Egypt Welcomes the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

The Egyptian people in Liberation Square celebrated, the world leaders weighed in, and the global media parroted the tale of “history in the making.” The big bad Hosni Mubarak has “listened to the voices of the Egyptian people” and has bowed to their demands to finally end his 30-year presidential rule.

On February 11th, the news came in a brief statement made by freshly anointed Vice President Omar “Egypt is not ready for democracy” Suleiman:  “In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic. He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state.”

Following the announcement, Nobel Prize recipient (and the West’s favorite opposition leader) Mohamed ElBaradei said it was the “greatest day” of his life and that “the country has been liberated.”

The “greatest day” was summed up in a USA Today headline: “Mubarak resigns; military takes over in Egypt.”

Trends Journal subscribers didn’t have to wait until February 11th to know the outcome of this “history in the making.”  In our February 1st Trend Alert we forecast:

As we will see in Egypt, military coups will be disguised as regime changes. Already the public is being conditioned to view the Egyptian military as beloved liberators. But in fact they are simply another arm of the autocratic government, no more familiar with democratic ideals than the dictator they replace…who had himself been drawn from the ranks of the military

History has not been newly made – it has only been repeated. Since the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, when army officers overthrew King Farouk I, the nation has been run by members of the military…until Friday, by former Air Force General Hosni Mubarak.

And now, Omar Suleiman (Egypt’s spy chief until Mubarek appointed him to Vice President on January 29) will also serve on the Armed Forces Supreme Council that will run the country, according to Al Jazeera.

Suleiman’s ascent to VP had been long in the making.  According to a 2007 WikiLeaked US diplomatic cable titled ‘Presidential Succession in Egypt’ – “Egyptian intelligence chief and Mubarak consigliere, in past years Soliman (sic) was often cited as likely to be named to the long-vacant vice-presidential post. Many of our contacts believe that Soliman, because of his military background, would at least have to figure in any succession scenario.”

In addition to Suleiman being accused of viciously stamping out political opposition and killing, jailing and brutalizing public dissenters during his 17 years as intelligence chief, he was also the “CIA’s man in Cairo” for, in part, devising and implementing the US rendition program. Beginning under President Clinton and continuing through the George W. Bush regime, the US, instead of bringing suspected enemies of the state (i.e., “terrorists”) to trial, would kidnap them and send them to Egypt, the destination of choice, to be interrogated and tortured.

Heading the Supreme Council of the newly “liberated” Egypt is Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who, according to a WikiLeaked 2008 diplomatic cable, is referred to by mid-level Egyptian officers as ”Mubarak’s poodle” – incompetent and archaic but intensely loyal to his President. The cable assesses Tantawi as having “opposed both economic and political reforms that he perceives as eroding central government power.”

Other Council members include Defense Minister Lt. General Sami Anan, chief of staff of the Egyptian army, and Air Marshal Ahmed Shafiq, the new prime minister – all stalwart Mubarak supporters.

Yet, despite those in charge being the antithesis of democracy, President Obama proclaimed, “Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day. The people of Egypt have spoken – their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same.”

“It’s an Egyptian version of ‘Change We Can Believe In,’” reported our man on the scene of the insurrection, John Anthony West, Executive Editor of the Trends Journal. “The people cheer and wave flags, and say exactly the same stupid things except in Arabic. Even the idiot exultation of the press whores sounds the same!” commented West, who arrived in Egypt two days before the protests began on January 25th, and has just returned to the States.

Mr. West warns, “Expect something even more dramatic, drastic and long-lasting when the nationwide, inescapable non-change sinks in a few months from now.”

As with Egypt, in the “Democratic” USA, politicians, media and the nation-at-large put their trust and better judgment in the hands of their glorious, benevolent, military men and their magnificent war machines. Yet, as history has long proven, military rule, (decried as “juntas” in countries the US does not do business with) is invariably brutal and only infrequently does legislative power return to the people. If elections are held they are usually rigged and the only change is a change of clothes – from a tailored General’s uniform to a tailored Armani suit.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Trend Forecast:  Getting rid of one person does not make a revolution. As aptly noted by such infamous “revolutionaries” as Marx, Lenin, and Pol Pot, no revolution can succeed that doesn’t replace all members of the former ruling class.

In Egypt, the military class still rules and the power of the 18-member Supreme Council of the Armed Forces goes uncontested. The Council’s first actions have been a suspension of the Constitution, dissolution of Parliament and imposition of a ban on labor strikes.

In what appears to be a concession to protestors, the Council has promised to stay in power only on a temporary basis, and to hold fair and open elections within six month’s time…which is essentially the same election timetable proposed by Mr. Mubarak.

While no one can predict whether the military rulers will relinquish power and allow free elections, what can be assumed is that they will not willingly forego the estimated $2 billion in annual US aid the Egyptian government receives.

Since Mubarak’s exit, Beltway policy wonks and political front-men have been urging Washington to funnel funds to “pro democracy” groups in Egypt as part of an effort to influence the shape of the next government, to insure “stability” and support US foreign policy interests.

Trend Forecast: The developments in Tunisia, Egypt, and now spreading to Yemen, Algeria and beyond, are the manifestation of a trend long in the making – one we predicted in our “Off With Their Heads 2.0” Autumn Trends Journal. Not confined to North African and Middle Eastern nations, what is now unfolding is a prelude to a series of civil wars that will lead to regional wars, that will lead to the first “Great War” of the 21st century.


Gerald Celente
for The Daily Reckoning

[Editor’s Note: The above Trend Alert is available as part of a subscription to The Trends Journal, which is published by Gerald Celente. The Trends Journal distills the ongoing research of The Trends Research Institute into a concise, readily accessible form. Click here to learn more about and subscribe to The Trends Journal.]

The Daily Reckoning