Monday, January 31, 2011

Australian Government hypocrisy on Egypt protests

Excellent piece here by Jeff Sparrow on the Australian Government's hypocrisy on the protests in Egypt and the Gillard Government's failure to make a clear statement of support for the Egyptian people's desire for freedom and democracy.

As Jeff Sparrow points out western governments, including the Australian Government are all for democracy- as long as the right people (ie. people who support US and Western interests) are in charge. Here is an extract from Sparrow's piece
 Freedom? Of course, we support freedom! Don’t we?

Here’s how Rudd answered:

Well the political situation is highly fluid, as a number of my colleagues from elsewhere around the world have said. We have long supported democratic transformation across the Middle East. We have equally strongly argued that this transformation should occur peacefully and without violence. That remains our view in terms of recent developments in Egypt as well.

I should add to what I just said before that earlier today I met with and had discussions with the foreign minister of Egypt in Addis Ababa, where we were both attending the African Union Summit and we discussed these matters in some detail there as well.
Bear in mind that, as the conversation took place, the news footage showed government thugs attacking demonstrators on the streets. Those protesters would, no doubt, have preferred, quite possibly rather more than Mr Rudd, a democratic transformation effected peacefully - but that wasn’t happening, what with all the tear gas being fired at them. So would Rudd call upon Mubarak to, like, stop repressing his citizens?

The newsreader pressed some more.

“The White House is suggesting that the Egyptians turn the internet back on and the social networks, that sort of thing, and of course to end the violence. You'd be supportive of that, would you?”

Again, Rudd would have none of it:

Well I've not seen White House statements to that effect. I go back to what I said before. We ourselves have long supported democratic transformation across the Middle East and across the Arab world, but equally we strongly emphasise the importance for those things to occur peacefully and without violence.
Note the ‘but’ in the second sentence. The implied contrast with Rudd’s support for ‘democratic transformation’ suggests that the condemnation of violence is directed at the protesters rather than those firing rubber bullets and tear gas at them.

The last few weeks have been an interesting time for freedom, a concept that, was, not so very long ago, ostentatiously central to Western foreign policy..........................


....... what we’ve already learned stinks to high heaven, and makes Rudd’s pious lectures to protesters about violence seem like the rankest hypocrisy. Whatever else the demonstrators might have done, they’re not hanging people up by hooks.

So as Mubarak attempts to foist his torturer-in-chief upon the Egyptian populace, the very least Australia can do - given its past connections with the barbarisms of the regime - is make an unambiguous statement of support for the people against the dictatorship.

After all, it should be a no-brainer. What’s Australia’s view on freedom? Do we support that?

To paraphrase William Morris, Cairo’s about to fall - into the hands of those it belongs to. So which side will the Australian Government be on?

3 comments:

Breenus said...

Yes what hypocrisy! Obama has been asked to apologize to the Egyptian people for propping up the current regime. Gillard knows that Israel will not have its current dream run with a new Egypt and she todies to them. After all she has to pay for her trips there.
But this will soon be history as the decaying moldy regimes of aged family potentates in North Africa are thrown out because they re past they are at their worst by dates.

Breenus said...

Reading how Vodaphone sent text messages to something like 11 million customers in Egypt urging them to keep the current regime and come out to oppose the regime change protesters, as well as cutting off phone services for a while. I phoned Vodaphone to see if they could confirm or deny this.
V. "We can only comment on Vodaphone Australia" M. "OK here
are web address check them out"
V. "Can't access them from Australia" M. "OK may I speak to a senior manager?" V."Yes I will put you through.Long Long wait. "The manager is busy on another call, right now" I question the veracity of the excuse and the civil courage of the manager. He/She is supposed to call me back. More to follow...

Breenus said...

Vodaphone continued. The manager did not call back within the promised one hour nor since...Surprise!