Little Egypt will drop on the floor… and stick.
March 26, 2007 — Lugano (apj.us) — Speaking of supporting Big D democracy — lets take a look at Egypt and see what is happening with its elections coming up. On Monday, these highly democratic-minded Egyptians will vote on a referendum proposed by President Hosni Mubarak, who pushed a ballot issue to consolidate his power (what else?).
First, maybe 20% of Egyptians will turn out to vote.
And guess who rules the National Democratic Party — called, funny enough, the Politburo (can you say Soviet Union)?
Well it is none other than Gamal Mubarak, son of the President! Can you say George W. Bush?
Gamal, you guessed it, is his daddy’s surprise successor, and he thinks this shoddily planned “referendum” will fail.
Here’s the lay of the land on the Nile: despite the years-old promise of Mr. Mubarak to have open party elections, Egypt is in fact a single-party state. The “Old Hose,” as his poker buddies call him, will be 80 years old in fourteen months — so one might expect a “regime change” fairly soon.
Now don’t say I wrote “vote fraud,” but it is amazing that Mubarak & Sons hold 311 seats in a 454-seat parliament.
Like our Mr. Bush, the opposition to Mubarak had about as much power as FOX News Chief Roger Ailes for getting women. (At least without paying for them.)
So their outcries were never heard.
Ergo, Mubarak can get any legislation he chooses passed with just over a two-thirds majority.
Does that remind you of W back in his salad days or what?
Here are some of the outstanding provisions of the referendum:
- Mubarak will have all-encompassing power to monitor communications — supposedly only the terrorists — and then “refer” them to “special” military courts.
- Mubarak will now be able to order suspension of court supervision of elections. In fact, it will overturn an Egyptian Supreme Court ruling mandating that the judiciary has supervisory power over ballots.
- Now, get this — Mubarak will appoint a “Supreme Independent Council” to supervise the elections instead. Shades of George W. Bush?
- And finally, new laws will prohibit the formation of political parties “based on religion,” a move aimed specifically at the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which gained nearly 90 seats in the Egyptian parliament in the last general election held in 2005.
The problem for Mubarak and his party is that the “people” support the Muslim Brotherhood, not him. He is particularly hated by working people — auto workers, railway workers, farmers, garbage collectors, and gardeners.
The “Brotherhood” turns out to be the best organized political force in that nation — and this is demonstrated by the big share of parliamentary seats they hold despite Mubarak’s ballot stuffing expeditions.
In a short time Egypt will begin to fall apart internally. The sectarian Islamic Egyptians will continue to gain underground and apparent strength, which will lead inevitably to social revolution — and worse. The power of Mr. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party will last only as long as he is alive.
Why, you ask, am I writing about this?
The lesson of course is that constant Egypt — the (seemingly) most moderate Arab state — is teetering on the brink of at least political revolution steeped in religious fervor, anti-Israeli sentiment, love for sectarian dictatorship ,and perhaps an armed confrontation similar to what we are seeing in Iraq today.
The sickest thing, when it comes to American foreign policy, is that we support and rely on Egypt and pretend to our own people that that nation is a true democracy.
We never hear President Bush talk about vote-fixing in Cairo, or the stranglehold that Mr. Mubarak seems to enjoy.
We will never see Condi Rice suggest we place Egypt in the Axis of Evil, will we?
How very sad.