Portada del sitio > Global > La ira se expande dentro del mundo árabe: Entrevista con Michel (...)

Carmen Álvarez y Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, Ciudad de México 20 febrero 2011

La ira se expande dentro del mundo árabe: Entrevista con Michel Chossudovsky

Las manifestaciones en demanda de un cambio político en Bahrein, Libia, Argelia y Yemen fueron ayer duramente reprimidas

Miércoles 23 de febrero de 2011, por Redacción

Como dijo Gabriel García Márquez, procuran verse al espejo lo menos posible para no encontrarse con sus propios ojos. Pasan sus últimos días temerosos de su propia sombra, cercados por el odio; les llaman dictadores.
Algunos están aislados de la comunidad internacional como Kim Jong-Il, de Corea del Norte que no escucha a nadie y envía a prisión a quienes no lo adoran como su Amado Líder, otros son tolerados por las grandes potencias a cambio de explotar sus recursos naturales o su estratégica posición militar.

(imagen: Frank G. Wisner II [1]).

Pero muchos más se endeudan a nombre de sus conciudadanos y quedan a merced de los organismos acreedores multilaterales. Uno de ellos fue Hosni Mubarak, quien fue defenestrado por su pueblo el 11 de febrero, otro fue Ben Alí de Túnez, quien aceleró su caída en medio de una crisis alimentada por el alza de precios de los alimentos básicos que le impusieron el Fondo Monetario Internacional y Wall Street.

Michel Chossudovsky, el editor de Global Research.ca considerado como uno de los grandes expertos en globalización, comentó a Excélsior que fue testigo del sometimiento de Mubarak a sus acreedores, pues no tuvo ni voz ni voto en la aplicación de políticas totalmente opuestas a los intereses de sus conciudadanos.

Estuve en Egipto, invitado por el ministro de Hacienda, cuando le impusieron el devastador programa de ajuste del Fondo Monetario Internacional, y la participación de Egipto en la Guerra del Golfo en 1991. Bueno, ni siquiera chistó”, dijo vía telefónica desde Kuala Lumpur, la capital de Malasia, donde es miembro de la Comisión de los Crímenes de Guerra en Irak.

Este economista de la Universidad de Ottawa explicó que las masivas medidas de austeridad, la desregulación de los precios de los alimentos y la fiebre privatizadora, empobrecieron a la población egipcia y desestabilizaron su economía.

Sin embargo, Mubarak era alabado entonces, dijo, como un “alumno modelo” del FMI.

Un esquema similar de imposiciones aceleró también la caída, a fines de enero, del también defenestrado Ben Alí de Túnez, el pasado 14 de enero, tras 24 años en la presidencia, pues aceptó el alza de precios en los alimentos básicos que le impusieron el FMI y Wall Street.

El acento ligeramente costeño al hablar español de Chossudovsky, autor de numerosos libros entre los que figura The Globalization of Poverty: Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, resonaba desde la capital malasia horas antes de que Mubarak fuera sustituido por el líder del Consejo Supremo de las Fuerzas Armadas, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, y por el controvertido general Omar Suleiman, en la vicepresidencia.

Lo que, en estricto sentido, es para Chossudovsky el remplazo del viejo dictador u “obedecedor” de las grandes potencias, por uno nuevo en el estratégico enclave africano cuyo territorio se extiende hasta el continente asiático a través de su península del Sinaí.

Egipto es prácticamente una colonia, su situación es mucho peor que la de América Latina donde históricamente las dictaduras han tenido ciertos márgenes de decisión. Otra dimensión del problema es que a lo largo del gobierno de Mubarak, fundaciones de EU que mantienen lazos con el Departamento de Estado y el Pentágono, se dedicaron a apoyar a grupos de oposición para que también sirvan a sus intereses”, dijo.

Chossudovsky señaló que poco antes de la caída de Mubarak, entró en acción un personaje que movió los hilos de la política egipcia tras el telón:

Se trata de un misterioso diplomático retirado, Frank G. Wisner II, enviado a toda prisa por la administración Obama a El Cairo, el 31 de enero, a negociar una solución a las protestas callejeras. Era el hijo de Frank Gardiner Wisner (1909-1965), uno de los más destacados agentes de inteligencia de EU, que en 1953 articuló la caída del gobierno de Mohammed Mossadegh en Irán.

Ése es nuestro mensaje al movimiento de protesta. Echen de la silla (de gobierno) a las marionetas políticas pero no se olviden de quiénes son los verdaderos dictadores”, escribió Chossudovsky el 29 de enero desde Siria para Global Research.ca.

Tom Ferguson, académico de la Universidad de Massachusetts en Boston conocido por sus estudios sobre el dinero en las elecciones, dijo a Excélsior vía telefónica desde Boston, que cuando estallaron las protestas en Egipto, se realizaba en Munich, Alemania, la Conferencia de Seguridad de la OTAN, que reúne a los líderes de la Unión Europea, quienes allí mismo tomaron decisiones clave para el destino de ese país.

Algunos expertos evaden el tema de la instalación/o apoyo de EU a abyectos dictadores criminales en todo el planeta, justificándolo como la bobalicona torpeza de unos chicos bien intencionados. Pero otros reconocen que esas políticas son elaboradas deliberadamente para apoyar los intereses –léase corporativos– de EU”, escribió Ferguson para Like the Dew, A Journal of Southern Culture and Politics.

Les llaman dictadores

Para el historiador William Engdahl, el mundo vive un proceso de sustitución o “Destrucción Creativa” de viejos tiranos en esa región, impulsado por “el G-8”, el grupo de ocho países más industrializados del planeta.

Una serie de revoluciones suaves que Engdahl enmarca dentro del llamado “Proyecto Mayor para Oriente Medio” de Washington. Sin embargo, Hosni Mubarak se erigió como un acérrimo opositor a las políticas del presidente estadunidense, Barack Obama, hacia Irán y su programa nuclear, hacia Siria, hacia Líbano y hacia el pueblo palestino.

Engdahl escribió para Global Research.ca y lemetropolecafe.com, entre otros medios, que Túnez y Egipto estaban en la lista del proyecto de Oriente Medio para llevar democracia y reformas económicas “liberales de libre mercado” a países donde opera el National Endowment for Democracy, una ONG financiada por el Congreso estadunidense.

En la lista de ese proyecto también figuran Jordania, Kuwait, Libia, Siria, Yemen, Sudán e incluso Israel.

Pero en el hit parade de los Peores Dictadores del Mundo convergen tiranos avalados por las potencias industrializadas a cambio de la instalación de enclaves militares o de la explotación de riquezas naturales.

Son tiranos que terminan sus días temiendo hasta de su propia sombra, como los describió Platón en su Libro VIII de La República hace más de 2 mil 380 años, dijo a Excélsior Bill Caspary de la Universidad de Nueva York

Global Research Articles by Carmen Álvarez

Global Research Articles by Michel Chossudovsky

- ARTÍCULOS RELACIONADOS, Global Research.ca (en castellano):

*Las emergentes contrarrevoluciones en Túnez y Egipto, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, 12-02-2011

*Egipto: ¿Amenaza de Intervención Militar de EEUU e Israel?, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, 07-02-2011

*La detención de un espía israelí en Egipto sugiere todo lo que Washington y Tel Aviv se juegan en este país, Finnian Cunnigham, 06-02-2011

*Egipto: nueva etapa en la revolución árabe, Fathi Chamkhi, Jérôme Duval y Damien Millet, 03-02-2011

*«Los dictadores no dictan, obedecen órdenes». El movimiento de protesta en Egipto, Michel Chossudovsky, 01-02-2011

*El nuevo diseño de Oriente Medio y África del Norte. La balcanización de Sudán, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, 24-01-2011

*Dictadura y neoliberalismo: El levantamiento popular tunecino, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, 22-01-2011

*La balcanización de Sudán: Un nuevo diseño para el Oriente Medio y el Magreb, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, 20-01-2011

*El Magreb se levanta contra los dictadores. Después de Túnez, Argelia se une a la revuelta popular, Zehira Houfani, 10-01-2011

*La ’medicina económica’ del FMI en Túnez ha tenido como resultado la pobreza generalizada y el paro, Basel Saleh, 06-01-2011

*La policía abre fuego mientras las protestas se extienden por Túnez, Ann Talbot, 05-01-2011

(23 de febrero de 2011)


[1- FRANK G. WISNER II.

"The Empire’s Bagman:" Obama Egypt Envoy Frank Wisner Says Mubarak Should Stay

The official U.S. response to events unfolding in Egypt remains mixed. Over the weekend, the Obama administration distanced itself from U.S. “crisis envoy” to Egypt Frank Wisner after he issued a statement in support of President Hosni Mubarak. 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.". We are joined by Trinity College Professor Vijay Prashad, who has written about Wisner’s history with the U.S. Department of State and his close relationship with Mubarak (includes rush transcript).

Guest: Vijay Prashad, Vijay Prashad is a professor of international studies at Trinity College. His most recent book is The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.

Related stories

* "People Have Finally Found Their Voice”: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egypt After Mubarak

* Egyptian Uprising Fueled by Striking Workers Across Nation

* "A Celebration, Not a Protest": Massive Crowd Packs Cairo’s Tahrir Square to Mark One Week Since Mubarak’s Ouster

* The Genie Is Out of the Bottle”: Assessing a Changing Arab World with Noam Chomsky and Al Jazeera’s Marwan Bishara

* Yemeni Forces Use Tasers, Batons, Knives and Rifles to Quash Anti-Government Protests

Rush Transcript

AMY Goodman I want to bring someone else into this discussion. The official U.S. response to events unfolding in Egypt has been mixed. For days, the Obama administration has refused to call for President Mubarak to resign, but said an orderly transition of power was needed. But on Saturday, the U.S. special envoy, Frank Wisner, explicitly said Mubarak should not resign.

Frank Wisner: The President must stay in office in order to steer those changes through. I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical. It’s his opportunity to write his own legacy. He has given 60 years of his life to the service of his country. This is an ideal moment for him to show the way forward, not just in maintaining stability and responsible government, but actually shaping and giving authority to the transition that has to be underway.

Amy Goodman That was the Obama administration’s special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner. The Obama administration responded to Wisner’s remarks by claiming he was speaking in his private capacity and not as U.S. envoy. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, quote, "We deeply respect the many years of service that Frank Wisner has provided to our country, but he does not speak for the American government".

Meanwhile, the British journalist Robert Fisk has revealed U.S. envoy Frank Wisner works for the law firm «Patton Boggs», which openly boasts 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.".

To talk more about this, we’re joined by Vijay Prashad, who has written about Wisner’s appointment as U.S. envoy to Egypt and the close relationship he has had with President Mubarak. Vijay Prashad, professor at Trinity College, most recent book called The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.

Your piece was called, Professor Prashad, "The Empire’s Bagman". Talk about who Frank Wisner is, who it is President Obama sent to Egypt, and why the U.S. ambassador to Egypt wasn’t the one who was talking with the government.

Vijay Prashad: Yes, the point is a very good one, why Margaret Scobey herself was not in charge of the deliberations. Instead, President Obama turned to Frank Wisner, Jr. Frank Wisner, Jr., has had a 36-year career in the State Department. He is the son of Frank Wisner, Sr., a man very well known at the CIA, who was the operational chief to conduct at least three coups d’état—Arbenz in Guatemala, Mossadeq in Iran, and the attempted coup in Guyana. He was also, Frank Wisner, Sr., the man who created Wisner’s Wurlitzer, where the United States government paid journalists to go and do propaganda in Europe and in the rest of the world.

Frank Wisner, Jr., had a more steady career in the State Department, was the ambassador in Egypt between 1986 and 1991. During that period, he became very close friends with Hosni Mubarak and, at the time, convinced President Mubarak to bring Egypt on the side diplomatically of the United States during the first Gulf War. Subsequently, Frank Wisner was ambassador in the Philippines and then in India, before returning to the United States, where he became essentially one of the great eminences of the «Democratic Party». One of the things he did during this recent period is author a report for the James Baker Institute, where he argued that the most important thing for American foreign policy is not democracy, which they treat as a long-term interest, but stability, which is the short-term interest. So, Frank Wisner, Jr., is seasoned State Department official, a very close friend of Mubarak, a man more committed to stability than democracy, and, yes, an employee at «Patton Boggs», where one of the portfolios is for Patton Boggs to lobby on behalf of the government of Egypt.

Amy Goodman We’re talking to Vijay Prashad, a professor at Trinity College. Now, what he said, Vijay Prashad, that he said Mubarak should remain in power, the man who works for the lobbying firm, well known, «Patton Boggs», that is working for—that boasts about working for the Egyptian government, now saying that another client of his firm should remain in power.

Vijay Prashad Yes. It’s interesting that in that same speech he mentioned that Mubarak should be able to, in a sense, author his own legacy. I mean, he is probably speaking partly on the basis of this broad policy that he has, which is that stability is more important than democracy, and secondly, partly from friendship.

It should be said that the United States government has essentially been chasing events in this period. There are two pillars of U.S. foreign policy that they’ve been trying to maintain at the same time as not lose their credibility in the world. And the two basic pillars, the first one is to maintain Egypt as a close ally in the war on terror. That includes, of course, things like extraordinary rendition, but also includes Egypt carrying America’s buckets in places like the Arab League. The second important pillar is to ensure that whoever comes to power in Egypt, whether Mubarak or a Mubarak successor, will uphold the Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979. These are the two principal pillars of U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Egypt. What the Obama administration, it seems to me, has been trying to do is to ensure that if Mubarak himself cannot carry these two pillars, then some successor, a Mubarak-lite, Mubarak number two, will come in and carry the pillars forward. The United States does not have the best record in, you know, helping its dictatorial friends in the long term. We’ve seen that with Manuel Noriega. We’ve seen that with Saddam Hussein. So, the friendship that Frank Wisner, Jr., has for Mubarak might be a little liability, but broadly put, his attitude towards Mubarak and the Mubarak regime is quite consistent with the broad outlines of the Obama policy and of the State Department.

Amy Goodman Professor Prashad, this issue of Wisner, not only what he has represented now, but coming—I mean, his father, also named Frank Wisner, long lineage in the CIA family, his father, Frank, Sr., helping to overthrow Arbenz in Guatemala and, the example that is often brought up today, a year before, overthrowing the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossadeq. The parallels to what we are seeing today?

Vijay Prashad Yes. I mean, this is—you know, the tragedy of American foreign policy has been, on the one side, you’ve had the sort of CIA operations, and on the other side, you have the soft diplomacy, the kind of soft politics of the State Department. And we see that a little bit. As Frank Wisner, Jr., arrives in Cairo and goes to huddle with Mubarak and Omar Suleiman and others, Margaret Scobey, who, essentially cast aside by American foreign policy, goes to meet ElBaradei. This has been a big feature in American foreign policy. On the one side, you have sections in the State Department under the illusion that they are carrying forward a policy based on freedom and human rights, and on the other side, there is this much darker foreign policy apparatus conducted by the CIA special envoys, who are actually better called "proconsuls", and of course the United States military. There seems to be this contradiction at work, but it may not in the end of the day be a contradiction, because on one side you can say that the iron fist is being shrouded by the velvet glove. So, Margaret Scobey talking about human rights, going to see ElBaradei, talking about supporting the kind of upsurge of democracy, and on the other side, in much darker, more dangerous rooms, people like Frank Wisner, perhaps the CIA chief, discussing with Mubarak and Omar Suleiman how do we maintain your authority and change perhaps the face of that authority before the Egyptian people and the world.

Amy Goodman And Professor Prashad, the issue of the money that the U.S. government has funneled into Egypt for decades, for the 30 years? We’re talking about tens of billions of dollars. Over the weekend, France announced it would not be giving military aid to Egypt, but the U.S. has not cut off the money flow, the weapons flow, as far as we know, and of course has not called for the immediate removal of Mubarak, the immediate resignation of Mubarak.

Vijay Prashad This is quite true. The Obama administration mentioned that they have been spending money on democracy promotion. But that’s just in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 30 years. $1.3 billion a year goes towards military. Most of that goes towards subsidizing essentially the security apparatus of the Mubarak regime. So all the thugs that you see beating ordinary protesters, civil liberties people, etc., they are being essentially subsidized by the United States exchequer. You saw pictures from Tahrir Square of people holding tear gas canisters on which was written the words "Made in the U.S.A." This is very frustrating for people in the region to watch this subvention—on the one side, Israel being funded by the United States, on the other side, Egypt. This money is not going to end. I know that when Mubarak spoke to Christiane Amanpour, he looked very hurt. He said that the words of the President had hurt him. But it’s unlikely that when Washington says that we would like to see some progress towards a transition, anybody is saying, "We’re going to cut the money". Egypt is too valuable as an ally in the war on terror, and it’s too valuable as an ally for Israeli state interests, for the United States to start threatening a cut in that massive subvention that goes towards its military and security services.

Amy Goodman Professor Vijay Prashad, I want to thank you for being with us, professor at Trinity College, has written extensively about U.S. foreign policy. His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World. His piece on Frank Wisner is called "The Empire’s Bagman". This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back with Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Cairo in a minute.