(VIDEO) – Chomsky on Egypt, Obama, Israel & Mubarak

President Sadat of Egypt had offered a full peace treaty to Israel in 1971 but Israel rejected it. “Sadat’s offer was closely in accord with official U.S. policy, but Washington decided to back Israel’s rejection of it, adopting Kissinger’s policy of “stalemate”: no negotiations, only force.” (Chomsky, Failed States, p. 173) Powerful media outlets like the New York Times falsify history by denying Sadat ever made the 1971 peace offer. “Newsweek refused even to print a letter correcting outright falsehoods on this matter by their columnist George Will, though the research department privately conceded the facts. The practice is standard.” (Chomsky, Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World, p.29) (Also see p. 127 of Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
Well, Obama very carefully didn’t say anything. Mubarak would agree that there should be an orderly transition, but to what? A new cabinet, some minor rearrangement of the constitutional order, it’s empty. So he’s doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. There is a playbook whenever a favored dictator is in trouble: try to sustain him, hold on; if at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides. The U.S. has an overwhelmingly powerful role there. Egypt is the second-largest recipient over a long period of U.S. military and economic aid. Israel is first. “In fact, if you look at the leading recipients of U.S. aid, most of it military aid, two countries are in a separate category: Israel and Egypt, which gets half the aid given to Israel. This arrangement is part of the Camp David agreement from back in 1979, unofficially. Aid to Egypt is basically aid to Israel, to encourage Egypt to play along. But aid to Israel and Egypt is in a separate category, way above anybody else.” Chomsky, What We Say Goes, p.165 Obama himself has been highly supportive of Mubarak. Asked by the BBC, Obama said he didn’t regard Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler, he also said he was a “force for stability and good in the region”! This is one of the most brutal dictators of the region — how anyone could have taken Obama’s comments about human rights seriously after that is a bit of a mystery. But the support has been very powerful in diplomatic dimensions. Military — the planes flying over Tahrir Square are, of course, U.S. planes. The U.S. has been the strongest, most solid, most important supporter of the regime. It’s not like Tunisia, where the main supporter was France. They’re the primary guilty party there. But in Egypt, it’s clearly the United States, and of course Israel. Israel is—of all the countries in the region, Israel, and I suppose Saudi Arabia, have been the most outspoken and supportive of the Mubarak regime. In fact, Israeli leaders were angry, at least expressed anger, that Obama hadn’t taken a stronger stand in support of their friend Mubarak.

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(VIDEO) – Egypt: A New Spirit of National Pride

While Egyptians battle for their political future, social change is already sweeping the country.

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