Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years with full backing from all western countries from the US to the EU, appears to be losing the confidence of his western mentors. The clashes which erupted on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning have brought US and European Union support of the agitating anti-government demonstrators. The western states have condemned the violence forced by the pro-government demonstrators, prompting the Egyptian prime minister to offer an apology on behalf of the government. Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has apologized for stone pelting and gun shots on peaceful demonstrators, pledging to investigate the “fatal error.”
The protests that have been peaceful for nine days in Cairo and Alexandria, have turned violent as thousands of pro-government protesters stepped in, throwing stones on anti-government protesters on Wednesday evening. Anti-government protesters have also begun stone pelting and chasing their opposition from Tahrir square in a bid to retain control of the square, which has been the main rallying point of the protesters. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and ElBaradei faction refused to sit down for talks, saying Mubarak’s resignation is the only solution.
The US expressed shock over the clashes and the leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain released a joint statement condemning the violence and declaring that the peaceful political transition should be started immediately. Hosni Mubarak was able to remain in power for 30 years only with the political, economic and military support of the western countries, lead by the US.
The US wants the heads of the third world countries to exercise strict control over every development that occurs in their countries. It doesn’t want frequent disturbances such as workers strikes, industrial disputes, political challenges and national struggles, either from the people or the opposition parties. It does not matter whether they achieve such control through dictatorship, autocracy, religious restrictions or multi-party democracy. Even military coups and revolutions are allowed for regime changes, but only if they have the prior approval of the US authorities.
In the past, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Honduran president Manuel Zelaya were both deposed in US — sponsored coups because they did not get approval from the US, daring to run their governments on their own. Chavez would return to power with violent reaction against foreign coups from the Venezuelan people, but that is another matter. Zelaya could not gather people’s support in time and had to remain powerless. Even the former president of Tunisia, who fled the country after the people’s uprising in January, had to relinquish power as he lost control over the people’s political enlightenment and the opposition parties’ influence among the people.
The US and France saw no reason for continuing their support of the ousted Tunisian president and quickly switched sides. However, they managed to infiltrate the new government with their former allies in Tunisia, so as to retain influence over the new government. That’s why the Tunisians are still unhappy with the new government and continued their protests demanding no trace of the old government even after the new government took over the reins. It seems the protests against the new government have lost currency, as they are aimed against the influence of imperialist France and the US.
The same is true in the case of Egypt. The US, the UK and the other western countries have found that the people’s anger against Mr Mubarak reached the boiling point and could not be watered down. They observed that the people’s hardships such as unemployment, poverty and corruption had been precipitated at an irreversible level under Mubarak’s rule. They seem to conclude that now is the time for switching sides, otherwise of which they might have to remain helpless if the Egyptians choose their own leader. That is how Mr ElBaradei, who served US interests throughout his tenure at IAEA, is being projected as the leader of the Egyptian revolution. The leaders of the US and the EU have expressed their unusual anger over the deaths of protesters. Their anger is unusual because they are not bothered by thousands of civilian killings at the hands of their military forces in the aggressive war in Afghanistan.
We can see the anti-government protests remaining largely peaceful and within certain limits. If there is any indication that a leader other than ElBaradei and who dislikes west’s influence, the protests will not have been spared and brutal force will have been applied to suppress the uprising. Hence, the people’s revolutions or uprisings or even protests in most of the third world poor countries are at the mercy of the western imperialist powers for successful completion.
A BBC correspondent reports that the people attacking the anti-government demonstrators appear to be the police in civil dress or thugs wearing plain clothes. Five demonstrators are reported dead in the firing, and several hundred have been wounded by stone pelting from pro-government demonstrators. The anti-government protesters say the stone throwers are paid by the government authorities; adding that they have caught some hundred above government supporters linked with the police, as revealed by their ID cards. The military is said to be uncomfortable with this turn of events and is also losing patience with the violent stone throwing and gun shots from the government supporters. BBC news quotes military spokesmen as saying that they would start firing if Mubarak’s supporters do not stop gun their fire. It seems the Egyptian military establishment remains under western influence. Mr Mubarak seems to be trying hard to regain western confidence,and it remains to be seen who will win the race in the discretionary eyes of the western powers.