Why Fear an Egyptian Revolution?

So long as both of the key Arab powers—Egypt with its population, and Saudi Arabia with its petroleum—remain client-states of America, the Middle East and its oil are safely in US hands, and there is no reason to deny Israel anything it wishes. But should that ever change, the fate of the Palestinians would instantly alter. America has invested enormous sums to sustain Mubarak’s moth-eaten dictatorship in Cairo, cordially despised by the Egyptian masses, and spared no effort to protect the feudal plutocracy in Riyadh, perched above a sea of rightless immigrants. If either of these edifices were toppled—in the best of cases, both—the balance of power in the region would be transformed. 

Perry Anderson, 2001. (Anderson’s entire essay is worth revisiting at this moment since it offers a very clear-eyed view on many issues, including the limits of the “peace process” which was recently highlighted by the leak of the Palestinian papers.)

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Don’t Mention the War

Basil Fawlty trying not to mention the war
Basil Fawlty trying not to mention the war

During the 1990s Perry Anderson and the New Left Review, the journal he has intermittently helped edit for nearly five decades, strongly opposed the Nato intervention into the former Yugoslavia. It was a controversial position which caused much heartbreak within the magazine: several long-time editors left the journal (or, depending on which account you read, were kicked off the masthead).

 

In the latest issue of the New Left Review, Anderson has a wide-ranging, characteristically Olympian survey of contemporary Germany, showing that the wounds from the 1990s still smart.

 

Writing about the foreign policy of the Red-Green coalition of the 1990s, Anderson notes: “Within a year of coming to power, [the Social Democrat–Green government] had committed Germany to the Balkan War, dispatching the Luftwaffe to fly once again over Yugoslavia.”

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