A U.S. plan to fund the democratic transition in Egypt has led to a confrontation with the country’s new rulers, who are suspicious of American aims and what they see as political interference in the aftermath of President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall.
Senior Egyptian officials have warned nongovernment organizations that taking U.S. funding would damage the country’s security. The Egyptian government has also complained directly to the U.S.
“I am not sure at this stage we still need somebody to tell us what is or is not good for us—or worse, to force it on us,” Fayza Aboul Naga…
Kudos to the Egyptians. Generally speaking, U.S. aid does not assist in the transition to democracy; it torques a country’s policies, through bribing its leadership, into subservience to U.S. hegemony. Without more resistance to America’s continued unrelenting imposition in that region, Obama – and whomever comes after him – will continue to pounce on this Arab Spring by supporting those who wish to suppress it.
The Obama administration has already announced that it will issue $1 billion in loan guarantees to help Egypt borrow on the world markets at favorable rates. Washington has also stated that it will convert $1 billion of Egyptian debt into “investments.” American assistance should be welcomed by a people more than three quarters of whom, according to a poll by the International Republican Institute, view their current economic circumstances as either “somewhat bad” or “very bad.” But that is not the case at all […] America is held in such low esteem by the Egyptian public that a recent Gallup poll found over half its respondents opposed to their government accepting aid from Washington.
Egyptians have a conscious disdain for America’s lavish support of their dictator these past 30 years. Numerous issues lead them away from what the U.S. would prefer for the leading Arab state: namely, standing up to Israel and advocating for Palestinian rights and engaging Iran diplomatically, among others.
The interim government in Egypt still has very serious problems, with 7,000 civilians jailed since Mubarak’s ouster and remaining pressure to give many of them military trials as opposed to civilian. Egypt has surprisingly still not lifted the emergency law so hated during Mubarak, abuse of civilians during the protests has still gone unaccounted for, and laws that restrict freedom are still in place. Many elements of the Mubarak regime are still present in the governing authorities and U.S. intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs will almost surely secure their places there for good.