The Legacy of Mubarak
|Saturday, October 23,2010 19:46|
|By Ali Younes|
Mohammad Hosni Mubarak, former Air Force General became president of Egypt after the assassination of President Mohammad Anwar Al Sadat by Muslim extremists on 6 October 1981. President Mubarak, as a result, became the longest serving president of Egypt since Mohammad Ali Pasha, who ruled Egypt from 1805-1849.
Mubarak regime almost since its genesis after the assassination of former president Sadat has been dependent on US political, economic and military support. According to the latest reports on Egypt by the Congressional Research Services, “Egypt under the Mubarak regime has been a country in decline.” Though, the US strategic objectives in the region view Egypt as key element in securing the US security interest in the region; the Egyptian role, however, is in tandem with that of Israel whereby Egypt functions as a junior partner for the US and Israel as far keeping the Camp David treaty intact.
Under Mubarak, Egypt population almost doubled to 80 million people strong, from just 43 million when Mubarak took office 1981. Poor economic planning and widespread corruption led to general decline of the Egyptian state in terms of stature as a former leader in Africa and among the Third World countries, to a country that cannot influence its own backyard in Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea or help the Palestinians cope with Israeli unchecked political and military supremacy in the region.
As a result, the projection for the future of Egypt looks very bleak. When compared to the regional powers such as Turkey or Iran, Egypt is no match to either one. Turkey for example is the only modern economy in the entire region and ranks 17th in the world, and the only true fighting force and modern army by NATO standards and a rising international power. Iran, though forced to pay more attention to US threatening gaze which forces it to divert more resources to counter it, it is nevertheless a country on the rise economically and military on the regional level.
Egypt, therefore, will most likely continue to remain an American vassal state or fall in the Russian sphere of influence.
Mubarak authoritarian rule led to wide spread charges of corruptions against him personally and his family, particularly his sons, Alaa and Gamal Mubarak. Egyptian civic groups and political parties accuse the Mubarak regime of attempting to install his son Gamal Mubarak after the elder Mubarak had passed from the scene. Even though the government denies such charges, clues emerged in the past few months that suggest Mubarak is trying to place his son in the top tier of the leadership ladder of his own National Democratic Party. When an Italian newspaper asked Mubarak during a trip to Italy earlier this year about the next president of Egypt; Mubarak answer was “Only God’s knows that.”
Mubarak supporters argue that Egypt population problems hampered growth and that Mubarak regime had kept Egypt’s Islamic fundamentalist groups from taking power and otherwise, slide Egypt further into political, military and economic marginalization. In supporting the continuation of Mubarak policies, supporters are hoping to see the alliance between the oligarchs, the army and the Mubarak family as represented by his two sons and his wife Suzan Mubarak.