Recently, at the State of the Union address, the President of the United States Barak Obama said the U.S. stands with the people of Tunisia and all people striving for democracy. The United States president said the will of the people in the North African country proved more powerful than the rule of a dictator.
So why would Obama feels the need a week earlier to reassure hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 30 years dictator who wants his son to get the job after him..? Certainly it’s a sensitive question yet not much of a move from the leader of the free world. At least unfolding the red carpet to the Chinese president is understandable, he ows the guy a lot of money.
Egypt is a US loyal ally supposedly against islamists, maintaining a balance in the Middle East, good diplomacy with Israel and not clinging to Iran nor Russia yet these factors do not justify keeping a dictator ruling Egypt.
Egyptians deserve a true democracy too. They should choose their future and international relations as a sovereign state. They showed that by going to the streets and protesting despite of the regime contiuous intimidations, acts of repression and violence.
Washington position on the latest developments in Egypt has been rather timid as it just invited the Egyptian government to respect the right for expression of peaceful protestors advising against the use of force.
The attitude of the Egyptian government has been up until now an attitude of repression of every single peaceful protest yet they had not expect people to persevere. All political parties in Egypt have been warned not to march on the protests. Those who did march are young Egyptians, graduate, journalists, lawyers and all kind of people with no specific political affiliations. They marched to ask for their freedom from an aging regime that is out of touch, does not listen, a regime that uses repression as the only solution in the face of public demands.
This social movement is unprecedent in Egypt history. Mr Samer Shehata, assistant Professor of Arab Politics at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University who teaches courses on Arab and Middle East politics, Islamist politics, comparative politics, U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, Egyptian politics, culture and politics in the Arab world, says “.. Egyptians want their basic political freedom, human rights, free and fair elections and economic opportunities.. the United States as Egypt largest civil and military aid provider (1,3 billion in military aid annually.) should put pressure and support the Egyptian people in their strive for more freedom and change..’
Maybe it’s about time western democracies divorce the idea that only dictators in the Arab world can keep the peace if we have learned anything from the tunisian lesson.