Bulletin N°481


19 February 2011
Grenoble, France
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The leveling processes within the structures of the capitalist dictatorship have the effect of "proletarianizing" all of us, except for a tiny group of determined careerists who will try to be useful to their masters by controlling and manipulating their communities as best they can. Speaking of the attempt to control cognition and consciousness, British anthropologist Gregory Bateson put it this way: When you kick a stone, it moves with the energy you have provided; when you kick a dog, it responds with the energy it receives from its metabolism.

Educators have pretty much established that human intelligence to recognize the meaning of available information  is governed by the ideas available to us, and that these ideas, in turn, are determined by our experiences, or the lack thereof.... Thus many of us find ourselves standing among the emotionally impoverished, with no idea of how to even approach the information around us --unable to read, so to speak, the proverbial 'writing on the wall' (if, indeed, we are able to even perceive its existence).

Recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have once again demonstrated the imminent nature of the human mind and the limits of human manipulation. (Descartes' separation of body and mind was an epistemological error, and this has made all the difference.) The will for self awareness has been proven once again to be contagious, while increasingly the superficial sophestry of North Americans and Europeans is looking like small, backwater operations with no viable future for social development, short of the abrupt discontinuities that are providing oxygen and liberating the energies of populations in Latin America and in the Muslim world today.

The 7 items below offer CEIMSA readers the opportunity to judge their own roles in advancing the control and command skills of their mastrers in the societies where they live. The lack of meaningful dialogue, or even the capacity to converse about what's happening to them, speaks volumes about the conditions of modern enslavement, where we see people wearing their chains with great pride and exhibiting violently contempt toward those who are constantly trying to break out of their bondage and are frequently sanctioned for their efforts.


Item A. is a copy of Francis Feeley's letter to the Société des anglicistes de l'enseignement supérieur [SAES] on 10 February concerning the attempted "triangulation" of Egypt by the US and Israel during the Six Weeks War in June 1967.

Item B. is Francis Feeley's letter to SAES on 17 February concerning Noam Chomsky's discussion of the inert populations of Europe and North America.

Item C. is a response to our Bulletin #480, in which Professor Vicki Briault expresses her concern for the future of Egypt?

Item D., sent to us by George Kenney, is the voice of historical experience concerned with the fact that where there is revolution, counter-revolution is never far behind (or ahead).

Item E., from Professor Ed Herman, is an article on "our Man in Cairo," Omar Suleiman, "Egypt's Torturer-in-Chief."

Item F., sent to us by Rabbi Michael Lerner, founding editor of Tikkun, a bimonthly Jewish and Interfaith critique of politics, culture & society, is an article welcoming the resignation of  Mubarak; but not ready to accept a military or "security" force coup to replace him.

Item G., from Vicki Briault, is an article by Nick Daerden: "Egypt's debt must fall with Mubarak's regime".

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

from Francis Feeley:
Date: 10 February 2011
Subject: Sent to the Société des anglicistes de l'enseignement supérieur [SAES]:   Framing Egypt: A short history of US-Israeli-Egyptian 'triangulation' and the breath-taking degree of US commitment abroad.

Dear Colleagues,
Those of you who are teaching US contemporary history, or US foreign policy,
or US government institutions at the university level might be interested in this
short documentary which depicts the amazing degree of US commitment to Israeli
policy on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War, when Israel attempted to bring the
US military into their war against Egypt, in collaboration with US President Lyndon B. Johnson
and US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

"Israeli attack on USS Liberty (US Navy ship) - 8 June 1967"
(5 minutes)

and for the full-length documentary see:

"Dead in the Water"
(69 minutes)

Francis Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Universit de Grenoble-3
Director of Research
Universit de Paris X-Nanterre

from Francis Feeley:
Date: 17 February 2011
Subject: Sent to the Société des anglicistes de l'enseignement supérieur [SAES]:  "The Inert Populations in Europe and America."

Dear Colleagues,
Noam Chomsky thinks he knows what is wrong with Europeans and Americans: Inert Populations.
See http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/2/17/noam_chomsky_on_civil_rights_obama_latin_america_and_the_history_of_the_us_in_the_middle_east

Francis Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Université de Grenoble-3
Director of Research
Université de Paris X-Nanterre

from Vicki Briault :
Date: 4 February 2011
Subject: The future of Egypt?

Dear Francis,
A million thanks!! For all your links for Egypt, but today - the NYT video - Nawal Es-Sadawi!  I am bowled over...  I had not seen her for years, and then only in photographs - she is so beautiful, her eyes shining with intelligence and excitement (even if that was yesterday).  Let us hope that she will live to see positive change - but whereas she takes heart from the fact that it is "neither left, nor right, nor Muslim brothers but everyone - people who know nothing about politics" - that is what I find most worrying.  Are there any antiliberal movements out there?  Or are the majority yearning to enjoy the elusive consumer freedoms of Western "democracy"?
Have a good weekend...

from George Kenney :
Date: 6 February 2011
Subject: Three steps forward . . . .

Francis -- I would note that John Sawer, the current head of MI6, was quite recently the UK Ambassador to Egypt and that, moreover, he cut his teeth advising Tony Blair on the Balkans. Though it's a small probability I wouldn't rule out that MI6 and the Agency hatched a plot to get Mubarak out of the way before things in Egypt reached a real revolutionary point.


from Ed Herman :
Date 8 February 2011
Subject: Interviews Available -- Omar Suleiman, "Egypt's Torturer-in-Chief," Tied to Iraq WMD Tortured "Intel",

Our Man In Cairo.

ed herman

Laura Rosen of Politico writes that "the United States supports talks on an orderly transition being led by Egyptian Vice President Gen. Omar Suleiman," who was recently appointed vice president by Hosni Mubarak.

KATHERINE HAWKINS,  (617) 285-0304, k_r_hawkins@yahoo.com
    A human right lawyer, Hawkins has been a researcher for Jane Mayer, author of "The Dark Side" and the new piece Who is Omar Suleiman? in The New Yorker Mayer writes: "Suleiman has headed the feared Egyptian general intelligence service. In that capacity, he was the CIAs point man in Egypt for renditions -- the covert program in which the CIA snatched terror suspects from around the world and returned them to Egypt and elsewhere for interrogation, often under brutal circumstances." See Hawkins' Twitter feed for background and regular updates: http://twitter.com/KHawkins5

    Mayer added to her piece: "Katherine Hawkins, a sharp-eyed human-rights lawyer who did legal research for my book, points out that, according to [author Ron] Suskind, Suleiman was the CIAs liaison for the rendition of an Al Qaeda suspect known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi. The Libi case is particularly controversial, in large part because it played a role in the building of the case for the American invasion of Iraq." http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/01/who-is-omar-suleiman.html#ixzz1DO59fJ4X

    Hawkins wrote "The Promises of Torturers: Diplomatic Assurances and the Legality of Rendition." Also, see some of her recent updates: http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/01/the-torture-career-of-egypts-new-vice-president-omar-suleiman-and-the-rendition-to-torture-program

LISA HAJJAR, cell: (805) 236-4144, lhajjar@soc.ucsb.edu, http://www.jadaliyya.com
    Hajjar is a professor in the sociology department at the University of California-Santa Barbara and a co-editor at the new journal Jadaliyya, where she recently wrote the piece "Omar Suleiman, the CIA's Man in Cairo and Egypt's Torturer-in-Chief." http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/503/omar-suleiman-the-cias-man-in-cairo-and-egypts-torturer-in-chief

    The piece states: "At least one person extraordinarily rendered by the CIA to Egypt -- Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib -- was tortured by Suleiman himself. ... A far more infamous torture case, in which Suleiman also is directly implicated, is that of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi. Unlike Habib, who was innocent of any ties to terror or militancy, al-Libi allegedly was a trainer at al-Khaldan camp in Afghanistan. He was captured by the Pakistanis while fleeing across the border in November 2001. He was sent to Bagram, and questioned by the FBI. But the CIA wanted to take over, which they did, and he was transported to a black site on the USS Bataan in the Arabian Sea, then extraordinarily rendered to Egypt. Under torture there, al-Libi 'confessed' knowledge about an al-Qaeda -- Saddam connection, claiming that two al-Qaeda operatives had received training in Iraq for use in chemical and biological weapons. In early 2003, this was exactly the kind of information that the Bush administration was seeking to justify attacking Iraq and to persuade reluctant allies to go along. Indeed, al-Libi's 'confession' was one the central pieces of 'evidence' presented at the United Nations by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to make the case for war. As it turns out, though, that 'confession' was a lie tortured out of him by Egyptians. ...

    "According to Evan Kohlmann, who enjoys favored status as an 'al-Qaeda expert' among U.S. officials, citing a classified source: 'Al-Libi's death coincided with the first visit by Egypt's spymaster Omar Suleiman to Tripoli.' Kohlmann surmises and opines that after al-Libi recounted his story about an al-Qaeda-Saddam WMD connection, 'The Egyptians were embarrassed by this admission, and the Bush government found itself in hot water internationally. Then, in May 2009, Omar Suleiman saw an opportunity to get even with al-Libi and traveled to Tripoli. By the time Omar Suleiman's plane left Tripoli, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi had committed "suicide."'"

Background: See Hossam Bahgat, founder and executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Interviewed on Democracy Now on Monday, he highlighted critical information about Suleiman, including information gleaned via WikiLeaks. Bahgat noted that until 2007, Egyptians didn't know who Omar Suleiman was "because up until then, he was not a public persona. We did not know who the head of our intelligence service was." http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/7/protests_demanding_mubarak_to_resign_grow

Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, wrote after al-Libi's "suicide" in 2009: "What I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 -- well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion -- its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qaeda.

"So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee 'was compliant' (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office [Cheney] ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qaeda-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, 'revealed' such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

"There in fact were no such contacts. (Incidentally, al-Libi just 'committed suicide' in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi....)" http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2009/05/the_truth_about

See video of Colin Powell denying any knowledge of the al-Libi case at Washington Stakeout on May 25, 2009 [questioning by Sam Husseini]: http://www.washingtonstakeout.com/index.php/2009/05/25/powell-denies-torture-war-link

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

from Rabbi Michael Lerner :
Date: 11 February 2011
Subject:  Jews & Spiritual Progressives Welcome Mubarak Resignation; but not a military or "security" force coup to replace him.


Jews & Spiritual Progressives Welcome Mubarak Resignation; but not a military or "security" force coup to replace him

Tikkun magazine's editor Rabbi Michael Lerner  and the Network of Spiritual Progressives issued the following statement on Friday, February 10th:

Jews and Spiritual Progressives of every religious community are rejoicing at the triumph of the democratic uprising in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities and at the resignation of President Mubarak.

But we have no illusions that the struggle for democracy has been won
. We are fearful that the US and others who seek "stability" rather than "democracy" may accept a new autocratic regime under the leadership of Vice President Omar Suleiman (the US ally who played a significant role in  the torture operations in Egypt)  or under the leadership of a "soft" military coup in which the Army becomes the primary force in Egypt. Nor would we welcome a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, though they have a legitimate role to play in any new government. It remains to be seen if a genuine democratic process takes place, or merely a military and security forces controled process leading to elections that reflect the desires of the military which might continue to control the media and the security forces.

Here is what we would look for to see if this is really a democratic transformation:

1. The immediate end of the Emergency Laws that have been in effect since 1972 and that have given the state powers that deny fundamental human rights for the Egyptian people.

2. The freeing of all political prisoners

3. A focus on economic justice for the poor (which is the majority of the population. A specific step would be to call for the West to immediately embrace a Global Marshall Plan whose first setting would be the Middle East countries.

4. The creation of a democratic transtion group representing all the different opposition factions as well as the Army and Mubarak's party,  but the Army and the old regime  having only a few representatives rather than dominating the process.

5. Immediate opening of the Egyptian television and other media to a wide variety of perspectives representing all the diferent factions in the Uprising including, but not dominated by, the Islamic forces or the Army.

We are well aware that the Iranian revolution, at first a popular uprising, was taken over by extremist mullahs and turned into an oppressive dictatorship of the mullahs even as the forms of democracy and election of a president gave the pretense of democracy. We do not want that to happen in Egypt, which  is one reason we have called upon the US, Israel and the Western countries to embrace the democratic forces rather than hope for "stability" through military control. Only an unequivocal and massive set of political moves by the US and Israel, including an end to the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, would convey to the Egyptian people that the US and Israel had really gotten the message that supporting Mubarak's repressive regime was a mistake and that they truly respect the masses of the Arab world and wish to be partners with them rather than seek to dominate them.

All this is a major religious and spiritual celebration. Though the right-wing government of Israel and the Jewish establishment in the U.S. have called on the US to support "stability" rather than democracy, the vast majority of Jews in the US and around the world have celebrated the Egyptian uprising, and while feeling concerned that it not be taken over by anti-Israel elements who might seek a war with Israel, we recognize the Biblical legacy of the need to overthrow the Pharoahs of Egypt and "let the people go." Western religions including Islam retain the story of the Israelite freedom struggle retold in the Bible. Jews celebrate that liberation every Sabbath and on Passover. That ancient story has predisposed many in these Wester spiriutal tradition to favor every liberation struggle in the contemporary world!!!! We will not be fooled by a new Pharoah to replace the old Pharoah, whether the new Pharoah is Suleiman or the army or an Islamic dictatorship.

But none of these concerns will overshadow our current rejoicing at the overthrow of Mubarak. This joyous moment reminds us once again of Tikkun's main lesson: DO NOT BE REALISTIC. Never allow the people with power in the economy, politics or the media to tell you that fundamental change is "unrealistic" and that you must settle for minor reforms while keeping  the fundamental problems untouched. Remember that this kind of advice was in place in Egypt four weeks ago, and that ordinary people, not big shots, just little guys like us, changed history! And remind those who tell you that the goal of a Global Marshall Plan or of an ESRA--Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (www.spiritualprogressives.org/ESRA). Indeed, this is the  moment to reaffirm our commitment to A New Bottom Line in both our personal and economic/political and social lives  of love, kindness, generosity, ethical and ecological sensitivity and awe and wonder at the grandeur and mystery of the universe (or universes)--as embodied in the Spiritual Covenant wtih America. Remind the pessimists, cynics, skeptics and "realists" in your life of the following basic truth that they could have learned from the Bible, from the 60s, from the huge advances made by the civil rights, women's and glbtq movements, and now from Tunisia and Egypt: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT IS POSSIBLE UNTIL YOU ENGAGE IN SUSTAINED STRUGGLE FOR WHAT IS ETHICALLY DESIRABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLLY NECESSARY.

Help us spread this kind of message. Join the Network of Spiritual Progressives at www.spiritualprogressives.org (and you get a free sub to Tikkun along with membership--and now that Tikkun will be mostly on line, subscribers get special content on the website, which opens in early March, that is not available to non-subscribers).

And Come to Tikkun's 25th Anniversary celebration at which we will give the Tikkun Award to several cultural, political and spiritual leaders who have themselves rejected the phony "realism" that keeps so many in chains. Info: www.tikkun.org/celebrate or by calling 510 644 1200

For interviews with Tikkun Editor Rabbi Michael Lerner, contact Mike Godbe mike@tikkun.org or 510 644 1200.

from Vicki Briault :
Date: 18 February 2011
Subject: An excellent text by Nick Daerden: "Egypt's debt must fall with Mubarak's regime".

Hi Francis,
You might like to put the article below on the CEIMSA site?
Bon weekend,
excellent texte de Nick Daerden qui dirige la campagne dette en GB
on le traduit en FR et en ESP
Eric Toussaint
345 Avenue de l'Observatoire
4000 Lige

Dear all,

With the on-going autumn of fall of ditatorial regimes in Arab, the first important political question proped up, is the massive debt incured by the ousted dictators and corruption committed by the chronic oligarch and their cronies.

Below is latest piece on debt situation of Egypt and Tunisia by Nick dearden



Egypt's debt must fall with Mubarak's regime
by Nick Dearden


[The debts of Egypt and Tunisia must be cancelled if the people on the streets of Cairo and Tunis are to take control of their economy and hold Western countries to account .] 

In the best tradition of dictators, Hosni Mubarak pillaged Egypts economy, and leaves office with as much as $70 billion in his familys bank account while he bequeaths $30 billion in debt to the Egyptian people. Zine el Abidine Ben Ali leaves $15 billion to the people of Tunisia, taking a more modest $3 billion for himself. As more regimes come tumbling down, so these injustices will multiply.

The true creditors of Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere are not the Western states who used loans to prop up their tough guys across the Arab world they are the people of these countries who suffered under this rule. The West must now repay those debts by opening up their lending to public scrutiny, returning the assets of Mubarak and his cronies that have been banked in Europe and the US, and cancelling unjust debts across the Arab world. The Egyptian people must not continue to pay the bill for Western complicity through large debt repayments.

It is too easy for American and British leaders to issue warm words to the people of these police states who have endured corruption, torture and violations of human rights for decades. In fact Tony Blair has been the most honest appraiser of the situation. While most Western leaders dropped Mubarak so fast that you wonder how his desperately unpopular regime clung onto power for so long, Britain's former Prime Minister called his one time ally "immensely courageous and a force for good".

For the US and Europe, Mubarak was indeed an excellent client. Egypt repays its loans, many of which were undoubtedly run up in the interests of the regime rather than the people, at a rate of around $3 billion a year. This money has diverted what could otherwise have been used to improve the lives of ordinary Egyptians. Since 1981, Egypt has paid the equivalent of $80 billion dollars in debt and interest repayments, helping redistribute money from Egypt's poor to the global rich.

Some of the country's debt is undoubtedly military in nature. Egypt receives more US military support than any country in the world apart from Israel well over $1 billion a year since Mubarak came to power in 1981. The British Government has allowed UK companies to supply Egypt with as much as 23 million ($37 million) of military equipment in 2008, 16 million ($26 million) in 2009. No doubt this came in useful when Egypt became a major centre for the US war on terror program of kidnapping, secret flights and illegal detention and torture.

Egypt currently owes nearly 100 million ($160 million) to the UK. Although the Government refuses to say what Egypt's debt is based on, we know that it relates to British exports through the controversial Export Credits Guarantee Department, largely based on sales which took place early in Mubarak's rule. This shadowy Government department insures British business working in risky parts of the world usually supporting arms, aerospace and fossil fuel industries.

Tunisia faces a similar situation under Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, the country made repayments well in excess of $40 billion. Again, Ben Ali served Western interests while suppressing his people who finally rose up against his rule in January. 

When people have begun to take control of their countries in the past from apartheid South Africa to Bolivia, from Argentina to Poland debt has been used as a key means of forcing undemocratic economic policies on those countries. These policies have caused great pain and suffering to the poorest in those societies, and put a block on democracy extending in any way into the economic sphere. If the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt genuinely usher in a new era of independence for the people of those countries and if, as seems likely, the spark which has been lit in North Africa spreads across the Arab world, the next step will be holding to account those responsible for decades of kleptocratic and brutal rule.

As well as trying to recover money stolen by their former rulers, this means questioning the legitimacy of the debt that kept those rulers in power. It is time for the peoples of North Africa to break their chains of debts which have already helped suppress freedom and development for a generation.

Nick Dearden is Executive Director Jubilee Debt Campaign UK (http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/)

Abdul Khaliq Shah
Focal Person,
Campaign for Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM)-Pakistan
E.mail: cadtm.pakistan@gmail
Cell: +92 321 9402325
     : +92 307 5557268

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