First, the title of this article is taken from an interview with Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the former Egyptian foreign minister, on RT.* He was quoting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who used the phrase in 2005 when America began changing its stance toward Egypt, Syria and Libya. This change came after the U.S. destroyed, divided and sent Iraq back to the Dark Ages — with help from numerous Arab countries — and began implementing Condoleezza Rice’s “creative chaos” plan in the Arab Middle East. In his interview, Aboul Gheit said that following a meeting with Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to President George W. Bush, he presented a report to Mubarak about their talk. In particular, Hadley demanded that Egypt assist the United States in its (hostile) wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as call on Syria to stop aiding the Iraqi insurgency and alter its positions on the Palestinian and Lebanese resistances.
According to Aboul Gheit, Mubarak completely rejected the notion of sending Egyptian Army units to Iraq and Afghanistan to participate in suppressing the insurgencies and killing Arabs and Muslims. However, Mubarak did promise to speak with Bashar Assad in an attempt to change Syria’s position on the Palestinian and Lebanese resistances, and to soften its attitude toward Israel. Assad would not discuss either (thus, it is possible to understand why Assad decided to destroy Syria). After his meeting in Washington with Colin Powell, Rice, Hadley, and some members of Congress, where he heard hostile talk aimed at Mubarak personally — especially from Hadley — Aboul Gheit returned to Cairo and presented his report to Mubarak. Mubarak commented on the essence of the report, saying, “Those once clothed by America are now naked.” Although we will not go into much detail, it is important to clarify the following.
1. Mubarak only discovered the true nature of America’s posture toward Arab countries and the world very late — after 25 years in power — even though its hostile, conspiratorial stance toward Egypt and Arabs was as clear as day with Gamal Abdel Nasser. This was true even for Sadat, despite the logistical services he provided for the Americans; above all else, he severed relations with the Soviets and tied Egypt to the West. In one of his speeches, Sadat said that “they are squeezing him like an orange,” referring to Israel here because the United States and Israel were in harmony.
2. It was necessary for Mubarak to learn from what the United States has done to figures more important than him. For example, the Shah of Iran, Marcos, Pinochet, Suharto, America’s abandonment of the South Vietnamese president, and even Ceausescu, its disassembly of Eastern Europe, and its shelling of Yugoslavia on the pretense of defending Bosnian Muslims.
3. American policy around the world and in the Middle East especially is built solely on defending the interests and security of Israel. Basic friendships do not exist between the United States and the rest of the world, not even with the European Union, where WikiLeaks documents revealed the United States spies on all of its allies (Britain, Germany, France and many others).
4. Mubarak, like others enamored with the United States, paid an exorbitant price instead of allying with America and assisting in the destruction of Iraq. He paid it by keeping quiet about the U.S. and Israel meddling in Egypt’s backyard; South Sudan, by having his arm twisted on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, given its threat to the artery and life of Egypt, the Nile, and by staying silent about what the occupying powers are doing in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.
5. Mubarak believed that non-engagement and compliance with aggressive American policy would protect him and ensure the stability of Egypt, forgetting everything the United States has done against all that is Arab, nationalistic, and even Muslim. In spite of all the advice coming from within Egypt and abroad, Mubarak insisted on burying his head in the sand. So, it was necessary for him to pay the price. Unfortunately, Mubarak did not pay alone. Egypt and the Arab world have paid as well.
6. Experience, history, geography, logic, and this situation all confirm that powerful, wealthy Egypt is the protector, guardian and barrier against the division of the Arab world. In essence, he who rules Egypt leads the Arab world. Mubarak’s policy of isolation and non-engagement led to a mutiny from Arab countries that boasted of friendships with Israel and the United States, received military bases, and secured investments. Unfortunately, these countries still not only act hostilely toward Egypt, but also actively participate in the division, breakdown, and destruction of influential Arab states. Likewise, they finance terrorist organizations and militant groups in order to wreak havoc by killing Arabs, destroying economic facilities, and crushing Arab-Islamic civilization.
What Mubarak has said is too little too late and does not absolve him. After 2005, it was up to Mubarak to take the initiative to stop the division of Iraq, to support the Palestinian people in resisting Israeli aggression, and to prevent the destruction of Libya, Syria and Yemen. There was plenty of time for Mubarak to act — no less than half a decade — instead of remaining silent to ensure that power transferred to his son. Since what is done is done, we hope at least it benefits rulers who still have a minimum of patriotism and a connection to Arab land. When it comes to its friends, the United States is fickle. Those once clothed by America are now naked. Will anyone ever learn this lesson?
*Editor’s note: RT, originally Russia Today, is a Russian government-funded television network which broadcasts the Russian view on global news.