imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Mubarak's Thirty-Year Dictatorship

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Feb. 09, 2011 at 9:52 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

dictatorship

Mubarak's Thirty-Year Dictatorship - by Stephen Lendman

Throughout decades of brutal rule, Mubarak remained a steadfast US ally. As a result, Washington rewarded him generously. US administrations also ignored his crimes, corruption, and lawlessness, as late January released WikiLeaks cables reveal, showing Obama knew he kept power through ruthless state terror.

On January 15, 2009, ambassador Margaret Scobey called security force brutality "routine and pervasive," saying:

"(P)olice using force to extract confessions from criminals (is) a daily event. (US informants) estimate there are literally hundreds of torture incidents every day in Cairo police stations alone."

Political activists and opponents are also targeted, Scobey adding:

"(T)he GOE (government of Egypt) is probably torturing (an April 6 activist) to scare other....members into abandoning their political activities." It also referred to the "sexual molestation of a female 'April 6 activist,' " and that another victim's torture only stopped "when he began cooperating."

Moreover, "standing orders from the Interior Ministry between 2000 and 2006 (instructed) the police to shoot, beat and humiliate judges in order to undermine judicial independence."

A July 28, 2009 embassy cable said:

"(A) recent series of selective (government) actions against journalists, bloggers and even an amateur poet illustrates the variety of methods available to the GOE to suppress critical opinion, including an array of investigative authorities and public and private legal actions."

A January 12, 2009 cable admitted that Mubarak ruled through police state "emergency powers" for decades, saying:

"Egypt's State of Emergency, in effect almost continuously since 1967 (since Nasser and Sadat), allows for the application of the 1958 Emergency Law (EL), which grants the GOE broad powers to arrest individuals without charge and to detain them indefinitely," omitting what's also common in America and US-controlled offshore torture prisons extra-judicially.

According to the International Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), Egypt's EL grants "broad power to impose restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, movement or residence; the power to arrest and detain suspects or those deemed dangerous, and the power to search individuals and places without the need to follow the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code."

It violates Egypt's constitutional personal freedom, inviolability of private homes, and freedom of movement, letting Mubarak trash legal principles and rule despotically. It also criminalized assembly of five or more people that could "threaten public order."

Other cables identified Egypt's military as the real center of power. One on July 30, 2009 said, along with state security forces, it:

"would ensure a smooth transfer of power, even to a civilian," to assure seamless succession under new leadership.

Moreover, cables revealed longstanding US knowledge of extreme security force brutality, including recent arrests, torture, and assassinations of protesters demanding regime change.

Egypt also partnered with Washington and Israel by enforcing Gaza's siege. Moreover, it did it for internal security reasons because of the Muslim Brotherhood's alleged ties to Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.

Anatomy of Mubarak's Dictatorship

Since the 1970s, Egypt shifted from defying Western imperialism to becoming a reliable strategic partner. Sadat hastened a trend already underway called "infitah," or open-door policy, to attract foreign capital by loosening currency controls, creating tax-free investment zones, and privatizing state industries. Political changes followed, including rapprochement with America to resolve conflict with Israel and remove the threat of war.

At the time, Egypt's crumbling infrastructure, fragile transportation and telecommunications networks, as well as fear of re-nationalizations deterred foreign investments. As a result, relaxed import controls facilitated flooding Egypt's market with luxury goods for the rich, not economic growth that deteriorated instead, mostly harming its workers and poor.

In November 1977, Sadat extended peace overtures to Israel in Jerusalem. A year later, Camp David followed, establishing full diplomatic and economic relations as well as getting Egypt expelled from the Arab League (AL), its headquarters moved from Cairo to Tunis. In 1989, Egypt was readmitted. In 1990, AL's headquarters returned to Cairo.

Sadat hoped economic growth would follow as well as US aid. His October 1981 assassination elevated former air force commander/deputy defense minister/air chief marshall/vice president Mubarak to power, replacing him. From then until now, he served reliably as a US puppet, profiting handsomely from the relationship, besides what he gained from other high positions.

He allied with America's 1991 Gulf War, collaborating again in 2003 by giving Pentagon forces priority Suez Canal access and unrestricted use of Egypt's airspace. At the time, David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs called America's partnership with Egypt "a cornerstone of our foreign policy in the Middle East." It leveraged its relationship to secure other regional allies. In return, Mubarak and Egypt's ruling class profited handsomely at the expense of their deeply impoverished people, the spark, along with extreme repression, that erupted in protests.

In her February 4 Foreign Policy article titled, "Anatomy of a Dictatorship: Hosni Mubarak," Elizabeth Dickinson said millions of Egyptians forced him not to run again for office, but demand more. "The president, they charged, was an autocrat, a repressor, and a tired leader. He had to go....Mubarak's Egypt," in fact, "is a textbook police state. For 30 years, anger and frustration brewed among his subjects, bottled up and sealed with fear."

Egypt's brutal police enforced hardline control, targeting activists, dissidents, Islamists, opposition forces, and anyone perceived threatening as well as ordinary citizens suspected of crimes or looking suspicious. In June 2010, a young man, Khaled Said, was beaten to death for not showing his identity card after entering an Alexandria Internet cafe. Torture and disappearances are also commonplace as are sham elections.

"Even if a candidate manages to successfully jump through (numerous) hoops, the Political Parties Commission, (responsible for registering parties) has broad authority to close offices, seize funds, or refuse to recognize a party in the first place - meaning that in practice, elections are only as competitive as Mubarak wants them to be."

A 2010 WikiLeaks released cable said the "Interior Ministry uses (state security) to monitor and sometimes infiltrate the political opposition and civil society, and to suppress political opposition through arrests, harassment and intimidation."

Mubarak also claims threatening Islamic extremism to justify harsh repression and extract more Western aid. Moreover, a 1996 press law criminalizes defamation, insults, and libel as a way to suppress press freedom and speech, including against bloggers.

"Academia isn't safe either: Since the state controls promotions, appointments, and university administration, a subtle self-censorship prevails." As a result, professors have been fired and students harassed, especially leaders for organizing.

Moreover, women are regularly mistreated, their rights compromised by sexual abuse, harassment, and assaults. A 2008 Egyptian Center for Women's Rights report said over 80% of women suffered public sexual humiliation, from groping to criminal attacks.

Gays and other minorities are targeted as well, including mass arrests of men accused of homosexual acts. Though religious freedom is allowed, Christians at times clashed with police.

Especially disturbing "are reports of the regime's treatment of street children," numbering thousands in Cairo alone. Human Rights Watch estimated 11,000 arrests and detentions for weeks in unsanitary, hazardous conditions, "often with adult criminal detainees who abuse them." In addition, they're denied adequate food, water, bedding and medical care.

Amnesty International's 2010 Egypt Report

It explained that Emergency Law powers are used "to detain peaceful critics and opponents as well as people suspected of security offenses or involvement in terrorism." Some are detained administratively. Others get unfair military trials. Many are tortured. Death sentences are freely imposed. Freedom of speech, assembly and association are extremely restricted.

"Rising food prices and poverty fueled a wave of strikes by private and public sector workers." A UN Special Rapporteur for human rights criticized Mubarak's counterterrorism policy, human rights abuses, and repressive emergency powers, called the "norm" under his regime.

Besides various lawless acts discussed above, forced evictions have also been commonplace. In 2008, residents of 26 Greater Cairo areas were affected, their communities called "unsafe" under a government master development plan. Administrative orders were implemented "without notice or prior consultation," preventing the likelihood of legal challenge.

In November 2009, AI issued a report titled, "Egypt: Demand Dignity: Buried Alive: Trapped by Poverty and Neglect in Cairo's Informal Settlements," saying:

Evictions from areas called unsafe "breached the international standards that states must observe, (requiring they) have procedural safeguards in place." Instead, hundreds of homes were demolished with inadequate or no notice or consultation given affected communities, including plans for resettlement. As a result, homelessness and other state-imposed harshness followed. Egypt's poor, marginalized population suffers grievously under repressive regime policies.

A Final Comment

Given this backdrop and sustained visceral mass protests, the Obama administration is stalling for time, a White House February 5 press release saying:

"The President emphasized the importance of an orderly, peaceful transition, beginning now, to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people, including credible, inclusive negotiations between the government and the opposition."

In fact, Omar Suleiman's vice presidential appointment signified Washington approving his leadership heading new faces with old policies, what Egyptian masses won't accept. They demand all remnants of Mubarak's regime ousted, replaced by new officials they choose in free, fair, open elections.

On February 7, Al Jazeera said two weeks of protests show no signs of abating despite some emerging normality in parts of Egypt's capital. Dr. Sally Moore, representing the Popular Campaign in Support of ElBaradei (one of six groups comprising the "Youth of the Egyptian Revolution" coalition) said:

"The word 'stability' is a word the regime uses all the time - but - what is stability without freedom. We are in for the long haul. The regime is trying to play us against the people in Tahrir Square, but we always remind them they are our people, our families. (They) want radical change, not minor reform."

Al Jazeera's Cairo correspondent said:

"Protesters tell me Obama still hasn't come up with any statement that they want to hear. They want immediate change and the feeling among many of them is that the way the US is handling this crisis is not good for the way America is perceived both here and in general in the wider region."

In fact, from the outset, the Obama administration acted duplicitously to maintain imperial control throughout the region, especially by ensuring continuity in Egypt, under Suleiman and other reliable figures. On February 5, Secretary of State Clinton endorsed him saying:

"I think it's important to support the transition process announced by the Egyptian government, actually headed now by Vice President Suleiman (and) an orderly establishment of the elections that are scheduled for September."

She also backed Egypt's military "as a respected institution" and its banking sector. In other words, money and martial power are crucial ingredients of Washington's imperial control.

In contrast, Sunday protesters declared February 6 a "day of martyrs," commemorating thousands of Mubarak security force torture, disappeared, and murder victims.

How and when this ends remains uncertain, but one thing is clear. Millions of Egyptians exhibited extraordinary sustained courage. So far, they're not backing down from one of the region's most brutal regimes, financed and supported by imperial Washington, maneuvering to keep it empowered as a reliable vassal state.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy