The governments of Tunisia and Egypt were amongst the most brutal regimes in the Muslim world and hitherto survived largely because of the support they received from the USA as pretended democracies on account of their unfailing ability to oppress the political and economic aspirations of their own populations, ensure the supremacy of Israel in the Middle East balance of power and prevent Islam from becoming a meaningful influence on those countries' politics. That they had to give in to popular pressure within a matter of weeks is both unprecedented and historic in the post-colonial Arab world. It has put fear into the hearts of the rulers of other states in the region and made them understand that once their own people wake up and demand their rights even the US is powerless in helping them hold on to power. In the face of indiscriminate police violence and killing, wanton interference with the internet and mobile phone communications and the disregard for organisational and individual rights - given that even the BBC had to complain about one of their journalists having been arrested and beaten - it is no longer possible for Western "democracies" to side with those governments against their own people in the name of "fighting terrorism" without risking a backlash at home, too, where unnecessary economic austerity measures in the interest of bankers and large corporations are also breeding unrest and resentment.
Before getting too excited about the consequences of these recent events, however, a word of caution: Whilst popular anger is capable of removing an unpopular regime, be it the Shah in Iran, the Communist party in Poland, East Germany or Russia, Ben Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt, it is not enough when it comes to wanting to replace the established order with a more benign and accountable one. Whereas the USA cannot stem the unrest and prevent the fall of puppet dictators, they were not entirely unprepared for such events. During the Egyptian national uprising lead by Gamal Abd el Nasser, notwithstanding his anti-American rhetoric, American intelligence officers were writing his speeches for him as we revealed in our book Satanic Voices Ancient and Modern while ago. In the more recent book Surrendering Islam - The subversion of Muslim politics throughout history until the present day I co-authored with Canadian Muslim historian David Livingstone we show how the various opposition movements, including Islamic organisations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are carefully groomed by Western intelligence to come into play when it is time for a regime change. Lech Walensa and Gorbachev may have freed Poles and Russians from the yoke of Communism, but simultaneously delivered them into the commercial exploitation of US capitalism. In Tunisia, likewise, the personalities at the head of the state will change, but the policies are likely going to be more of the same. For Egypt, the name of Mohamed al-Baradai, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is already being promoted as that of the future leader of a "government of unity", with the media choosing a leader on behalf of the Egyptian people and above their heads. Some might suspect that he serves establishment interests, but few know how well-linked he is, for example, by sitting on the Board of Trustees of the "International Crisis Group" together with Zbigniew Brzezinski, author of the "Grand Chessboard", and George Soros. Whereas some of the oppressive measures from which the people of Tunisia and Egypt suffered might be temporarily eased, once in government, any opposition party will serve the same pay-masters. The Liberal Party in the UK is a prime example for this ability to betray empty promises to voters. And a second caution: popular unrest might even be purposefully fermented by the ruling elite in order to make people call for law and order and usher in marshal law. Ultimately, the puppeteers behind the scenes still want world government, not democracy, and French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde recently confirmed this commenting on President Sarkozy's support for the dollar and an expanded mandate for the IMF at the Davos World Economic Forum by calling for moving towards "global governance". One of the key topics at the Forum was that rising food prices would lead to unrest and economic warfare. Be warned and don't let emotions carry the day!