Over the past week the people of Egypt have been in the streets and waging a struggle that has assumed truly extraordinary dimensions. They have met austerity and repression with a mass heroism that people everywhere can learn from. The crowds that filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square and staged huge demonstrations across the country created the conditions for the end of the Morsi regime and pushed forward the national democratic process.
The movement that has filled the streets and squares of Egypt this past week is a continuation of the movement that broke out Jan. 25, 2011 and toppled the hated U.S.-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.
Despite these accomplishments, the movement of the Egyptian people now faces real challenges. It is a fact: President Morsi was removed from power by the Egyptian military. Was it in the context of a powerful mass movement demanding change? Sure, no doubt about that. It is also the case, at least for the short term, that the removal of Morsi via a coup, the suspension of the constitution, the ending of parliament and other measures taken against the Muslim Brotherhood, will strengthen the hand of the military - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - in the struggle between different factions of Egypt’s elite.
The strengthened role for military presents a real set of problems for the Egyptian people. The most important being that Egypt’s military is closely linked with the U.S. and it could care less about the national or class interests of the Egyptian people in particular or the Arab peoples in general. The military was the author of the shameful treaty with Israel that strengthened the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Its collaboration with Israel continues right up to today. Many of its ranking officers have been trained in the U.S. Second to Israel, Egypt received $1.3 billion in military assistance last year from the U.S.
While the White House has ordered a review of the aid to Egypt - because U.S. law forbids assistance to governments that come to power via coups - it is worth noting that the administration is being careful not to say the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces carried out a coup.
Progressives in the U.S. should extend their solidarity to the people of Egypt. Across the Middle East, from Syria, to Palestine, to Yemen, Lebanon and Bahrain, people are resisting imperialism, Zionism and reaction of all kinds. They deserve our support. We demand an end to all U.S. aid to reactionary regimes in the Middle East, including Israel, and support the right of the Arab peoples to determine their own destiny.
Victory to the struggle of the Egyptian people!