February 2, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3559

The Middle East Crisis XVIII - Egyptian, Arab Reactions to U.S. Handling of Egypt Crisis: U.S. Is Selling Out Its Allies, Interfering in Egypt's Affairs in Pursuit of Own Agenda

February 2, 2011
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 3559

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has rejected the U.S.'s stance on the protests in Egypt, telling it bluntly to mind its own business and refrain from interfering in Egypt's affairs. Rage at the U.S. has also been voiced by writers in the Egyptian press, who said that U.S. President Barack Obama was not qualified to speak for the Egyptian people or to determine the country's future.

Also critical of Obama's policy were columnists in other Arab countries, who accused the U.S. of abandoning Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and of willingness to sell out its allies, including Israel, to further its own goals. They claimed that the U.S. encouraged the Arab oppositions not in order to promote human rights, as it claimed, but in order to realize a hidden agenda and preserve its influence over the Arab world in all circumstances.

Following are translated excerpts from several statements and articles on the subject:

Egyptian Foreign Ministry to U.S.: Keep Your Nose Out of Our Business

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "It is very saddening to see Western foreign countries like the U.S., Britain, France and even Turkey, who always look for a role to play in every situation, sticking their noses into the developments in Egypt. In an insolent and unprecedented manner, these countries have allowed themselves speak in the Egyptian people's name and to endorse the demands [presented] by certain parts of it – [a move] that the Egyptian government and people reject out of hand."

The spokesman added that these countries must mind their own business and respect the unique characteristics of the Egyptian domestic scene, since "it is these [characteristics] that will determine the future of Egypt, not statements made by some president or other in some country or other – even if this country pretends to be a sister [of Egypt]."[1]

Al-Gumhouriyya Editor: The U.S. Wants to Turn Egypt into Its Proxy

In his weekly column, the editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya, Muhammad 'Ali Ibrahim, wrote: "The West has naturally put its faith in Dr. ElBaradei... but Dr. ElBaradei does not speak for Egypt, and it was not he, nor [any other individual], who sparked the youth revolution on January 25, [2011]... Does Washington [mean to] overlook 85 million Egyptians and deal directly with the [person] it trusts, without considering the Egyptians?...

"Who authorized America to try to shape Egypt's future after Mubarak? Have the Egyptians become [a people] without a will or a voice? Are the Egyptians just those in Tahrir Square? In any case, if Washington is concerned for Egypt's future, it must discuss the matter openly with [Egypt's] senior officials, and not with a politician who spends most of his time outside the homeland... With all due respect to Dr. ElBaradei, he has not received a mandate from the people to conduct negotiations in their name. The dialogue that the U.S., Britain and France are holding with ElBaradei shows that these democratic countries do not recognize Egypt's constitutional and legislative bodies, and do not respect the will of the Egyptians or their choices – nor even their protest, which Dr. ElBaradei has tried to exploit...

"America's goal... is to drive a wedge between President [Mubarak] and his vice president, [Suleiman,] like what happened in Pakistan in the era of Pervez Musharraf... This would enable America to ensure Israel's [security by allowing the latter] to send [military] forces into Sinai on the pretext of securing the border. Then [Israel] will expel the Gazan Palestinians into Egypt, and greater Gaza will become an emirate on Egyptian soil... America, Britain, Turkey and others are striving to carve up the Middle East anew, [in] what is known as the new Sykes-Picot agreement. The 'creative chaos' [policy] worked in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Sudan, so why not try it Egypt?

"Ultimately, what America wants is for Egypt to be in the state of political vacuum... The American proposals, as well as the British and French contacts with Dr. ElBaradei and others, show that [their hope] is for Egypt to remain in a state of permanent chaos... What America wants is for Egypt to become a country without independent decision, [subjected to] the decision of the American administration – a proxy state..."[2]

Egyptian Columnist: Who Authorized Obama to Speak on Behalf of the Egyptians?

Anwar Al-Hawari, a columnist for the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram Al-Masai, wrote: "I would be willing to endorse Obama's statements in support of democracy in Egypt, were I not familiar with real-world experiences that belie his [claims]. [For example,] the U.S. has been in Iraq since 2003, [trying] to spread democracy, but its only achievement has been to spread terror, destruction and death on a daily basis...

"Obama discusses Egypt's affairs out of an imperialistic mentality. I do not know who authorized him to speak in my name as an Egyptian citizen... Tell me, Obama, what are your country's real interests in what is happening in Egypt right now? What is your role in instigating these events? Tell me, what is your agenda?... An immediate transfer of power is not in Egypt's [best] interest... You, Obama, want my country to share the fate you have arranged for Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. But the fate of a country like Egypt will not be determined in your meetings with your advisors, and by your poisoned diplomatic speeches..."[3]

Palestinian Columnist: The U.S. Is Only Looking Out for Itself

'Adel 'Abd Al-Rahman, columnist for the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, wrote: "For the thousandth time, the U.S. is proving that it will sell out its allies at the first political crossroads [it encounters]. Ever since it appeared in Latin America, it has proven to all the countries of the world, while striving to take over the [entire] Western hemisphere, that it only looks out for its own interests, at the expense of its closest allies...

"Not long ago, the U.S. announced that it was immediately abandoning Tunisian President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, known to have strong relations with it; today, it is maneuvering against the leader of Egypt's regime while deluding the Egyptian protestors into thinking that it supports them and their demands. This is a cheap attempt to purchase [the protestors'] friendship with... statements by President Obama and Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton], who have clearly declared their wish for a peaceful transfer of power – which means [that they are] abandoning the Egyptian regime.

"The heads of the U.S. government, led by the president, [recently] held consultations with [all] the leaders of the countries of the region, but not with the Egyptian president – even though President Hosni Mubarak is still the regime head, and even though he has instituted reforms, has promised not to hand down his regime [to his son Gamal], and has appointed a vice president and formed a new government... It is clearly apparent that the American administration has washed its hands of the regime in Egypt, and particularly of Hosni Mubarak.

"The American position is overall opposed to President Mubarak's regime; this reveals to all the Arab regimes that have tied their fate to the U.S. and its policy that the U.S. doesn't care about any regime, even those that are loyal allies. The U.S. cares only for American interests.

"Who has forgotten the Shah of Iran and his role as guardian of the American interest – and who has forgotten what the [U.S.] administration did to him?... We must consider whether the U.S. might also implement this policy against the apartheid state of Israel, its strategic ally. As long as Israel is a strategic asset, the U.S. will defend it, but when it becomes a burden, or deviates from the framework laid out for it, it will weigh heavily on the U.S. decision makers, and its situation will [then] be no different [from that of the Arab countries.]"[4]

Saudi Prince Saif Al-Islam bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz: The U.S. Conspired With the Opposition Elites

Emir Saif Al-Islam bin Saud bin 'Abd Al-'Aziz, who lectures at King Saud University and writes for several Saudi papers, blamed the U.S. for the recent events in the Arab world. He wrote: "The U.S. and the West want rapid change in Arab regimes that have been stable for generations, before the era of the turban wearers [i.e. the clerics] arrives, for better or for worse. This is what the U.S. secretary of state clarified in all honesty, the day before the fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia, in an address... in Doha: 'The Arab countries that are [our] friends must change and give hope to their peoples so that the U.S. and the entire world are not surprised by extremism that will invade our homes. The U.S. will work in tandem with the positive [forces in the region] to achieve this."

"What has the American weapon been since the American president's speech at Cairo University in the summer of 2009 to the Islamic and Arab world – in which many of the sections dealt with their internal affairs? The first weapon is conspiring with the oppositionist political elites, particularly with the representatives of their younger generation, while claiming a need for a social connection with the elements of the civil society. At the same time, the [oppositionist] political elites in several Arab and Islamic countries have waged an information campaign via the Western media. These contacts have not been solely for the purpose of exchange of opinions, but to guide the youth of the opposition parties in the use of modern technological media... so as to carry out the demanded change in a judicious manner.

"The American administration has [another] frightening weapon, aimed at fomenting 'creative chaos' and creating a new Arab reality. These will spawn young and competent West-leaning governments that will stop the extremist Islamist streams that are ready to take off...

"The lethal weapon in the hands of the West is the shortsightedness and lack of sophistication that characterize many [people] within the political elites that rule the Arab and Islamic countries. They handle the crises in their countries, where political, social, and economic fears are rife, with the mindset of the 1950s – as if time had stopped during the Cold War... and thus the opposition's wishes in every Arab country intersect with America's the declared goals of the American administration, which conceal [that administration's actual] long-term goals."[5]

Al-Hayat Columnist: The U.S. Is the Greatest of Hypocrites

'Abdallah Iskander, columnist for the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat, wrote: "The deeds of the Arab regimes, especially those of Tunisia and Egypt, are indefensible... A number of circumstances and factors have turned both these countries into a platform for clashes [between citizens] and regimes. Inter alia, we can point to poor administration, corruption, tyranny, human rights violations, economic failure, and the closing of [all] horizons to the future, together with covert anti-regime ideological struggles...

"At this stage, American interference has arrived [in the region], speaking in the name of human rights. This is reminiscent of Washington's actions in the shadow of the Cold War, when it spoke about the peoples behind the Iron Curtain. This happened in Tunisia and is happening now also in Egypt. Human rights have become a political tool, not a value in and of themselves. In the name of these rights, Ben Ali's abdication in favor of the Tunisian military establishment was arranged. It seems that the same could happen in Egypt too.

"Despite the differences between the two cases, in both of them, once it perceived the current regime to be under threat, the U.S. sought to ensure that whatever the form of the future regime, it would be its ally... The human rights brandished by the U.S. as a slogan are not a goal; they are only [an attempt by the U.S.] to obtain influence over the next regime."[6]

Tareq Alhomayed, editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote: "Outside Egypt, we are facing unprecedented hypocrisy – and the U.S. is the greatest of all hypocrites. Within 24 hours [of the beginning of the unrest], the Americans issued 10 statements, all contradictory. First it declared that it was neutral, and then it demanded reform – as if this could be attained overnight.

"This is the same Washington that undertook a policy of reaching out to the Iranian [regime] – while the Iranian security apparatuses were slaughtering their citizens before the eyes of the entire world, despite all the calls for Washington to help the oppressed.

"The climax of the U.S.'s hypocrisy is its apprehensions about the [fate of the demonstrators] in Egypt – as it does not lift a finger in light of what Israel is doing to the Palestinians."[7]


[1] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), February 3, 2011.

[2] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), February 3, 2011.

[3] Al-Ahram Al-Masai (Egypt), February 2, 2011.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), February 1, 2011

[5] Elaph, January 31, 2011

[6] Al-Hayat (London), January 30, 2011

[7] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 29, 2011.

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