Egypt’s Aftershocks: Military vs the People


 “The revolution is not about half measures. It’s about a clean break with the past. Better that such transformation take place through peaceful transition, but take place it must. There’s no other way towards fulfilling the goals of the revolution.”

 By Marwan Bishara

The Cairo standoff: police forces have been shooting at - the head level of- protesters and bombarding the Tahrir square with highly irritant tear gas canisters for five consequent days.

 Why has there been an escalation in protests in Egypt?

The earthquake that transformed Egypt in the beginning of the year hasn’t reached far or deep enough because the military – the backbone of the Mubarak regime – sided with the revolutionaries in the hope of safeguarding its status and privileges.

And last week the brass tried to force their will on the people and the revolution by presenting their version of the constitution that will govern the country in the future, triggering anger and disappointment among the majority of the body politique in the country.  

The military’s draft does contain some good guidelines and principles. But putting the armed forces above the state and above all three civilian authorities is a policy borrowed from a past era and has no place in Egypt’s democratic future.

The ill-timed and ill-fated attempt by the generals to go about business as usual didn’t go down well with those insisting the people are the source of all constitutional legitimacy.

Furthermore, the excessive use of force by the security forces that seem to act with vengeance against protesters, killing tens and injuring hundreds within a few hours is absolutely unacceptable to Egyptians in the post-Mubarak era.

Egypt’s ruling military could and should have shown far more restraint in advancing their interests and in responding to the legitimate right of Egyptians, especially the families of those killed during the revolution who demonstrated late Friday after the large turnout in Tahrir Square and other squares in the country.

As the prestigious Cairo-based Al-Azhar underlined in its “Arab Spring charter” guidelines for democracy in the Arab world earlier this month, the use of violence against peaceful citizens delegitimises the ruling authority and ends its reason d’etre.

Is that why the Sharaf government resigned?

The government that contends to speak in the name of the people/revolution couldn’t and shouldn’t accept such bloodshed to be carried out in its name or under its watch.

Prime Minister Issam Sharaf was one of the first politicians to come into Tahrir Square to be with the revolutionaries after his appointment to make it clear where he stood. Several months later however, it’s obvious that SCAF, not the civilian government, has been governing Egypt since revolution.

That’s why regardless of the identity of the next interim or caretaker government through the elections, it must insist on its autonomy from the generals to ensure its credibility in the eyes of the people.

Indeed, the roadmap towards democracy must be transparent and fully representative of the revolutionary forces.

As some of Egypt’s leading independent intellectuals proposed, the way forward must begin with a civilian government for national salvation with the needed authorities, followed by an election of a special commission that will write up a constitution, followed by presidential elections that end SCAF’s mandate and puts the country completely and entirely on civic and democratic tracks.

The revolution is not about half measures. It’s about a clean break with the past. Better that such transformation take place through peaceful transition, but take place it must. There’s no other way towards fulfilling the goals of the revolution.

But would the military accept to return to the barracks and forgo its privileges?

At the end of the day the generals have no other choice but to side with the people of Egypt. This is not only common sense; it’s in their and the country’s vital interest.

Egypt’s national security is at stake, and Egyptians wouldn’t have it any other way.

They want their military to be strong in order to protect the sovereignty and independence of the nation. And the military needs a strong and vibrant democracy if they are to be a force to reckon with in the 21st century.

Indeed, the armed forces have an important role in ensuring the respect of the country’s constitution on the long term.

That can’t be the case if they are to become its primary violators.

And that also means that the military is part and parcel of the state’s institutions and falls under, not above, the sovereignty of the nation.

The generals can’t have their cake and eat it too. A democracy isn’t functional if it’s not extended to the armed forces.

The generals couldn’t decide their own budget and impose it on the people, or carve their own area of interest in the economy and polity of the nation.

Nor should they be exempted from retrospection or alternation that serves the higher interest of the country and its national security.

There is an easy way and an arduous way for all this to happen. But either way, happen it will, sooner or later. The people have spoken loud and clear. It’s up to the generals to stand up and salute the steadfast of their people and save the nation unneeded delays and suffering.

Marwan Bishara is Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst. his upcoming Book, The Invisible Arab: the promise and peril of the Arab revolutions, comes out in January 2012.

Syria’s Unreported Bravery and Horror


“All hell could break loose anytime in Syria” That is one statement President Bashaar al-Assad made that I can’t undermine nor challenge.

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Syrian president, Bashaar al-Assad

Though Syria has caught the last train to the Arab spring, and despite the ambiguity regarding who set this popular upheaval off, and how all that killing started in the first place there was something at the back of my mind that told me the Syrian uprising was going to be the ugliest and the bloodiest of all the undergoing Arabs’ historical revolutions. Historical revolutions they are, but whether they will succeed to make history that is yet to be seen.

The Syrian situation is far from simple; as a country virtually replete with all sorts of sectarian prejudices, potential military conflicts, religious denominational differences, Israeli-Arab hot friction points, and political ambitions for foreign powers Syria could very well play the catalyst role Poland played in the Second World War once the wrong move has been taken.

All hell could break loose anytime in Syria. That is one statement president Bashaar Al-Assad made that I can’t undermine nor challenge.

We have all possible scenarios and major players ready to be dragged into this Syrian drama; we’ve got the ayatollahs of Iran trying to breathe life into the Assad’s regime, the Saudis delegitimizing the Alawite/Shiite rule of the Assad’s clan, we have the Americans eyeing the reactions of the Chinese/Russian evolving alliance while keeping in mind the security of Israel, we have the Turks in their dilemma between securing the borders with Syria and anticipating a Kurdish aspiration to join the Arab spring and we have the Israelis hoping to play the wild card that will rid them of the perpetuating headache of Hezbollah and Hamas and eventually Iran with a little help of their friends at the white House.

But while political analysts, strategic think tanks as well as the regional and international powers are counting the cost of resolving this Syrian impasse, few are those who bothered to integrate the power of the Syrian people as one of the decisive factors to reckon with in these unprecedented convulsions of civil unrest.

And while all the scenarios imagined for the Syrian predicament are shrouded in ambivalence and highly unpredictable, the struggle of the Syrian people that has been irrevocably triggered by the vicious bloodshed- a non-negotiable case in an honor society like Syria- is certainly bound to go the whole way through no matter what.

And as the Assad’s regime has banned all foreign media in Syria since the uprising took off, the whole world relied on YouTube videos uploaded by anti-Assad protesters and posts published by Syrian activists- mostly reporting from neighboring countries like Lebanon and Turkey- to get updated on the news of the Assad’s brutal crackdown on protests and activists.

Britain’s Channel 4 News’s Ramita Navai hiding in the safe place in Syria

These reports are a reminder of the amazing courage of not only those who take to the streets to denounce the regime, but also those who record the videos and upload them to the Internet for the rest of the country, and the world, to see.

Lately, Britain’s Channel 4 News’s Ramita Navai and director Wael Dabbous went undercover in Syria to report on the anti-Assad uprising.

One of the few teams to avoid the ban on foreign media operating without official permission, they meet the protestors and the victims of the bloody crackdown, and visit the clandestine hospitals set up in private homes by doctors who risk torture or death for treating the injured.

Navi&Dabbous managed not only to convey the horror of one of the most ghastly episodes of a repressive regime but also the courage of the underground resistance of the unarmed and almost forsaken by the world Syrian opposition. 

In two weeks, Navi and Dabbous have recorded enough footage for a tremendously daring report, worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, that managed to display yet another chapter of human bravery in both confronting tyranny and recording it at the same time.
You can watch the report here:

Obama’s Short Cut To a Second Term


“The Zionists controlling Wall Street and the presidential elections is not a good enough reason for selling out America and its pride in that shamefull way. There is more to this than we all think, a hell of a lot more, something big is hiding under the surface like an iceberg, something as big as 9/11”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

 

Bibi lecturing obama on the new realities in the Middle East in the Oval Room, May 2011

It was only last May, when the arrogant and defiant Mr. Netanyahu arrived at the white house and lectured Mr. Obama, the president of the world’s super power about how wrong and irresponsible his mentioning, in the Middle East speech, of a two-state solution was, and specifically his call for a Palestinian state to be established as a sovereign state on the 1967 borders.

 It was such an embarrassment for the president of the United States sitting in his Oval Office/throne and being watched live and worldwide while Bibi was slapping him across the face and instructing him as to what to say, or not to say actually, when it comes to Israel.

Reviewing that Oval Office spectacle, it was obvious that president Obama did earn his Nobel Prize, not for peace, but rather for keeping his peace and his incredible gift of anger management.

And when the Palestinians lately arrived to the UN to submit their bid for statehood based on the 1967 border lines, Mr. Obama has surprised the world once again and proved that he righteously earned his Nobel Prize by displaying yet another genuine Christian virtue, namely turning the other cheek to be slapped once again

If this recent Palestinian political initiative for statehood recognition hasn’t been smartly and timely thought of and presented to the UN, the world would have been busy following and addressing seemingly more urgent matters. Meanwhile, the Palestinian plight would have stayed overshadowed by news like Europe and the United States slipping into recession, china bailing out Europe, the latest on the Arab spring drama and of course the upcoming American presidential elections(sponsored by Israel et al.)

If the Middle East Quartet and its special envoy, or Zionist envoy to be more accurate, Tony Blair have managed to dissuade the Palestinian authority (PA) top politicians from proceeding with their bid for full UN membership as a sovereign state we would have been watching, apathetically, that is, the continuing Israeli hideous scheme to grab the last 22% of what used to be historic Arabic land of Palestine.

What good is the Palestinian bid for statehood?

 

Abbas submitting the application for Palestinian full membership at the UN

The way I see it, this Palestinian bid for statehood is an inevitable outcome of decades of failed diplomacy (or make believe diplomacy), Arabic stupidity and Arabic economic and political divisions, obscene pro-Israel lobbying and duplicity made primarily in USA and unprecedented political and military thuggery of the state of Israel.

This Palestinian bid for statehood is but a desperate cry after the so called Mid-East talks has hit the concrete wall of the illegal Israeli settlements that nobody seems to have the power to stop or freeze it for a while, not even the American honest peace broker.

Some fastidious analysts and op-ed writers will go over this political maneuver, scrutinize it and finally assess it as not worth the effort, for it will not change realities on the grounds. This UN recognition will not put a stop to the Israeli illegal settlements in the west bank, will not grant them East of Jerusalem and moreover, might as well damage the PA mandate and political authority.

But those scrupulous analysts most likely looked at this maneuver from an Israeli point of view, repeating the Israeli cliché “unilateral action will not get the Israeli-Palestinian conflict anywhere” …disregarding the fact that this bid is not about the conflict, rather it is about the world acknowledging Palestine as a state, with all the legalities of the state entailed, and not just an entity. Being an entity is the next closest thing to being nothing.

The Arab awakening

 

Those squeamish analysts somehow overlooked the current historical context in the Middle East where people are indiscriminately killed and their lives sacrificed not over some looming recession or spiking unemployment, not over the lack of bread and butter but rather the lack of freedom and dignity. And who could be lacking those attributes more than a homeless and uprooted Palestinian.

This bid is the Palestinian ticket to join the last days of the Arab spring that has turned into a hot summer and with the undergoing display of the dirtiest diplomatic stunts pulled by the American/Israeli alliance and with their blatant contempt for UN values and unanimity the expected American veto will herald one of the darkest autumns in the Arab world.

The so called Arab spring is not just about mass protests and mass killing, it is not just about toppling Mubarak and Bin Ali in Egypt and Tunisia, it is not just about delegitimizing Saleh in Yemen and bombarding Gaddafi in Libya, it is not about watching the last days for Bashar Al-Assad in Syria and the prince of Bahrain, rather it is about the Arab awakening.

And if the world acknowledges that the Arabs are awakening, then, we simply can’t exclude the Palestinians out.

A conflict dominated by unilateralism

 

Theodor Herzl

Eighteen years ago, on September 13, 1993, the Palestinian negotiators signed with the Israelis’ what is now known as the Oslo accords, literally crumbs thrown to the Palestinians from the Israeli table of military spoils in Palestine, and those accords were not meant to be taken as a serious step in the peace process but rather a compulsory and temporary Israeli concession to somehow put an end to the first Palestinian intifada.

According to these accords the Israeli side has cunningly bound the Palestinian side to a framework of bilateral negotiations as a precondition to any future settlement of the Israeli–Palestinian dispute.

And from there on the Israeli side picked up where they left off and continued their “business as usual” of grabbing more land, building more settlements and transferring the rest of the Palestinian population unilaterally and unabashedly under the very nose of a coalition of the western nations who are only willing to go for a ten years hunt for the wrong terrorists.

But when we look back at this so-called conflict we will be astounded by how unilateral this whole bloody business has been from the very beginning.

-  Theodor Herzl(1860-1904) when he first wrote his manifesto for a” Jewish state” and followed it with his utopian piece “the old new land” he naively and absolutely unilaterally assumed that the Arab land of Palestine, which he himself as an assimilated Ashkenazi Jew( who spoke neither fluent Hebrew nor Yiddish) has never visited, would be the perfect choice for the establishment of his Zionist entity and again unilaterally assumed that the Arabs of Palestine would present no problem for the Ashkenazi & khazar Jews mass immigration to the new land for they , as Europeans, would be welcomed and hailed by the Arabic inhabitants as the modernizers of Palestine.

I don’t know what Mr. Herzl’s idea of modernity was, but it is obviously not what the Arabs of Palestine needed back then and certainly not what they are enduring through nowadays.

- Following the death of Herzl with his fictional idea of some utopian home land for the European Jews in Palestine … a lot of decisions and acts, mostly criminal in nature, have been taken by the Israeli side starting from the Palestinian exodus 1948, passing through the military occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza and west Bank in the 1967 Israeli offensive, to the segregation, the west bank wall, the war on Lebanon and Gaza, the non-stop uprooting of ancient Palestinian olive trees to be replaced by cemented settlements and finally the inhumane blockade on Gaza and the massacre of international activists in international waters… all of those Israeli remarkable achievements have been deliberated upon, planned and executed unilaterally. 

And after 60 years of dispossession, 40 years of occupation and 20 years of make-believe peace, the Palestinian bid for UN membership is interestingly enough deemed a unilateral act of aggression and warfare against Israeli interests.

Palestine was never invited to the table except in times of intifadas and more often in times of make-believe peace … the end goal of both was obviously the same, namely buying more time to grab more land and expel more Palestinians and make new and hard to touch Israeli demographic changes .

The Zionist short cut

 

But none of those Israeli illegal and aggressive goals would have been achieved so smoothly and with the minimum international opposition hadn’t it been for the magical Zionist recipe of literally buying the top politicians, corporate media and decision makers in the west and of course the United States of America. In other words, buying politicians, specifically American, has been, and still is the Zionist’s short cut to establishing the great Israel project.

Pandering to pro-Israel lobbies to garner more votes has been a shameful legacy kept by a long line of American top politicians and leaders initiated by Truman and his falling into the Rothschild’s trap of securing his presidential triumph only if he voted for the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel.

The latest in a long line of American Democrats and Republicans running for presidency to serve the Israeli goals rather than their country’s own, comes Texas Governor, Rick Perry standing lately shoulder-to-shoulder at a news conference with advocates for annexing West Bank settlements not to mention his prelude to the presidential campaign, dancing with far right-wing rabbis at his office a few months ago.

 

While Barack Obama, the US president, in his brief speech at the UN has strongly confirmed in an intimidating voice tone that “there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”  And seriously added “Peace is hard work” He somehow has secured a “short cut” to his second term in office.

Israel’s thuggish far-right foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told reporters shortly after Obama’s speech that: “I am ready to sign on this speech with both hands.”

But again, I think Mr. Obama has figured out this whole thing the wrong way. Pandering to Israel and sacrificing the interests and more importantly the pride of his country might grant him a second term in office, but … is it worth it? … is a second term in office worth that shameful submission?

It doesn’t make any sense …

I mean, the Zionists controlling Wall Street and the presidential elections is not a good enough reason for selling out America and its pride in that shamefull way. There is more to this than we all think, a hell of a lot more, something big is hiding under the surface like an iceberg, something as big as 9/11.

The way Obama is handing over the keys of the white house to the Israelis while other heads of less-powerful states such as Erdogan of Turkey and Ahamdinejad of Iran stand tall in front of the Israeli political debauchery makes you wonder if 911, with the hidden truth about it, has turned into some Israeli wild card.

Is acting against the very interests of the United States and abandoning the values of freedom, democracy and human rights, not to mention tarnishing his own legacy worth a second term in office.

What a shame…

This Obama has missed out on a golden opportunity to not only earn his Nobel peace prize but to make history and glory for himself and the United States of America.

The mere Abstinence from voting on the Palestinian bid for statehood, such a small step by Obama’s administration, would have been a giant leap for him and the United States of America.

The reason why Egyptians hate Israel


“Peace with Egypt, which is considered an asset, only when it is at risk, was a peace that Israel toyed with and breached from the beginning.”

 

By Gideon Levy, Haaretz

Israeli embassy in Cairo

The Israeli flag that was taken down by a young Egyptian from the window of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was faded and worn, flying from an old, nondescript office tower, invisible from the street to the naked eye.

 A great deal of murky water has flowed through the Nile since the flag was first unfurled; people who think that the hatred for Israel that is now boiling over is a divine edict, fate or the wrath of nature, should think back to the early days of peace between Israel and Egypt.

Then, in the carefree 1980s, tens of thousands of Israelis streamed to Egypt and were welcomed with open joy. It was a pleasure to be an Israeli in Cairo in those days; sometimes even a great honor.

The masses demonstrating against Israel now are the same masses who once welcomed the Israelis. Even if Friday’s “million-man rally” against Israel only became a thousand-man march, the hatred has sparked. But it does not have to be this way.

The fact that it has not always been this way should be food for thought in Israel.

But as usual, the question of why does not come up for discussion here. Why is there terror? Because. Why is there hatred? Because. It is much easier to think that Egypt hates us and that’s that, and divest ourselves of responsibility.

Peace with Egypt, which is considered an asset only when it is at risk, was a peace that Israel toyed with and breached from the beginning.

It required recognizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and granting it autonomy within five years. Israel conducted ridiculous negotiations, headed by its interior minister (Yosef Burg ) with the intention of making the negotiations go away, and never met its obligations. The invasion of Lebanon the day after the treaty was completed in 1982 was dangerous and impertinent. Against all odds, Egypt withstood this baiting.

People who ask why Egyptians hate us should think back to these two pivotal actions by Israel.

 Public memory may be short-lived, but hatred is not. Its flames have been fanned since then.

People who want to understand why the Egyptians hate us should recall the scenes of Operations Cast Lead and Defensive Shield, the bombing of Beirut and the shelling of Rafah. If Israelis were exposed to scenes in which some country acted in the same way toward Jews, such hatred would burn within us toward that country as well. The Arab masses saw terrible pictures and its hatred increased.

New game ahead with brand new rules

 

Thousands of Egyptians rallied in front of Israel emabassy in Cairo calling for the expulsion of the ambassador

That hatred had fateful significance with the arrival of the Arab Spring. The rules of the game in the new Middle East changed. Peace and cease-fire agreements to which the tyrants in the old Egypt, Syria and Jordan held with much gnashing of teeth, could no longer be preserved in democratic or partially democratic regimes.

From now on, the people are speaking; they will not stand for violent or colonialist behavior toward Arabs, and their leaders will have to take this into consideration. The occupation, and Israel’s exaggerated shows of force in response to terror attacks are now being put to the test of the peoples, not just their rulers.

There is a positive side to this in that it may rein Israel in, as has already recently been seen with regard to Gaza: If not for the new Egypt, perhaps we would already be in the throes of Operation Cast Lead 2. But in the long-term, this will not be enough to hold back our forces and hold our fire.

It is becoming exhausting to reiterate this, but it is now truer than ever: Israel no longer has the option of living only by the sword.

The dangers inherent in the new reality that is emerging before our very eyes are not of the type that military prowess alone can overcome for years. We cannot gird ourselves forever, no matter how protected and armed we are.

The Arab Spring has placed the Arab-Israeli conflict on new grounds

The new Arab leaderships will not be able to ignore the desires of their peoples, and their peoples will not accept Israel as a violent occupier in the region. Not only does an Operation Cast Lead become almost impossible, the continued occupation endangers Israel – the longer it lasts, the stronger the resistance to Israel’s very existence.

It is not difficult to imagine how things could be different. It’s enough to recall the first days of peace with Egypt, or the early days of Oslo – until the Arabs recognized the fraud.

It is not difficult to imagine peace agreements that would lead to the end of the occupation and a response to the Arab peace initiative.

The only way is to create a new Israel in the eyes of the new Arab world. Only if this happens can we return to Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili market and be accepted there.

Let us not waste words over the alternative; it does not exist for Israel.

Mission Accomplished in Libya for Obama and Coalition


“But then, why announce that Gaddafi has to go when the White House still has second thoughts and doubts about the Libyan rebels and who they really are. Why lead a coalition of the willing to militarily intervene in Libya when they are not yet so willing to kick Gaddafi out of the country”

 

“Things were moving too fast and too dangerous as well. This contagion of popular uprisings had to be dealt with; they had to be, if not stopped, at least held back. In other words, the Arab spring had to lose its spontaneity and finally its momentum”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Politics is a dirty game but we tend to ignore this fact all the time.

 
Gaddafi has lost legitimacy in Libya and he has to go”

…thus went President Obama about the popular uprising that was undergoing in Libya with rebels from east of the country taking Benghazi as their stronghold and core of the revolution.
In the wake of two strong popular uprisings that sent President Ben Ali of Tunisia on a plane to Saudi Arabia and President Mubarak of Egypt to Sharm el Sheikh Resort on the Red Sea, the day the upheaval began in Libya the world expected to see Gaddafi on a jet plane heading to Venezuela.

But that was wishful thinking driven by the powerful revolutionary tide that was sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East. No one knew then that the tide was going to slow down and the Arab spring to fade away in Libya.

False flag operation

But first let’s settle this predicament and try to clearly answer the question of whether what is happening in Libya a popular uprising or some false flag operation meant to reshuffle the players in the Libyan oil game… and another question of who wants to see – the brother leader, Gaddafi- kicked out of the rule in Libya?

Whose interest would a Gaddafi-free Libya serve?

Ousting Gaddafi is hard to fit as serving the American’s interest nor the European’s considering the long 40 years that passed by with Gaddafi as the head of the Libyan oil state with no one grumbling about it from the west.  Especially after 2003 which witnessed the honeymoon with the new Gaddafi who had abandoned his support for terrorism as requested from him and dismantled his never really- existed program of weapons of mass destruction immediately following the moment he had wet his pants watching his long pal, Saddam Hussein, captured by the gallant American soldiers, after being hiding like a rat in some filthy spider hole near his hometown of Tikrit in Iraq.

With almost every giant oil corporation, form Exxon, BP and Chevron to Petro China and ENI having a nice slice of the cake would another military and political turmoil in Libya be anything except another out of-business phase for them all reminiscent of the 17 years (1986-2003) that denied all world oil corporations the exploration and investment in the oil and gas in Libya following the American bombing and the UN sanctions imposed on the country since 1992 over the Lockerbie bombing case.

Investing in an unpredictable political upheaval that changed into an ugly armed struggle between Gaddafi’s loyalists and the Libyan rebels with neither party capable of winning it over is hardly the right calculated risk for any major oil giant even if it was a French corporation with Mr.Sarkozy himself endorsing it and pushing hard for a chivalrous odyssey dawn in Libya.

Al Qaeda affiliates in Libya

 

But then why announce that Gaddafi has to go when the White House still has second thoughts and doubts about the Libyan rebels and who they really are.  Why lead a coalition of the willing to militarily intervene in Libya when they are not yet so willing to kick Gaddafi out of the country?

Why go on an alleged humanitarian mission and try to sell the world this scenario while still testing the water for the likes of Osama bin laden in Libya?
The mighty United States has been waging a relentless – and rather meaningless- war on terrorism for almost 10 years now and till this moment the CIA is apparently clueless about the real existence and the influence of the so called al Qaeda in the Arab world and in Libya in particular.

What really has been bewildering throughout the last decade is the fact that the Arab world never knew such thing as the al Qaeda organization and yet it seems that the USA has been acting in this farcical war on terrorism on the most misleading and fake intelligence.

And in the light of the scanty and rather inconclusive data the United States with its European allies began to identify those Arabic Muslims who have been busy caught up in fierce desert battles for weeks now by the way they looked and talked in news footage from the mainstream media.

And so in a way reminiscent of how the Nazis soldiers identified the Jews- by their rituals and costumes- in Eastern Europe back during WWII the Muslim rebels in eastern Libya with their beards unshaven for weeks and their shouting “Allahu Akbar” whenever they managed to stand up for Gaddafi forces or seize back a newly liberated town looked a bit like the militant jihadists who followed bin Laden in Afghanistan to the White House.

So, secretary Clinton began to talk about al Qaeda affiliated groups in Benghazi and president Obama refrained from mentioning the Libyan transitional National council (TNC) in his speech about the intervention in Libya as if they never existed.

And this was Gaddafi’s moment of relief and a twist of fate for the rebels.

Stalemate, is the name of the game

On handing over the command of the operations to NATO, and with this obvious inclination of the United States to take a back seat and enjoy the panoramic odyssey dawn from afar, the NATO began to take it easy on Gaddafi and bring some dramatic excitement to the battlefield as recurrent incidents of friendly fire began to be reported to which NATO firmly stood unapologetic.

With the rebels getting the feeling they are being let down by a coalition of the so far, so unwilling, to end this mess up, and with the fluid situation on the ground the Libyan uprising has perfectly and conveniently reached its preplanned stalemate point.

Now the mainstream media is talking about the Libyan uprising no more, rather they talk of a fluid military situation with never meant to oust Gaddafi intervention. Along with the undergoing diplomatic efforts to settle this war in Libya and with the NATO allowing brokers from Europe and the African union to meet with the two conflicting sides the situation in Libya has been intendedly steered towards this diplomatic and military stalemate.

Ever since this unprecedented and abrupt popular uprisings in the Arab world with its frightening and uncontrollable domino effect began and the west has been watching in amazement those unfolding revolutions as they toppled the strong men of the west in the Middle East one by one and taking down with them years of political plans and partnership in the region.

The United States and the west had been taken by surprise in Tunisia and Egypt; they were simply outpaced and outsmarted by the power of the people there. The same power that thought it was time to ask Gaddafi to go.

And as the imperialist interests began to be threatened and totally drifted out of control, the west just couldn’t stand watching for too long, they had to intervene some way or another to control this catastrophic domino effect and try to save the day in North Africa and the Middle East and this is where Libya came in, and in the right moment with its psychic and paranoid dictator whose reckless reactions would be the perfect excuse for the Americans and the allies to step in and save the Libyan people the same way they saved the Iraqi’s with their similarly paranoid and reckless, Saddam Hussein.

Sarkozy woke up one morning to find bin Ali of Tunisia gone and Obama the other morning also found himself unable to even allow Mubarak to stay for the few left months of his term in office conducting what he called a transitional period.

Things were moving too fast and too dangerous as well. This contagion of popular uprisings had to be dealt with; they had to be, if not stopped, at least held back. In other words, the Arab spring had to lose its spontaneity and finally its momentum.

This is exactly what happened after the west had intervened in Libya. The tide of the revolution has been interrupted not only in Libya but elsewhere in the Arab world; the uprisings that were starting in Morocco, Oman, Algeria and Iraq had been put to rest days later, the Bahrain unrest has been cut off from the mainstream media coverage and Saudi security forces were sent to forcibly control the situation there with not a flicker of comment or objection from the United States or the freedom loving Europeans.

Thousands of Yemenis have been marching in the streets for almost a month now but with president Saleh emboldened by what happened in Libya and with the absence of any international objection to his dodging the protesters demands not to mention the potent support of the Saudi kingdom the situation in Yemen reached almost the same stalemate point Libya did.

 

And when it was time for the Syrian storm to start, the general Arabic mood was intoxicated with endless scenes of blood, coffins, new promises, new cabinets, compromises, European and African brokers and deadlock situations everywhere.

USA and the NATO under the cover of yet another noble and humanitarian world mission managed to not only save the day for Gaddafi in Libya, but also to hinder this fervent domino effect in the Arab world that was resketching the region’s political map and menacingly encroaching upon the rich with oil Gulf countries and the rest of Israel’s allies and this is where the red line had to be drawn.

The odyssey dawn will be regarded as a mission accomplished in Libya and the rest of the Arab world. Gaddafi and many other dictators in the Arab world might have won some time by this no-fly zone operation but eventually they are bound to get on the same departure plane that Ben Ali and Mubarak had been aboard.

Due to this inconclusive intervention in Libya the Arab spring has been prematurely interrupted, but soon, new dawn will undoubtedly break. And next time it will not be the odyssey of the coalition military adventure but rather of Arabs’ continued quest for freedom.