America Betrayed by its Allies! Will Mubarak turn into another Ahmedinajad?
By Aladdin Elaasar
America is the biggest philanthropic nation on earth, and perhaps in human history. We literally give away hundreds of billions of dollars to many nations around the globe. Some of them we call allies. We give that taxpayers money in the best of intensions. Because we are such trusting people and we tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, we assume that our money will help the needy and promote democracy everywhere. But often times this is not the case.
Egypt is the second largest recipient of US foreign aid. We have been giving the Mubarak’s regime about $ 3 billion a year for 26 years. Half of that goes to military aid.
But did this money help turn Egypt into a democratic nation? Sadly, the answer is NO.
According to US government conducted polls, The Mubarak’s regime is one of the most oppressive and brutal regimes in the region. One quick look at the State Dept’s Country Report will reveal how many people the Mubarak’s regime have thrown into jails and tortured. Egyptian media and society is teeming with anti-Semiticism and anti-American sentiments. How come?
Like any other people, The Egyptians are gasping for freedom and democracy and a decent life. They look up to America and its values. But this Love/Hate relationship is the result of seeing America saying something and doing something else. People in the Middle East are talking about American double standards. They see the US Aid dollars supporting an oppressive regime and hardly benefiting them. They do not need our handout. They need our political leverage to push for real democracy that will ensure economic stability and prosperity and helps eradicate political and religious extremism and violence.
Furthermore, Mubarak is planning to hold the biggest conference for his so-called National Democratic Party in November, where his son and future inheritor Gamal Mubark will be nominated head of the party. Mubarak also intends to give a speech to the nation of Egypt where he will announce the beginning of a nuclear era in Egypt! Why would Egypt need nuclear reactors on the first place and spend billions on that while its infrastructure is crumbling. Mubarak could have not chosen a better timing, or worse, for his patron the USA. While the US is so busy in the region with Iraq, Iran, Syria and recently, Turkey- another so-called ally; Mubarak could get away with that. If he gets any resistance from the US, his state-owned media will interpret it as usual as another conspiracy theory against the Arab and the Muslim peoples, and turn its into a matter of national pride, same as in Iran.
In this case, Mubarak will come out as the national hero, not only for the Egyptians, but of the Arabs, as well. The nuclear issue will help garner more populace support for the Mubarak regime and future plans for his son Gamal to be the next president of Egypt.
The Mubarak’ scheme is designed to serve as a smokescreen to hide his insatiable power-hungry intensions. Dictators always play that double role; pretending to be our allies while trying to be the national heroes at home.
America should not accept blackmail by its so-called allies. Our values of freedom and democracy should not be compromised. Our tax dollars should come with accountability for those regimes and more political leverage should be enforced to guarantee that our aid will bring freedom to those nations. Freedom and democracy are the only guarantees to stability in the Middle East and to win the hearts and minds, and above all, the War on Terror.
(ALADDIN ELAASAR is an award winning Arab-American journalist and author of several books including “Silent Victims: The plight of Arabs and Muslims in Post 9/11 America.” Copyright Arab Writers Group, http://www.ArabWritersGroup.com )