Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egyptian protests in danger of being co-opted

No doubt you are aware by now that the Middle East has erupted in protests in the last few weeks.  First, Progressive Democrats and the Workers Communist Party organized anti-government protesters in Tunisia who this week forced the RCD party out of power.  That regime change sparked a revolutionary fire in other Middle Eastern and North African countries.  As of today there are reports of protests from Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan

The Algerian protests were touched off by the success of the Tunisian demonstrations and while the first round appears to have been set off by pro-theocracy revolutionaries, a second round of protests is being planned by pro-democracy supporters.  Thousands of protesters marched through the city of Bejaia calling for "radical change".

In Yemen the protest leaders are again cloudy.  The country is split between north and south as the terrorist group Al Qaeda has all but taken over the southern half of Yemen.  One of the lead organizing groups is the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedom (HOOD).  HOOD has defended Yemeni Jews who family members were murdered or imprisoned by the government and have worked to repatriate former Guantanamo detainees back into the Yemeni population.  There work for human rights of ALL individuals suggests that they are not an Islamic theocracy based organization but it is yet to be determined if these protests are indeed pro-democracy.

In Jordan the anti-government protests are being organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jordanian Communist Party.  In the video below you will see thousands of protesters carrying the flags of the Muslim Brotherhood and those of the Jordanian Communist Party. 

The protests in Jordan are scary because Jordan is currently one of 2 Middle Eastern nations who have peace accords with Israel and one of a handful of real American allies.  The other nation in the Middle East with a true peace accord with Israel is Egypt which is also in turmoil (more on that below).  The Muslim Brotherhood is NOT currently on our list of state sponsored terrorist organizations but many believe they should be.  They are the forerunners to Al Qaeda and are quite active in trying to create pro-jihad Islamic theocracies around the world.  Hamas is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and is the second most successful MB attempt to hold power (the Sudan being the other).  The Muslim Brotherhood, through Hamas, has shown that they are no friends to Israel and by extension other western nations (like America).


Finally we will discuss Egypt.  The protests in Egypt appear to be what we in America call "grassroots".  They were inspired by the results in Tunisia and pro-democracy leaders who are tired of 30 yr incumbent "President" Hosni Mubarak.  Mubarak has suggested that he would be President for life and is suspected of grooming his sons to replace him.  Only in the last 24-36 hours have the Muslim Brotherhood become vocal supporters. The MB is banned in Egypt largely because of their support of terrorism and its use as a political weapon.  The movement in Egypt should be described as a pro-democracy uprising and not co-opted by the MB and their Islamic theocracy goals.  Former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and his support of the protests are cause for some concern.  ElBaradei was handed a Nobel Peace Prize for ALMOST inspecting Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.  He ALMOST helped the world avoid the Iraq War and in the world of the UN that is enough to deserve a Nobel Prize.  Evidence of the pro-democracy slant can be seen in the people who are both Coptic Christians and Muslims and who have guarded each others houses of worship while the other prayed during the protests last week.  All reports from the ground have been that these protests are mostly peaceful and that men, women AND children are involved.  Babies and young children are part of the protests as well.  I would call them Egyptian TEA Parties
The government in Egypt has released prisoners from jail in an attempt to create chaos and blame it on the protesters and they have furthered the false premise that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind these protests and enjoys enough support to takeover the country.  All reports about the MB in Egypt are that it is in fact a player but that it would not enjoy enough support to become a majority government.  American TEA Party groups have seen this before.  Government officials and supporters of the government in the media and on the American left rushed to claim Jarrod Loughner as a right wing TEA Party member when he shot Gabrielle Giffords in Washington just a few weeks ago.  Loughner of course, turned out to be a lunatic who was closer to the left than the right but it didn't stop the media and the American left from attacking the TEA Party as the cause of the shooting.  The same thing is happening to the Egyptians.  Their movement is one of young and old, Muslim and Christian and men and women who are pretesting forcefully but peacefully.  The violence should be denounced and is by the protesters but we cannot attribute it to the majority of the protests.

Support in America

Protests and demonstrations in support of the Egyptian people took place all across America this weekend.  Fox News covered the events which drew tens of thousands across the country and thousands alone at the UN in New York City.  Most of the protesters and demonstrators are showing support for the Egyptian people without another agenda but the Egyptian people must be careful not to allow their peaceful pro-democracy movement to be co opted by Communist revolutionaries.  On Saturday we had the following image from FoxNews' coverage of a rally in support of the protesters in Egypt:
The demonstrators are holding anti-Mubarak signs but it's the banners that tell the real story.  These are groups with major questions.  The banner on the far right (only a small part is visible to the right of the JC Peace Movement banner) is from a group called Veterans for Peace:
VFP's name is benign but the group is full of anti-military protesters and radicals who have served in our military.  Here is the bio of the organizations Treasurer:
Treasurer:  Nate Goldshlag
I became a radical political activist in college in 1968 and was kicked out in 1969 for accidentally getting my picture plastered on the front page of the New York Times, Life, etc. as we escorted a dean out of a building we occupied at Harvard while protesting ROTC and the Vietnam War.  I was drafted in late 1970.  I didn't do things to avoid the draft and went into the army to organize against the war.  The fact that I avoided the stockade probably meant I wasn't that effective, but we started a GI paper in Germany.  They had just stopped sending grunts like me to Vietnam a few months before, although I would not have gone.  I went back to school and had two kids who I helped raise as a half-time single parent.  I worked as an electronics engineer and retired a few years ago.  I do volunteer and VFP work now.
I was active in the Smedley Butler brigade in Boston in the 1980's around Central America issues, but then lapsed until 2005.  I'll never make that mistake again.  As Smedley coordinator, I helped plan the event that got 18 of us arrested on Veterans Day 2007 for being excluded from the American Legion event, and was one of those arrested.  I coordinated the effort that raised $70,000 nationally for Winter Soldier.  I hope to make a difference in VFP by serving on the Board.  
This guy is proud to have been arrested and to have raised money for an event and a documentary film that portrays a group of military disruptor's as martyrs.  VFP is full of these same types of individuals and their alliances are questionable.

The middle banner is from the Jersey City Peace Movement (JC Peace Movement) which is an anti-war protest group in north Jersey.  The JCPM is a radical progressive group that protests wars across the world, has given awards to members of the Gaza Flotilla and is a member of  the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC).  Endorsers of their marches on April 9th in San Francisco and New York include: Code Pink, The New Black Panther Party, a number of Socialist/Communist groups around the world (including Socialist Party USA), the Free Mumia movement (cop killer supporters) and other radical groups.  UNAC says:

THE PEACEMAKERS DEMAND a better world. Only a massive, united, inclusive and independent movement has the power to bring it into being.

WE DEMAND Bring U.S. Troops, Mercenaries and War Contractors Home Now: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan! End the sanctions and stop the threats of war against the people of Iran, North Korea and Yemen. No to war and plunder of the people of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Native People! End U.S. Aid to Israel! End U.S. Support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the Siege of Gaza!

WE DEMAND trillions for jobs, education, social services, an end to all foreclosures, quality single-payer healthcare for all, a massive conversion to sustainable and planet-saving energy systems and public transportation and reparations to the victims of U.S. terror at home and abroad.

WE DEMAND an end to FBI raids on antiwar, social justice, and international solidarity activists, an end to the racist persecution and prosecutions that ravage Muslim communities, an end to police terror in Black and Latino communities, full rights and legality for immigrants and an end to all efforts to repress and punish Wikileaks and its contributors and founders.

WE DEMAND the immediate end to torture, rendition, secret trials, drone bombings and death squads.
JCPM and UNAC are radical anti-military pro-social justice organizations. Their affiliations with Socialists and Communists are tight and scary as is their support of cop killers like Mumia Abu-Jammal.

The final standard seen in the image above is as of yet unconfirmed. I've done some research and what I've found is that the symbol in the center of the flag is the Filipino symbol for Ka and the flag itself appears to be related to the Communist Party of the Philippines. I will admit that I have not yet been able to find the flag anywhere but I have found enough evidence to suggest that this flag is in fact related to the Philippine Communist movement.

It appears to be related to the Communist Party of the Philippines:

People Power Revolution
If you find more information about these protesters and supporters please post here and let us know.

The group that led the protests in support of Egypt nationwide is the Egyptian Association for Change. EACUSA is a progressive social justice organization pushing pro-democracy reforms in Egypt. Here is their logo.

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