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February 4, 2011

Deadline for Mubarak

Roy Meachum

Friday is the deadline for Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, set by leaders of the pro-democracy forces that filled Americans’ and the world’s television screens for over a week.


The “feeds” were not there Thursday morning when, as I reported to readers, I turned on to CNN. Going to bed early Friday morning, in Cairo, I pushed away from the computer to witness Anderson Cooper’s beatings by pro-government thugs; he identified his attackers as national police in plainclothes.


When I awoke, the programming was “normal,” with occasional reports from Egypt. On the Internet advice of colleague George Wenschhof, I sought out other media, winding up with al-Jazeera that reported, unlike Wednesday, that the army stepped in between the street-warring factions. (The Arabic TV system has been slandered as anti-American; it is really pro-balanced-news, as the editors view the truth.)


Attacks on journalists were not confined to CNN reporters and cameramen, as correspondent Cooper said, confirmed by other sources; the beatings were distributed among other nationals, including Russian and representatives of al-Jazeera.


Thursday’s media withdrawal not only benefitted Dictator Mubarak and repressive Arab regimes, like America’s great ally Saudi Arabia; Israel’s paranoia was soothed.


Later that day Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, of Israel, said the prospect for Egypt was not as dire as he feared; the likelihood of an alliance between Shiite capital Teheran and Sunni bastion Cairo was not going to happen. Washington Post senior reporter Anne Applebaum wrote on the same day that his expression of paranoia soured the most fiery congressional advocates for Israel, conservative Senate Republicans who did not endorse the Jewish state’s fears, not restricted to the prime minister.


Day-by-recent-days the Middle East has been creaking into balance. Despite forecasts of soaring oil prices, while advancing initially, they continue to tumble slightly.


Hosni Mubarak may very well decide to hang on Friday to pose a quandary for President Baraka Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other democracy-minded leaders. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a very hard-nose demand Egypt’s president must step down immediately! The country’s military is the key to Cairo’s future.


Despite producing all three rulers that replaced the monarchy, the armed forces may have been “corrupted” by America’s billions; their reactions’ during this week of turmoil made me apprehensive Arab oil treasuries bought them off, in favor of false “stabilization.” Thursday the army’s tank guns switched from targeting protestors, aiming instead at Mubarak’s “thugs.”


The Quran teaches that everything – all – that occurs from this moment on rests in the will of the One God, a forthright definition of Arabic “Allah.” Islam’s Holy Book commands that every wish and future action must be accompanied by “Insha’Allah” – if God wills it.


If the faithful forget to call on Him, they are required to say a special prayer.


My poor Egypt and their people entered today very much in the hands of God. Insha’Allah.


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