The Arab Spring story in a nutshell: Fake springs, post-modern coup d’etat

July 24th, 2012

Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Ismael Hossein-zadeh, July 22, 2012.

… 1. Fake springs, post-modern coup d’etats:

Soon after being caught by surprise by the glorious uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the counterrevolutionary forces headed by the United States embarked on damage control. A major strategy in pursuit of this objective has been to foment civil war and regime change in “unfriendly” places, and then portray them as part of the Arab Spring.  

The scheme works like this: arm and train opposition groups within the “unfriendly” country, instigate violent rebellion with the help of covert mercenary forces under the guise of fighting for democracy; and when government forces attempt to quell the thus-nurtured armed insurrection, accuse them of human rights violations, and begin to embark openly and self-righteously on the path of regime change in the name of “responsibility to protect” the human rights.

As the “weakest link” in the chain of governments thus slated to be changed, Gaddafi’s regime became the first target. It is now altogether common knowledge that contrary to the spontaneous, unarmed and peaceful protest demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, the rebellion in Libya was nurtured, armed and orchestrated largely from abroad. Indeed, evidence shows that plans of regime change in Libya were drawn long before the overt onset of the actual civil war. [1]

It is likewise common knowledge that, like the rebellion in Libya, the insurgency in Syria has been neither spontaneous nor peaceful. From the outset it has been armed, trained and organized by the US and its allies. Similar to the attack on Libya, the Arab League and Turkey have been at the forefront of the onslaught on Syria. Also like the Libyan case, there is evidence that preparations for war on Syria had been actively planned long before the actual start of the armed rebellion, which is branded as a case of the Arab Spring. [2]

Dr Christof Lehmann, a keen observer of geopolitical developments in the Middle East, has coined the term “post-modern coup d’etats” to describe the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Zionist agenda of regime change in the region. The term refers to an elaborate combination of covert operations, overt military interventions, and “soft-power” tactics a la Gene Sharp:

“A network of think tanks, endowments, funds and foundations, which are behind the overt destabilization of targeted sovereign nations. Their narratives in public policy and for public consumption are deceptive and persuasive. Often they specifically target and co-opt progressive thinkers, media and activists. The product is almost invariably a post-modern coup d’ tat. Depending on the chosen hybridization and the resilience of government, social structures and populations perceived need for reform, the product can be more or less overtly violent. The tactics can be so subtle, involving human rights organizations and the United Nations that they are difficult to comprehend. However subtle they are, the message to the targeted government is invariably ‘go or be gone’”. [3]

It is no secret that the ultimate goal of the policy of regime change in the Middle East is to replace the Iranian government with a “client regime” similar to most other regime in the region. Whether the policy will succeed in overthrowing the Syrian government and embarking on a military strike against Iran remains to be seen. One thing is clear, however: the ominous consequences of a military adventure against Iran would be incalculable. It is bound to create a regional (and even very likely global) war.

2. Revolts co-opted:

When the Arab Spring broke out in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, the US and its allies initially tried to keep their proxy rulers Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali and Abdullah Saleh in power as long as possible. Once the massive and persistent uprisings made the continued rule of these loyal autocrats untenable, however, the US and its allies changed tactics: reluctantly letting go of Mubarak, Ali and Saleh while trying to preserve the socioeconomic structures and the military regimes they had fostered during the long periods of their dictatorial rule.

Thus, while losing three client dictators, the US and its allies have succeeded (so far) in preserving the three respective client states. With the exception of a number of formalistic elections that are designed to co-opt opposition groups (like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt) and give legitimacy to military rulers, not much else has changed in these countries. In Egypt, for example, the NATO/Israel-backed military junta of the Mubarak era, which now rules Egypt in collaboration with Muslim Brotherhood, has become increasingly as repressive toward the reform movement that gave birth to the Arab Spring as it was under Mubarak.

Economic, military and geopolitical policies of the new regimes in these countries are crafted as much in consultation with the United States and its allies as they were under the three autocratic rulers that were forced to leave the political scene. The new regimes are also collaborating with the US and its allies in bringing about “regime change” in Syria and Iran, just as they helped overthrow the regime of Gaddafi in Libya.

3. Nipping the buds:

A third tactic to contain the Arab Spring has been the withering repression of peaceful pro-democracy movements in countries headed by US proxy regimes in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other kingdoms in the Persian Gulf area before those movements grow “out of hand,” as they did in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen. Thus, in collaboration with its Western patrons, Saudi Arabia has over the past year cracked down viciously against peaceful protesters not only within its own borders but also in the neighboring country of Bahrain. Leading the invasion militaries of the Persian Gulf kingdoms into Bahrain last spring, the armed forces of Saudi Arabia continue with the support of Western powers to brutalize peaceful pro-democracy protesters there.

While the Saudi, Qatari and other Persian Gulf regimes have been playing the vanguard role in the US-Israeli axis of aggression against “unfriendly” regimes, NATO forces headed by the Pentagon have been busy behind the scene to train their “security” forces, to broker weapons sale to their repressive regimes, and to build ever more military basses in their territories.

“As state security forces across the region cracked down on democratic dissent, the Pentagon also repeatedly dispatched American troops on training missions to allied militaries there. During more than 40 such operations with names like Eager Lion and Friendship Two that sometimes lasted for weeks or months at a time, they taught Middle Eastern security forces the finer points of counterinsurgency, small unit tactics, intelligence gathering, and information operations – skills crucial to defeating popular uprisings.

These recurrent joint-training exercises, seldom reported in the media and rarely mentioned outside the military, constitute the core of an elaborate, longstanding system that binds the Pentagon to the militaries of repressive regimes across the Middle East”. [4]

These truly imperialistic policies and practices show, once again, that the claims of the United States and its allies that their self-righteous adventures of “regime change” in the Greater Middle East are designed to defend human rights and foster democracy are simply laughable.

4. Divide and conquer: Sunni versus Shi’ite: … (full text and Notes).

(Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of The Political Economy of US Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007) and Soviet Non-capitalist Development: The Case of Nasser’s Egypt (Praeger Publishers 1989). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press).

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