Things Have to Change in Order to Remain the Same

The hypocrisy of the U.S. government is yet again demonstrated in full force. The U.S. government invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, laid waste to much of the countries, including entire villages and towns, and massacred untold numbers of civilians in order “to bring democracy” to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now after days of Egyptians in the streets demanding “Mubarak must go,” the U.S. government remains aligned with its puppet Egyptian ruler, even suggesting that Mubarak, after running a police state for three decades, is the appropriate person to implement democracy in Egypt.

On Jan. 30, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “freedom and democracy” America neither seeks nor supports the ouster of the Egyptian dictator.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. and Europe that criticism of Mubarak must be curbed in order “to preserve stability in the region.”

By “stability” Netanyahu means the unimpeded ability of Israel to continue oppressing the Palestinians and stealing their country. Mubarak has been for three decades the well-paid enforcer for the U.S. and Israel, sealing off Gaza from the outside world and preventing aid flows across the Egyptian border. Mubarak and his family have become multi-billionaires, thanks to the American taxpayer, and both Republicans and Democrats do not want to lose their heavy investment in Mubarak.

The U.S. government has long corrupted Arab governments by paying rulers installed by the U.S. to represent U.S./Israeli interests rather than the interests of Arab peoples. Arabs put up with American-financed oppression for many years but now are showing signs of rebellion.

The murderous American-supported dictator in Tunis was overthrown by people taking to the streets. Rebellion has spread to Egypt, and there are also street protests against the U.S.-supported rulers in Yemen and Jordan.

These uprisings might succeed in ousting puppet rulers, but will the result be anything more than the exchange of a new American puppet ruler for the old? Mubarak might go, but whoever takes his place is likely to find himself wearing the same American harness.

What dictators do is to eliminate alternative leadership. Potential leaders are either assassinated, exiled, or imprisoned. Moreover, anything short of a full-fledged revolution, such as the Iranian one, leaves in place a bureaucracy accustomed to business as usual. In addition, Egypt and the country’s military have grown accustomed to American support and will want the money to keep flowing. It is the flow of this money that ensures the purchase of the replacement government.

Because the U.S. dollar is the world reserve currency, the U.S. government has financial dominance and the ability to financially isolate other countries, such as Iran. To break free of America’s grip, one of two things would have to happen. Revolution would have to sweep the Arab world and result in an economic unity that could foster indigenous economic development, or the U.S. dollar would have to fail as world currency.

Arab disunity has long been the means by which the Western countries have dominated the Middle East. Without this disunity, Israel and the U.S. could not abuse the Palestinians in the manner in which they have for decades, and without this disunity the U.S. could not have invaded Iraq. It is unlikely that the Arabs will suddenly unite themselves.

The collapse of the dollar is more likely. Indeed, the policy of the U.S. government to maximize both budget and trade deficits and the policy of the Federal Reserve to monetize the budget deficit and the fraudulent paper assets of the large banks have the dollar heading for demise.

As the supply of dollars grows, the value diminishes. Perhaps the time is not far off when rulers cease to sell out their peoples for American money.

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Author: Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.