The people of Egypt are beginning to say, through their elected representatives, how they would like their foreign policy to be run. The Associated Press reports:
Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament unanimously voted on Monday in support of expelling Israel’s ambassador in Cairo and halting gas exports to the Jewish state.But the Post reassures us that Egypt's Parliament does not set foreign policy in Egypt, the pro-US dictatorship retains that power.
The vote was taken by a show of hands on a report by the chamber’s Arab affairs committee that declared Egypt will “never” be a friend, partner or ally of Israel. The report described Israel as the nation’s “number one enemy” and endorsed what it called Palestinian resistance “in all its kinds and forms” against Israel’s “aggressive policies.”
The parliamentary report also called for the recall of Egypt’s ambassador in Israel and a revision of Egypt’s nuclear power policy in view of the widespread suspicion that Israel has a nuclear arsenal of its own.
“Revolutionary Egypt will never be a friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity (Israel), which we consider to be the number one enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation,” said the report. “It will deal with that entity as an enemy, and the Egyptian government is hereby called upon to review all its relations and accords with that enemy.”
Monday’s vote by parliament could serve as an indication of what may lie ahead.
The motion is largely symbolic, because only the ruling military council can make such decisions, and it is not likely to impact Egypt’s relations with Israel.A recent poll of Arab populations in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania (not yet fully released in English) show that the Egyptian people are not alone in their opposition to the policies of the US colonies of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt and others.
We've seen many times on this blog the military dictatorship's commitment to Western news organizations that it intends to prevent Egypt's citizens from controlling foreign policy.
- Contrary to mainstream global media coverage, 73 per cent of those polled see Israel and the US as the two most threatening countries. Five per cent see Iran as the most threatening, a percentage that varies between countries and regions.
- A high 84 per cent believe the Palestinian question is the cause of all Arabs and not the Palestinians only.
- A high 84 per cent reject the notion of their state's recognition of Israel and only 21 per cent support, to a certain degree, the peace agreement signed between Egypt, Jordan and the PLO with Israel. Less than a third agree with their government's foreign policy.
- When it comes to WMD, 55 per cent support a region free of nuclear weapons and 55 per cent see Israel's possession of nuclear weapons as justifying their possession by other countries in the region.
The new majority is likely to increase the difficulty of sustaining the United States’ close military and political partnership with post-Mubarak Egypt, though the military has said it plans to maintain a monopoly over many aspects of foreign affairs.We've also seen Jimmy Carter publicly expressing support for that type of arrangement.
" 'Full civilian control' is a little excessive, I think"also
"I don’t think it is going to be detrimental for the military to retain some special status."and
“If the civilian leadership decided to give the SCAF immunity from prosecution, say, for the death of the people in Tahrir Square over the last few months, I would have no objection to that,” Mr. Carter said. Protecting the military budget from full civilian scrutiny might be another point where civilian political leaders could compromise, he said.Let's look at that last part more closely. "Protecting the military budget from full civilian scrutiny might be another point where civilian political leaders could compromise, he said."
Parliament's recent vote makes it more clear than ever that what the Obama administration is buying for $1.3 billion per year is policies that are in line with Obama's values, perceptions and sensibilities rather than those of the people of Egypt.
A foreign government that multiple polls show most Arab people consider one of the two biggest threats to them contributes 1.3 billion dollars a year to Egypt's military. The representatives of the Egyptian people are not to even see how this money is disbursed. Details of the financial relationship between the United States and Egypt are kept secret from the Egyptian people. Jimmy Carter has expressed no objection to that, at least for the foreseeable future.
The demand that the military budget not be under civilian oversight is crucial for maintaining the type of semi-colonial status the US hopes to retain if Egypt attains a democratic facade, and the modern way to implement Great Britain's classic colonialist effort to in 1922 to cede sovereignty to an Egyptian government but only over policy areas Britain was not concerned with. This is the single policy issue most important to look at to gauge Egypt's progress toward independence from the United States.
Rather than support a foreign-sponsored effort to impose a civil war on Syria that could not remove Assad without killing tens if not hundreds of thousands of people at the very least, if Obama favored democracy he could simply inform the pro-US colonial dictatorship of Egypt that the US is no longer willing to pay it to oppose the policy preferences of its own people. Then he could do that for other pro-US dictatorships where the US has tremendous enough leverage to force them to pursue policies supported by fewer than a third of their people.
But Obama opposes democracy. Instead he commits to do whatever it takes to maintain Israel's regional advantage over any potential adversaries. Whatever it takes means Saudi Arabia, which outspends Israel 2.5 to 1 on military expenditures must remain under the control of a pro-US dictatorship rather than risk being influenced any group of voters in that country. It means the misery the US has recently imposed on Iraq should, if Obama is able, be extended to Syria and eventually even to Iran if the US could do so with little enough consequence.
On this issue of democratic oversight of the military budget, we will see if the people of Egypt are able to overcome Barack Obama's efforts to limit their sovereignty and hold the 85 million people of Egypt, on behalf of fewer than 6 million Jewish people in Israel, in a state of colonial subordination.
I'm actually optimistic that Egypt will break free, and while I hope as soon as June this year Egypt will be able to make foreign policy that reflects the views, sensibilities and perceptions of their people, I am even more optimistic that the US control of Egypt is disintegrating and even if it is not gone this year, like US control of Iraq, it will not be able to survive one or two electoral cycles. I believe that in the long term and even the medium term, US control of Egypt is over.
Unfortunately Barack Obama and the US' hold over the other colonies in the region: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and others has not visibly begun to break. Hopefully we will see that next.