Imperialist Europe Aims for Close Collaboration with General Sisi’s Regime to Stop People Fleeing War and Misery. This is an Alliance of Robbers and Killers!
By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 21.09.2018, www.thecommunists.net
Leaders of the European Union have agreed to enter talks with Egypt’s military dictatorship in order to get its support for stopping people fleeing war and misery in Africa and the Middle East.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, announced the plan for "in-depth cooperation" with Cairo on 20 September at an informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria.
Kurz said: "Egypt and the North African countries can be important partners for us in preventing ships heading to Europe and after their rescue being brought back, in other words to the countries of transit. (...) Only in this way can we reduce illegal migration, can we destroy the business model of the smugglers, and stop drownings in the Mediterranean. (...) "We've got to ensure that as few people as possible leave northern African countries for Europe. If they do, the situation should be dealt with as close to the African coast as possible."
The Austrian Chancellor also praised the regime of General Sisi: “Egypt is efficient. Egypt has served as an example when it comes to illegal migration and people smuggling.”
This announcement came after Kurz and EU Council President Donald Tusk visited Cairo over the weekend for talks with Egypt’s dictator. Tusk also confirmed plans to hold an EU-Arab League summit in Cairo next February. (1)
According to the Wall Street Journal, the following pillars for an agreement between the EU and General Sisi were discussed. “Egypt [would] step up its policing of coastal waters and divert refugees intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea to the North–African country, according to officials involved. In exchange, the EU would offer Egypt substantial investments and other financial incentives as well as diplomatic accolades, including high-profile visits to Cairo by European heads of governments.” (2)
An Alliance of Robbers and Killers
Such praise of EU leaders for the Egyptian dictatorship is both shocking and telling. The regime of General Sisi is well-known for its bloody repression against any form of opposition. After it came to power via a coup d'etat on 3 July 2013, it started arresting and killing its opponents. A few weeks later, on 14 August, the military slaughtered up to 2.600 demonstrators on Rabaa Square in Cairo on a single day! (3) Today, nearly 80,000 people are vegetating in prison, many of them under regular torture. (4)
In other words, Austrian Chancellor Kurz “is right”: Egypt has indeed become a pretty efficient dictatorship!
As shocking as the EU’s praise for General Sisi and his regime is, it does not come as a surprise! General Sisi has received massive political, economic as well as military support from all imperialist Great Powers. The U.S., the European Union, Russia and China have expressed their support for the bloody dictatorship from the very first day after the successful coup d'etat.
This shows once more how hallow and hypocritical all the Western phrases about “human rights” and “democracy” are and always have been! For the imperialists, these slogans are nothing but a weapon against forces which are not compatible with their interests. However, if a dictator serves the political, economic or military interests of the Great Powers, they quickly forget about “human rights” and “democracy”.
This hypocrisy results in the following bizarre situation: all Great Powers as well as the United Nations denounce the Syrian liberation fighters in Idlib or numerous Egyptian opposition activists as “terrorists” while, at the same time, they give bloody dictatorships like that of General Sisi the red-carpet treatment!
Of course, this alliance of the EU and Egypt’s dictator is based on substantial joint interests. The Great Powers feared the Arab Revolution from the first days of its beginning in January 2011. They need “stability” in the region in order to exploit it’s abundantly resources as well as to control key strategic transport routes for capitalist world trade (like the Suez Canal in the case of Egypt).
Furthermore, the European imperialists need the Arab dictatorships in order to stop African and Arab migrants from fleeing their countries which are suffering from wars and misery. Before 2011, the imperialists didn’t have to worry. Gaddafi, Mubarak, Assad and others made sure that very few migrants were able to reach Europe. For their service, these dictators were, of course, rewarded with substantial payments from European governments (as they are planning now to do again). However, this system collapsed when the people began to bring down these dictatorships by their revolutionary uprisings. (5)
In return, the Arab dictators receive substantial financial assistance, foreign investments, weapons, etc. In short, the European corporations and governments as well as the Arab dictators need each other and support each other. It is an alliance of robbers and killers!
The Revolutionary Answer
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) reaffirms its unconditional support for the Egyptian people resisting against the military dictatorship of General Sisi. (6)
The popular struggle in Egypt is part of the ongoing Arab Revolution which finds its expression also in the ongoing Syrian liberation struggle in Idlib, the Palestinian Intifada as well as the Yemeni resistance against the Saudi invasion. We condemn the military intervention of the U.S., Russian and European imperialists in Syria (7), Iraq (8), Libya (9), Afghanistan (10) and other countries.
Likewise, the RCIT opposes the imperialist fortress Europe. (11) Open the borders to refugees! Defend Muslim migrants against Islamophobic racism! For a united front of mass organizations of the workers’ and migrants’ movements to drive racist and fascist forces from the streets! We call for equal rights for migrants! Equal wages and full citizenship rights! Equality for migrants and national minorities’ languages in education and public administration! For a public works program with jobs for all refugees and all unemployed native workers!
It is necessary to unite the liberation struggles in the individual countries in the Middle East: For a single Intifada from Idlib to Jerusalem, Basra, Cairo and Teheran!
Furthermore, we must bring together the struggle against racism and Islamophobia in the EU and Russia with the liberation struggles against the dictatorships in the Middle East and Africa!
This is what the RCIT is fighting for! This is why we need a Revolutionary World Party!
(1) Salzburg Summit – EU intends to push forward cooperation with Egypt, 20 Sep 2018, https://www.eu2018.at/latest-news/news/09-20-Salzburg-Summit-EU-intends-to-push-forward-cooperation-with-Egypt.html; EU leaders to seek 'in-depth cooperation' with Egypt on migration. Plans to deepen EU ties with Cairo over migration crisis would turn 'a blind eye' to human rights abuses, critics say, 2018-09-20 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/180920184826680.html; Michael Peel and Alex Barker in Salzburg and Heba Saleh: EU and Egypt to launch talks on curbing Mediterranean migration. Discussions to examine how Cairo can help cut numbers in return for economic benefits, 2018-09-20, https://www.ft.com/content/e16b9808-bce3-11e8-94b2-17176fbf93f5
(2) Bojan Pancevski and Laurence Norman: EU in Talks With Egypt for Help With Curbing Flow of Migrants. Refugees could be diverted to the North-African country in return for investments, financial incentives, Sept. 20, 2018 https://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-in-talks-with-egypt-for-help-with-curbing-flow-of-migrants-1537458709
(3) The RCIT has published a number of pamphlets, statements and articles in the weeks after the military coup in July 2013. See e.g. RCIT: Egypt: Down with the Military Coup d’État! Prepare Mass Resistance! 8.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-down-with-military-coup-d-etat; RCIT: Egypt: International Solidarity against the Army Crackdown!, 14.8.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-international-solidarity; Michael Pröbsting: The Coup d'État in Egypt and the Bankruptcy of the Left’s “Army Socialism”. A Balance Sheet of the coup and another Reply to our Critics (LCC, WIVP, SF/LCFI), 8.8.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-and-left-army-socialism; Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: Mobilize Resistance against the reactionary military regime!, 27.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-no-to-military-regime; Michael Pröbsting: The Military’s Coup d'État in Egypt: Assessment and Tactics, 17.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-meaning-of-coup-d-etat; Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: The U.S. Support for the Military Coup and the Left’s ignorance. Notes on the role of US imperialism in the military’s coup d’état and the failure of the Egypt left, 11.7.2013, www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/egypt-us-support-for-military-coup
(4) There exist numerous reports about the Egypt dictatorship. See e.g. Egyptian-Americans for Freedom and Justice: Our Money has been used by the Military Regime in Egypt to kill Our Families! Washington 2017; Human Rights Watch: All According to Plan. The Rab’a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt, August 2014; Middle East Eye: The Rabaa massacre five years on: Doctors haunted by memories of victims burnt alive. Five years after the massacre, doctors recount horrors of the bloodiest day in Egypt's revolution, 14 August 2018 https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/rabaa-massacre-five-years-doctors-haunted-memories-victims-left-be-burned-alive-1696014520
(5) The RCIT has published numerous pamphlets, statements and articles on the Arab Revolution which can be read on our website here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. We have also published a book on the Arab Revolution (in German language): Michael Pröbsting: Die halbe Revolution. Lehren und Perspektiven des arabischen Aufstandes, Wien 2011, https://www.thecommunists.net/publications/werk-8/
(6) The RCIT has published a number of statements and articles on Egypt which can be read on our website here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. Our latest publications on this subject are: Rally on the 5th Anniversary of the Rabaa Massacre by the Egypt Military. Report (with Photos and Videos) from a Rally in Vienna on 14 August 2018, Austrian Section of the RCIT, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/rally-on-5th-anniversary-of-rabaa-massacre-by-military-coup-in-egypt/; [VIDEO] On the 5th Anniversary of the Rabaa Massacre by the Egypt Military. Statement of Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 14 August 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/multimedia-1/on-5th-anniversary-of-rabaa-massacre-by-military-coup-in-egypt/
(7) For the RCIT’s analysis and positions on the Syrian Revolution see a special sub-section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/. Our latest articles on the treacherous Sochi Deal, which has been also praised by all Great Powers and the UN, are here: Michael Pröbsting: Syria/Idlib: Down with the Sochi Surrender Deal! Brothers and Sisters in Idlib: Reject the Deal between Putin and Erdoğan! Do not Hand over Weapons! Turkey’s Army is not your Ally! Continue the Struggle against the Regime and Russia! 18.09.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/sochi-deal-on-idlib-is-surrender/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/syria-idlib-news-confirm-that-the-sochi-deal-means-surrender/
(8) See on this e.g. RCIT: Iraq: Long Live the Popular Insurrection! Bring Down the Government of Haider al-Abadi! Build Popular Councils! For a Workers and Poor Peasants Government! 17 July 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/long-live-the-popular-insurrection-in-iraq/; RKOB: Rally in Solidarity with the Popular Uprising in Iraq, 27.07.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/rally-in-solidarity-with-the-popular-uprising-in-iraq/
(9) See on this e.g. RCIT: Stop the US Bombing of Libya! Mobilize against the Expansion of the Imperialist War! Defeat the Imperialist Aggressors and Their Lackeys in Libya! 23.2.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-bombing-libya/; RCIT: General Sisi, Hollande, Obama: Hands Off Libya! Defeat General Haftars’ Imperialist Lackeys! Down with the Daash-Gang of Killers! For a Workers’ and Popular Government! 26.2.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/hands-off-libya/; RKOB: Stop African Migrants' Slavery in Libya! Protest Rally in Vienna (Austria) on 25th November 2017, 01.12.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/stop-african-migrants-slavery-in-libya/
(10) See on this e.g. RCIT: Afghanistan: Drive the US Occupants Out! US President Trump escalates the imperialist crusade against the Afghan people! Support the resistance against the occupiers and their stooges! 23.08.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/us-occupants-out-of-afghanistan/
(11) See e.g. Joint Call for an International Day of Action on 20 June 2016. Open Europe’s Borders for Refugees! Solidarity with the Arab Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/call-20-june-refugees-arab-revolution/; RCIT: Defend Refugee Rights! Support the Arab Revolution! Defeat EU Chauvinism and Imperialism! An Open Letter to All Revolutionary Organizations and Activists for an International Solidarity Campaign), 22.05.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/open-letter-refugees-arab-revolution/; RCIT: Internationalist Week of Action around the 20th June 2016: Solidarity with Refugees in Europe and worldwide! Open the boarders! Stop deportations! Report on the Activities around the 20th June 2016, 26.6.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/20-june-demonstrations-and-meetings/