‘Til Death Do Us Part’ – Peeling Power from a Dictator
Going! Going! Gone! That is the word on Mubarak’s credibility and that of his NDP. Pre-election intimidation and changes to the constitution, followed by blatant electoral fraud, followed by a grandiose announcement of a landslide victory to the party that orchestrated the whole sham and finally a ‘walk in the park’ as the NDP gains control of the People’s Assembly giving them the advantage to nominate for the presidential election to take place in 2011. What a con! The Egyptian people have been cheated once again of their will and their right to free and fair elections.
Some people in the NDP are loyal to President Mubarak, and others believe it is time for his son, Gamal, to take over. Others are divided because of struggles over obtaining the spoils available for members of parliament. And while the NDP argues, ordinary Egyptians are looking ahead to next year’s presidential elections, wondering if Mubarak will stand – yet again – for re-election or go the way of succession. The outcome of the elections reinforces the idea that Mubarak will seek to continue in power. But let’s face it, if a ruler and his political party do not even have the discipline and morality to conduct proper parliamentary elections, how can they be trusted to handle the complicated matter of handing over power – even that of a failed state – to a successor who is controversial within the government and in the country as a whole?
When we talk about the enemy of the people, in times gone by the world would look at the imposing power of countries like Imperial Japan or Hitler’s Reich, but in modern times history takes on an ironic twist as the world puts failure into focus and stalks weak, failed states that are governed poorly or worse yet, not really governed at all. The world often dismisses ‘failed states’ and turns with a smile toward developed countries with healthy economies, good human rights records, free and fair elections and rotating power; the signs of true development and democracy.
However, the concern is that if the world overlooks failed states, the bad news is that they are likely to rear up one day and bite the world ‘from behind’. Afghanistan is an example of this. After the defeat of the Soviet army Afghanistan was crumbling and America considered it unimportant; that was, of course, until certain events that occurred in 2001. But by then, things had escalated out of control and the country was ruled with open tyranny. Has the US learned its lesson?
Is the world content that the US ’s response to the fraudulent Egyptian elections of 2010 goes down in history as simply ‘worrying’? The US ’s apologetic response to Egypt ’s escalating tyranny is giving Mubarak and his NDP the green light to continue in human rights abuses, stripping the nation of its integrity and slandering its reputation worldwide. But really, are the Egyptians to blame for their failed state, or is Mubarak, and his longevity and obstinate refusal to step down and hand over the reins, to blame for Egypt ’s sorry state of affairs?
Egypt fits the bill for its ranking in the most corrupt countries in the world at present: severe economic decline, a range of political problems, such as human-rights violations, deteriorating public services and unchecked internal security machinery. These criteria fit perfectly in the scenario designed and implemented by the ruling regime during the 2010 parliamentary elections.
Billions of dollars are being spent on imposing democracy in certain countries, and on feeding the hungry and uprooting tyranny in a number of failed states from Africa, South America and the Middle East, as well as hunting mass-murderers and would-be mass murderers across Asia . All this is going on while Egypt ’s Mubarak continues to get mega-bucks to maintain his totalitarian control over his impoverished, oppressed nation, receiving smiles from nervous allies and gloating at his illegal electoral victory, and all the while he continues to hope for yet another term as president. He thinks he has it all sewn up. Mubarak has snubbed, not only his own country but his allies.
But from all the basket-case regimes in the world, including Egypt , the connection between lack of freedom and being a failed state is clear. And, clearly Mubarak is taking a risk; he is risking, not only his inglorious reputation, but more importantly, his own country’s welfare. But while apathy mounts as peaceful measures prove useless in the face of police brutality and rampant corruption, is Egypt – the nation- ready to support the opposition which is prepared to usher in peaceful change or is it doomed to allow its dictator to rule on and sink them into the mire of ‘failure’ – where there is too much tyranny and not enough liberty – and join its counterparts in the count down of failed countries?