The following excerpt below was originally published on the Sons of Malcolm news blog:
By Sukant Chandan
April 22, 2012
This story is just breaking, but it seems it could only have been the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt, who are running Egypt, that could have done this.
If this is the case, then as I have been arguing for a while, in the absence of any serious anti-imperialist force in Egypt that can take the nation in such a direction, SCAF remains the surest bet for maintaining an independent nation. Protecting its independence and unity of the nation is a profound challenge seeing that division and violent destabilisation is what imperialism wants for the states of the Global South.
What I am not saying is that SCAF are some kind of wonderful socially progressive consistent anti-imperialist force. No, but nevertheless in the mess which is Egypt, and in the mess which is the region currently, they are not pro-imperialists but protectors, however problematic, of Egypt’s national integrity and I think many if not most Egyptians would probably agree with that.
Last friday the Muslim Brotherhood held a sizeable protest at Tahrir Square asserting that ‘SCAF and the usa are one hand’, which is interesting as it’s obvious that actually the Muslim Brotherhood and the usa are much closer to each other. Having meetings with John McCain and other elements in the most right-wing and militaristic elements of the usa ruling class supports this. So perhaps this latest move by SCAF is in part an answer to the Egyptian, Arab and people across the world that they are nothing of the sort, but rather they have plenty of latent anti-zionist and anti-imperialist vigour on their part.
Anti-imperialist and progressive and socialist forces in Egypt are just to weak, and trying to make out they are larger than they are, as many dogmatic leftists are doing, is playing with danger. The main political forces are the liberals and the islamists, both are choice political actors for imperialism. At the moment it seems that imperialism prefers a Muslim Brotherhood state over a Egyptian state run by SCAF.
It should be borne in mind that although SCAF have been in collaboration with imperialism for several decades, largely due to the balance of forces in the region and world, they have a strong nationalist tendency, and have engaged in some of the most important revolutionary upheavals in modern Arab history under the leadership of Gamam Abdel Nasser. It is a point worth bearing in mind whatever the problems with these states (and there are important differences between them) Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria have been secular states which have not been borne out of empire, as the Gulf regimes have, but have been borne out of anti-imperialist struggle. It is no coincidence that in Tunisia with the regime change against Ben Ali, that we are seeing the rise of pro-empire islamists who are promoting Tunis as a launch pad for counter-revolution throughout the region, evidenced by them hosting the Friends of NATO conference (they call it ‘Friends of Syria’) just a few months ago.
We have not seen SCAF in Egypt play the same counter-revolutionary role, rather SCAF have slapped back imperialism many a time since the downfall of Muburak, and if this latest development is true, than here’s another big slap in the face of imperialism and zionism.
Currently, without any other real social forces for anti-imperialism and anti-zionism in Egypt, SCAF remain the primary ally of the patriotic and anti-imperialist struggle in the country. While the MB islamists and others in power in Tunisia and throughout the region who are riding NATO bomber wings are facilitating the enemy throughout the region and protecting the Gulf regimes, Egypt refuses to be a base for overthrowing Syria, Iran etc, rather it seems its a bulwark against imperialism’s rolling regime-change machine in the region.
SCAF’s admission of an Iranian war ship through the Suez shortly after the exit of Muburak was a clear message to imperialism and zionism that although the west may have got rid of their man (Mubarak) that SCAF should not be considered a push over, and will not collaborate with the empire’s plans for the region. Much more to say on the issue, but no doubt SCAF will be raising further eye brows in the coming period.