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Egyptian Insurection


William Kelly
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I think that what's happened in Tunisia and is happening in Egypt is really important and an historical event.

While I don't have the time to get into it in detail, I thought it should be discussed on an education forum, and the historical implications brought out.

It's called a Popular Insurgency.

"Insurgency and its tactics are as old as warfare itself. Joint doctrine defines an insurgency as an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict."

http://www.google.co...cddacdfc1c88c65

It happened in Cuba, Iran, Poland and East Germany.

Sometimes it's violent, sometimes it is non-violent. And unlike the American Dept. of Justice definition of Insurection, the subversion does not necessirly include violence, but can take a deliberate non-violent approach, as was done in India, Lipsig and Berlin.

It happened in Tunisia two weeks ago, an event that sparked the popular protests in Egypt, and if successful, may have a domino effect, as Jeff Morley suggests (See: Facebook), as people in countries with such dictators and autocratic governments now recognize that popular insurection is a successful strategy and may consider it as a possible alternative.

One of the most significant aspets of these two popular Arab insurections is that they are NOT Radical Fundimental Islamics, and in fact, the Muslim Brotherhood, the leading Islamic Party in Egypt, rejected joining in the protests when they first began. They are calling for free elections and opening up the economic system to all rather than just those connected to the government.

When the leader of Tunisia left the country, he went to Saudi Arabia, the Grand Daddy of all autocratic dictatorships, where they must be shaking in their mansions and limos tonight, wondering if such a popular insurection will strike them.

Certainly those beligerents in Iran, where the insurection against the government failed to topple it, may now get a second wind and decide to have another go at it,

http://www.guardian....writers-reflect

Edited by William Kelly
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"The current demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Suez, Shebein Al Kom and other Egyptian towns and cities are not only notable for their scale, but also for their ambition and energy. There is something jubilant about the crowds, a new confidence. Although it is too soon to say whether the events in Tunisia will result in a just, accountable and democratic government in that country, it is clear that the fact that a peaceful revolt has managed to overthrow a 23-year dictatorship in less than a month has restored Arab dignity and hope. Tunisians have altered the political landscape, as well as the landscape of the imagination for the whole region."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/28/after-tunisia-hisham-matar-libya

Hisham Matar is a Libyan author. His debut novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker prize. His new novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, comes out in March.

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Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Morocco.....

Are they falling like dominos or a house of cards?

The events that toppled the government in Tunisia in late 2010 was unpredicated and unanticipated by any intelligence source that I know of, and the aftereffects of that could be incredible.

The mainstream media practically ignored the situation in Tunisia and now, in retrospect, it might have been the spark that changes the total political landscape of the Middle East and Africa.

(CNN) http://www.cnn.com/2...yemen.protests/-- Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Wednesday he will not seek re-election nor hand over power to his son once his current term ends in 2013.

"No extension, no inheritance," he told parliament.

Saleh had called an emergency parliamentary meeting, ahead of a "day of rage" protests scheduled for the following day.

Saleh has been in office for 32 years and was last re-elected in 2006.

In recent weeks, thousands of people have taken to the streets in Yemen demanding the kind of change that forced Tunisia's president from office last month.

Some of the protesters have called for Saleh to step down as president.

Earlier this year, Yemen's parliament began debating proposed amendments to the country's constitution. The measures, which would cancel presidential term limits, have sparked concerns among the opposition that Saleh might try to appoint himself president for life.

On Wednesday, Saleh said he has requested his party to freeze debate on the proposed amendments until a consensus is reached.

The opposition coalition, Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), said the president's speech was not enough and called on its followers to continue with Thursday's planned march, said Hakim Almasmari, editor in chief of the Yemen Post.

A day earlier, the president has also ordered the release of journalist Abdul Elah Haidar Shaye who was sentenced to five years in jail last month after he was convicted of collaborating with al Qaeda in Yemen, according to the country's official news agency, SABA.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wikileaks Disclosures About Qaddaffi Family Spark Cancellation of Soccer Matches

<A href="http://mideastsoccer.blogspot.com/2011/02/wikileaks-disclosures-about-qaddaffi.html">http://mideastsoccer.blogspot.com/2011/02/wikileaks-disclosures-about-qaddaffi.html

US diplomatic cables detailing the corruption and decadent lifestyle of the family of Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi coupled with anti-government protests in provincial cities prompted Libya this weekend to cancel all soccer matches in the country.

The cancellation came amid mass anti-government protests in neighbouring Egypt driven in part by organized soccer fans that have shaken the regime of President Hosni Mubarak to its core.

Similar demonstrations toppled in mid-January President Zine Abedine Ben Ali of Tunisia on Libya's eastern border. US diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks detailing the greed and extravagant lifestyle of Ben Ali and his entourage fuelled the protests that led to his ouster

.

The cancellation of all soccer matches by the Libyan Football Federation constitutes a bid to prevent the pitch from becoming a venue for expression of widespread anti-government sentiment.

The US cables entitled "Qadhafi Children Scandals Spilling Over Into Politics" and "A Glimpse Into Libyan Leader Qadhafi's Eccentricities" were sent from the US embassy in Tripoli to the State Department in Washington in September 2009 and February 2010. They are circulating clandestinely inside Libya.

The Qadaffi "family has been in a tailspin…trying to put a stop to one rumour or another, in the name of defending the family's honor. From Mutassim al-QADHAFI's headline-grabbing St. Bart's New Year's Eve bash to Hannibal's latest violent outburst, the QADHAFI family has provided local observers with enough dirt for a Libyan soap opera," the Qadaffi children cable says. It says Mutassim and Hannibal's siblings and mother were scurrying to cover up the scandals.

The St Barts scandal involved Mutassim"s alcohol-infested 2010 New Year Eve parties for which Beyonce, Usher and others were paid $1 million to perform and domestic abuse charges against Hannibal who was accused of breaking his wife's nose in a $7,000 a night suite in London's Clardidge's hotel. Mutassim, Qadaffi's fourth son, heads the Libyan National Security Council.

The cable about the Libyan leader himself describes Qadaffi's phobia and his refusal to travel without his Ukranian nurse, a 38-year old "voluptuous blonde," according to the US diplomatic writer. Qadaffi, the cable says, "appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing."

The cable about Qadhafi quoted a US embassy interlocutor as issuing advice to the Libyan leader that is as valid for other embattled Arab leaders, including Egypt's Mubarak. "When you have been isolated for so long, it is important to communicate," said the interlocutor whose name is blocked out in the disclosed cable.

The cancellation of soccer matches and declaration of a state of emergency in areas bordering with Egypt coupled with the deployment of security forces seems to contradict the advice offered to him.

Yet, Qadaffi, like most Arab leaders is being forced to be conciliatory towards mounting public opposition against their regimes.

The Libyan leader recently instructed his Revolutionary Council, effectively the country's government, to investigate complaints about corruption in public housing that sparked the protests and to promise that "all the problems will be solved soon through the legitimate authorities."

Libya and Algeria Extend Soccer Match Cancellations to Thwart Protests

http://bleacherrepor...thwart-protests

Posted by James M Dorsey at 6:02 AM

With anti-government protests sweeping through North Africa, soccer match cancellations have become the flavour of the day.

The cancellations are intended to prevent the pitch from becoming a platform for protests.

Soccer fans have played a key role in the turmoil, causing the Algerian Football Federation to announce on Tuesday the cancellation of its friendly against Tunisia, scheduled for February 5th.

Lybia and Algeria have followed suit, suspending all soccer matches indefinitely, due to anti-government demonstrations planned for February 12th in Algiers and February 17th in Benghazi and Tripoli.

It remained unclear whether Libya will go ahead with plans for a friendly against Morocco scheduled for February 9th in Marrakech.

Opponents of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir have called for mass protests in Khartoum on February 3rd, the eve of the opening of the second African Cup of Nations for Home-Based Players, scheduled to kick off on February 4th.

The cancellation of Libyan matches was prompted by demonstrations against corruption in public housing in provincial cities and government fears that the US diplomatic cables were disclosed by Wikileaks, detailing the corruption and decadent lifestyle of Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi and his family, which could fuel further protests.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's fate also hangs in the balance as thousands of demonstrators rejected his concession Tuesday not to run for re-election in September, demanding an immediate end to his 30-year rule. Soccer fans have played a key role in Mubarak's potential downfall.

Three Libyans in the town of Tobruk have been on a hunger strike since last week to protest against unemployment and lack of decent housing.

Like elsewhere across the region, Libyan activists are employing Facebook to mobilize in advance of the demonstrations planned for February 17th. The Facebook group, created this week with some 2,000 members as of this writing, is calling for the 17th to be a day of anger.

The Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH), part of a group calling itself the National Coordination for Change and Democracy, said the protest was designed to force President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office and put an end to the long-standing state of emergency in the country.

http://www.upi.com/T...1296635400/ANAA, Yemen, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Yemen's president called a crisis Parliament meeting Wednesday to quell unrest as Syrians planned a new protest and Jordan's king dismissed his government.

In addition, a cousin of Morocco's King Mohammed VI said anti-government violence would soon reach his country. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is reported to be considering high-level Cabinet changes after more demonstrations were promised. In Libya, the sons of Moammar Gadhafi are said to be jockeying for power in the face of unrest.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, facing demands he resign, will tell his Parliament Wednesday he will not seek re-election when his term ends in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported. The announcement -- a day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would step down when his term expires this fall -- will include reform promises aimed at tamping down unrest, the newspaper said.

The meeting comes a day before a planned nationwide "day of rage" against Saleh's 32-year U.S.-backed regime.

Syrian activists called for a "day of rage" in Damascus Friday. Using Facebook and Twitter, organizers demanded the government "end the state of emergency in Syria and end corruption." Syria has been ruled under a state of emergency since 1963.

Facebook is banned in Syria but many Syrians use proxies and other ways to access it, the Voice of America said.

Syrian President Bashar Assad told the Journal Monday he was in a stronger position than Mubarak or Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali because his regime was "very closely linked to the beliefs of the people."

Jordan's King Abdullah II dismissed his government Tuesday and named ex-Prime Minister Maruf Bakhit, 64, as the country's new prime minister. Bakhit was tasked with introducing "true political reforms" after weeks of street protests calling for economic and political change, said Abdullah, in power since the 1999 death of his father, King Hussein.

The opposition Islamic Action Front, the political wing of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, dismissed the appointment and demanded a constitutional change to allow for a popular election of the prime minister and other government officials, rather than have the king appoint them.

Morocco, on the Atlantic and Mediterranean south of Spain, has so far avoided anti-government protests, "but make no mistake -- nearly all the authoritarian systems will be affected by the protest wave," Prince Moulay Hicham, cousin of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, told the Spanish daily El Pais.

"It remains to be seen whether the revolt will be just social or also political, and if the political parties act under the influence of the recent events," said Moulay, 46, third in line to the throne.

He is nicknamed the "red prince" because of his leftist criticism of Morocco's monarchy.

In Algeria, Bouteflika's possible Cabinet changes could promote Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi to prime minister, replacing Ahmed Ouyahia, the Journal said. Such a move could be part of a broader reshuffle to replace officials with ties to political parties with technical experts whose reputations would remain intact after the protests, the newspaper said.

Activists promised new protests in Algeria a month after early January's violent protests. A third Algerian died from self-immolation Monday.

In Libya, growing numbers of people "are waiting for an occasion to take to the streets," particularly in Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, "where opposition to the Gadhafi regime is strongest," the independent Afrol News agency reported.

Anticipating unrest, three Gadhafi sons are jockeying for power to replace their father, the agency said.

Saif al-Islam Moammar Gadhafi, 38, is viewed as the "most realistic" successor to the elder Gadhafi, Libya's de facto leader since a 1969 coup. But the elder Gadhafi "depends more on his two conservative sons to control national security forces in possible clashes with the population," Afrol News said.

"Both are preparing for such a confrontation, which would give them an upper hand in Libya's succession struggle," it said.

Edited by William Kelly
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It seems certain that if Egypt goes, others will follow. That is what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989. It is very difficult to know what kind of government will follow President Hosni Mubarak. One thing that is almost certain is that they will be more hostile to Israel and people living in that country must be feeling very worried.

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It seems certain that if Egypt goes, others will follow. That is what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989. It is very difficult to know what kind of government will follow President Hosni Mubarak. One thing that is almost certain is that they will be more hostile to Israel and people living in that country must be feeling very worried.

On the other side of the coin, it appears that the demonstrators are not being led by hard line islamic fundamentalists, but young students and others interested in provoking a democratic system and an open economy that allows everyone to increase their standard of living. If that is the case, then Israel is not the enemy, but the dictators and their cronies who have soaked up most of the economies of those countries. It is the dictators of those countries who are shaking in their sandals.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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It seems certain that if Egypt goes, others will follow. That is what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989. It is very difficult to know what kind of government will follow President Hosni Mubarak. One thing that is almost certain is that they will be more hostile to Israel and people living in that country must be feeling very worried.

On the other side of the coin, it appears that the demonstrators are not being led by hard line islamic fundamentalists, but young students and others interested in provoking a democratic system and an open economy that allows everyone to increase their standard of living. If that is the case, then Israel is not the enemy, but the dictators and their cronies who have soaked up most of the economies of those countries. It is the dictators of those countries who are shaking in their sandals.

BK

Some of the demonstrators have been calling Mubarak a Zionist. His peace agreement with Israel has been very unpopular with Egypt and was further evidence that he was under the control of the United States.

That being said, tourism is such an important industry in Egypt that a move towards Islamic Fundamentalism would be an economic disaster.

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I was very surprised that some 50% of the people were more in favour of becoming an "Islamic" state. It seems they want to be a moderate state like Jordan, but I was ignorant of the popular feeling.

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I was very surprised that some 50% of the people were more in favour of becoming an "Islamic" state. It seems they want to be a moderate state like Jordan, but I was ignorant of the popular feeling.

I don't believe that.

I think that the protesters want a democracy, as they already see Islamic states that are dictatorships, like Iran, where similar demonstrations were unsuccessful in unseating the Islamic regime.

The Muslem Brotherhood and other Islamic groups did not support the original protests, so its unlikely they can take over the movement.

The basicly leaderless movements that began in Tunisia and erupted in Egypt, calls for an end to dictatorship, the holding of elections, and the opening of the economy to everyone instead of the

government cronies.

How could these mass protests call for an end to a dicatatorship and then accept a closed Islamic state?

They can't, and therefore I don't believe your 50 percent support such a thing.

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Currently the US government is paying President Mubarak $3bn a year to maintain his pro-Israel policy. It is also the US government that is pushing hard for Omar Suleiman to replaced Mubarak as president. Suleiman, the head of Egyptian Intelligence, oversaw the CIA's rendition and torture program in Egypt; and publicly champions the crushing of its largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, by force.

In is unfortunately true that the US and UK governments have long regarded democratisation of the Arab world as a threat to their control of the region and its resources. Only last week Tony Blair defended Mubarak's dictatorship as "immensely courageous and a force for good". He might be responsible for the imprisonment and torturing of tens of thousands of political prisoners, but Blair rates him highly because he has kept Egypt at peace with Israel.

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Currently the US government is paying President Mubarak $3bn a year to maintain his pro-Israel policy. It is also the US government that is pushing hard for Omar Suleiman to replaced Mubarak as president. Suleiman, the head of Egyptian Intelligence, oversaw the CIA's rendition and torture program in Egypt; and publicly champions the crushing of its largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, by force.

In is unfortunately true that the US and UK governments have long regarded democratisation of the Arab world as a threat to their control of the region and its resources. Only last week Tony Blair defended Mubarak's dictatorship as "immensely courageous and a force for good". He might be responsible for the imprisonment and torturing of tens of thousands of political prisoners, but Blair rates him highly because he has kept Egypt at peace with Israel.

VP Joe Biden also said last week that Mubarak "wasn't a dictator."

I would think that the CIA will pursue a policy that is set by the President and not the VP or the UK.

It seems to me that you would prefer Omar Suleiman over the Nobel prize guy, as it would make clear the intelligence agencies were still in control.

If the Egyptian people who began the protests get what they want, the same thing they wanted and are getting in Tunisia and now Yemen - the removal of the government, elections and open economy,

that should be supported by President Obama and those who are instructed to carry out his policies, including the CIA.

After the 1968 Democratic National Convention, I too didn't want a good, honest, president, but thought it best to have LBJ and Nixon, who were easy to dislike.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Gary Loughran

I would think that the CIA will pursue a policy that is set by the President and not the VP or the UK.

...President Obama and those who are instructed to carry out his policies, including the CIA.

BK

Sorry Bill, are you saying CIA will, more likely, follow US presidential policy over those of the VP or the UK or that CIA generally pursue Presidential policy - which is clearly absurd.

CIA stays in place whilst Presidents and foreign regimes change. Transient bodies cannot consistently influence change. It is my belief American Nationals do not even form the majority of those who do set CIA policy and, unfortunately, the world is now used to that type democracy.

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I would think that the CIA will pursue a policy that is set by the President and not the VP or the UK.

...President Obama and those who are instructed to carry out his policies, including the CIA.

BK

Sorry Bill, are you saying CIA will, more likely, follow US presidential policy over those of the VP or the UK or that CIA generally pursue Presidential policy - which is clearly absurd.

CIA stays in place whilst Presidents and foreign regimes change. Transient bodies cannot consistently influence change. It is my belief American Nationals do not even form the majority of those who do set CIA policy and, unfortunately, the world is now used to that type democracy.

The CIA is just a bunch of bureaucrats. Every president is different, and uses the bureaucracy in different ways.

It wasn't the CIA who put Somozas in power, it was the US Marines and military.

When the CIA (Kim Roosevelt) fostered insurection to put the Shah in power in Iran, and psyops in Guatemala, they were rewarded by Ike and therefore adopted those techniques as a way of achieving their goals.

They also adopted the practice of rewarding dictators, as long as they were anti-communist, or supported our policies. Now that policy seems to be out the window.

It seems like they threw VP Biden and "Special Envoy" Wisner into the wind as trail ballons to see if what they said would float. It won't.

So Obama will do whatever he needs to do in order to stay on top, both in the eyes of the world and the US electorate.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/us-disassociates-itself-from-envoy-s-support-for-mubarak-1.1083617?localLinksEnabled=false

The United States last night disassociated itself from remarks made by its special envoy Frank Wisner, who said that Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak “must stay in office” during a power transition.

Wisner’s comments came after Mubarak replaced the entire politburo of his ruling party, including his son Gamal.

The former ambassador to Egypt, Wisner was sent by President Obama to Cairo on Monday, apparently to urge Mubarak to announce his departure.

However, the US state department said his views were his own and not those of the US government.

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Interesting article by Noam Chomsky, "It's not radical Islam that worries the US – it's independence". This view is supported by the news that the US is encouraging the Egyptian government to negotiate with the Muslim Brotherhood rather than any of the left-wing groups behind the demonstrations.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/04/radical-islam-united-states-independence?INTCMP=SRCH

'The Arab world is on fire," al-Jazeera reported last week, while throughout the region, western allies "are quickly losing their influence". The shock wave was set in motion by the dramatic uprising in Tunisia that drove out a western-backed dictator, with reverberations especially in Egypt, where demonstrators overwhelmed a dictator's brutal police.

Observers compared it to the toppling of Russian domains in 1989, but there are important differences. Crucially, no Mikhail Gorbachev exists among the great powers that support the Arab dictators. Rather, Washington and its allies keep to the well-established principle that democracy is acceptable only insofar as it conforms to strategic and economic objectives: fine in enemy territory (up to a point), but not in our backyard, please, unless properly tamed.

One 1989 comparison has some validity: Romania, where Washington maintained its support for Nicolae Ceausescu, the most vicious of the east European dictators, until the allegiance became untenable. Then Washington hailed his overthrow while the past was erased. That is a standard pattern: Ferdinand Marcos, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Chun Doo-hwan, Suharto and many other useful gangsters. It may be under way in the case of Hosni Mubarak, along with routine efforts to try to ensure a successor regime will not veer far from the approved path. The current hope appears to be Mubarak loyalist General Omar Suleiman, just named Egypt's vice-president. Suleiman, the longtime head of the intelligence services, is despised by the rebelling public almost as much as the dictator himself.

A common refrain among pundits is that fear of radical Islam requires (reluctant) opposition to democracy on pragmatic grounds. While not without some merit, the formulation is misleading. The general threat has always been independence. The US and its allies have regularly supported radical Islamists, sometimes to prevent the threat of secular nationalism.

A familiar example is Saudi Arabia, the ideological centre of radical Islam (and of Islamic terror). Another in a long list is Zia ul-Haq, the most brutal of Pakistan's dictators and President Reagan's favorite, who carried out a programme of radical Islamisation (with Saudi funding).

"The traditional argument put forward in and out of the Arab world is that there is nothing wrong, everything is under control," says Marwan Muasher, a former Jordanian official and now director of Middle East research for the Carnegie Endowment. "With this line of thinking, entrenched forces argue that opponents and outsiders calling for reform are exaggerating the conditions on the ground."

Therefore the public can be dismissed. The doctrine traces far back and generalises worldwide, to US home territory as well. In the event of unrest, tactical shifts may be necessary, but always with an eye to reasserting control.

The vibrant democracy movement in Tunisia was directed against "a police state, with little freedom of expression or association, and serious human rights problems", ruled by a dictator whose family was hated for their venality. So said US ambassador Robert Godec in a July 2009 cable released by WikiLeaks.

Therefore to some observers the WikiLeaks "documents should create a comforting feeling among the American public that officials aren't asleep at the switch" – indeed, that the cables are so supportive of US policies that it is almost as if Obama is leaking them himself (or so Jacob Heilbrunn writes in The National Interest.)

"America should give Assange a medal," says a headline in the Financial Times, where Gideon Rachman writes: "America's foreign policy comes across as principled, intelligent and pragmatic … the public position taken by the US on any given issue is usually the private position as well."

In this view, WikiLeaks undermines "conspiracy theorists" who question the noble motives Washington proclaims.

Godec's cable supports these judgments – at least if we look no further. If we do,, as foreign policy analyst Stephen Zunes reports in Foreign Policy in Focus, we find that, with Godec's information in hand, Washington provided $12m in military aid to Tunisia. As it happens, Tunisia was one of only five foreign beneficiaries: Israel (routinely); the two Middle East dictatorships Egypt and Jordan; and Colombia, which has long had the worst human-rights record and the most US military aid in the hemisphere.

Heilbrunn's exhibit A is Arab support for US policies targeting Iran, revealed by leaked cables. Rachman too seizes on this example, as did the media generally, hailing these encouraging revelations. The reactions illustrate how profound is the contempt for democracy in the educated culture.

Unmentioned is what the population thinks – easily discovered. According to polls released by the Brookings Institution in August, some Arabs agree with Washington and western commentators that Iran is a threat: 10%. In contrast, they regard the US and Israel as the major threats (77%; 88%).

Arab opinion is so hostile to Washington's policies that a majority (57%) think regional security would be enhanced if Iran had nuclear weapons. Still, "there is nothing wrong, everything is under control" (as Muasher describes the prevailing fantasy). The dictators support us. Their subjects can be ignored – unless they break their chains, and then policy must be adjusted.

Other leaks also appear to lend support to the enthusiastic judgments about Washington's nobility. In July 2009, Hugo Llorens, U.S. ambassador to Honduras, informed Washington of an embassy investigation of "legal and constitutional issues surrounding the 28 June forced removal of President Manuel 'Mel' Zelaya."

The embassy concluded that "there is no doubt that the military, supreme court and national congress conspired on 28 June in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the executive branch". Very admirable, except that President Obama proceeded to break with almost all of Latin America and Europe by supporting the coup regime and dismissing subsequent atrocities.

Perhaps the most remarkable WikiLeaks revelations have to do with Pakistan, reviewed by foreign policy analyst Fred Branfman in Truthdig.

The cables reveal that the US embassy is well aware that Washington's war in Afghanistan and Pakistan not only intensifies rampant anti-Americanism but also "risks destabilising the Pakistani state" and even raises a threat of the ultimate nightmare: that nuclear weapons might fall into the hands of Islamic terrorists.

Again, the revelations "should create a comforting feeling … that officials are not asleep at the switch" (Heilbrunn's words) – while Washington marches stalwartly toward disaster.

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Interesting article by Noam Chomsky, "It's not radical Islam that worries the US – it's independence". This view is supported by the news that the US is encouraging the Egyptian government to negotiate with the Muslim Brotherhood rather than any of the left-wing groups behind the demonstrations.

According to various reports VP Suleiman is negotiating with various opposition groups of which the Muslim Brotherhood is by far the largest. What evidence do you have that "the US is encouraging the Egyptian government to negotiate with the Muslim Brotherhood rather than any of the left-wing groups"? Or that left-wing groups are leading the demonstrations? They seem to be mainly organized by people with no political affiliations and I've seen no evidence the opposition's most prominent leaders former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League are leftists.

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