Ithaca Blog

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

On Egypt: The President and Secretary of State Look Tired

Obama and Rodham-Clinton look tired lately - maybe even soul-sick, with the hypocrisy they have to perpetuate, or think they have to, in Egypt.

The revolution in Egypt is right. But our government won't outright support it, because of money. Not just money, but dirty money.

"Democracy Now!" on the web presents clear details about the billions of "foreign aid" cash we send Egypt, with the firm understanding that they will send back most of it for weapons. They get to keep some of the cash, for their effort. But primarily it is gigantic money-laundering for Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, and others.

Our government supports the Egyptian regime because they follow instructions: take this massive money, from U.S. taxpayers, and give it to U.S. corporations, for obscene and wasteful weaponry.

Of course, we do it with a slew of countries, but Egypt has been one of the biggest and best flunkies for a while.

The scheme is the ultimate in corporate welfare and pocket-lining.

The Democratic and Republican organizations get their cut of it, naturally, or it wouldn't happen, as it is quite immoral, and should be illegal. But like many big crimes, when powerful parties get paid, it thrives.

The problem in Egypt, as far as U.S. powers are concerned, is that maybe someone new in charge won't be as reliably venal.

Obama and Rodham-Clinton, certainly, are smart enough to understand all this. They are pretty smart people. Likely, on some level, they despise the works. But they don't lead; they follow. They have to - or, again, think they do. Let them stand up against the venality, and see what happens to their coffers, and those of their colleagues.

Bernie Sanders (Senator from Vermont), for one example, would do the right thing in this situation, if it were in his power. Sanders is an independent, de jure and de facto. He is not motivated by massive money, and disdains any that is dirty. His campaign financing comes from the citizens he represents. Pretty much all others at the highest level of U.S. government are cogs. Not even by necessity, but by choice, for easy money. Nothing personal, but, you know. It is so obvious it is barely an observation.

Once, O. and R-C were well-meaning and progressive. At their best and deepest levels, they probably still are. But in the corrupt terrain of the criminal rich, they fail the public good - sometimes at catastrophic levels, like now.

Here's the thing about social justice movements: when executed well and massively, they help smart, good people act so.

That's why we must act, meet, demonstrate, vote - those of us interested in peace, justice, fairness.

In a history-making way, this is what the people of Egypt are doing, right now. Do what you can for them, and then maybe our people in power will find the strength to do so, too. And let's then see what we can do to spread this sense and wellness.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

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