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It seems that the US Government will find itself once again on the wrong side of history. Even though the administration’s official position is in support of the pro-democracy movement in Egypt, it is clear that no one is willing to turn off the 1.8 billion dollar spigot which helps maintain the oppressive regime of Hosnei Mubarak. One point eight-billion dollars annually flow from the pockets of US citizens into the coffers of the Egyptian military and the Mubarak regime’s security apparatus that suppresses the Egyptian people.
Instead of lending real support to the struggle for democracy in the middle east, our government supports a dictator who is ‘promising reform.’ My question is this:
At what point can anything Mubarak promises be trusted?
Is he not the man who declared emergency powers and has maintained them for more than thirty years?
Is he not the one who has promised many times before that civil rights will be restored in Egypt?
Is Mubarak not the one who assured the people before that elections would be open and fair, that he would relinquish his position as head of the official political party, the party that wields all the power in the land?
Is he not the one whose family has accumulated over forty billion dollars in wealth during his years in power? And how much of his wealth came from the pockets of the US taxpayer over the many years of aid given to the Mubarak regime?
And furthermore, are we so entrenched in our way of giving lip service to freedom that we are willing to stand by the rapist who promises not to abuse his victim again?
Or are we finally willing to say to him: Enough already! You have to go!
Will we finally stand on the right side of history and trust the people of Egypt to build their own version of democracy?
As events unfold in the streets of Egypt I want to bring the powerful words of Suheir Hammad to your attention.
Suheir Hammad is a poet who “blends the stories and sounds of her Palestinian-American heritage” to bring us her “meditations on war and peace, on women and power.”
May the world heed the truth she speaks in the concluding line of her poem: “Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded.”
In my Egypt watch I have come across on op-ed by Robert Grenier, who is a retired twenty-seven year veteran of the CIA’s clandestine services.
His insights surprised me because he had served as Director of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center under George W from 2004-06.
You may also find his post worth reading: