Thursday, February 10, 2011

Those brutal, corrupt, evil Egyptians

Two recent articles in the New York Times really underscore what is so wrong with the media in this country.  The first article I'd like to highlight details two journalists' encounter with the Egyptian secret police, the Mukhabarat.  The article begins:
We had been detained by Egyptian authorities, handed over to the country's dreaded Mukhabarat, the secret police, and interrogated.  They left us all night in a cold room, on hard orange plastic stools, under fluorescent lights.  
But our discomfort paled in comparison to the dull whacks and the screams of pain by the Egyptian people that broke the stillness of the night.  In one instance, between the cries of suffering, an officer said in Arabic, "You are talking to journalists?  You are talking badly about your country?"
The article continues:
Captivity was terrible.  We felt powerless-- uncertain about where and how long we would be held.  But the worst part had nothing to do with out treatment.  It was seeing-- and in particular hearing through the walls of this dreadful facility-- the abuse of Egyptians at the hands of their own government.  
For one day, we were trapped in the brutal maze where Egyptians are lost for months or even years.  Out detainment threw into haunting relief the abuses of security services, the police, the secret police and the intelligence service, and explained why they were at the forefront of complaints made by the protesters.  
Many journalists shared this experience, and many were kept in worse conditions-- some suffering from injuries as well.   
Sound familiar?
The CIA's secret interrogation program amounted to torture for some of the 14 "high-value detainees" held by the agency, according to published excerpts of an internal 2006 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross.   
Nowhere in this article is the reader informed that not only is the United States (among other governments and international institutions) intimately involved with the Egyptian security establishment, funneling billions of dollars of "foreign aid" for economic development clandestine operations per year to the Egyptian regime (virtually all of which goes to the military), but also engages in the exact same tactics-- and arguably worse-- described so painfully here in the Times article.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the Times to accurately describe what the US government and governments and institutions working on it's behalf have been engaging in, all in the name of fighting the fraudulent "Global War on Terror."

The second article I'd like to mention coming from the Times deals with the extravagant corruption emanating from and infesting the Egyptian government under Mubarak.  We read:
Hosni Mubarak's Egypt has long functioned as a state where wealth bought political power and political power bought great wealth.  While hard facts are difficult to come by, Egyptians watching the rise of a moneyed class widely believe that self-dealing, crony capitalism and corruption are endemic, represented in the public eye by a group of rich businessmen aligned with Gamal Mubarak, the president's son, as well as key government ministers and governing party members.
"The people around Gamal became the wealthiest group in the country," said Hala Mustafa, a political scientist who quit the ruling party years ago, saying it was not committed to political reform.  "They monopolized everything." 
Glenn Greenwald, as usual, was quick to point out just about everything wrong with this type of misleading journalism, and how it reflects typical coverage by the mainstream media which demonizes Evil, Corrupt regimes in other countries, while failing to apply those same standards to the U.S. government and political system.  The Times portrayal of Egypt, and other so-called developing countries, as unique in the fact that their political systems have been captured and manipulated by private economic interests is patently absurd and demonstrably false.  Western countries, and in particular, the United States, are subject to this same anti-democratic, tyrannical phenomenon.

This remains one of the central tenets of American political mythology: that somehow we are different, better, and superior to others because of our "free markets" and "representative democracy."  The idea that our political-economic arrangement is structured under the auspices of a free market, unfettered by interference from the state or political actors (or at least limited), operating smoothly and efficiently, benefitting and uplifting all who abide by the rules is pure fantasy.  The fact is, we've never had a free market system.  It's inevitable in any ordering of society that powerful political factions will come to dominate the apparatus of the state, and use that state power to enhance their profits and influence in the private sector and over society.  It's no different in Egypt than in the United States.  The only thing that's different is the propaganda and how it's presented to the public.

Simon Johnson has documented quite well how similar the United States is to so-called developing countries, especially in light of the economic collapse of recent years.  His article, "The Quite Coup," featured in the May 2009 issue of The Atlantic magazine, offers an important insight into the nature of the U.S. economy in light of the economic collapse which began in earnest in late 2008:
In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again).  In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn't be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending.  And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn't roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay.  This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight.  Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.  But there's a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests-- financiers, in the case of the U.S.-- played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse.  More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive.  The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.  
It's no stretch to say that the U.S. government, similar to "emerging market" nations as Johnson calls them, is literally owned by the large financial institutions on Wall Street and Federal Reserve System.  And who owns and controls those banks, usuriously lending money to our (and others) government, engaging in fraud and criminality on an unimaginable scale, and which, in essence, controls and directs the actions (or inactions) of the state?  Take a look at what Eustace Mullins has written if you want to delve into that subject.

Just don't expect the Times to fill you in on the details.  


  1. Great post Mr Friend. For anyone that even bothers to look the enormous scale of the current global plunder is readily apparent. We are witness to the ultimate bank heist where the bank robs the citizens.

    The people of the US have been led for generations to believe in their ‘manifest destiny’ – sounds a little like ‘chosen ones’ doesn’t it? It’s just the banksters blowing smoke up our asses.

    All of the nations of the world have suffered under the schemes and plotting of these gangsters. It’s only very recently that our shared discussion has allowed us to see this. The sooner we start decorating lampposts everywhere with bankster bunting the better for the species.

    I’m a dreamer (grin).

  2. The looting and plundering taking place in front of our faces is truly astonishing. They've got people convinced that this is normal, part of the business cycle, that the bailout was necessary to save the economy, ect. Well, not everyone is convinced, but you understand what I'm getting at.

    You know we've made progress when these bankers and their puppets in the government and media are being tried for treason, murder, and the whole laundry list of other crimes we've witnessed since 9/11.

    I was thinking the other day: what if we had a federal DA that actually had some integrity and morals file charges against, say, George Bush or Dick Cheney for their role in the crime spree. Is our justice system so compromised that even they would get off, with all the evidence of criminality? I'm afraid they would, and the media would certainly throw a fit, complicating matters further.

    Not sure if we're ever going to get real justice for these people. That is unless there is a complete restructuring of society and government.

    We see on TV that there's "freedom" in Egypt, that an amazing "revolution" took place. Meanwhile, the same crime gang, led by Suleiman, the murderous criminal complicit in the extraordinary rendition torture program, is still in power behind the scenes. I hate to be cynical, but let's hope that this power struggle going on in Egypt produces some genuine results and truly upsets the old order.

  3. Hey, thanks Jason! I appreciate it man! Thanks for taking the time to read. Let's hope we can wake some people up to this crime gang.


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