US Media & Egypt Coverage: Dodging the Real Issues & Fudging the Real Culprits

$60 Billion US Aid to Egypt=$60 Billion Current Net-worth of Mubarak Family

ProtestWith all eyes and attention on Egypt, the unsavory ‘US Foreign Policy’ has become the topic of choice among the intelligentsia, journalists, and the overly populated US analyst colony. There are scores of analyses out there; thousands of articles, millions of blog threads and unending ‘update’ headlines on TV screens. Yet, at least in ‘popular’ outlets, reality appears to be the missing link. Don’t worry, I am not about to hit you with a long-winded article on Egypt. If you are masochistic enough to actually want my take (pages and pages of  history/analyses) you can revisit a few of our pieces on the topic of nefarious US foreign policy practices here, here and here; timeless and equally applicable to what we are witnessing with Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia today. Instead, I want to share with you a few select points and coverage that got my attention:

Let’s start with the tongue and cheek protest sign in the above picture: “USA Why You Support Dectatour” Of course, these demonstrators, in fact almost the entire population in that part of the world, know the answer to this rhetorical question. I think they are trying to get Americans to ask this question and seek ‘real’ answers, no matter how unsavory, nauseating, awful…You see, this is what the US media is selling the majority as to why we support and maintain (pay for, defend…you name it) corrupt ruthless dictators:

Alliance with new governments to protect U.S. interests: security for Israel, sustainability of world energy supply and the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

That’s right: the above, instead of: dictators who will purchase our arms from our mega corporations, serve Israel’s interests, give us cheap oil, and become our official or semi-official base (aka: colony), and that at any price (that is, the price to the population and human rights there). Think Saudi Arabia, think Turkmenistan, Think Uzbekistan…Think about all the dictator allies we support, maintain and sustain. While we are at the topic of ‘sustaining,’ let me illustrate what I mean:

The same article source above, Bloomberg, lightly mentions the following:

Egypt is the fourth-largest recipient of U.S. aid, after Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel, according to the State Department’s 2011 budget, receiving more than $1.5 billion a year.

Another semi alternative publication (alternative in name only) goes only half a step further and actually adds it up, the US taxpayers’ dollars that is:

American support for the Egyptian government -- to the tune of $60 billion in aid over the last 30 years -- garnered virtually no regular attention before the protests began.

But here is one article, written by a true alternative journalist (an independent one), where American taxpayer dollars spent on this Dictatorship ally for the last 30 years come together, and actually add up nicely:

According to a mix of United States, Syrian and Algerian sources his personal fortune amounts to no less than US$40 billion - stolen from the public treasury in the form of "commissions", on weapons sales, for instance. The Pharaoh controls loads of real estate, especially in the US; accounts in US, German, British and Swiss banks; and has "links" with corporations such as MacDonald's, Vodafone, Hyundai and Hermes. Suzanne, the British-Irish Pharaoh's wife, is worth at least $5 billion. And son Gamal - the one that may have fled to London, now stripped of his role as dynastic heir - also boasts a personal fortune of $17 billion.

Mubarak’s fortune, including his wife’s and son’s, is estimated to be …$40 Billion + $5 Billion + $17 Billion= $62 Billion. We Americans have been paying this man for 30 years, for a total of $60 Billion. Was it for infrastructure, job creation…you know, all those vital ingredients? Or was it to create another king, a dictator, or as Escobar puts it, a Pharaoh with a $Billions fortune? 

Here is more by another true alternative reporter:

Now, if through some incredible circumstance Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak decides to flee the country, à la Ben Ali, there’s a good chance his first-class flight would come courtesy of the American taxpayer.

Pentagon contracts show that the US government has spent at least $111,160,328 to purchase and maintain Mubarak’s fleet of nine Gulfstream business jets. (For those keeping score, Gulfstream is a subsidiary of General Dynamics.)

And this:

Hounshell also noticed a report that Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak once “commandeered a bus that had been bought with money from the United States Agency for International Development and that had been meant to carry children to school.”

           

But wait a minute; let’s not forget another involved party these tax dollars happen to benefit. You know who I’m talking about, right? This is where our government takes our dollars, gives it to dictator allies, and then asks them to turn around, give that money (minus the personal share for personal wealth) to our military industrial complex corporations. Then, we have those CEO’s with $$$$$$$ salaries, and $$$$$$$ to the lobbyists and $$$$$$ to our elected representatives, who then in turn, sanction giving more money, aid, tax payers’ dollars, to these dictators; and the cycle repeats, repeats, repeats…well, it’s been repeating nonstop for more than half a century.

As for this great ally for ‘regional security’ my favorite site has the following on a recent Robert Gates-Egypt Defence Minister meeting involving the so-called partnership for ‘regional security’:

When the two military leaders met in May 2009 to discuss “a wide range of security issues,” Egyptian Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi presented US Defense Secretary Robert Gates with a set of gifts. They included a shotgun (with five bullets), a decorative rug and a gilded photo album.

With a confidence that, in retrospect, seems dubious, Gates said “he looks forward to expanding the two countries’ military-to-military relationships in ways that promote regional stability.”

Five months after that meeting, the Pentagon announced it would sell a new batch of two dozen F-16 fighter aircraft to Egypt—a $3.2 billion deal that is among the most recent of a long string of arms deliveries from America to its North African ally. These F-16s, according to the Pentagon announcement (pdf) would support “Egypt’s legitimate need for its own self-defense.”

Today the Egyptian Air Force buzzed a crowd of demonstrators in Cairo with fighter jets much like those supplied, over a period of decades, by the US. It was a tactical decision that bore little relation to “legitimate” national “self-defense,” although it can be construed as a desperate attempt to defend Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade hold on the presidency.

           

Rest assured the American mainstream media won’t delve into these ‘real’ issues, because that would get into the real disease, our hypocrisy-ridden sick imperialistic foreign policy, where American taxpayers and the people of these nations are among the victims-losers, and a handful of corporations have been reaping the benefits. The media’s neocons have been twisting and intentionally misinterpreting the recent developments in Egypt. Please don’t think of only the Neocons of the Right, because the neocons of the left have been equally if not more involved in this deception game, and here is a recent example provided by Antiwar.Com, with excellent questions directed at the Israel lobby’s outspoken Maddow:

So you thought it was only the wackos on the neocon right who support Mubarak? Wrong! I’m listening right now to Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s resident ultra-liberal, attack Rand Paul for being “offshore” because he calls for ending the $1.5 billion in “aid” to the Egyptian military.

What I’d like to know is this, though: why does Maddow think funding the Egyptian torture machine, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, is good for America? How does it serve our legitimate interests? Is it “stimulus” money? Does she just support any and all government spending as a matter of high principle? Or does she really think it’s a good idea for us to be subsidizing a regime so brutal that even the US State Department characterizes it as “repressive”?

I am going to leave you with the following quotes from Escobar’s article:

Since the start of the protests, the Repulsive Ideology Trophy has got to go to former British prime minister and Iraq invader Tony Blair in his interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. For Blair, democracy for the Middle East may be a good thing; but "we" have to manage it; and that means compromising with Mubarakism. Blair simply can't understand that if Mubarakism survives with a facelift, blowback will be cosmic. And it will come from all sectors of Egyptian society, the young, the apolitical, secular and Islamists alike, and from the whole Arab world.

Slovenian Slavoj Zizek, the Elvis of philosophy, is right on the monstrous hypocrisy of Western liberals (or so-called liberals); "They publicly supported democracy, and now, when the people revolt against the tyrants on behalf of secular freedom and justice, not on behalf of religion, they are all deeply concerned."

Real democracy can only be a dynamic grassroots process, from the bottom to the top. It's not a fixed formula, it's constantly reshaping itself. That's bound to scare Western global elites - from "liberals" to the fear/warmonger set - because real democracy implies a huge loss of privilege for the "stable", developing world comprador classes that are slaves to these haughty Western elites. No wonder they're all as scared - and scary - as dead men walking.

           

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Comments

  1. Wow, very informative. Again, things the MSM certainly won’t tell us. The theft of US $’s by the Mubarak clan is as terrible as Rumsfeld losing trillions of dollars from the Pentagon, that was announced on 9/10/2001 and was soon forgotten with the following days events.
    Thanx for keeping us informed.

  2. “That’s right: the above, instead of: dictators who will purchase our arms from our mega corporations, serve Israel’s interests, give us cheap oil, and become our official or semi-official base (aka: colony), and that at any price (that is, the price to the population and human rights there). Think Saudi Arabia, think Turkmenistan, Think Uzbekistan…Think about all the dictator allies we support, maintain and sustain. While we are at the topic of ‘sustaining,’ let me illustrate what I mean:”

    Perfect! Nailed it.

  3. green frog of hope says:

    Give thanks to Turkey for giving hope to other country’s in their efforts to throw off the yoke of oppression. The pushing back of the American supported Turkish military rule, and by transferring true power to the people/government, it has awakened many others to believe that they too will enjoy real democracy. What Turkey has accomplished under their current government is astonishing . After many years, my good friend Nursel will travel back to her homeland, proud to say that she is Turkish and home again to a land that now is a true democracy and now serves as an example to others in the M.E. that they too can be free.

    Again, Thanks must be giving to Turkey and it must be noted that it was in fact Turkey who started this M.E. democracy drive

  4. the AKP can be accused of many things, but thankfully, starting a democracy drive cannot be one of them…that word, democracy, has long been stripped of all cogent meaning, and refashioned into a piece of the bodyarmour which the hegemonists and their effete western dupes wear while assailing the body politic with the strands of twisted logic by which they whip the huddled masses into hypnotic frenzies of “hope”…the new buzzword and mark of the beast…along with it’s companion demon “change”…employed with such great effect to cajole the Amerikan public into a referendum approving it’s own demise!

    Now exported to countries which have withstood the black magic neo-Babylonians to date, in order to erode their remaining cultural resistance to this deadly virus of “democracy” by which the entire west has become a hollowed out host of a deadly parasite now in search of fresh victims. Via the twitterings of witless ‘activists’ who don’t even know who they work for willingly.

    Whether it’s a good thing or not, Turkey’s current experiment in melding together the disparate strands of it’s eastern and western heritage is unique to it’s traditional position at the crossroads of civilizations. Not for Export….yet….the long road to cleaning up the mess created by the Salonikan marrano-mafia and their fellow dissimulators has barely been started upon. Once that hejira is finished the next Mavi Marmara will be able to depart with a cargo truly incendiary. Give all the credit you wish to Erdogan and the rest, but stay away from the back handed compliment of ‘giving hope’…that’s a landmine all too likely to go off in someone’s hands.

  5. green frog of hope says:

    I understand well the subversion of the ideals of “democracy” and also how so called democracies are managed by the ruling elite of this planet who through finance, big business and other institutions maintain their grip of power and control. One look around the globe at all the suffering of many peoples is evident of that fact.

    No friend, I will not “stay away from the back handed compliment of ‘giving hope’. This destructive capitalistic system , no matter how hard you desire, will not disappear at once. Our people have shown that they will not rise world wide, in sync, to overthrow the money changers/elite in our midst who lord over us. A look through history proves this.
    I am realistic and also hopeful, realistic in understanding that although their wont be a global shift and mass awakening and action on the part of humanity, and hopeful that our fellow peoples will at least move step by step in realizing our dreams. I give “HOPE” to each one of them.

    I smile at the thought of the good people of Turkey pushing the military rulers from off their necks. It may not be of such significance to some, but to those who worked to free themselves and their people, it’s a great victory !! Will every person around the world go to bed with a full belly and a warm bed? No, but one step, from one great people in this universal struggle should be praised and noted.

    Lets give HOPE to the great people of Egypt.

  6. Sibel – thanks for pulling all of that information together into one place. It is greatly appreciated!
    Dennis

  7. look, frog, I’m nobody, and can’t pretend to know anything, but I think you better give this guy Cartalucci a read before concluding that the Egyptians really need the Turks to help them out- http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/egypt-mubarak-vs-ngos.html -he lays it out in such a way that you have to hop over to his side of the swamp…the view from there is way wider…and wilder than the controlled media and alternative media shallows.

  8. As for MSNBC, I stopped watching them a long time ago. When Olbermann said to not sack McCrystal, IMO he totally blew any credibility he had left.

    Meanwhile, I know that Obama, Hillary and the others will spin this as hard as possible to maintain their power and influence in the region. Now though, the longer this goes on the more Obama’s fighting to not be boxed into a corner.

    Can he allow Mubarak and his family asylum in the States (in this current political climate)? How could Hillary possibly spin that with a straight face?

    If Mubarack does step down, there’s no sign that Obama’s current support of the regime will change in any way.

    But also, consider some of the parallels between the situations in Egypt and here:

    High unemployment
    Much of the population feeling dissillusioned.
    A crumbling infrastructure and refusal to face various realities
    (wars, out of control spending and others).

    None of the “experts” have ever answered this question. What if the same thing in Egypt happens here? I know, to many like Chris Hedges that’s a pipe dream. Which in turn gives him even more death of the liberal class variations to write about.

    But what if it did? I’m not talking about the fringe that keeps pushing “the world’s going to end tomorrow so buy your guns now” garbage and gets rich off it. I’m talking about rational highly stressed people that finally snap (hopefully not in a violent way).

    Many here say that the Egyptian “uprising” is good. But then they say, hang on a minute. Just because it’s an Arab country, this automatically means that “fanatical Muslims” will seize power.

    Really? Can you prove that? Then most start talking about the Muslim Brotherhood, they’re everywhere (just like the Taliban?).

    Mubarak is stll in control. Nobody’s obeying the curfews. Also, declaring martial law at this point is probably not a smart move.

    As for Obama, under current laws he CAN declare martial law. He keeps talking about peaceful protest, the right to voice your opinion and more. Yet, if millions marched like they are in Cairo, where would he say this “threat” justifies the use of martial law?

    Look at these facts:
    He ignores intl. law
    He perpetuates Bush II’s policies
    Torture continues
    Also, he’s made it clear that he will stop at nothing to maintain U.S. power and interests.

    As the Egyptian revolution continues, keep in mind that Obama is now running for re-election. Which means that everything he does will be spun as hard as possible to maintain his power.

    Like Robert Fisk says, there are no good and bad politicians. All that matters is power and what you do with it.

  9. well. Nobody stepped down yet. Israel waits with its crowd control chemicals. The army waits as the generals decide. the secret police wait with their rubber gloves and electrodes. No mention in our news of the struggling union movement or the womens movement and gross poverty involved intially forcing the situation. Little mention of who paid who as the thugs went in. Even less mention of the billions spent keeping it all happening. Spin is on ‘muslim brotherhood’ and cretin McCains stupid virus comment.. He should look in the mirror.

  10. http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/docview.asp?did=1000619367&fid=1725

    Hussein Salem, an Egyptian partner of Israeli businessman Yosef Maiman in the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which has long term agreements to supply natural gas to Israel, has been caught in Dubai with $500 million in cash in his possession, according to agency reports this morning.

  11. @Simon,

    He was off to do a little shopping? You know that Dubai can be REAL expensive. What I found most ironic about the pipeline explosion story was the MSM’s spin on how it would provide Israel with further impetus to develop their OWN domestoc natural fas reserves. Of course, the only fly in THAT ointment is those gas reserves are actually off the coast of GAZA.

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