The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Another dictatorship in retreat
President Hosni Mubarak is adamant that his son will not succeed him. So who will?
CAIRO, Egypt - The bluntness of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's first pronouncement of the new year was designed to quash speculation.
Contrary to rampant rumors, the 75-year-old president said, his younger son, Gamal, a rising star in Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), will not succeed him as the next leader of the world's most populous Arab country. The reign of Egypt in the 21st century, Mubarak testily told Egyptian state radio, is not an "inheritance," as is power elsewhere in the Middle East.
The surprise announcement may have also sent a signal that the United States' closest Arab ally reads the Bush doctrine on democracy loud and clear.
Mubarak's dismal government has long been one of the most intractable dictatorships in the Middle East, and it is a disgrace that they are receiving $2 billion a year from us not to fight Israel ("Jimah" Carter didn't believe that Israel's superior military gave it any protection from Egypt).
I think the Bush admistration quietly sent the message that without reform, future aid would be in jeopardy.
Only a liberal would have a problem with that. The US throwing its weight around, threatening dictatorships? That's terrible!