ABCTV News 24 on Egypt and Wikileaks

I was a guest on last night’s ABCTV News 24’s The Drum alongside Sue Cato and the Daily Telegraph’s Joe Hilderbrand (video here).

One of the main areas of discussion was the Egyptian revolution and just how good it felt. I argued that it was vital for us in the West to understand that Egypt’s “stability” was simply about repressing its own people, assisting Israel in its occupation of the Palestinians and maintaining the illegal siege on Gaza. So much for “moderation”. Furthermore, Washington isn’t seen as a neutral broker, of course; they’re complicit in decades of violence.

Islamism must not be so feared. Not every Islamist is an al-Qaeda member. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood should be engaged. One of the great failings of Western policy post 9/11 has been its unwillingness to see political Islam as anything other than a threat. The result is the lessening of American influence in the Middle East by so slavishly following Israel’s racism towards the Arabs. This is something I welcome but these facts need to be stated over and over again.

I also stressed that Australia had no right to speak about the rule of rule when it’s now clear that Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib was tortured in Egypt, by Mubarak’s thugs including Omar Suleiman, in the years after 9/11. Is there anything Canberra won’t do to please Washington?

Finally, the reporter behind last night’s Wikileaks/Bradley Manning story on ABC TV’s 4 Corners talked about the complex web of intrigue around the case, highlighting the fact that Manning should be seen as a true hero, if he was indeed the one who leaked all this information (that’s my view, not the one expressed by the journalist on air).

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