Friday, February 04, 2011

From Mubarak to Suleiman, one tyrant to another, with America's blessing

I've been praising President Obama's careful handling of the situation in Egypt, making the case that he deserves enormous credit for trying to push Mubarak out while remaining generally non-interventionist.

I stand by that, even if I don't think Obama has shown nearly enough direct support for the pro-democracy movement that has the support of the people, but this -- even as I would like to give Obama, Clinton, et al. the benefit of the doubt -- is rather troubling:

The Obama administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military, administration officials and Arab diplomats said Thursday. 

What this means is that the U.S. -- and Obama in particular -- is looking to replace one tyrant with another, as Omar Suleiman is just the sort of dictatorial type the U.S. has preferred to deal with not just in the Middle East but around the world -- Pinochet, Noriega, the Saudi royal family, etc., ad nauseam. He's now the new VP, but he was the country's intelligence chief, involved in rather messy business (to say the least), including America's rendition program. In a way, you could call him Egypt's torturer-in-chief.

The key, I suppose, is that Suleiman would only head up a transitional government. But transitional to what? And what assurances do we have that he wouldn't just be another Mubarak?

And what about those brave people in Tahrir Square and elsewhere, those who have risen up against oppression and who are demanding meaningful change, those who want to be free and who want their country to be a democracy? Screw them, it would appear.

So much for the Lotus Revolution.

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