print
memri
July 2, 2002 No.
397

Egyptian Government Daily Al-Akhbar Responds to Bush's Address: 'No One Will Support America if the Events of Sept 11 Recur!'

Following President George W. Bush's address on the Middle East, Egyptian President Husni Mubarak declared that Bush's speech was "balanced." The editors of the Egyptian government papers followed suit, with numerous articles about how "balanced" Bush's speech was and how it contained "positive aspects" along with its negative aspects.

However, in recent days the tone has changed. The direct cause of this change was the dispute between President Bush and the G-8 leaders in Canada on the issue of Yasser Arafat's status. The following are excerpts from the Egyptian government daily Al-Akhbar Op-Eds reflecting the revised Egyptian position:

'Is Bush the Only Reasonable Man? – I Doubt It!'

"Praise and thanks to Allah that the violent and mocking criticism of President Bush's speech … came from the Western allies before it came from us, the Arabs, " wrote the editor Galal Duweidar. "This position is manifested in their rejection of the clear and provocative American bias in favor of the blood-shedder Sharon… In this speech, Bush sought to grovel before the Jewish lobby and Sharon by demanding [the establishment] of a collaborator [Palestinian] leadership that will turn the Palestinian state, if it ever arises, into a satellite of the Jewish state, that thief of [our] land and existence…"

"Can the entire world - which declared it did not agree with Bush's ideas - be crazy? This would mean that Bush is the only reasonable man in the world.… I doubt it."[1]

The next day, the Al-Akhbar editorial, titled, "No one would support America if the events of September 11 recurred," read:

"Is America weak to such an extent?!… America, with all the might of [its] power of oppression, locks horns with the besieged Yasser Arafat, who wants to remove the blockade from the Palestinian people and himself! The government of America… talks only of Yasser Arafat, and demands his removal, as if it was he who was derailing the peace process!”

“Is Arafat that strong?! This kind of power [attributed to Arafat] is seen only by the weak and cowardly! We understand that Israel wants to be rid of Yasser Arafat, for many reasons. But [why would] America see Arafat as an enemy threatening its existence!"

"The American president failed in his attempt to convince the leaders of the great industrialized countries [meeting] in Canada of the need to remove Arafat from the arena of events in Palestine. The Europeans, the Japanese, and Canada told Bush: 'No!'"

"What is the secret behind America's fear of Arafat? What is the secret behind the great powers' leaders' refusal of the American request? … The simple answer is that we think that America is entirely Israel, or that the administration, President Bush, and the Congress are all personally Sharon. They think with his mind and act in the same criminal way."

"The European countries, Japan, and Canada do not want to go down the American path. Out of self-respect, the leaders of the large industrialized countries do not want to be Sharon… except for Tony Blair, the prime minister of Britain, the former superpower that goes eyeless."

"If Tony Blair listened to the voice of his mind, he would know that the entire world is not ignoring what Sharon is doing against the Palestinian people every moment. America knows this, but blind power – the power that has lost its mind – makes it ignore the real situation, which holds grave risks in the Middle East!"

'America … Is Not Out of Reach of Anyone'

"America thinks it is distant from this danger, but it would seem that it has forgotten – or pretends it has forgotten – September 11, 2001, which exposed its weakness! It is not out of [reach] of anyone! And America, under Bush's leadership, is close to no one's heart. For this reason, it is noticeable that the international sympathy following the events of September 11 is dissipating!"

"America … has allocated $90 million to survey international public opinion regarding America. It knows that no one is sympathetic towards her or supports her except for Israel and Sharon – a fact that evokes ridicule, because America, Israel, and Sharon are one. There is no difference. No difference."[2]

Endnotes:

[1] Al-Akhbar (Egypt), June 30, 2002.

[2] Al-Akhbar (Egypt), July 1, 2001.