Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sent word out of his ‘highly secure’ palace through an interview to ABC News that he was ready to go/ leave Egypt but was afraid there will be chaos if he did. For long, after 30 years of being an client of US foreign policy – he has led an autocratic rule in Egypt that has not been very successful to provide youth employment, better livelihood conditions and happiness to his people in total. Democracy has been stifled during this period in the guise of establishing it and public dissent not given its due regard.
Tens of thousands packed central Cairo on Friday (4th Feb 2011) to mark the ‘day of departure’ of Hosni Mubarak – a dictator who is reluctant to leave! Many with their families and children in tow, flowed over the bridges across the Nile into ‘Tahrir Square’ – a place of public congregation – that has become a symbol of liberation. No! they are not intimidated by the Mubarak loyalists any longer! US is embarrassed and cannot do more than what it has done till now to suppress the uprising and bring back normalcy on to the streets of Cairo. At the same time, Mubarak is feeling let down by the Washington Oval office on whose strength he ruled, though only autocratically, for the last 30 years in Egypt – no small country with a massive population of 84.5 million.
Muslim Brotherhood – the main opposition party in Egypt – has evolved for better over a period of time, though it was founded in Egypt in the year 1928, by the Islamic scholar and Sufi schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna to establish Sharia Law. It is present in many other Arab States – Bahrain, Syria, Palestine territories, Israel, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and some parts of Africa.This party/ outfit has been banned in Egypt and Mubarak is apprehensive that by his leaving Cairo they may re-surface in Egypt and promote Islamic fundamentalist rules and it may happen that democracy in Egypt becomes beyond reach forever! It is difficult to conclude now whether Mubarak’s fears are genuine or is it just a ‘ploy’ raising the bogey of Islamic fundamentalism so that his son is nominated as President in Sept 2011, when Mubarak’s term gets over.
United States, that has been involved in Egyptian rule for the last 30 years through Hosni Mubarak, should devise ways to overcome Mubarak’s intransigence in the light of increasingly ‘bloody’ clashes on Egyptian streets. But, having learned from its experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, US should refrain from sending its armed forces into Egypt so that its foreign policy is not criticized again as ever by the world and the Arab states in particular.
Instead, US should propose formation of an interim government – after consultations with Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat; also involve Muslim Brotherhood – since it is quite shunted and reformed in Egypt when compared to other Arab states – so that normalcy is restored in Egypt. Hopefully, these steps will result in ending autocracy in Egypt and create room/ atmosphere for free and fair ‘democratic’ elections. Yes, the Game is over! Hosni Mubarak has to Go!!