Eternal Question: What will the U.S. do with Egypt?
During my stay in Egypt, I was asked this question from people who are really concerned about Egypt’s unknown future and afraid of President Mubarak’s lashing out in all directions. Well I am not so sure I am the right person to answer this question first because some of those who asked me are better informed than me. Living in the U.S. does not mean that I dine with President Bush at the White House to learn about the U.S. foreign policy. I get the news as they come as everybody else.
I felt from those who asked me this question that there is a certain hope and reliance on the U.S. to press for more political freedoms in Egypt. But as some asked hoping to know some positive news, many believe the U.S. has given up on Egypt's political freedom and that they should not rely on the U.S. for pressing the Egyptian regime. I know that Americans may never be talking about any country with reliance, but as a matter of fact many other peoples in the world look at the U.S. with hope for help at the political level.
It is difficult for me to explain the slackness of the US administration to pressure the Egyptian regime to open up for more political freedoms. No one in Egypt knows why the U.S. is being so mild in its responses towards the continuous violations made by the Egyptian regime against political freedoms and civil liberties. My answer is that Egypt is not a priority at the time being and that really in my own opinion contradicts President Bush’s pledges to push for more political freedoms in the Middle East. I might be right and I might be wrong. I know that dictatorships are not welcomed in the Middle East in the context of the United States war on terror. Tyrannical regime in the Middle East were working hard to protect their seats while failing to develop their peoples and societies which did not save some of the Middle Eastern citizens falling into the trap of terrorist networks that are not necessarily operating in the Middle East butmay be have links to it. I am not seeing the Middle East as a dangerous region as many are trying to depict it, but I am seeing it a region with huge potential to develop given all its human and wealth resources.
Seeing the political scene in Egypt while one set back after the other is happening made so many who believed the U.S. is pressuring the Egyptian regime to have some doubts about the present and future intentions of the U.S.
Since President Mubarak took office early September for the fifth term to complete 30 years in office, disasters have been falling one after the other causing huge setbacks to political freedoms and civil liberties in Egypt.
The keenness of the regime on success of the ruling National Democratic Party candidates in the legislative elections gave way to the success to so many Muslim Brotherhood candidates. And the elections were rigged in favor of striking a balance between the MB and the NDPP.
In September opposition leader Ayman Nour's immunity was lifted by the attorny general. In December he lost the rigged legislative elections and was imprisioned for five years . Two weeks ago, Nour was banned from writing his weekly article after writing an article about the President's son.
Then came the liquidation of the pro-reform Judges Club members after they complained of the rigged process of the legislative elections and their call for an independent judiciary in Egypt. Immediately, the immunity of two leading judges were lifted as a punishment and they were referred to a disciplinary hearing. Last week supporters were detained and one judge was beaten in the street as a punishment for expressing their demands.
I do not know what else can happen to our Egypt. Egypt has been a long standing ally to the United States and played pivotel roles at different levels.
But as I said I am not the person who can answer this question, but may be some of my American friends may have an answer this question that I carried all the way from so many Egyptians. What will the U.S. do with Egypt?