia and Khyrgyzstan. Engdahl argues that the abortive Iranian youth revolt of 2009, powered by FaceBook and Twitter - the 'Green' revolution - was another attempt, by the conspiratorial forces, at a 'coloured' revolution.
In this article, I will be coming up with an attempt at an interpretation of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings, sketching out the nationalist position, explaining the contradictory and puzzling positions taken by Jewry and the American government, and attempting to refute Engdahl.
II. The nationalist position on Egypt
I think that Engdahl's article is terrible: badly argued, fallacious, full of half-truths and misreprentations, poor scholarship and a poor understanding of Arab society, culture and politics. Unfortunately, such articles are commonly circulated among the Far Right, and taken, more often than not, as gospel. The mainstream press - such as Reuters and the New York Times - and mainstream commentators (including Arab intellectuals and journalists) offer a much better view of events. The Jew Noam Chomsky once commented that he never read the left-wing press - it was too ideological and a poor source of information. He much preferred the Washington Post and the New York times. I am of a similar opinion when it comes to the Far Right press.
The truth is that the Arab uprisings are quite complex - there are all sorts of contradictory splits occuring, in the mainstream (American and Jewish) political establishments with regard to attitudes towards the uprisings; these splits are visible, daily, in the media and in the equivocating and dithering in the Obama administration. For nationalists, it, in fact, makes no difference as to what constitutional form exists in the Arab, and Middle Eastern, countries. Supposing that a brutal theocratic regime, like Iran's, emerges in Egypt: it would have little to no effect - on the Western peoples. Iran, for instance, is run by an authoritarian, backward, bigoted theocratic government, but still sells us oil; so would the Gulf countries, were they to be run by Islamist theocrats, and not Arab monarchies.
For Israel, however, the consequences of an Islamist Egypt would be serious: for one, such a regime would be less inclined to keep the border crossing to Gaza closed and thus enforce the blockade of Hamas. As well as that, Egypt has the largest, and most well-equipped, army in the Arab world, which is probably the best of the Arab armies. Despite being beaten in the 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars, its army is still the only conventional one capable of standing up to Israel. So a non-Mubarak Egypt could be a powerful enemy of Israel. But what does this have to do with the West? Not much. Pro-Israel commentators are always trying to identify Israel's interests with 'The West's', but this is not the case. Iran and the Islamic and Arabic countries of the Middle East are a threat to Israel, not to white Europeans.
One possible argument against democracy in Egypt is that an Islamist Egypt could be used as a base for Islamist, jihadic terror. This is possible; but Pakistan, a close ally of the US, is probably the world's biggest exporter of jihadist terrorists. What is more, many of Islamist extremists are operating inside Europe itself - thanks to a liberal immmigration policy which has permitted millions and millions of Muslims to emigrate there.
Islamist terrorism, in the West - that is, America, Europe, Australia - is an insurgency. The best way to combat an insurgency is to separate the guerillas from the population which supports them. This is classic counter-insurgency technique. The guerilla depends on the civilian population to give him food and lodging, and to shield him from the authorities; he also aims at bringing the population over to his side, by weakening the government through relentless terrorist attacks, and setting up his own, substitute 'shadow' government within the community he lives in. (This is what the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan). In the really successful counter-insurgency campaigns - waged by the British in Malaysia, Kenya and Cyprus, and the French in Algeria - the civilian population was separated from the guerillas and relocated in 'strategic hamlets', i.e., fortified villages with fences and a militia to keep the guerillas from infiltrating the population.
From this it follows that the Muslim population, in the West (including Luton in Britain, which has incubated many an Islamist extremist), should be relocated to such strategic hamlets; or, expelled altogether, and sent back to their own lands. That would win the war against jihadist terrorism in the West.
In Egypt, at any rate, there seems to be little danger of a theocratic government gaining power. The Muslim Brotherhood, and the liberal opposition (including the jet-setting Egyptian expatriate, Mohammed El-Baradei) have become, over the course of Mubarak's 30-year rule, weak and emaciated. The uprising has been motivated, not by the opposition, but by students, youth, trade unions, the middle class - all sectors of Egyptian society which has traditionally been too apathetic, or afraid, to get involved in politics. This does not prevent, however, plenty of pro-Israel commentators from making a bogey out of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The remarkable thing is that America - or rather, the Judeo/Anglo-Saxon alliance which rules America - is so thoroughly divided on the uprising. We have Jewish neoconservative commentators for it (Thomas Friedman, Abrams, the former anti-Soviet dissident Sharansky (who now lives in Israel)and others), while Netanyahu, the Israeli press, are against it. The Jewish Holocaust "scholar", Cesarani (christened 'Rat-Face' by David Irving), has called for the uprising to be crushed, brutally, in a Tianamen Square fashion.
The same division is appearing in Anglo-Saxondom. The conservative commentator and the Australian Liberal Party member Tom Switzer (I am unable to determine if he is a Jew or not), produced a garbled argument against it in the early days of the uprising. His position was that the Arabs were not advanced enough yet for liberal democracy and the rule of law, and so Mubarak's regime - based on despotism, permanent emergency rule and the overriding of the rule of law - had to be maintained until the day the Arabs reached a sufficient level of readiness for liberal democracy; otherwise, the Muslim Brotherhood would take over. This position - a jumbled mix of Friedrich Hayek, Carl Schmitt and anti-Arab racism - has been quite typical. British prime minister David Cameron, the White House, and the British press have inclined towards it. At the same time, Cameron, in parliament question time, declared himself 'moved' by the Egyptian uprising, and the White House continually oscillates between pressuring and threatening Mubarak and then backing down.
Why the splits? Why the contradictions? The Anglo-Jewish empire, or the Washington-Tel Aviv axis, is built on two legs. One of them is the America that laid waste to, and conquered, Western Europe in 1945, and, through the machinations of Roosevelt, steered France, Britain and Poland to war with Germany in 1939. The other is Israel, the Jewish State, which will be, according to the prophecies of the Talmud, the capital of the world, a 'light unto nations', following the reunification of Jerusalem and the coming of the Moschiah. Both America and Israel, Anglo-Saxondom and Jewry, are powerful, but not powerful enough to rule alone; they need each other. What we are seeing, in the debate over Egypt, are two tendencies: on the Jewish side, the question is, 'Is Egypt good for the Jews?'; on the Anglo-Saxon side, 'How does Egypt advance Anglo-Saxon, liberal democratic ideals?'.
Francis Parker Yockey wrote a classic article, 'The World in Flames: An Estimate of the World Situation' (1961), in which he asked the pertinent question: why does post-war America, when it comes to protecting its own interests, so consistently fumble and drop the ball? America, after the end of the war, was in possession of much of the world, and yet failed, at crucial points, to defend its Europe's old colonial possessions from 'Third World' liberation movements. Worse than that, America would oscillate between the attempt at a defence, and then giving up altogether. Yockey writes:
Jewish-American political stupidity is invincible... Washington is on both sides: it is with the French Government [in Algeria], as its "ally": it is with the rebels by virtue of its world-program of "freedom" for everybody. In Egypt, the Washington regime told [Israel], England and France to attack, and when Russia rose, it told them to stop. It was, within a week, anti-Nasser and pro-Nasser. It occupied Lebanon, then evacuated. It held back Chiang when from his island, he would have attacked China with whom the Washington regime was then at war. It defended South Korea, but helped the Chinese maintain their supply line to the front. During the Chinese War in Korea, it made war and negotiated peace at the same time, for years. In Cuba it forbade exportation of arms to the loyal Batista and thus helped Fidel Castro; now it is committed to the overthrow of Castro. [...]
Why the contradictory behaviour? The answer is:
It is a psychological riddle, decipherable only thus: the Zionists have two minds, which function independently. As Zionists, they are committed to the destruction of the Western Civilization, and in this they sympathize with Russia, with China, with Japan, with the Arabs... As custodians of the United States, they must half-heartedly remain at least the technical and political domination of that Civilization even while destroying its soul and its meaning. In a word, they are working simultaneously for and against the Western Civilization. Quite obviously they are thus doing more damage than conferring benefit! If a commander of a fortress sympathizes with the enemy, but yet insists in defending the fortress rather than surrendering it, he has surely found the highest formula of destruction. [...]
So we have two groups of Jewish intellectuals, journalists, politicians and policy makers: the first supports the Egyptian uprising because of a traditional Jewish sympathy for revolutions in 'the coloured world'; the second opposes it, because of the damage it can do to Israeli and American hegemony in the region. The first group, I call the romantic 'Castroite' or 'Nasserite' Jews; the second, the 'Imperial' Jews.
The assent, and support, of the 'Castroite' Jews for revolution only goes so far. Revolutions are often intoxicating, exciting and romantic, and they lure people towards them. But supposing that there was a similar revolution in Germany, France or Sweden - a popular uprising against Jewish-Zionist power, or against Muslim immigration: then the 'Castroite' Jews would change their tune. The coming to power of the National Socialists in Germany in 1933 was a revolution, but Jews everywhere, regardless of their political affiliation, portrayed it as a descent into darkness. The New York Times, whose Jewish op-ed commentators have so far backed the Egyptian protestors, howled in dismay when the populist, nationalist Sweden Democrats won 17% of the vote to the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, in 2010. The op-ed headlines screamed that 'Sweden has no unique culture' - the inference being that, because Sweden has no culture worth defending, it has no right to vote for Far Right populist nationalists. One can imagine the reaction, then, from the Times editorship and its Jewish columnists, were the Far Right successes in Sweden were to be repeated on a larger, more popular, Egyptian, scale.
There is more to this than Judaism, though: there is Anglo-Saxonism. We Anglo-Saxons are romantics, too, when it comes to revolution - which is why so many of us supported the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. More than that, however, is the fact that the uprisings in the Middle East are against regimes which are so opposed to traditional Anglo-Saxon ideals. The Fedine and Mubarak governments were opposed to the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, human rights, freedom, equality, social progress. And both regimes show that, when a leader and a regime has been in power for so long, stagnation results. Both practised a system which kept new, fresh, young people out of positions of leadership; the only way to 'get ahead' in either country was to cultivate close ties with the ruling family and government. What can be said of Egypt and Tunisia can be said, too, of the rest of the Arab countries. So, from a progressive and liberal standpoint, Obama (an honorary Anglo-Saxon), Cameron and other Western leaders have acknowledged the shortcomings of the Mubarak regime and put forth demands for change.
In addition that, as Yockey pointed out, in America there is a tradition of looking at liberal democracy as something almost divine. That is, America has a God-given mission to spread democracy throughout the world. Yockey recounts how the American president, Woodrow Wilson, claimed to have heard God talking to him, telling him to introduce democracy to Europe in the aftermath of WWI. But Yockey is not alone in pointing this out: many on the Left have as well. George W. Bush and Tony Blair, both devout Christians who, through prayer, communed with God on a daily basis, saw their drive to 'democratise' the Middle East as a religious crusade. It is no suprise, then, that, given the history, the Obama administration, and many Anglo-American intellectuals and journalists, support the Egyptian uprising, even if the consequent democratisation of Egypt will prove detrimental to Israeli power.
At the same time, there is the commitment - especially among America's political élite - to maintain Jewish political rule, in both the Middle East and elsewhere. WWII, in Europe was a war to the death, a war of no compromise, unconditional surrender, against the anti-Semitic governments of Vichy France, Nazy Germany, Fascist Italy - precisely because of their anti-Semitism. Roosevelt's America had no problem with atrocities, real or alleged: it tolerated, and even applauded, Stalin's regimé, giving it full diplomatic recognition to the USSR in the early 1930s (the period of the Ukraine famine, which killed millions). But it was prepared to go to the brink to drive the anti-Semites out of Europe, hang them like common criminals, and enforce Jewish hegemony - political, cultural, economic - on the Continent. In short, the Anglo-Saxons adore their Jews, and Obama and Roosevelt, Cameron and Churchill, are no different in that regard. So, today Israeli interests are paramount to the Anglo-Saxon countries. But, at the same time, there is a clash between that interest and America's traditional evangelising on behalf of democracy.
So the opposing tendencies are: 'Nasserite' and 'Imperial' within Jewry, and 'Pro-liberal' and 'Pro-Jewish' within Anglo-America.
III. 'Coloured' revolutions and conspiracy theories
The question is, is Engdahl right? Are the Arab masses being manipulated, controlled, by a small group of liberal activists who are funded by George Soros, the Rand Corporation and the CIA?
In order to answer it, we need to explore some of the presuppositions behind it. The first presupposition is that the Arab masses - in Tunisia and Egypt - are pawns, easily manipulated and controlled, with no wills of their own. The second is that they are in thrall to dark and conspiratorial forces, who dwell in the shadows; these puppet-masters have complete control over the subjects - all they have to do is send one or two activists into the target country (after training them in FaceBook and Twitter), and, almost at once, bring about a liberal democratic revolution against regimes which have been in power for decades.
This kind of world-view, so common to conspiracy theorists, is almost theological. Some religious doctrines state that man has no free will, and that all his actions are controlled by God. He lives in a world created by God, and, knowingly or unknowingly, serve's God's purpose. Carl Schmitt declared that political concepts are secularised theological concepts. In conspiracy theories, the political rulers are God, alone endowed with free will; their subjects, the helpless masses, have none, and are completely controlled by their rulers.
But, in the world of Engdahl (and others on the Far Right), this religious world-view becomes a Gnostic one. The world, as we know it, is created by the devil; humans have no free will and are controlled, completely, by the devil. Transposing this theology to politics, our rulers (in this case, the CIA, the Rand Corporation, Soros, Israel and the Jews) are the devil, alone have free will, and completely control the masses.
This sort of theorising is not confined to the Far Right: one finds it on the Left as well. Marxism preaches that humans are subject, completely, to the economic and historical forces. The real innovation of Marxism was to declare that, not only do the masses lack free will - their rulers do as well. The ruling class (the capitalist class) are as much in the thrall of historical and economic forces as the masses.
(It may be a misnomer to refer to 'free will'. In conspiracy theories, and in Marxism, man has the power of choice; it's just that his choices have no effect on events - they lack efficacy. In the conspiracy theory, the rulers alone have efficacy, the masses none; in Marxism, neither the rulers nor the ruled have efficacy. In Marxism, all one can do is join the communist party and prepare for the impending communist revolution. That will put one on the right side of history).
All I can say here is that Engdahl's worldview is false: that the Arab masses protesting against Mubarak are not puppets and pawns, without free will, and without a political agenda of their own.
The Left made the same argument as Engdahl about Chile in the 1970s: the coup against Allende, and the political and economic chaos leading up to it, was the work of Nixon and the CIA. Without a doubt, Nixon was delighted by the overthrow of Allende, but Allende brought his troubles on himself. Through his actions, he stirred up at least half of Chile against him, including conservative and anti-communist elements in the military.
In the case of Chile, we have coinciding agendas: the right-wing, anti-communist Chilean agenda coincided with the American. The same goes for the abortive Iranian 'Green Revolution' of 2009: Netanyahu and Israel applauded it, the two agendas, liberal Iranian and Israeli, coincided.
Having said that, Engdahl, like a good many people, believes that the Georgian and Ukrainian 'coloured' revolutions were brought about by subversives funded by the CIA and George Soros. I myself have no evidence that the "revolutionaries" were connected to Soros and the CIA, and neither does Engdahl. But, indeed, the results of both "revolutions" were governments which were antipathetic to Russia and were indeed in the Western sphere of influence.
In both "revolutions", the same technique - the 'Al Gore method', I call it - was used. An election was held, and the opposition declared the results rigged, and therefore null and void. The opposition then demanded a recount, like Gore in the US presidential elections of 2000, and that the head of state step down. When neither was forthcoming, the opposition and protestors stormed the parliament - in effect a coup. In the case of Georgia, subsequent presidential elections, held almost immediately after the storming of parliament, resulted in the legitimation of the coup-de-état, with the election of opposition leader Saakashvili. The same process occurred, almost identically, in the Ukraine.
In the end, Saakashvili himself turned into a despot; he was accused of rigging the 2009 elections, and responded brutally to mass demonstrations with tear gas and rubber bullets. Was he a stooge of the CIA and Soros? Most definitely, a pro-American and pro-Israel, and anti-Russian politician, who is still being supported by the US State Department and the Obama administration.
In the case of the 'Orange Revolution' in the Ukraine in 2004, that too, fell apart, because of a lack of popular support for the "revolutionary", pro-American, anti-Russian candidates and in-fighting amongst them. The pro-Russian candidate, Yanukovych, won the 2010 elections and brought Ukraine back into the Russian sphere of influence.
In both cases, America supported the "revolutions", politically and diplomatically, in the hope of stealing two valuable countries away from Russia. All one can say is that the Ukrainians and Georgians who originally supported the "revolutions" did so of their own free will, believing, mistakenly, that their lives would be better, realising, only later, that they were being sold faulty goods. And, quite possibly, the initial success of both "revolutions" emboldened America into thinking that 'Soros/CIA'-style subversion was did work and did bring about good results, and that therefore the masses, in other countries, could be easily manipulated like pawns.
What of Iran? The causes for the 'Green' uprising are more complex - they are social, not political. All I will say is, on the basis of anecdotal evidence, life in Iran, under the mullahs, is incredibly repressed, and has only grown more so after the ascent of conservatives within the theocracy in the last five to ten years. What is this repression? It is to do with women's clothes - banning women from wearing trousers and so on - but, more significantly, it is sexual repression. Iranian youth does not enjoy the freedoms that youth in the West takes for granted. It is no surprise, then, that the mass of the Iranian demonstrators in 2009 were youth. This is not to say, of course, that the protestors were not demonstrating against political and economic grievances; just that the primary target was the level of social repression. The Iranian youth was in favour of, just like the hippies of the 1960s, a measure of sexual liberation and personal freedom; except that the West, in the time of the 1960s, was never as repressive as Iran is today. Possibly, because of the youth component, the 'Green' revoluton failed: it had lack of sufficient support from a wide-cross section of Iranians; whereas in Egypt, they are from all sections of Egyptian society.
In short, all that the Iranian demonstrators had with the Egyptian and Tunisian ones was a reliance on FaceBook, Twitter and mobile phones.
Engdahl's reasoning is flawed regarding US (and Israeli) strategy. It makes sense to send in subversives to countries like Georgia and the Ukraine which are in the Russian sphere of influence; it makes no sense to send in subversives to Egypt, a country which the US, and Israel, have controlled for over three decades. Engdahl admits this, and says that the US, by allegedly funding and controlling subversion in Egypt, is, in effect, shooting itself in the foot. But neither the US, nor Israel, would have the need to destabilise a rock-solid, faithful ally.
Engdahl explains away the discrepancy by resorting to a Marxist-Leninist thesis: that the US wants to 'open Egypt' up to US corporations and international markets, so that capitalists can exploit and plunder Egypt's resources. But that explanation can be used for anything, as there is no real way of determining, on an empirical basis, the degree of 'openness' of a country like Egypt to 'international markets'.
IV. Why a revolution?
In order to explain why a revolution occurs, one can point to a variety of the usual causes - corruption, unemployment, cultural stagnation, inflation, and the rest. The more appropriate, and interesting, question in the case of Egypt and Tunisia is: 'Why now?'. Egyptians have been living a more or less third-rate existence, under Mubarak, for three decades; Tunisians, nearly 25 years. Why did they not revolt before?
The answer is that political power is, as Yockey states, a plenum, the opposite of a vacuum. When you lose n amount of power, your political enemies gain power precisely that same amount. The Washington-Tel Aviv axis has been losing power steadily over the past ten years, because of defeats in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Georgia and Gaza. The successive defeats have been surprising and dehabilitating for the US and Israel - surprising in the Israeli case because, in its first sixty years, Israel has won every war against the Arabs, and in Lebanon and Gaza, lost, for the first time (and, to add insult to injury, it not only lost against the Arabs, it lost against lightly-armed Arab irregulars). David Irving wrote, of Hitler in late 1944, 'Every defeat eroded his authority'. The same is true of Washington-Tel Aviv after 2001. As a result of its erosion of authority, Judeo-America's enemies have been steadily gaining. Not only have Russia and China, and a host of smaller, anti-American states, benefited, the domestic opposition has as well. In Egypt and Tunisia, that domestic opposition was a wide number of liberals, Islamists, intellectuals, students, communists, trade unionists, all of whom had a grudge against the ruling regimes for years. In 2011, the dams burst; just as in 2007 in Gaza, when Hamas swept the Palestinian Authority out of power on a wave of popular discontent (which had seen an electoral win for Hamas in 2006).
One can imagine that these Arab anti-Mubarak and anti-Fedine activists went through the same plodding routine, year after year, as nationalist activists in the West: that is, years of putting pamphlets in letter-boxes, making speeches, organising demonstrations, putting up posters, writing books and articles, setting up websites, attempting to convert friends and family - and nothing. Are the masses you are attempting to win over apathetic? Will change ever come? And then, suddenly, the rupture, the big break-through. After that, everything changes, the floodgates are opened. Formerly, one was going through the motions of attempting to bring about political change; now, one is living change, living politics. What made the difference? The answer is, the politics of power - Machtpolitik, the Germans would say. Simply put, the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt weren't exerting the same power any more, because their rulers - Israel and the United States weren't exerting the same power either. In other words, the external conditions were not right.
The lesson for nationalists is, it could happen here - in Britain, in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy. Nationalists will face obstacles, of course: for one, they won't get sympathetic write-ups from Thomas Friedman and Elliot Abrams. But then, that lack of sympathy is nothing compared to what the Arabs are going through: tear-gassing, clubbing, potential arrest, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the police and the military.
In the mainstream press, there is a sense of unease about the events in Egypt which one can detect between the lines. That is, the Washington-Tel Aviv axis is on a downward spiral from which there is no pulling out, and Egypt - formerly a bastion of American and Israeli power - is proof. The loss of Egypt is as significant, and potentially devastating, for Israel as the loss of France was for Germany in WWII, or the loss of the Phillipines for Japan. The harder, more cynical, more realpolitiker Jews understand this, which is why they are wringing their hands. Possibly, they do not believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is about to become the new Hamas or Hezbollah, and turn Egypt into the new Iran; but they do understand the magnitude of the loss, its strategic significance. To them, the Middle East is like a map in which each country has a little Israeli flag pinned on it signifying whether or not the country is in the American, and Israeli, sphere of influence. Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and Gaza do not have flags, and now, when it comes to Egypt, one can remove it.