Obama Treats Egypt like a Banana Republic – OpEd
By Ali Younes
President Barak Obama calls on President Mubarak to immediately arrange for transfer of power, and that a transition of power must begin ‘now’ not only sounds hypocritical but also disingenuous. Not to defend President Mubarak or his regime, but Obama and many in his administration, in bossing and pushing Mubarak around like a little boy shows the true face of a U.S administration when it deals with its Arab allies.
Obama’s sudden lionized rhetoric against Mubarak is not driven by his concerns about the Egyptians right to free speech, free assembly and to have access to the Internet or by a sudden awakening of his human rights impulse. Obama visited Egypt in 2009 and met with Mubarak then, but did not raise the issue of human rights with him, nor did he urge him to ease his grip on power. President Mubarak rule over Egypt is the longest since Mohammad Ali ruled the country from 1805-1849. It is time, therefore, for the Egyptian people to be able have a choice of their own and to improve their shattered lives without U.S patriarchal U.S intervention.
No doubt that Egypt under Mubarak is a country in decline. Its economy is fragile, it is dependent on foreign aid for sustenance, and its middle class have all but disappeared due to high inflation and high unemployment. The people of Egypt deserve to have real change, not just “transfer of power” which means another U.S ally who will continue to commit Egypt to circle in the U.S orbit in exchange for an injection of 1.5 billion USD per year which mostly goes to U.S companies for buying U.S military hardware.
When comparing the stances of president Obama and others in his administration, like secretary of State Hilary Clinton, on the issue of Israeli settlements or their dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama was practically reduced to begging Netanyahu who insulted him and his vice president and his secretary of state. The reaction of the U.S government to the Israeli humiliation was by turning the other cheek.
Furthermore, The U.S administration did not raise the issue with Israeli leaders over killing hundreds of Palestinians in their war on Gaza in 2009. On the contrary the Obama administration was instrumental in undermining the Goldstone report that charged Israel with committing war crimes in Gaza. So how one is supposed to believe a U.S administration that claims that it is concerned about the Egyptian people rights and freedoms while helps Israel denies it to the Palestinians?
Administration rhetoric with the Egyptian government and President Mubarak makes Egypt look like a banana republic, not a country with over 4000 years of history and is one of the oldest continuing political states in the world. By using the Egyptian people’s revolt, Obama is attempting, practically, to remove Mubarak from office and install another U.S ally in his place. Obama’s main objectives are to maintain Egypt under Mubarak or not as the U.S main Arab satellite state.
The Egyptian people actually deserve much more than that, but one cannot fail to see how this administration is trying to capitalize on the grievances of the Egyptian people in order to secure its own objectives in post Mubarak Egypt. The U.S policy in the Middle East must shift its orientation to have more of a human rights posture as oppose to supporting dictators and police states.
– Ali Younes is a writer and analyst based in Washington D.C. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: [email protected].