Egypt – Vested Interests Preventing Real Change

this post offers supplementary information to the LSW Egypt- uprising 2011 page.

While Mubarak’s exit from office would be welcomed by millions, any real change would require struggles against those with vested interests in the status quo in Egypt.

Vested interests would of course include the U.S. military contractors mentioned in LSW Egypt – uprising, such as BAE Systems, General Dynamics, General Electric, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin who would not like to see their corporate welfare disappear and who will fight to maintain the returns on their investment in the U.S. political system (campaign contributions, lobbying, legal corruption).

Why did Obama send “The empire’s bagman’, frank Wisner to Cairo instead of using the American Ambassador in Egypt to talk to Mubarak? Wisner proceeds to say that Mubarak should stay in power, contrary to what Obama has been intimating. Wisner

From Democracy Now interview with Vijay Prashad:

” Revealing a possible conflict of interest, British journalist Robert Fisk recently reported Wisner works for the law firm Patton Boggs, which openly boasts that it advises “the Egyptian military, the Egyptian Economic Development Agency, and has handled arbitrations and litigation on the [Mubarak] government’s behalf in Europe and the U.S.” “

The interview is very enlightening regarding Wisner and the mechanics of Washington power.

Prashad has an equally illuminating article on Countpunch in which he says, among other things:

“I first wrote about Wisner in 1997 when he joined the board of directors of Enron Corporation. Where Wisner had been, to Manila and New Delhi, Enron followed. As one of his staffers said, “if anybody asked the CIA to help promote US business in India, it was probably Frank.” Without the CIA and the muscle of the US government, it is unlikely that the Subic Bay power station deal or the Dabhol deal would have gone to Enron. Here Wisner followed James Baker, who was hired by Enron to help it gain access to the Shuaiba power plant in Kuwait. Nor is he different from Holbrooke, who was in the upper circle of Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Perseus and the American International Group. They used the full power of the US state to push the private interests of their firms, and then made money for themselves. This is the close nexus of Capital and Empire, and Wisner is the hinge between them.”

Obama would seem to be anchoring U.S. corporate interests in Egypt, while of course talking out of the other side of his mouth about democracy and the usual Washington doff of the hat to …. to whatever it is they are pretending to support, while stealing the common wealth around the world.

Other forms of vested interests will be local. due to IMF imposed SAPs (structural adjustment programs), privatization was expanded, government expenditures were cut and the door was opened to foreign capital. Various fractions with the Egyptian military availed themselves of the opportunity to accrue economic investments. LSW can not find the documentation of this and of course is interested in either confirmation or refutation.

If true, the military would have substantial economic interest in maintaining the regime as it is, which could include a Mubarak exit and a President Omar Suleiman. thus Mubarak’s exit is not sufficient to instigate real change. The internal power structures must be changed and the relations with foreign power structures must be changed if the people are going to live in a new Egypt.

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