Not Even a Rap on the Knuckles – US and Egypt
Can the world turn a blind eye to all the prickly issues surrounding the Egyptian elections? The fraud, brutality and corruption are so obvious that even the US had to describe the elections as ‘worrying’. But what are they worried about? Are they worried about their favourite Middle Eastern dictatorship losing its grip in a sensitive balance of power? Are they worried about the impoverished, oppressed masses? Or, are they worried that the MB, who this time round lost nearly all its seats, retains popular power and authenticity and that the balance of right swings markedly in their favour, leaving them, the US, silently consenting to fraud, deceit and all the barbarity that goes with such traits? Indeed, the US has much to worry about.
Some analysts are concerned that the MB is being pushed underground or may choose to veto its own non-violence policy and pursue the familiar rabid path frequented by so many disenfranchised minorities around the world. But they need not be concerned, as the MB has time and again demonstrated their firmness in adhering to non-violence despite fitful displays of provocation. And, being declared an illegal entity for as long as any Egyptian cares to remember, the MB is acquainted with the ways of the underground, but apparently not so well acquainted as the ruling regime that works hand in hand with its thugs and goons.
The US, trying desperately to placate the furor over wikileaks, looks on helplessly as the tables are turned and the truth, as it always does, comes out. So, now US assurances that they are in fact intending to raise concerns about the elections with the government of Egypt, falls on, not just deaf, but disbelieving ears.
All-American, Philip Crowley, has a solid background in terrorism and won the confidence of President Obama who designated him to Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in 2009. When questioned over obvious abuse of power by a friendly government such as Egypt, Crowley said that the relationship between the Egyptian government and its own people is of paramount importance limiting the role of the US to ‘expressing concern’ and this to be done, ‘when appropriate’. But what kind of power does the US have over Egypt, apart from giving out aid? Perhaps the threat to withdraw aid from Egypt would motivate the regime to tow the line and keep its promises of conducting free and fair elections, but the US, unaccountably hesitant to do so, reiterated its commitment to its ‘friendly’ partnership with Egypt. This leads us to wonder what would have to happen in Egypt before the US makes a definitive stand and genuinelytries to stamp out the corruption. Moreover, the US seems quite confident in its, or the Egyptian government’s, ability to control any ‘underground’, ‘violent’ undertaking. Given the facts surrounding the recent elections, this is more apt to describe the ruling regime than the MB.
Basically, it appears that the US could not give a fig about matters concerning individual Egyptians, matters of political decency and justice and instead, prefers to bypass controversial issues focusing on areas where the US and Egypt agree, admitting that they and the Egyptians ‘see largely eye-to-eye, and enjoy close and effective intelligence cooperation’. The overly-sensitive regime gets upset when criticized by the US on any volatile issue where its integrity appears doubtful. But perhaps Egypt is not as ‘indispensable’ as it would like to think, as without foreign aid, without its population’s support, and without morality it is doomed to be a ‘stubborn and recalcitrant ally’ of the US. Living in each other’s pocket might often be uncomfortable, but at times like the elections it is more than convenient.