Walk Like an Egyptian Better yet, imagine that you’re walking in their shoes and think about how you’d feel about the United States. If you’re 48 years old, Mubarak has been your “president”, read dictator since your 18th birthday.
You have seen election after election stolen by Mubarak and his cronies. You’ve seen the police assume the power to intimidate any opposition to Mubarak. If you’re enough of a threat due to enlightened political views or there’s a member of the police who has a personal grudge, you worry about being harassed, beaten, and tortured. Your country has made little economic progress. You can leave Egypt but you stay. Your future is limited unless you belong to the very small financial elite. When you and tens of millions of others for similar or more pressing reasons have finally had enough, a rebellion breaks out which rivets the entire world’s attention on the demand for self-determination and basic human rights.
The president of the United States responds to this days long rebellion by mouthing words of generalized support while, in actuality, seeking to maintain the dictator in power long enough for an “orderly transition.” To what, you ask yourself. The president doesn’t get specific. You’re on your own with your fellow countrymen. The one logical source of support for democracy and freedom is an empty shirt, a prizewinner without a clue as to why he got the prize. No other national leader supports your cause. Yet you persevere with the same demands from the beginning of the rebellion.
A remarkable feature of the Egyptian people’s movement is the absence of anti American slogans and blame. It would be well deserved.
Did any of the US presidents since 1981 notice that Hosni Mubarak was a dictator accumulating a $70 billion dollar fortune?
Did any of them notice that Mubarak repressed political opposition and tortured his own people?
The single-minded devotion of the Egyptian people to freedom and dignity, absent any bitterness toward foreigners, particularly the United States, shows a degree of determination and sophistication rarely noticed by a largely spontaneous popular group. They deserve our support. Unfortunately, our president does not. He is simply a continuation of the intrigues and aggressions of the previous occupant of the White House. He is more articulate, but when it comes to policy, he just the functionary in chief for of the financial elite.
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