Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Tell: What Politicians Really Think About Egypt - UK Version

This post, and hopefully others to follow, aims to help people analyze the words of politicians and determine where they truly stand and what they think. This will be done using the powerful method of contrasts. The topic at hand is whether all the "talk" of supporting pro-democracy protests and opposition groups is sincere or is simply lip service designed to hedged against the success of these movements.

Let's face it. Politicians talk a good game. That's how they get elected. Voters the world over often suffer from a case of cognitive dissonance a few years after a politician they voted for has been in power. That's because, more often than not, politicians don't follow through on the promises made during their election campaigns. It leaves the voters confused and dismayed, if not disillusioned.

So what are we to do when faced with a great speech on a campaign trail, or anywhere else for that matter?

We have to learn to read between the lines.

Take the case of two prominent UK politicians, both discussing the recent pro-democracy protests in Egypt.

1- Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister, who is the current official envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East (US, EU, UN and Russia), as well as working with JP Morgan Chase in a "senior advisory capacity". His job is to mediate the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Interesting choice for a peace broker since he was the UK Prime Minister that sent his countrymen to a war in Iraq based on falsified intelligence, but I digress.

Here he is being interviewed by CNN's Piers Morgan on the events in Egypt (interview starts at minute 2:00):

Now for the analysis of some highlights (author's interpretations between brackets):

BLAIR: The question is, then, what emerges from that? And in particular, I think the key challenge for us, really, is how do we help partner this process of change and help manage it in such a way that what comes out of it is open-minded, fair, democratic government? 

(We need to find another, younger, version of Mubarak that will be equally brutal in suppressing his people and will continue to act as our agent in the region. We need to find this man quickly and trick the people into believing that he is their choice when in reality he's ours.)

MORGAN: Nobody seems quite sure what to say about President Mubarak. Depending on who you talk to, he's been a force for good or a force for evil. The people are clearly in Egypt making their feelings clear. Where do you stand on him?

BLAIR: Well, where you stand on him depends on whether you've worked with him from the outside or on the inside. And for those of us who worked with him over the -- particularly now I worked with him on the Middle East peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians, so this is somebody I'm constantly in contact with and working with.

And on that issue, I have to say, he's been immensely courageous and a force for good. Inside Egypt, and I have many Egyptian friends, it's clear that there's been a huge desire for change. So where you stand on President Mubarak very much depends on, you know, whether you've been dealing with him as an outsider on something like the peace process or whether you're somebody, I think, who's obviously an aspiring middle class there that are wanting now the same types of freedom and changes that people have elsewhere. 

(He's not such a bad guy come on Piers! I mean he does whatever we want. I pick up the phone regularly and tell him what to do and what to say. Sure he could be temperamental sometimes but who isn't? I hear some people are complaining he  doesn't give them enough freedom, but all those people are inside Egypt so I don't give a $%^&. Notice how he fails to call him a dictator!)

BLAIR: Well, first of all, let's just be very clear, Piers. Hosni Mubarak is not Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein took a country that -- when he came to power had a GDP they had roughly the equivalent of Portugal and Spain and devastated it.

Hosni Mubarak, to be fair, has presided over an Egyptian economy that's something like doubled in the last decade. But I don't think the west should be in the slightest bit embarrassed about the fact that it's been working very closely with President Mubarak over the peace process, and it has, by the way, but at the same time, it's been urging change within Egypt. 

(He's an obedient poodle, unlike that former puppet of ours, Saddam, that went rogue on us all of a sudden. Mubarak is great because he gave our corporations all the concessions that they wanted and sure he skimmed 50-70 billion dollars off the top but who's counting? Certainly not the 40% of the population that make under $2 a day...until now...gulp)

MORGAN: Can I ask you, Mr. Blair, I mean how do you find your job? I mean many people would argue you've gone into an absolute hornet's nest here because you were a British prime minister through the war in Iraq and indeed Afghanistan.

How do you feel being a peace envoy in an area of the world where a lot of Arabs don't trust you and don't like you?

BLAIR: Well, some do, some don't. I mean not everybody was in favor of keeping Saddam Hussein in place and many people regarded the attacks on America of 9/11 of appalling -- of an appalling nature. So you know you've got different strands of opinion there.

Over, you know, the past and my role, for example, as a strong ally of America or a strong ally of Israel, I never hide that. Not that I could if I wanted to. I make it clear that I'm in favor of democratic government and I'm in favor of bringing about change within the region.

Now I think one part of that change is a viable peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But it's also precisely about making sure that dictators like Saddam can't stay in power. 

(Piers! Must you highlight that I'm a tool and nobody outside the corrupt puppet regimes in the region listens to what I say!  Yes, I am an agent of America and Israel, and yes I am working here on their behalf, but I will always pay lip service to "democracy" because it doesn't cost me anything to say it and it sounds good. My job is to make sure the Israelis continue subjugating the Palestinians and terrorizing them as well as making sure that all of the puppets stay in line. Otherwise they get what Saddam got.

2- George Galloway, a former UK member of parliament for 23 years, who has been a very outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, the Bush and Blair administrations, the Israeli abuse of the Palestinians and the dictatorships in several countries in the Arab world, including Egypt.

In fact, he led an aid convoy to the stricken and boycotted people of Gaza, passing through Egyptian territory and due to clashes with Mubarak thugs that were trying to enforce the boycott he was deported and declared persona non grata. The BBC article says that a year before that event (in 2009):

"In a speech last year Mr Galloway described Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak as a "criminal" and "outlaw of the Arab world" and called for his overthrow."

Here he is giving a speech in support of the pro-democracy rallies in Egypt (Wed 2 February 7pm: Public Meeting: Solidarity with the Egyptian Uprising):

Notice the CONTRAST in language:

"When the tyrant will escape with his ill-gotten gains and his family members, but that fools and hirelings like him working for that regime would be lucky to avoid being strung up from the street lamps.

I was wrong Mubarak is not a person without a status. He has a status, and that status is murderer, torturer, dictator and he should be on trial."

(Can language be clearer than that? Not by much if at all, especially when compared to the pussy-footing we saw from Blair earlier)

" 40 Million of whom, are living on less than a dollar a day. We keep hearing this is a revolution being organized facebook and twitter. Well 40 million Egyptians don't have bread! Never mind, mobile phones and computers! This is something not to be forgotten."

(Galloway brilliantly cuts through the "Newspeak" to remind us what is ailing the Egyptian people is hunger and poverty. This is proof of the failed economic policies and rampant corruption of the Mubarak regime that has impoverished a once great nation to the benefit of a dictator and his cronies)

"I tell you these media sources and governments like Cameron's and Obama's support this revolution like a rope supports the hanging man. There's no pleasing them. This revolution if successful cannot possibly be in their interest, therefore they must wish it to fail or be derailed, just as a matter of objective reality."

(Again a brilliant Galloway moment where he speaks the truth about the agenda of the US and UK governments vis a vis the revolution. Wow.)

" If there are any forces in Egypt, on the revolutionary side, who are holding themselves back for the purpose of not seeming like a Muslim revolution, after today WE NEED ALL FORCES ON THE STREETS TO TAKE THIS REVOLUTION FORWARD TO VICTORY."

(Have you ever heard a Western politician so emphatically support the revolution? CONTRAST again with the stuttering, hesitant lip-service of Blair)

"Don't trust the armed forces of Egypt. Don't fall for this guff, that it's a people's army. Yes, fraternize with the ordinary soldiers. Yes, give them flowers. Yes, embrace them. Yes, proselytize for the revolution amongst them. Yes, embrace and try to win them. But the generals and the military brass of the Egyptian armed forces are bought and paid for in Washington and will do exactly what Washington tells them to do."

(Galloway exposes what is obvious to the informed viewers of the unfolding events in Egypt. The Egyptian military brass is bought and paid for. See this, this and this. Galloway is warning the Egyptian people not to fall for the bait and switch game which the powers that be hopes will produce a new Mubarak to maintain the status quo and, at the same time, convince the Egyptian people that they have advanced change and democracy)

In conclusion, I think it's obvious who is speaking his mind truthfully, courageously and backing it up by actions. It is also clear who is being disingenuous, at best, and who's actions are a stark contrast to his words.

Both of these politicians vie for your vote.

Remember that next time.

1 comment:

Nassim said...

Great stuff. Thank you.