We all want to see democracy succeed in Egypt, but there is good reason to believe that the current political crisis in that country is geared toward breaking Egypt's close ties with the United Sates, not toward installing democracy there. From my vantage point, I see this crisis as an updated version of the Kremlin's highly secret Cold War effort to turn the Islamic world into an enemy of the United States. In my other life as a top figure in the KGB intelligence community, I was involved in that effort, as I have described elsewhere ("Russian Footprints," National Review Online, August 24, 2006). It is noteworthy that the current Middle East rebellion is taking place only in Islamic countries that are pro-American and that the people demanding democracy there are burning the flag of the country symbolizing democracy for most of the world -- the United States. It is remarkable that these "mass uprisings" were so secretly planned that the entire U.S. intelligence community was taken completely by surprise -- President Obama admonished National Intelligence Director James Clapper for his "failure to predict the outbreak of these demonstrations" .
Even more significant is that the Hezb'allah representatives demonstrating on the first day of the Cairo uprising were carrying flags displaying the hammer and sickle. That was evidently a mistake caused by overzealousness -- my enthusiastic young subordinates in the Romanian foreign intelligence service (the DIE) sometimes used to make similar goofs. In Cairo, the error was quickly rectified, and now the hammer and sickle is nowhere to be seen.
We do, however, still have the weapons cases captured from Hezb'allah by the Israelis, which are clearly marked: "Customer: Ministry of Defense of Syria. Supplier: KBP, Tula, Russia." That was another goof, and such markings are no longer visible in Hezb'allah's arsenal. Nevertheless, it is impossible for Moscow to conceal the fact that Hezb'allah is carrying out its war against U.S. allies in the Middle East with Soviet Kalashnikovs and Katyushas, Russian Fajr-1 and Fajr-3 rockets, Russian AT-5 Spandrel antitank missiles, and Kornet antitank rockets.
Equally significant are the current efforts made by the ANSWER to organize Cairo-style anti-Mubarak demonstrations in the U.S. The ANSWER, a protest group whose name is an acronym for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, is an offspring of the Workers World Party (WWP), an organization created by the KGB community while I was still living in Romania. The WWP had the express goal of creating a favorable atmosphere for Soviet-style socialism within the American trade unions and the "colored" population of the United States. The WWP newspaper Workers World, which was initially printed by my DIE and smuggled into the U.S., used to show Lenin and Trotsky holding up a banner reading, "Colored and White Unite and Fight for a WORKERS WORLD."
The ANSWER now poses as an American organization, with a national office in New York and eighteen regional headquarters, but it has the same leader as the WWP (Larry Holmes). The ANSWER is supported by numerous foreign Marxist organizations that in my day were financed by the KGB (e.g., the Lebanese Communist Party, the New Communist Party of the Netherlands, and the Partido Comunista de la Argentina) and by other anti-American organizations (the Italian Tribunal on NATO Crimes, the Green party USA, and the Canadian-Cuban Friendship) .
On September 15, 2007, the ANSWER organized a large anti-American demonstration in Washington D.C., to which it bussed in thousands of people from around the country to protest against General David Petraeus, at that time the U.S. commander in Iraq. Petraeus had come to Washington to report to Congress on the success of the military "surge," but success was not something the ANSWER wanted people to swallow. Its pre-printed posters, portraying the general as a traitor and another Vietnam-style butcher, were liberally distributed to the demonstrators.
Now the ANSWER has jumped into the Cairo crisis. On January 1, 2011, the ANSWER called for "the people of the United States" to join the anti-Mubarak demonstrations organized by the ANSWER in eleven major cities around the country , culminating in a February 5 March on the White House. All these "spontaneous" demonstrations have been prepared in the typical Soviet manner: the participants are bused in by the ANSWER, whose web site also contains ready-to-use anti-Mubarak flyers (e.g., "Down with the U.S.-backed Mubarak dictatorship!"), which can simply be downloaded, printed, and posted (instructions included) .
As I no longer live in the bear's lair, I do not have hard proof to document that the Kremlin has a hand in the current events in Egypt. I do know, however, that few things were more important for the leaders of the KGB community when I was one of them than kicking the United States out of the Middle East and helping Moscow to take control of the Arab oil reserves. The Kremlin wanted so desperately to achieve these goals that it even created an anti-American Palestinian leader out of whole cloth.
The KGB community went to great lengths to transform an Egyptian-born Marxist, Mohammed Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini, nom de guerre Abu Ammar, into a Palestinian-born Yasser Arafat. It took us years to credibly falsify his birth certificate and other IDs, to build him a new past, and to train him at the KGB Balashikha special-operations training school east of Moscow . It took us more years and the help of former Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser, another Soviet puppet , to catapult the newly-created Arafat into his position as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (also created and financed by the KGB). It is no wonder that in 1970, when Nasser died, the whole leadership of the Soviet bloc attended his funeral. During those early years, Egypt was literally being run by Soviet advisers -- the KGB and the Red Army alone had some 18,000 advisers assigned there. Now it seems that we are dealing with a new and better-looking Arafat: Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, who recently popped up in Cairo, just as the newly created Arafat had popped up in Cairo in 1966, where Nasser proclaimed him the "leader of the Palestinians." Previously, as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), ElBaradei went out of his way to protect Arab efforts to secretly build nuclear weapons. In an article published in The New York Times, ElBaradei showed his true, anti-Western face: "We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction, yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security -- and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use" .
I never met Hosni Mubarak, but I knew his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, quite well. After a few years of continuing Nasser's policies, Sadat got religion -- as did I. He expelled the Soviet advisers from Egypt (1972), visited the U.S. (1975), invited the Evangelical pastor Billy Graham to Egypt (1975), went to the Vatican (1976), and became the first Egyptian president to visit Israel (1976).
In the spring of 1978, I went to Cairo for the purpose of twisting Sadat's arm to accept Ceausescu as mediator in a joint peace conference to be held together with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin -- a meeting that Ceausescu dreamed of hosting at a former royal palace in the picturesque Romanian mountain town of Sinaia. "I'm ready to sign a treaty with Begin, general, but in the United States," Sadat told me. Ceausescu could not believe that Sadat would turn down his offer, so he sent me back to Cairo. Sadat did not budge. Then Ceausescu himself put in an unsuccessful appearance in Cairo, with me in tow. A few weeks later, I was granted political asylum in the U.S., and I cooperated with the U.S. authorities during the Camp David meetings between Sadat and Begin.
In 1981, Sadat paid with his life for his courageous decision to break with the Kremlin, but he was honored at his funeral by three former presidents of the United States (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon). Now Washington has denounced Mubarak, who succeeded Sadat and continued his pro-American policy. In a New York Times op-ed published last Monday, the chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Foreign Relations wrote, "Not just in Egypt, but throughout the Arab world the U.S. strategy must shift from supporting allied governments to providing support for the people of those countries" . That amounts to a dramatic and irrational change in the foreign policy of the United States. We became the leader of the Free World because we stood by our allies.
In spite of the press coverage given to the Cold War's nuclear competition, we at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community waged that war to conquer minds -- in Europe, among the American left, in the third world -- because we knew we could win no military battles. Changing minds is in fact what Communism is all about. Unfortunately, we did make a dent.
The Cold War is indeed over, but, unlike other wars, that one did not end with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons. In the last dozen years, post-Soviet Russia has been transformed in unprecedented positive ways. The barriers the Soviets spent over seventy years erecting between themselves and the rest of the world, as well as between individual Russians, are slowly coming down, and a new generation of intellectuals is struggling to develop a new national identity. But the KGB, which in the course of its existence slaughtered at least 20 million people at home and another 70 million throughout the rest of the Communist world, not only survived, but also transformed Russia into history's first intelligence dictatorship.
During the old Cold War, the KGB was a state within a state. Now the KGB, rechristened the FSB, is the state. Over 6,000 former officers of the KGB are now running Russia's federal and local governments, and nearly half of all top government positions are reportedly held by former officers of the KGB . It is like running Germany with former Gestapo officers still in charge. The ex-KGB officers who are now ruling Russia declared the demise of the Soviet Union a "national tragedy on an enormous scale" and began moving their country back into the encampment of the former Soviet Union's traditional clients -- which had been the deadliest enemies of the United States. They are quietly helping Iran's dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons and to develop missiles that can carry a nuclear or germ warhead anywhere in the Middle East and Europe . Then, just before September 2002, while the United States was preparing to mourn its victims of the previous year's terrorist attack, these ex-KGB officers received North Korea's despicable dictator in the Kremlin with grand honors . And on July 2007, they predicted a new Cold War against the West. "War has started," the Kremlin announced on August 8, 2008, minutes after Russian tanks crossed into the pro-Western Georgia .
Rather than crucifying Mubarak for refusing to become a Moscow puppet -- as other Arab leaders did -- the government of the United States would do well to thank him for thirty years of loyal cooperation, and to work with him toward preparing Egypt for a smooth transition to an Egyptian version of democracy. Otherwise, Egypt may become another long-term nightmare in the Middle East. I hope the White House and the U.S. Congress will agree.
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa was head of Romania's Presidential House. In 1989, Ceausescu was executed at the end of a trial whose main accusations came out of Pacepa's book Red Horizons (Regnery Publishing, Washington DC, 1987).
 http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/218533/russian-footprints/ion-mihai-pacepa.  Kimberly Dozier, "US intelligence on Arab unrest draws criticism," The Washington Times, February 4, 2011.  A complete list of "Coalition Co-signers" can be found on the Internet (internationalanswer.org/endorsers.html).  http://www.answercoalition.org/national/campaigns/egypt/emergency-demonstrations-egypt.html  http://www.answercoalition.org/national/campaigns/egypt/download-flyers-and-placards.html  Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story (New York: Harper Collins, 1990), p. 545.  By 1969, Nasser's Egypt accounted for 43% of all Soviet aid to the third world.  John Kerry, "Allying Ourself With the Next Egypt," The New York Times, January 31, 2011.  Garry Kasparov, "KGB State," The Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2003, Commentary.  William Safire, "Testing Putin on Iran," The New York Times, May 23, 2002, internet edition.  Ben Shapiro, "Keep an eye on Russia," townhall.com, August 23, 2002.  "War in the Caucasus," The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2008, p. A10.