Washington Dispatch

Dear all,

I have been out of the country for the past 2 weeks due to an involvement in the wedding of a best friend, and used the time I’ve had to attend a conference, host a couple of policy forums and write articles on what’s been happening in Egypt( here is a video of my talk is here, and an article I wrote on how for the west to best support democracy in the coming years). During that week that I spent there, I have had a few meetings with Think Tank fellows, journalists, and people from the foreign affairs committee in congress. Here is what I’ve come to know..

  • Obama was never for the Egyptian revolution: The current US President had formed a special relationship with out former tyrant of a President to fulfill his legacy of being the President who finally resolved the Middle East Conflict. This relationship started with the former regime ended the Ghaza war crisis on January 19th, 1 day before Obama took over, and Obama reciprocated by making Mubarak the first head of state he called, and by choosing Egypt to be the setting of his famous speech to the Islamic world. Last thing he wanted was for Mubarak to be removed and to have a situation where the internal and foreign political of Egypt to be unpredictable or focused on his goal, so he basically tried not to support the revolution from the beginning, and then proceeded with a policy of no-response no matter what the SCAF did, even to US citizens. He never kept his word on any economic assistance he promised, and failed to implement any positive step to support the new democracy in Egypt, even through economic cooperation means (He could’ve, for example, give a tax incentive for US companies to invest in Egypt). The man couldn’t care less about our struggle, and would like things to return to normal as fast as possible.
  • The Current administration truly cares about two things only, and they do not include the protection of Egyptian minorities, supporting a democratic transition in Egypt or even an Egyptian civil state. All they care about is the continuation and solidification of the Camp David Peace agreement, since it’s the founding ground of US presence in the region, and ensuring that the Suez Canal remains operational for American ships, military included due to their rising crescendo of bombing Iran rhetoric, which requires having a strong relationship with the Egyptian military. The Egyptian people themselves are a low priority and a burden, and will receive no assistantship from the US in any form in the coming years, mainly because we are not important to them survival as Greece, and their own economic conditions. The US is broke, y’all.
  • The Israelis are pushing the idea that North Sinai is becoming too unstable and a threat to Israel due their various criminal and smuggling activities and support for AlQaeda presence in their area. We might not agree on many things, but they are not wrong: The North Sinai Bedouins have been enjoying a lawless state for quite a while, including their support for terrorist cells and engaging in human trafficking and organ harvesting. Both activities must be stopped by our government. They can strike a compromise that we can turn a blind eye to their smuggling, but not to support terrorist organizations, or engage in organ harvesting and human trafficking again. But what’s happening there needs to stop, and the army needs to stop pussyfooting about it and deploy there, since they already have the Camp David military waiver from Israel. A good question would be: why isn’t our military taking control over Sinai, now that they have the chance?
  • The MB is all over DC, and have been here visiting US officials for at least 8 times the last year, including meetings with congressional delegations and organizations like the World Bank. The basis for their support in the US is that they have positioned themselves as the clear alternative to the salafis, and are not afraid to milk that cow. No one from our side represents us in DC: I was the only liberal voice that doesn’t align itself with the MB- or brag about how close he works with them- coming to DC in over a year, and I was shocked at the cognitive dissonance that existed there. Did you know that AbuElfottouh is the liberal candidate? Color me surprised as well.
  • The US media is only concerned with Obama supporting gay marriage and how Romney is against it. Does anyone care? No? Thought so. The Americans are bored with this as well..
  • American weddings are a pain in the ass. It’s not like Egyptian weddings where you go to eat, drink, celebrate and leave. Nooo. You are involved in everything and you have responsibilities. Boo on that. I love my friends, and I was honored to be a part of their union, but I will never do this again. Down with Imperialist American weddings, especially ones with married bridesmaids.

Comments

  1. Rodney Stuckey says:

    Organ harvesting? Really? Is there actually evidence?

    Why in the world would a financially devastated US give tax breaks for US companies to invest in Egypt? There are 80 countries facing situations like Egypt. Tax breaks are a non-starter. A better model is what Obama just proposed to provide 3.5 billion in investment to Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. Google “G8 Feed the Future.” Those are countries making actual reforms to improve the lives of their citizens. The investment follows the reform, not precedes it.

    You must have enjoyed Pres. W. Bush’s recent address on supporting democracy at all costs. Strange bedfellows.

    You do terrific work. Keep it up!

  2. Rodney Stuckey says:

    And yes, our weddings are horrible… that, everyone can agree upon!

  3. you mean you just now found out that obama is just another politican who only cares about what’s in his best interest to be reelected? and you didn’t know that the progressives see the muslim brotherhood as warm fuzzy kittens? you really need to get out more…lol

  4. Ulla Lauridsen says:

    Oh, please. Why would Obama not be afraid of free elections in a country as islamic as yours, controlling the Suez canal? And yet, he certainly didn’t buck up Mubarak militarily or in any other fashion.
    Tax breaks for investing i Egypt? Do you think anyone in their right mind would have invested during the tumultuous days, tax breaks or no tax breaks? We dare not even come as tourists, we are all waiting to see how things shake out.

  5. Thanks for yet another good post! I have been following your writing for some time now, ever since the “Arab Spring” began, and your are providing a unique inside view of the processes. Thanks!

  6. Obama is more in favor of mob rule in these countries in the ME. He wants the organized traditions broken down and he will step in and pick up pieces once he realizes who emerged with the power. RESET. That is his mindset even in the US. Treaties are just old clothes to him, useful til he finds something better.

    If you combine Islamic radicals and communism you will get the type of psychology Obama is trying to support n the third world.

  7. It’s not new that America’s polices in the region are mostly driven by: Israel’s security, Oil production and Fighting terrorism (including Suez Canal access).
    To say that the American MSM “only concerned with Obama supporting gay marriage” is quite simplistic. It’s all about the news cycle, for example today it’s all about the private equity firm Bain (Obama vs. Romney views/attacks). And I care about gay marriage (I’m not gay) because it’s a human rights issue and when you write ‘Americans are bored with this as well’ (is this based on a poll you read?).
    Check out this post on Liberal Koshari on Egypt’s presidential elections:
    http://www.liberalkoshari.com/2012/05/egyptian-copts-and-muslims-single-issue.html?utm_source=BP_recent

  8. Lynnette in Minnesota says:

    Hmmm…there’s no preview here so I don’t know if these tags work, my apologies for the mess if they don’t.

    All they care about is the continuation and solidification of the Camp David Peace agreement, since it’s the founding ground of US presence in the region, and ensuring that the Suez Canal remains operational for American ships, military included due to their rising crescendo of bombing Iran rhetoric, which requires having a strong relationship with the Egyptian military.

    It is true they care about those things. But it’s also true that our maintaining a relationship with the Egyptian military may allow us to help people in Egypt in the future. That was the problem we had in Libya, we had no relationship with anyone there in a position of power, so the only leverage we had was military action.

    The Egyptian people themselves are a low priority and a burden, and will receive no assistantship from the US in any form in the coming years, mainly because we are not important to them survival as Greece, and their own economic conditions. The US is broke, y’all.

    Economic conditions in Greece, Europe and America affect Egypt as well. Tourism is a big factor in Egypt’s economy. Nobody travels if they are feeling pinched at home. And the first place people look at cutting when budgets are tight is foreign aid.

    No one from our side represents us in DC: I was the only liberal voice that doesn’t align itself with the MB- or brag about how close he works with them- coming to DC in over a year, and I was shocked at the cognitive dissonance that existed there. Did you know that AbuElfottouh is the liberal candidate? Color me surprised as well.

    Maybe more people from the liberal side should be visitng the US then? If all we see are the MB then, yes, they will get the playtime. Don’t be shy SM, you gotta make Washington see you! And that means some kind of organization that can have a chance at running a government.

    •The US media is only concerned with Obama supporting gay marriage and how Romney is against it. Does anyone care? No? Thought so. The Americans are bored with this as well.

    The US media goes into a feeding frenzy in an election year. This the latest tidbit to fall their way. And, yeah, we do get bored with a lot of the hype.

    Down with Imperialist American weddings, especially ones with married bridesmaids.

    ROFL!

  9. MegRyan says:

    Obama appointed many people in his administration that are Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers so I am surprised that you are surprised that the MB is considered moderate by Obama. The MB has infiltrated Washington fully eg. Rashad Hussain & Dalia Mogahed

  10. I’m sorry the wedding had married bridesmaids.

    Coptic friends who went to vote at the embassy in DC report busloads of covered women and conversations among them like this:
    Woman entering to woman exiting: So who is it we’re voting for?
    Exiting: They show you, don’t worry.
    Entering: Yeah, but what are the names?
    Exiting: It’s very easy, they will point to them for you.

    You know you won’t get any help from us (the US). I think you probably knew that from the beginning. It isn’t in the interest of the military-industrial complex. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by this abdication of responsibility by Egyptians either, but it does make me sad.

  11. There actually are other non-MB types from Egypt who have visited Washington to present their views on events, eg., the “liberal” benefactor Naguib Sawiris http://fikraforum.org/?p=2217

    That said, the point is well-taken that secular voices have not been sufficiently heard in and around the White House, whether because of the chaotic nature of those voices, politicking by the MB, US indifference, fifth columns in the White House (definitely agree with MegRyan; http://balasticman.blogspot.it/2011/12/brothers-in-arms-team-obama-and-muslim.html#more), or all of the above.

  12. “The Egyptian people themselves are a low priority and a burden, and will receive no assistantship from the US in any form in the coming years…”

    That doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is that you thought there might be assistance. Over the last year and a half I’ve been seeing comments from many online Egyptians that Egypt doesn’t want help from the USA. Are you saying that Egyptians would accept assistance if offered?

    I’d like to see other countries offer help in some tangible ways that would benefit those Egyptians who most need it. But respect must be given to what Egyptians really want. We can’t foist help on people, especially if it’s help-with-strings-attached.

    As a Canadian I would like to see our country offer assistance, but our Prime Minister has inclinations to become the first President of Americanada. So not sure you’ll see any dosh coming from the Great White North. But he could surprise me.

    And weddings are dreadful, period.

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