After Cairo Speech, does the Egyptian Uprising Fit Obama’s Policy?
After the congressional loss of the Democratic Party in November 2010, the uprising in Tunisia and now in Egypt came as a gift to Obama, the man who dreamed of democratizing the Muslim World, while forgetting that his success as the United States President depends on unifying first and foremost the United States population and letting the entrepreneurial spirit live in order to create jobs for our unemployed people.
By ignoring political opponents and their aspirations and by engaging funds without limit he is in fact disqualifying his own words when telling Mubarak to step down. Maybe he should direct his request to himself, as the majority of the American population is unhappy with his policy.
He is treating our friend and ally without consideration for the grace period Mubarak gave to the United States, by enabling it to win the cold war.
Mubarak is the man who kept the Middle East quiet for thirty years. The news is showing us the men in the street, not the women in the street. This is an indication that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the demonstrations. But how many people were on the street, 200 000, 500 000? Where are the rest of the eighty million of the population? Where is the silent majority? Not in the street, they stayed home.
Obama threatened to cut the 1.3 billion that the US is giving to Egypt every year. Is he aware that this would mean undercutting our own interests? Does Obama know that a real revolution would alter the strategic position of the United States in the world and could accelerate a war between neighboring nations in that fragile area? Is this the way the US treats its allies as soon as they have a problem?
Are we going back on the peace treaty witnessed by the President of the United States and signed in Washington D.C.on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin? Breaking our word would be un-American.
At that time the US knew that Egypt had no democratic government. But now we are aware that Egypt has a government that has kept peace and stability in the Middle East for 30 years. In my opinion, this is a good reference for a credible government, even if it has some flaws and President Mubarak, now an 82-year-old man, who has been a trusted western ally, has been loyal for so many years and escaped six assassination attempts, deserves the respect and courtesy of letting him finish his term with dignity and not letting him be disgraced. After all Egypt is a sovereign country.
Any further pressure on Mubarak to leave now and not as he promised, which is in September 2011, can only result in the opposite of what our president wishes to achieve. Knowing well the Arab mentality and values, I can say with certainty that telling a man of his stature to leave now is a disgrace. I don’t know an Arab of the stature of Mubarak who would accept such an insult.
The Friday New York Times wrote that the White House urges “the inclusion of important non-secular actors.” Who could be the “non secular actors?” I believe Mr. Gibbs, the US Press Secretary, refers to the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned in my life that any exercise of pressure can only create the opposite of the expected results.
I believe that the US is wrong in putting pressure on Mubarak and on the Egyptian Army.
Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana