Varying US Positions toward Egypt


Posted on September 1, 2013.

When it comes to Arab affairs, it is less important to establish whether or not the United States of America favors the values of democracy and human rights and freedom, and more important to understand that it employs these slogans as a pretext to advance its policies and national interests.

Regarding the Egyptian affair, the successive fluctuations in the position of the U.S. confuses the Arab citizen about future U.S. policy on this issue. For example, you find statements by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry such as these: “We cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt”;* “Emphasis has been placed on ensuring U.S. military support for Egypt on one side and affirming the role of the Egyptian army to protect the nation’s security and stability on the other”; ** “The Egyptian military preserves democracy and is considered to be in compliance with the demands of millions of Egyptians”; ** and “Washington is reviewing cutting military aid to Egypt and has stopped joint military maneuvers due to its dissatisfaction with the military’s policy in dealing with the crisis and its independent decision-making. At the same time, it proposes initiatives to liberate Morsi and prepare for a general presidential election with the participation of all political forces in Egypt.”**

I believe there is a purposeful and calculated nebulousness from the American side that aims to exploit the crisis in Egypt from afar, and the arrival of this political situation confirms it. Egypt has a huge impact on the entire Arab world. Its population constitutes one-third of the entire Arab world; it is its heart, the most influential country in the Arab world and its oldest civilization. If Egypt were preoccupied with only its own affairs, its potential and its political clout as the head of the Arab world would be lost — to the detriment of all Arab affairs. This would be particularly detrimental to the Palestinian cause, of which Egypt is considered the historical patron.

I believe that the United States considers the promotion of the values of democracy and human rights and freedom in the region primarily as a way to preserve its vital interests and secondarily as a means to protect the security of its strategic ally, Israel. Regarding Egypt, it is in America’s best interest to ensure that negotiation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, as well as security and military cooperation between them, continues. In addition, the U.S. seeks Egyptian conformity on the region’s most complex issues, particularly that of Syria and Iran.

Out of my sense of belonging to Egypt, I hope the past weeks are a mere summer cloud that can be removed through unity, stability and reform. Egypt, by all standards, is the scale upon which we measure the entire region. I conclude powerfully and without exaggeration that “if Egypt thrives the Arab world thrives, and if Egypt collapses the Arab world collapses.”** I will end with a call for protection of Egypt from foreign interference and American coercion. I hope for the recovery of its power and good health, and for its persistence as the first wave of defense on Arab issues.

*Editor’s note: This statement was delivered by President Obama in his State of the Union address, not John Kerry.

**Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.

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