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Counter-Revolution and Myths of Foreign Plots

Counter-Revolution and Myths of Foreign Plots

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A translation of an article by comrade Sameh Naguib, published on 28/8/2013
A translation of an article by comrade Sameh Naguib, published on 28/8/2013

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Published by: الاشتراكيون الثوريون on Aug 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Counter-Revolution and Myths of Foreign Plots
Counter-revolutions and military coups have always played the ‘foreign conspiracy’ card to create distrust and label anyone who opposes them a traitor. The foreign threat creates a state of national hysteria that the regime exploits to cover up its crimes and justify repression.It is no surprise that Mubarak era voices both inside and outside the government- all of which currently seem to be under direct orders of the intelligence agencies- harangue us day and night about ‘Brotherhood terrorism’ and its US/Zionist backing. Consequently any US/European statements referring to the coup or the massacres that ensued are considered part and parcel of  this devilish plan to reinstate the Brotherhood and assault Egypt and its security.Those opposing military rule are not only accused of supporting the “ Brotherhood terrorists” and the Brotherhood. They are considered traitors backing the foreign plot to bring down Egypt. All who rally for democracy, all who challenge military policy and all who join strikes or sit-ins are considered enemies and agents of the Zionist-American plot. All who criticize Sisi or conside recent events in Egypt to be a counter-revolutionary bloody coup aiming to reinstate Mubarak’s Egypt are not only ‘Brotherhood terrorists’ but should be charged with high treason.
From Mubarak to Sisi
Let us take a step back to analyse. Mubarak’s Egypt- which Egyptians revolted against in 2011- was based on three central interlinked strategies:The first was a policy of neo-liberal capitalism that impoverished the majority of Egyptians to the benefit of a handful of businessmen, multinationals and the heads of state institutions with military and security at their forefront.The second was a tyrannical dictatorship that facilitated the implementation of the first strategy.The third was a coalition of military, security and political forces with American imperialism. This was to protect the interests of the US and its main partners- the Zionist state and the oil-rich gulf  states and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia particularly.Throughout Mubarak’s 30-year rule Egypt maintained its role as the US and Israel’s chief regional ally. It helped quash the Palestinian revolution. It contributed to America’s war on Iraq and it facilitated all possible services to US/Israeli imperialism.Mubarak’s foreign policy was in the same vein and was spearheaded by the army that was armed, trained, funded and inherently tied to the US military. The same goes for the intelligence and security services that played a significant role in America’s war on terror and in helping to protect US regional interests.These axes are the essence of the state that Egyptians revolted against in January 2011. The US administration backed Mubarak to the bitter end until it, and the Egyptian military establishment, realised that the only way to save the regime was to sacrifice Mubarak and a few othe figureheads. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces then stepped in to protect the very same principles Mubarak had represented. The same tyranny – the same capitalism – the same strategic 
alliance with Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh. But the revolution had left deep cracks in the regime and the military needed a partner that could comprehend and abort the continuous revolution.This was the cue for the role of the Muslim Brotherhood - the largest political organisation, which enjoyed the greatest influence among the masses.
The Brotherhood, the military and the US
It goes without saying that European and US opposition to the coup had little to do with humanity or  democracy. These imperialist powers operate only in accordance with their interests. Neither did condemnation of the coup come from choosing the Brotherhood over their historical allies, namely the army and secret service.So what is the US and its European partners’ imperialist strategy in our region and towards Egypt specifically?The strategy can be broken down to two main elements. The first, naturally, is US political and military domination of oil-rich Arab nations and specifically Saudi Arabia. The second is securing the Zionist state that serves as the military ally central to US control over the region.The importance of the region’s oil to the US has increased over the last three decades for several reasons. Firstly, oil from the region continues to be the main source of energy for many major  capitalist states namely China, Japan and the EU. US control of this valuable prize is central for  Washington to maintain its position at the top of the capitalist pyramid despite the rapid ascent of  capitalist powerhouses like China. Secondly, and particularly recently, Saudi and the Gulf  sheikhdoms have become central financial centres in the global capitalist system. This role became vital as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. Here we see logic behind the increasing centrality of  the ‘Carter doctrine’ that declared, after the Iranian revolution, that any threat to the Arab oil-rich countries would be considered a direct threat to vital US interests and would be met with force where necessary. This was demonstrated in the war on Iraq of 1991 and its invasion in 2003.Washington considered the Arab revolutions, and particularly the Egyptian revolution, a nightmare even more dangerous than the Iranian 1979 revolution. The possibility of these revolutions spreading to the Gulf States posed and continues to pose a serious threat to strategic interests of  the U.S and its European allies.Revolutionary forces coming to power pose another threat. Peace accords with the Zionist state could be scrapped and compromise the Israel’s influence and even long term existence.The US backed the Muslim Brotherhood because it became obvious during SCAF’s rule that force alone could not halt the state of revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood would uphold the previous regime’s strategic alliances.With America’s blessings a deal was made between the Brotherhood and the Army. The Brotherhood’ ascent to power was accepted in return for maintaining Mubarak era policies and alliances and the guaranteeing that the regime’s vital interests would not be threatened while public anger would be actively dissipated and the revolution aborted.The Brotherhood were more than ready to play this despicable role and immediately pledged allegiance to Washington, to the Camp David accords and to the Saudi king whose hand they rushed to kiss. Retribution for the Martyrs and all other revolutionary demands, were thrown out of  the window. Army and Police commanders were granted safe exit and economic policies initiated by Mubarak, his businessmen and generals were maintained.
The five months preceding June 30 Egypt witnessed the largest level of protests and strikes across the globe. In these five months Egypt saw more strikes and protests than in the whole of 2012 despite that year witnessing more protests that the entire previous decade.
(The Egyptian Center 
for Economic and Social Rights and Democracy Index Report - Centre for International Development, May 2013)
It became clear that Morsi’s presidency and Egyptiansescalating revolutionary anger was threatening, not only Morsi and the Brotherhood, but Mubarak’s state itself, including its generals and businessmen. The escalating revolutionary wave preceding June 30 struck fear in the heart of  the US administration. The generals and the remnants of the old regime plotted to curb the revolutionary wave in the build up to the July 3 coup. The subsequent massacres and the blatant reinstatement of the old apparatus are merely a prelude to the counter-revolution whose birth we are currently witnessing.The US is not plotting to reinstate the Brotherhood. The US fears that Sisi’s crackdown could backfire and prove detrimental to all parties. One scenario could take Egypt down the path of   Algeria; a proliferation of terrorism and a prolonged civil war threatening American and European strategic interests. The Suez canal, Israel’s security and waves of illegal immigration across the Mediterranean are all factors. Another possibility is that Sisi is drawn into confrontation with yet another revolutionary wave, as were SCAF and Morsi before him. This round could genuinely threaten the Egyptian ruling class, the deep state and regional US imperialist interests at large.The dispute between Sisi and the US is simply over the approach adopted to stabilise the situation to the benefit of both historical partners. At the end of the day this row will not lead to a breakdown in their relations or any real sanctions. US political and economic investment in its relationship with Egypt and its army will not be traded for the Brotherhood - an organisation which has already proven its failure.Perhaps the Brotherhood and the wider Islamic movement’s guaranteed reaction to assault and massacres is what helped Sisi the most. An armed terrorist campaign targeting not only the army and police, but also tens of churches and Christian institutions was their knee-jerk reaction. Despicable sectarian incitement and massacres ensued as though it were the Copts, and not the generals and the police, that staged the coup.The objective of linking the Islamic movement and its resistance (whether armed or unarmed) to foreign conspiracies is not only to demonise the Islamists and others who oppose the counter-revolution. It is also a promotional campaign falsely claiming the army’s patriotism and its leader’s symbolic link to Gamal Abdel Nasser and the era of national liberation.Unfortunately many Liberals and those formerly on the Left are contributing to this campaign. An example is thisstatement from the Egyptian Communist Partythat refers to “Islamic terrorism and  its links to the Zionist American alliance that aims to break-up and dismantle our nation and the region with the aim of redrawing the map within the framework of the Greater Middle East project that places the United States as the world leader, Israel the strongest nation in the region and weakens the state of Egypt. The rest of the Arab nations would simply be tentacles of the Turkish-Israeli American alliance.” The statement also refers to the necessity of “standing by the police and the army in its war against terrorist religious fascism” etc. It is as though it were a battle of national liberation and Sisi had just nationalised the Suez Canal.

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