Crumbling Puppet

Three possibilities in Egypt


Crumbling Puppet
by Ardeshir Ommani

The Egyptian People's courageous struggle is more than the ouster of a hated dictator: it is a sweeping movement against an old, cruel order and has deep economic, social, political and international dimensions.  The sudden revolutionary eruption in Egypt and the demand for real and substantive democracy, equality and independence from U.S. domination has stunned the leaders of the western imperialist powers.  It was just a month ago that Washington and London thought that like a reserve army in their global competition of power with Russia and China against Iran, Palestine and Syria, they have Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Jordan on their side.

Now, the peoples of those countries have revealed that the imperialist calculations have been seriously erroneous.  Just as with the Iranian revolution in 1979, the events in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez have taken President Obama, Netanyahu of Israel, Sarkozy of France, London's Conservative Party - Prime Minister David Cameron – and Angela Merkel from the Christian Democratic Union, all defenders of capitalism and colonizers of other nations, by surprise.

As it becomes obvious to the powers in Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Tel Aviv that the people of Egypt may not abandon the theater of struggle until Mubarak and his entire regime is brought down from the seats of power, the imperialists are trying to save the political and security structures that they helped to build for the last 30 years to serve the next, if there would be any government to their liking. The threats against the demonstrators in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, made by Omar Suleiman, the former head of Egypt's intelligence service and Mubarak's hand-picked replacement for the vice-presidency and one of Washington's boys, shows what might be in store for the people of Egypt who dare to challenge the old order and a U.S. puppet regime.

The U.S. ruling classes have not been able to digest the fact that the people of Egypt could not be intimidated by Mubarak-Suleiman threats, even when brutally beaten by the state's thugs or killed.  There is no doubt that the selection of Omar Suleiman is an American narrative and the Egyptian patriotic forces are well-aware of it and elevated their demands from removal of the president to declaring that his anointed cabinet is unacceptable no matter how many times Obama and Hillary Clinton pontificate about the protestors' right to 'express their grievances'.

What apparently shocked the barons of power was that the opposition to Mubarak's rule came not only from the masses of people, but also from within the regime, particularly from the high ranking military officials who have been denied the chance to play their share in deciding who should succeed the despised president.  Some in this top echelon of the military see in the current situation both threat and opportunity.  If the protest continues on its trajectory and turns into a sustained revolutionary movement with mass character, then it becomes a threat to the entire system.  However, if the protest movement exhausts its energy with lack of unity of purpose and strong organization, then it may fall prey to the ambitions of crafty, long ruling generals.

Under the latter condition, the class structure of the Egyptian society remains almost unchanged and as a country it will continue to be a hostage to the expansionist needs of the United States and its allies.


There are three possibilities before the country.  First with some minor changes in the constitution and a shuffle of the administration, with or without Mubarak, the military regime stays put and essentially runs the country.  The second alternative is that the movement is strong enough to bring about an early election in which Mohammed El Baradei, in coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the smaller opposition parliamentary parties, would run in genuine elections resulting in a civilian government and the Egyptian army stays neutral and non-partisan.  The last possibility is that the army and the Egyptian paramilitary imposes a chaotic condition on the society, divides the opposition by giving small concessions to one or the other group with the purpose of maintaining the military regime and its connections with U.S. military strategy.  On Sunday, February 6th Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sarvari, a member of the Parliament (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "The U.S. seeks to derail the revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people and turn it into a limited and trivial reformist movement."
Poverty in Egypt

Egypt is ranked 119 out of 173 where 1 is the worst and 173 is the best, in terms of people living below the poverty line.  Egypt imports its food and has the highest amount of wheat imported in the world.  Also, 45% of Egypt's poor are illiterate.  There is child substandard nutrition, lack of health care, and many students dropout from school in order to help support their family. Unemployment among college and university graduates is extremely high.    

The Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) of Egypt, figured out on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) - comparing what a citizen can buy with a dollar in Egypt compared to a dollar of purchase by an American citizen - is about $500 Billion, which amounts to per capita income of only $6,100 and places Egypt among the poorer nations.  But if the GDP is expressed as the amount of dollars earned then Egypt's per capita income shrinks further to a meager $2,600, which is not sufficient to pay the rent for an apartment in Cairo for a year.

Egypt is a class society and distribution of income between classes is sharply different.  According to a survey of the population in 1995, 10% of the highest echelon of Egyptian society consumed 25% of Egypt's products and services.  Highest 20% of the population uses 41% of the social production or national products.  10% at the bottom of society consumes only 4.4% of production and services.  The lowest 20% of the population share of the GDP is 9.8%. 

Simply put, the social system that exploits the masses as they grind down into ever more poverty has to establish a political dictatorship to suppress the population whose needs are not being met. The actions of Mubarak and his counter-revolutionary hired guns and para-militaries has brought the contradiction between these two forces into the open.  The brutal assault on the peaceful, unarmed demonstrators sadly shows a weakness of the revolution, although incredibly brave and resistant.  Now, the U.S. hopes that the coalition of opposition forces can be divided, and part of it either be bought off or discouraged into silence.  However, the turn of events may prove contrary to the wishes of the dictators and their neo-liberal supporters in the U.S.

Militarization of Egypt

Egypt has more than 1.3 million armed troops – the 10th largest military in the world.  The Interior Ministry employs 1.7 million people, which comprises the Army, Navy, Air Force and Air defense.  The National Guard is 60,000 strong and is under control of the Ministry of Defense.  In addition, there are nearly 400,000 paramilitary forces, known as the Central Security Forces (police, intelligence) that were used by Mubarak and Omar Suleiman to brutally assault the protestors, set fires to stores and buildings and run down people and press officials, all in an attempt to demoralize and defeat the opposition.

In the past, under Abdel Nasser, Egypt was considered the Pride of the Arab World. Today, under Mubarak it is considered a hub of the Israeli, American and Western Powers.  Egyptians cannot be proud of the role of Egypt, which is used and abused by Israel and the U.S.  Egypt carries out Israel’s foreign policy as regards the Palestinians, who are considered by the Arab masses as brothers.  When President Obama speaks about the "close partnership" with Mubarak, he is referring to the militarization of Egypt and its integration into U.S. strategy of domination in Africa as evidenced by the $2 Billion given annually by Congress to keep Egypt's military on its side and make Egypt dependent on the U.S. and in league with Israel.

Characteristics of the Upheaval

One of the most important factors in the case of Egypt, dependent on foreign powers, is the stunted capitalist relations and the dependency of the country on the needs and demands of imperialism.  Egypt is an underdeveloped capitalist economy in which a minority of the population has the monopoly of domestic and foreign trade in collaboration with foreign capital, pursuing the highest rates of profit in the shortest time.  Foreign capital and the dependent domestic capitalist class has been enjoying the security provided by a large military and para-military police force.  The gap between the majority of the Egyptian workers, small tradesmen and farmers and the parasitic capitalist class has widened to an irreconcilable gulf.  The wealth of the nation is concentrated in the hands of a few, living in opulent gated communities, while every year greater and greater numbers of the people fall into desperate poverty, living on less than $2.00 a day.  The corrupt ruling class in Egypt, headed by Hosni Mubarak and the National Democratic Party has brought repression, misery, unemployment, and poverty to millions - those who now stand shoulder to shoulder in Tahrir Square and march through the streets of Alexandria, Aswan, Suez, and in the Nile Delta cities of Mansoura and Sharqiya, demanding the ouster of this corrupt regime.

Egypt suffers from three interrelated maladies: 1) dictatorship; 2) deep gap between rich and the poor, and 3) dependence of the system on U.S. imperialism.  In order to remove the three major obstacles on the way to healthy developments, the revolution must have a new democratic character, that is, establish a new economic and political order in which the masses of workers and farmers enjoy greater economic and political rights.  This could be done by removing the impediments on the way of establishing independent labor unions and political parties of the working class.  To remove the dependency on foreign powers, the weight of the military must be slashed and the capitalist class must be brought under the control of the institutions of working people.

Geopolitical Outcomes

The downfall of the Mubarak regime, undoubtedly, would give rise to new alliances among the countries with overwhelming Muslim populations. Any new government with even the slightest Muslim orientation would result in reducing Israel and Saudi Arabia's capacity of maneuver and agility on one hand and strengthen Turkey, Iran and Syria, not to mention Lebanon, on the other.

With regard to the outcome of the struggle in Egypt, the U.S. would like to be on the side of the winner with one critical condition – that the new government would embody some critical elements of the old, i.e. the intelligence and military apparatus and agree to maintain the major essential relations that were built between Cairo and the Pentagon throughout the 30 years of Mubarak’s reign.  This means that the new government would agree to let the U.S. commercial and military ships pass through the Suez Canal on their way to the Persian Gulf (free passage!), continue to host the presence of U.S. military trainers of the Egyptian army and intelligence establishment, continue to work with the U.S. military in fighting the Islamist forces, continue working with the Israeli military and intelligence forces in undermining the presence of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and continue providing Israel with gas and oil from Egypt, etc.  In other words, keep Egypt in the economic and military orbit of the U.S.

In the current period, the main impediment in the way of the U.S. dumping the old regime is the lack of resolution of these issues in the talks between the various spokesmen of the protest movement and Egypt's vice-president Omar Suleiman and his team of generals, with the U.S. State Department behind the scenes.  The pro-Zionist U.S. congressmen and women would like to interpret the inevitable up-coming changes in Egypt's foreign policy and respect for the sovereignty of the Sinai Peninsula as an existential threat and national security issue for Israel.  In other words, if Egypt exercises its right of sovereignty and guards its own territory, then Israel calls that a threat to its security.  Or if Egypt abrogates the Camp David Accords, under which the Palestinians have lost more territory than gaining a country, Israel would announce this as an existential threat.

U.S. Congresspersons, instead of learning from their own experience and apologizing to the Nation of Egypt for their support of Cairo's dictatorship, they countlessly demonize Iran as the country that has shown the people of Egypt the way to emancipation.  This method has also been used by the United States - to put the blame on Iran for what they themselves have been the architects of, in order to deflect from the real causes of the crisis.

No doubt, the secondary impact of U.S. loss of face in Egypt would give the liberation fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan a new boost.  If the U.S. administration were minimally rational, it would accelerate the troop withdrawals from those countries well before sustaining higher casualties.

The political crisis in the North African countries of Egypt and Tunisia are taking place exactly at a time that world capitalism is facing financial and economic crises also seen in the protests of workers and students in the European countries of Portugal, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Iceland.  In all these countries the rates of unemployment have been unprecedented in decades.  The waves of home foreclosures not only denies the workers in the western world a domicile, but in Egypt the crisis has forced tens of thousands of poverty-stricken families to live in the cemeteries on the periphery of the major cities.

Ardeshir Ommani, Doctoral Candidate, is an Iranian-born writer, political economist and president of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) in the USA. He can be reached at:


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مقصود از "خ بدین" مشاعره است!



خیالت را شبی در خواب دیده ست

از آنشب عقل و هوش از وی رمیده ست


"ت" بدین!


Khebedin = N. parsi

by Doctor mohandes on

She has  been reincarnated:))

Gee. I thought you would be in Hibernation mood a bit longer there. what happened there... forgot to tip the pool boy?:)

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Re: Why flag, khebedin?

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I second that. There was nothing vulgar about remark by COP. It is a legitimated question. What does it mean? 

Dear Admin: just flagging should not mean removal. There should be some merit involved in the "flag". Or anyone could just flag anything and get it deleted. Now is that fair? What was wrong with the post. Please either explain or restore the post or lose credibility.

Anonymous Observer

Let me summarize Al-Akh Khebedin's comment

by Anonymous Observer on

IR is the greatest.  The imperialists and the Zionists are holding Iran back.  But at the same time, Iran is building spaceships and super fighter jets (while complaining that the evil "West" doesn't give it spare parts for its 727's and that's why they fall out of the sky every other day).  Everyone who says anything bad about the IR is a spy, a traitor, a Zionist, an imperialist, etc., etc., etc.....


Sorry...felt asleep repeating the 32 year old stale revolutionary garbage...where was I?  Never mind....  


my question to mr/miss khebdin:

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Your profile claims that you are located in Iran. Inside Iran, this site,, along with many many other sites is blocked by the Islamist regime. One can only sign to these blocked sites if one is employed by the islamist regime (not suggesting you are one, I dont know you). I could never log into this site when I'm  back home in Iran for a visit, no matter what filter breakers I try. Could you please tell us how you managed to do it? 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Why flag, khebedin?

by Cost-of-Progress on

Why delete my comment about khebedin? It is al egitimate question: What's a Khebedin anyway? I know its Arabic? 




Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Khebedin part II

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You are saying that we are all incapable of appreciating the greatness of IRR. It is "Western" propaganda that is making us think IRR is raping people right? How about the murder of Neda was that Western propaganda. What about my own friend who was taken and murdered by IRR at the age of 14? Was that Western propaganda. The family does not even know what they did with the body. How about Khomeini prolonging the war. That must be Westen propaganda!

How about the execution of the leftists by Khomeini. How about public hangings. How about stoning of women. How about forcing people to follow Islamic filth against their will. All of this must be Western propaganda. I see now.

We are not stupid and see what is happening. Islam is rotten to the core and IRR is worse. Not only it is Islamic but gets it wrong; then adds a dictatorship on top of it.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


If you think IRR is not a dictatorship you are not living on this planet. IRR murders Iranians like there were dirt. Shame on your and this Ommati who support the wholesale murder of Iranians. May you all be brought to justice one day.

Don't you dare compare us with MKO. You sir do not sound Iranian to me. Being Iranian does not mean licking Islamic boots. Islam has been the greatest enemy of Iran. For 1400 years Islam has tried to turn Iran into a puppet of Arabs. It won't happen. 


If you don't like the West pack up an move. I promise I won't stop you.



Crumbling Puppet

by Khebedin on

To those who consider Iran, not to be a free country. To those who consider Iranian regime to be dictatorship. I say, look in the mirror and see if you are being honest with yourself. Iran has been fighting dictatorship for the last 35 years and has paid heavy prices for it. Has passed several embargos, a devastating war defending her borders, many European and US economic embargo. But even now her people live far better than those countries neighbouring her, and even many others who you consider them to be free. Thank God we have no one hungry in Iran today, yes we have many problems, but so do many other countries. Over 50 millions  live in USA well under human dignity and in absolute poverty, have no medical insurance, nor any protection or social security system, pushing them well bellow human dignity. We do not have that in Iran. I know many who have left US and Europe and are currently living in Iran. And while I accept that many have and are leaving Iran, but I partly relate this to the Western propaganda machine making Iranians believing that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I as one who lives and loves Iran , I condemn the lack of responsibility that you guys have, no common sense and no logic, but only writing rubbish on this and many other web sites. Move your bums, go and do something in any of the Iranian villages, small towns, any where. Don’t simulate those who went and joined Sadam for a few US$. Iranian well understand you and disregard you. You are not friends of Iranians, even though you hold Iranian passports. I may have different views to that of Ardeshir, but I admire him for his views and what he believes. He is a free man with strong and honest views. And JJ has my vote for printing his article, and those with different views.



Crumbling Puppet

by Khebedin on

Dear Ardeshir ( Mr Ommani). What a great article. Thank you. It is nice to see some fresh healthy minds amongs the people who write for this website.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I am not sure if the Egyptians are smarter but they have this:

  • No Jimmy Carter in the White House
  • Benefit of watching the IR hell.

I truly wish they will not fall for the hell of Islamism. Even though they were the ones who first challenged the Persian Gulf. Still I would not want anyone to suffer like our people have . Mr Ommani should change his name to Mr. Ommati.



by Onlyiran on

Indeed Mr. Ommati, 

The Egyptian People's courageous struggle is more than the ouster of a hated dictator: it is a sweeping movement against an old, cruel order and has deep economic, social, political and international dimensions. 

It is indeed a sweeping movement.  And it will end with the removal of your bosses in Iran. 



by waldo on

Wow, I haven't heard such leftspeak drivel since the collapse of the Soviet Union


COP: Agreed. Antisemitism

by vildemose on

COP: Agreed.

Antisemitism or anti-imperialism  cannot be the basis for running democracy as we saw in Iran. We can see it in all of the fake religious democracies, it is only the basis for distracting attention from the fact that you have no intention of having a democracy, or policies or anything but corruption and backward superstition.

Since in Egypt the secular trade unions and youth groups have only one thing in common: antisemitism this could be the common denominator between them and the MB.

By the way what kind of solutions does the opposition haveto procure work for the masses of jobless? War with Israel???


Here are the

by vildemose on

Here are the Quotes: 

  • ""Iran has aggressively pursued diplomatic, economic and strategic relations with an eclectic array of non-Western states. It also expanded activity within regional and international organizations for developing countries.
  • But Iran’s alliance strategy is anchored in a distinct vision of global governance, in which a coalition of non-Western states is needed as a counterweight to Western power


Iran has played a weak hand effectively to strengthen its international influence. Yet its track record reflects only partial success. Its vision of a radical restructuring of the international system has limited appeal. And its economic influence is constrained by the growing reach of U.N., U.S., and EU sanctions.  ""




3 alternatives?

by Cost-of-Progress on

" The second alternative is that the movement is strong enough to bring about an early election in which Mohammed El Baradei, in coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the smaller opposition parliamentary parties, would run in genuine elections resulting in a civilian government and the Egyptian army stays neutral and non-partisan".

Mr Ommatie, is the above "option" your favorite? The election in a muslim context means didely squat as Islam is incomparable with democracy. Why don't you folks accept that you cannot mix religion and politics and yet have a prosperous and happy nation. Mind you that overpriced and outdated junk and peet halabi passing as weapons is not a sign of prosperity and....independence!

The islamists are salivating at the prospect of yet another theocracy in the region.

But I sure hope that Egyptians are smarter than Iranians were 32 years ago.





Not to be read by vildemose

by incognito on

There are a host of third world countries that are both independent (a political classification) and backward (a cultural or economic designation). There is no contradiction here, and quite possible. Iran is just one example. Many members of Non-Aligned Movement fit this description.

When someone is advised to avoid the appearance of plagiarism, and she viscerally reacts by engaging in name-calling, one can only wish her grow up soon.


what's the role of Britain and Israel in Egypt?


Egypt's revenue is $500 billion /year. Can someone break this down for us?

Something like 1/3 of Egypts income is derived from Suez Canal toll on Ships. Do the British want to reclaim the Suez Canal? Do they want a piece of this action?

Do the Israeli's want more than the $3.5 billion in US aid to ISrael? Do these poeple want Egypt's $1.5 billion in US Aide?

or is this another attempt by British-Israeli forces to eliminate the presence of America in the Middle East completely? i.e. to limit America to Israel only? Will this not throw the balance of power? 

or is this an attempt to completey eradicate all secular democracies in Middle East? 

These numbers about consumers need to be put in perspective - compare it to America and England and Singapore. 

Who is Benefiting from this anarchy/instability in Egypt?

Is it the British-Israeli team? Oil is up. Is it British Petroleum? Is this the way they recoup their losses in Gulf oil spill? What is the price of oil?

Lets be more critical in our reporting.


Backwardness and being

by vildemose on

Backwardness and being Independent??? Not possible.

IRI has as much independence as a bird in a cage.

Icognito: Do me a favor and next time just be brave and tell us you like the IRI to continue his reign of terror in the name of so-called false "independence".

I will not read your response and not in the mood to debate with a regime lackey.



by norooz on

And I know where, Fred, you and many others stand.  It isn't enough to be honest. Justice is much more important.

Clearly IRI has a terrible human rights track record, but west and Israel have even worse.  So criticizing one and defending the others will not serve Justice.  If as you wrote, Iran was important to you and not wesrael, you wouldn't be defending them, knowing what they have done.  This isn't hard to understand. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

Israel and west have nothing to do with Egypt, but Iran does? You are not speaking of double standards by Ardashir Ommani?   You seem to be missing the points, not me.

Iran is relevant to everything because it is my nation. Israel is not my nation. So no it does not. Ommani is fixated on West hating and could not care less about anything else. Peace my foot. These "peace" types are the worst. At least with you I know where you stand. I may disagree but at least I respect your honesty. Ommani is just hiding his anti-West hatred behind a facade of being pro peace whatever that means.



by norooz on

Israel and west have nothing to do with Egypt, but Iran does? You are not speaking of double standards by Ardashir Ommani?   You seem to be missing the points, not me.

Mash Ghasem

And a hearty goodby to Islamic Republic, AO and all its puppets

by Mash Ghasem on

Just can't wait for,- a few months from now-, when AO and his ilke will try to " analyize" and "understand" how IR was overthrown by Iranian people.

On towards Feb 14, 2011.

January 25, 2011: Cairo, Eygpt.

February 14, 2011: Tehran, Iran.

Maryam Hojjat

Fred, Jeesh Daram, Bavafa, VPoK,Viledemose

by Maryam Hojjat on

Your comments to the Writers well agree with mine.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Do us a favor and please stop obsessing about Israel. The world is not just about that. I know Islamists live to hate Israel but this discussion is about Egypt and Iran. Many of us are just not interested in Israel.


Fred and Co

by norooz on

You all critisize Ardashir Omani for applying double standards. Then, why are you doing the same by defending Israel ? or west for that matter?  If Ardashir is bad, you are worse. At least he doesn't promote war and sanctions on Iran and Iranians. 

As for Egypt, just wait! US is going to negotiate with the oppositions to build  a base near the border with Palestine to make sure Palestinians don't get any humanitarian aids to survive and protect Israelis and their genocide. Otherwise, Mubarak will buy time to cool the situation and get rid of protesters a few at a time. he just might break IRI record.


Mr.Ommani doesn't understand the IRI's Great Gift to Egyptians

by bushtheliberator on

The IRI has demonstrated to the Egyptians that "the way to emancipation" is NOT theocracy.! Give credit where credit is due.


Angels and Demons

by incognito on

What an archaic world we live in! It’s always either black or white, and there is no shade of grey in between. How did we succumb to this dichotomy of false choices? Why can’t someone admire America for her republicanism, and criticize her for her imperialistic impulses? Why can’t someone admire Iran for its independence and criticize it for backwardness?

Even ants can tackle complex problems without falling for simplistic labels and one-liners. Decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, and consummation of the matrimony between Red China and capitalism, some of us are still borrowing defunct Marxist-Leninist boilerplate polemics to describe the post-modern (Machiavellian) world. And, 32 years after the revolution, some of us still think that they can overthrow the IR with badmouthing and hatemongering.

When will we grow up?


Vildemose, please do me a favor. Next time you copy and paste a large chunk of text from another article, put it in quotation marks, or use a different font, so that the readers know when your own writing ends, and the borrowed text starts. Just citing the source is not enough. Thanks.



by MRX1 on

is a good man. An air force officer, a patriot, a man who served along sadat and brought peace to his beloved land, and  in the process saved money and life of his people. He has done his best to prevent islamo cockroaches (same sort of people that took pover in Iran, The writer who heartedly supports them on 7/24 basis) from comming to power. Mubaraks biggest crime is he didn't kill tens of thousends of egyptians likke IRI did/does, dosen't force aprthide on women and doesn't side with Russia , china and cuba otherwise the entire lefty groups in U.S and Europe would have praized him night and day!!!


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

vildemose Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

I think the hatred for the US imperialism blinds many on the left
political spectrum to the reactionary and IRI's 'imperialist envy' 

Well said. This is absolutely true. Just read Huffington Post for a minute. If you dare ever say anything good about USA they will savage you. If you ever question the "anti-Imperialist" Islamists they will attack you. Or people like Thom Hartmann for example. They are so blinded that they would never criticize Islamists because they see them as allies.

Their goal is the destruction of "Western Imperialism" whatever that may be. If wit that they destroy their own home they don't care. Personally I have no use for this.