When Puppets Fall

by Mumia Abu-Jamal
It may prove too early to predict the fall of Egypt’s president for life Hosni Mubarak, but events do not look hopeful for [his] long-term success. Mubarak’s regime has been the cornerstone of U.S. Middle East strategy, for, as an Arab state, it boasts the biggest population—and as Egypt goes, so goes the region.
Mubarak, who succeeded to power after the army’s assassination of President Anwar el-Sadat on Oct. 6, 1981, stood by Sadat’s “peace” deal, and has been more an ally of the West than of the Palestinians and other Arab nationalities. For his services, Egypt has been one of the biggest recipients of U.S. military aid in the region—second to Israel, of course.
Despite his long services to his Western paymasters, Mabarak is being prepared for an unwilling retirement. Mubarak, a man long on Egyptian internal security, may have been undone by kids of the Twitter generation. For those devoted to this technology, protests could be staged across the country against the regime.
Egypt’s president may be on a rowboat largely because of the nation’s economic crisis, its gnawing economic problems, and the brutal fiendish nature of the police. For several months now, pictures of people beaten and abused by cops have been flashed across the country, via the internet.
But as in Tunisia, brutality and repression by police can only work so long. Once fear evaporates, resistance grows. Egypt has served as the export destination of those who suffered U.S. rendition, whom the U.S. wanted to “disappear” forever.
And now, after decades of acquiescence to U.S. imperial whims, Mubarak may receive the Shah treatment—exile, if not worse. Panama’s former dictator, Gen. Omar Torrijos, who gave refuge to an ailing Shah of Iran, remarked upon receiving his guest, “This is what happens to a man squeezed by the great nations.” Said Torrijos, “After all the juice is gone, they throw him away.” © MAJ 2011

> This article was originally published in the February 2011 print edition of Socialist Action newspaper.