Egypt struggles for democracy, US backs tyranny

My piece on America’s role in stunting Egyptian democracy:

There has been a fairly successful attempt over the months since the beginning of the Arab Spring to re-write history putting America and other western powers on the side of the protesters, rather than on the side of their oppressors. The opposite was the case, and still is.

Up until the very last days America was calling for a “transition” led by either Mubarak himself, or the much-hated Omar Suleiman – a man allegedly responsible for horrific oppression, including personally overseeing the torture of Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib – to lead the transitional government.

This made sense of course, Suleiman was someone the Americans had experience dealing with. Habib’s alleged torture, like that of many others in Egypt’s nightmarish dungeons, was committed, one can only assume, at America’s behest. American forces took Habib from Pakistan, and transferred him to Egypt where he says he suffered unspeakable acts of violence and humiliation before being turned back over to American custody and transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

There are many stories like his. They demonstrate the close cooperation between America’s imperial system and the odious Mubarak regime. Only after it became resoundingly clear that neither Mubarak nor one of his cronies would placate the Egyptian people did America give up on them. They then decided to throw their weight behind the next best thing. They did not have to look far.

When the uprising began, Sami Annan, a senior figure in the Egyptian military and currently the deputy chairman of the Supreme council of Armed Forces – effectively the Number 2 man in the country – was in Washington meeting with high ranking American officers. This kind of military-to-military contact, including a great deal of joint training and exercises – such as the biannualOperation Bright Star – has been an important and under-reported fact of world politics for decades….

Read the rest over at The Drum.

About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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