Egyptian Military Power Grab

Stephen Lendman

Bodies are piling up in Cairo. Click on image to enlarge.

Last February, euphoric celebrations followed Mubarak's ouster. Across the Middle East and North Africa, people rejoiced.

Activist Saed Karazon told AFP:

"What happened in Egypt is not only for the Egyptian people, it is for all Arabs. The whole Arab world is going to change."

A month earlier, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia following weeks of violent protests. A Tunis student said, "It's wonderful. Two dictators have fallen in less than a month."

In Cairo, Egyptians waved flags, held banners, and chanted, "Yesterday Tunisia. Today Egypt, and tomorrow Yemenis will break their chains."

In fact, Yemeni and Bahraini "chains" brutalize street protesters daily - arresting, detaining, torturing and shooting them.

Through mid-November, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said 1,500 are imprisoned, 40 killed, 180 lawlessly sentenced by military tribunals, and 90 journalists targeted for doing their job.

On November 7, Yemen's Jane Novak headlined, "Yemen: one thousand protesters in prison, many tortured," saying:

The Yemeni National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) said over 1,000 protesters "disappeared" incommunicado in prison.

HOOD Executive Director Abdul Rahman Barman said:

"(T)he number of imprisoned youths is on the rise, and the world must stand against the government for the sake of humanity. These youths are being tortured and attacked fiercely. Some leave government custody with their minds lost from the torture."

Washington and key NATO partners say nothing about daily Yemeni and Bahrini atrocities, as well as others committed regularly by despotic Arab League allies.

At the same time, they rail against Syria and Iran. Wanting regime change, they replicated Libya's model in Syrian cities. Perhaps Iran's next. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus.

They also support Egypt's military junta stranglehold on power, enforcing it by brute force. More on that below.

The threat of dictatorship in Greece

Christoph Dreier

From the student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic that
led to the collapse off the 7-year dictatorship in Greece

The installation by the banks and major imperialist powers of a “national unity” government in Greece that includes members of the fascistic LAOS party, as well as the designation of the right-wing New Democracy party to head the defense ministry, must be taken as a serious warning to the Greek and international working class.

Thirty-eight years after student protests at the Polytechnic in Athens on November 17, 1973, whose bloody suppression ultimately brought down the US-backed junta of the colonels, finance capital is again considering the imposition of military rule or fascist dictatorship to suppress the workers.

Ousted PASOK Prime Minister George Papandreou had mobilized the army to suppress strikes against the austerity measures he was carrying out at the behest of the banks and European institutions. In August 2010, soldiers broke the strike by truckers against the deregulation of their profession. In October of this year, the government placed striking refuse workers under military discipline and forced them back to work.

On February 4, 2011, Athens News Agency reported that the army’s 71st airborne brigade had staged a mock battle with anti-austerity protesters. The exercise included methods for controlling “feuding parties” as well as “conflict deterrence” and “crowd evacuation.”

There is a barely concealed debate within the ruling class over whether to scrap all democratic procedures and move openly towards authoritarian rule. In May, a CIA report declared that a coup in Greece was a possibility. In September, retired army officers rioted, after which the Association of Support and Cooperation of the State Armed Forces, the professional association of full-time soldiers, warned Papandreou in a letter that the army was following his policies “with increased concern.” Defense Minister Panos Beglitis denounced the officers for acting as “a state within a state.”

Shortly before Papandreou resigned, he and Beglitis sacked the entire General Staff of the armed forces, leading to widespread suspicions that a coup had been narrowly averted. This followed a massive two-day general strike and new demands from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund that Athens impose even more sweeping layoffs and wage and pension cuts. It preceded the furious reaction of the financial markets to Papandreou’s proposal for a popular referendum on the new austerity measures.

All of the sacked military chiefs had been appointed by the previous New Democracy government. Now New Democracy is once again in charge of defense, and the new defense minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has pledged to reverse the sackings.

PA must end security coordination with Israel now

Khalid Amayreh

"The apartheid Israeli regime decided last week to freeze the transfer of tax and customs revenue levied by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority." (PA)

The illegal and immoral measure, which Israel resorts to rather routinely, is intended to bully the Ramallah leadership to capitulate to Zionist whims and blackmailing tactics.

Israel never stopped threatening to strangulate the PA economically and financially if the latter didn't succumb to the Israeli will.

The systematic Israeli blackmail of the PA is a disgraceful expression of the Oslo Accords and other subsequent accords and understandings between the pseudo autonomous authority and the Nazi-like Israeli occupation regime.

Needless to say, these scandalous agreements which effectively reduced the Palestinian regime-from the supposed equal partner envisioned in these so-called agreements-to a vanquished supplicant begging for virtually everything from the Israeli side, from travel permits to basic commodities without which any modern society wouldn't be able to function.

But the story doesn't end here, which reminds us of what the legendary Arab poet, Abu'ttayeb al-Mutannabi, said about slaves who cling to their masters while crying out for freedom:

Wa'inna domo'a la'yni ghodron berabbeha. Itha konna ithra al ghadereena jawariya.
(The tears of the eye betray a man if they keep running after the traitors.)

Hope not Hate? Truth not Lies more likely!

Gilad Atzmon

This weekend, Bradford TUC (Trade Union Council) joined the Israeli lobby’s attempt to silence me. This sort of thing is no surprise since my book ‘The Wandering Who?’ exposes the devastating continuum between Israel, Diaspora sayanim, Anti-Zionist Zionists (AZZ) and the influential and varied communities of Shabbos goyim[1]. So, is it a coincidence that last Shabbos (Sabbath) eve, Paul Meszaros Bradford TUC’s secretary and some of his fellow unionists got very busy indeed doing the Zionists’ bidding?

These Bradford Trade Unionists clearly had a case against me which was that, as Meszaros said in his letter to his comrades, “in our opinion, one that is shared by many commentators Atzmon is a Holocaust denier and anti-Semite.”

Strong words indeed, and words that one would expect to be accompanied by some concrete and conclusive evidence. Unfortunately this was not the case because, although Meszaros provided his comrades with some quoted ‘evidence’, he forgot to also supply them with any direct link to my original writing. And he had good reason for this omission. The document Meszaros provided for his comrades was a ‘fugazi’ – a fake.

Yes, as outrageous as it may sound, Meszaros asked his fellow unionists to judge my words on the basis of a compilation of carefully selected sentences from five different paragraphs carefully stitched together to look as if it was a single statement made by myself.

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