Monday, February 07, 2011

Obama has to choose between the embodiment of his political values, and Mubarak

Egypt and the world today is at a critical stage in the struggle of democracy against autocracy.

BBC TV News led just now reported that Mubarak appears to have convinced America that if he went now, chaos would follow.

The signs are that Obama is still making up his mind.

In weighing up the balance of risks, the strong probability is that the consequences of Mubarak's staying in power is far more chaotic than if he goes now.

If Mubarak stays, a magnificent, inspiring, courageous and non-violent uprising, (revolution many call it), will be crushed. The world has seen what has happened, in the streets, the violence first from uniformed police, and then the same violence from the same men out of uniform, backed by violent prisoners let out of jail deliberately by the police.

The world has witnessed what has been happening it in their living rooms, if only the sanitised, pasteurised, homogenised fully skimmed aspartame sweetened variety presented on their TV screens.

Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world have got closer in to Tahrir Square, seen the photographs, the videos, have watched this amazing demonstration of the courage of the human spirit through a stranger's mobile phone.

In Tahrir (Liberation) Square there is an expression of freedom that offers hope to the world. Not just the festival aspects, and the conviviality. Not just the songs, the poetry, the free haircuts. It offers the greatest hope where Muslims and Christians protect each other.

A reversal of the norms of hatred and violence that is the bread and butter of world politics. Wael Ghonim, the journalist arrested for 12 days, said "People believe there's bad at the core of everything. It isn't true".

This non violent revolution cannot be allowed to fail. The BBC was interviewing people in cafes and villages who wanted the country to get back to normal. These are people who watch Egyptian State TV. Egypt cannot go back to normal, if it means Mubarak still presides. Mubarak's rule is not normal.

If the non violent revolution is allowed to fail, a violent revolution will occur further on down the line.

That is not a threat, because the vast majority of the protesters are non violent. But there will be some individuals there who, returning home, and hearing that one by one  their comrades have been picked off, imprisoned, tortured, disappeared...some there will be who will turn to religion for consolation. And of these, some of these will turn to Wahabism. Not a lot. But Al Q'aeda only needs a few really disturbed souls to work its insane destructiveness.

Which means that if he chooses the dictator Mubarak over the community in Tahrir square, Obama the good man, the community leader, the calm brown man with a nice smile and a poetic delivery, Obama will be creating yet more enemies; yet more 9/11s, more 7/7s, yet more white flashes, more torn limbs and screams, more weeping, more anger. Obama you will be leading in the dance of death every time you step out with Michelle on the polished dance floor.

How can Obama choose an old dictator who does fake elections, political imprisonment, and torture? A man who sold arms to the side that was doing the genocide in Rwanda, almost certainly in breach of UN arms embargo?

How? Because he is surrounded by a world of wonks: highly intelligent, super-analytical paranoid minds who share one fixed idea:  

The solution to the IsraelPalestine problem is military domination.

Again, the opposite is true.

Obama, it's your choice.

You have before you, on the one hand

an ugly, bloodstained dictator who is manipulating the American media to believe the lie that he represents order. A dictator who sold arms to the genocidal Rwandan Army.

On the other hand,

the people, exactly the same people you worked with as a community leader who have made it very clear indeed that they will die rather than see him stay in office, but that if he goes, they will go home and prepare for democracy.

Your choice. You are the President.

Choose Mubarak, and you are casting a cold shadow over all the earth. 

Choose right, and you can change the course of history for the better, by letting the world see the strength of real democracy.

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