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The Progressive

Who’s Hillary Clinton Kidding on Egypt?

It's been both exhilarating and infuriating to watch the grassroots revolution under way in Egypt right now.

It's exhilarating because it proves once again that history is not stagnant, and that people can only take so much oppression and corruption before they rise up even against a dictator who looked so powerful, so unlodgeable, just days before.

And it's infuriating because the United States has been hopelessly compromised in this situation, just as it has in the face of one revolution after another in the Third World for the last 50 years.

It was this way with Suharto in Indonesia, the Shah in Iran, Marcos in the Philippines, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Duvaliers in Haiti, and especially with Mubarak in Egypt, even as he brutalized and impoverished his people.

But he served Washington's needs for the past 30 years, and he was happy to cash his almost $2 billion annual bribe that went by the name of U.S. aid.

The Egyptians in the street understand that. And they see how halting and pathetic the response has been from the Obama Administration, which has taken forever to prepare to kiss Mubarak goodbye.

On Friday, Hillary Clinton urged "restraint" and Obama urged "reform." But neither endorsed the demand of the Egyptian people to be rid of their dictator.

And then Clinton told a whopper on Sunday. "We are on the side" of the Egyptian people, "as we have been for more than 30 years," she told Candy Crowley of CNN.

Who does Clinton think she's fooling with this crap?

Was the United States on the side of the Egyptian people as Mubarak's security forces engaged in rampant and hideous torture?

Was the United States on the side of the Egyptian people as Mubarak rigged one election after another?

At times like this, such bald-faced lies don't fool anyone, especially not the Egyptian people.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

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Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild is senior editor of The Progressive magazine.

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