Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

Egypt: bribery, corruption, dictators and betrayal

February 16, 2011

By David Farside

Feb. 15th, 2011

In their struggle for political independence, human rights, national pride and personal freedom, the Egyptian people demonstrated to the world how sheer collective resolve and individual determination can topple a dictator and change world politics.

Following the example of India’s Gandhi and our own Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s strategy of peaceful and nonviolent protests, the Egyptians have shifted the balance of power in the region from the clutches of historical kings, modern-day dictators and self-appointed autocrats to the outreaching hands of a new democracy.

After almost three weeks of protests, President Hosni Mubarak finally resigned. Some demanded he leave Egypt. Saudi Arabia offered him exile status but cooler heads prevailed. He now is living in a villa in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, located on the Sinai Peninsula. There’s no report indicating he’s under house arrest, but you have to think he is. An Egyptian prosecutor already has ordered four members of Mubarak’s ruling party not to leave the country and their assets have been frozen.

Mubarak, rather than building the Egyptian economy, creating jobs or raising the standard of living for his own people with our foreign aid dollars, is accused of stealing $70 billion over the last 30 years. Now, the people want their money back.

The Egyptians’ road to freedom, democracy and self-rule might not be an easy one. Officially, the central government has been taken over in a military coup, placing all decisions pertaining to finance, internal affairs and foreign policy in the hands of a military commission and war machine, which could negatively affect relationships with surrounding countries.

The United States has sent the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah and military leaders in Israel. I wonder why?

It’s simple. For 30 years the United States has been paying the dictator Mubarak for keeping Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Now, in his absence, we don’t know who to bribe. But I’m sure Mullen will be pointed in the right direction by both Jordan and Israel.

President Obama supported the Egyptians’ demand for democracy. He handled the betrayal of his political ally, Mubarak, using typical U.S. diplomacy: calling for his resignation and exile.

The United States has a history of deserting its allies when they are no longer useful. Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega are two prime examples.

The U.S. once supported Iraq, providing weapons and aid during its conflict with Iran in the 1980s. In the 1990s Hussein’s status as a U.S. ally was shaken but his presence provided a buffer between the radicals in Iran and al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Although he was a ruthless dictator, he used his power to preserve Iraq’s independence. He kept the terrorists out and protected the his country’s oil investments. When he continually refused to expand oil leasing agreements with the United States, instead of initiating diplomatic negotiations to resolve the issues, president G.W. Bush destroyed Hussein’s country, killed more Iraqis than Hussein did and hanged him until dead. Now that’s no way to treat a political ally.

Noriega was really blindsided by G.W. Bush’s father. Noriega helped the U.S. sabotage the Soviet Union-backed revolutions in Nicaragua and the Sandinistas in El Salvador. He was paid as much as $200,000 annually for working as an agent for our Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), providing information on the smuggling of illegal drugs originating in South America. We covertly set him up as a drug dealer to get insider information. He also was a source of communications between Cuba and the United States.

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