“No reason, Madame, but you cannot access Egypt anymore,” the security officer at Cairo International Airport replied when I asked why I was being deported this month . As I arranged a return flight to Washington, the young Egyptian airline clerk asked my security escort why this apparently harmless lady was being deported; he told her in Arabic, “Her name is in the computer.” Airport security gave the same explanation to retired ambassador Amin Shalaby, the organizer of the Egyptian Council on Foreign Affairs conference I was invited to attend; he told a television program that “they said her name used to be on the watch list and now is on the no-entry list.”
Why would a think-tank scholar and former U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
In the half-year since the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, U.S. officials from President Obama on down have repeatedly said that the United States seeks to advance “Egypt’s transition to democracy .” Unfortunately, given Egypt’s downward political spiral, what is probably intended to be a principled policy formulation sounds either dangerously naive or deeply cynical — and is pointing U.S. policy down the wrong path.
Supporting Egyptian democracy is certainly the right thing to do. Unlike in some countries where U.S. interests pull in conflicting directions, the achievement of democracy in Egypt would advance the critical U.S. security interest in longer-term stability as well as peace with Israel and would help to contain violent extremism.… Seguir leyendo »
Egyptians and outside observers are arguing fiercely about what exactly has happened in the world’s most populous Arab country: Was it a popular revolt against an inept and domineering Muslim Brotherhood, or a counterrevolution of the ancient regime against the country’s first democratically elected president? Using the word “coup” about this week’s events sparks a barrage of criticism from the secular camp, while justifications for the army’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday are anathema to most Islamists.
What is apparent to all, however, is that the United States has made a hash of its Egypt policy. U.S. officials were late in seeing the crisis coming, and their advice — much of it out of step with events — was ignored by all sides.… Seguir leyendo »
“On the basis of mutual respect” was how the White House characterized President Obama’s pledge to work with Egypt’s newly sworn-in president, Mohammed Morsi , in a phone call congratulating Morsi upon his election last month . It was a well-chosen phrase, one that undoubtedly resonated with Morsi and others in the Muslim Brotherhood, who have long chafed at the patron-client relationship they believe former president Hosni Mubarak cultivated with the United States. Morsi, however, is by no means the only player with whom the United States will deal. Military leaders, who have run the country since Mubarak was ousted in February 2011, will yield only partial executive power to Morsi and have reclaimed legislative power after dissolving the country’s first freely elected parliament.… Seguir leyendo »
One year after the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian military is closing down civil society organizations and trying to manipulate the constitution-writing process to serve its narrow interests. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, where the military has also held sway for more than half the country’s existence — for much of that time, with America’s blessing — a new civil-military crisis is brewing.
For the United States, the parallels are clear and painful. Egypt and Pakistan are populous Muslim-majority nations in conflict-ridden regions, and both have long been allies and recipients of extensive military and economic aid.
Historically, American aid tapers off in Pakistan whenever civilians come to power.… Seguir leyendo »
Quand on se penche sur les manifestations antigouvernementales qui ont éclaté dans le petit royaume de Bahreïn, la question n’est pas de savoir pourquoi ces événements se produisent, mais pourquoi ils ont mis autant de temps avant de survenir. Durant ces six derniers mois, les tensions se sont dangereusement exacerbées dans le pays. Mais elles sont nées il ya plusieurs années déjà. La dynastie sunnite régnante Al-Khalifa a opprimé l’opposition et élaboré un plan provocateur qui vise à rétablir l’équilibre démographique en réduisant la proportion majoritaire actuelle de 70% de chiites. Et ce, tout en ignorant le souhait raisonnable des groupes d’opposition qui lui demandent d’octroyer plus de pouvoir au parlement élu.… Seguir leyendo »
The Post asked experts what should happen in Egypt after Mubarak. Below are responses from Michele Dunne, John R. Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Shadi Hamid, Aaron David Miller, Salman Shaikh, and Dina Guirguis.
After Hosni Mubarak surrenders his powers, a transitional government should oversee a process leading to free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections within six to nine months. Ideally, the transitional government should include respected figures from the Mubarak government, senior judges and members of opposition groups.
The parliament fraudulently elected in November should be dissolved (preferably as Mubarak’s final act as president), the state of emergency in place since 1981 lifted, and a constitutional assembly composed of judges and civil society figures convened to draft significant amendments to the Egyptian constitution.… Seguir leyendo »
When President Obama receives Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the Oval Office on Tuesday, I wonder whether the two will sense that something is missing from the meeting. That would be the interests of Egypt’s 83 million citizens, whose collective hopes and aspirations have disappeared from U.S. considerations since President George W. Bush’s freedom agenda flamed out years ago. American citizens are also not invited to the party; Congress is out of session, and Mubarak will make no public appearances.
Relations between Washington and Cairo have settled back into the comfortable pre-Sept. 11 pattern, in which the only people who count are presidents and foreign ministers and the only important agenda items are Israeli-Arab peace and containing regional bullies.… Seguir leyendo »