Posted by: quiscus | February 15, 2011

February 15, 2011

1.  “Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.”

2.  ”

The Old Man in Politics Syndrome

Mubarak’s behavior is not unique. The relevant psychological/psychoanalytical literature offers ample material on the syndrome that the Egyptian “pharaoh” manifests. The syndrome of the ageing political leader has been studied in depth. The work by renowned German psychoanalyst Fritz Riemann, Die Grundformen der Angst (4), lays bare both the symptoms and the sources of the malady.

Old men in political life have two alternatives: either they gracefully resign from office and allow others to assume responsibility through democratic processes, or they cling hysterically to power until nature takes its course. Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad al Mahathir is a case in point. After 22 years in power, he decided to step down, and has enjoyed the position of respected senior statesman ever since. (And, in parenthesis, during the last 10 years of his reign, he transformed Malaysia from a developing country into a modern industrial nation.)

Mubarak was constitutionally incapable of grasping the fact not only that he was too old, but that he was no longer desired by his own people. In terms of Riemann’s analysis, his behavior displayed characteristics of the hysterical personality.

This personality type has a deep fear of anything that is final, inevitable, necessary, anything that is perceived to limit one’s freedom. Among those processes that are necessary in life is the ageing process; the hysterical personality yearns for eternal youth, and uses cosmetic means – be it plastic surgery or dyeing one’s hair (as Mubarak has done) – to achieve the goal.

Hysterical personalities, when under attack, tend to try to turn the tables on their attackers. Thus, as demonstrators turned out en masse against Mubarak, he and state media put out the line that it was outside agitators, foreigners, terrorists, etc. who were sowing discord. As Riemann writes, when an individual realizes his shortcomings and guilt, then “the enemy image is especially appropriate and one gets the impression that enemy images have to be discovered in order to exonerate one’s own sense of guilt”(p. 222).  As a form of defense, the hysterical personality will seek to glorify himself or herself, coming across as the “first violin,” and this tendency will increase as the insecurity and discrepancy between one’s real identity and one’s presumed identity becomes more evident (p. 196). Thus Mubarak’s emphasis on his unique role as “father of the nation,” as hero in the wars against Israel, etc. Riemann writes: “Position and rank are not seen so much as a duty … but as an opportunity to enhance the luster of one’s personality, which is the reason why orders and titles seem so attractive” (p. 225).

The last inevitable realities of our lives, writes Riemann, are old age and death. Hysterical personalities tend to close their eyes as long as possible in front of these realities. “They attempt to keep the illusion of eternal youth alive and the image of a future full of possibilities for them” (p. 225). “They have perhaps the greatest difficulty in understanding growing old with dignity, but have the ability to elevate their past and to live in memories, which they have adapted according to their desires and in which they play the leading role.” Think of Mubarak’s last speech, glorifying his past as a military leader.”

3.  “On the Egyptian Revolution and the American Strategy

The overwhelming majority of our Arab and Islamic peoples are against the US policies.  They reject them.  This does not mean we are enemies of the American people.  Perhaps in time we will find out that the majority of the American people are poor people who don’t know what is going on in the world and that their interests and priorities are totally different.

The overwhelming majority of our Arab and Islamic peoples reject the US policies for obvious reasons: the absolute American support for Israel and its wars from the establishment of the Zionist entity to the Gaza War in 2008 (we also saw it in the war on Lebanon in 2006); the absolute American support for the corrupt dictatorships that are US allies in the region; America’s own wars and crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere in our Arab and Islamic world; the disclosure of US lies and double standards in everything, when it comes to human rights, freedoms, and democracy.

These American studies and opinion polls also revealed that there are major changes in store in the region.  That is what Hillary Clinton hinted at just a few weeks ago.  The Americans have become sure that the regimes that are allied with the US and collaborating with Israel are against the will of the people when it comes to their stance on America and Israel and will not be able to withstand popular pressure for long.  The will of the people has had enough of this status quo.  The polls and studies showed, too, that these regimes, their leaders, and their figureheads do not enjoy any popularity, respect, esteem among their peoples; at the same time, the polls showed that other figures, other leaders, occupy first, second, and third places because of their stances on the Palestinian cause and the American project.  So the US administration expressed its anxiety.

That does not mean that the US administration has plotted or is working to overthrow the regime which serves it.  However, it has been preparing itself for what could happen: if the people revolted and tried to express its rejection of the regime in any country, the US administration would then stand in the middle; having learned from its experience in confronting the revolution in Iran as well as from all its previous experiences, it would not do to support oppression and bloody confrontation because, as it knows, the result of bloody confrontation with the people would be catastrophic for America, and for its allies, its agents, its old and new servants as well.  That is why it is standing in the middle now.  It is trying to present itself in a different way — as defender of people and their choices — and trying to guarantee the kind of transition of power, authority, and leadership that would preserve all its relations and alliance, the American project and interests. . . .

What concerns the US regime in the region is its own interests and Israel’s interests.  It doesn’t really matter who is in power.  America can abandon anyone who is in power at any moment.  Precisely who is in power is unimportant — whether or not he is Islamic doesn’t matter to America.  No one there cares about that.  The Americans don’t veto anyone based on whether he is a Muslim, from an Islamic movement, a leftist, a rightist, a nationalist, a secularist, a religious cleric, a sheikh, a sayyed, a patriarch, or a bishop.  No, that doesn’t concern America.  America is not concerned about such an ideological self-positioning of a leader.  What is most important is this: Is this leader, is this regime, committed to America’s interests and Israel’s interests?  If the answer is yes, no problem, whatever the ideological posturing of the leader and regime may be.


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