Sunday, February 27, 2005

Egyptian dictator Husni Mubarak (whose smiling face reminds the Egyptian people of La Vache qui rit) discovered a simple formula for serving a 5th term. First, proceed very quickly in normalization with Israel, and put pressure on Palestinian groups. US Congress will quickly take note, and forgive you for whatever human rights violation you may want to commit. Better yet: promise to visit Israel, which he has promised to do. US Congress would love that. Secondly, help US occupation in Iraq, by pressuring the Sunnis to participate in the election. The Sunni boycott in Iraq just showed how much clout that Mubarak has with them. Thirdly, announce silly cosmetic "reforms" to give the US the opportunity to praise you and hail you as a "reformer." So what he has promised to do (in terms of allowing people to run against him-how dare they?) has been done in Iran (which is not a democracy, last I checked) for 2 decades. Yet, witness how the US will now consider his steps as revolutionary. But my favorite was this headline from the New York Times today: "Mubarak Pushes Egypt to Allow Freer Elections." This implies that Mubarak is pushing for democracy, while the Egyptian people need to be pushed to support democracy. How about "Egyptian people push Mubarak for democracy, while Mubarak offers silly gimmicks." And make sure that you note that Mubarak's "reforms" require that candidates be approved by Shura council, Egyptian parliament, and local councils ALL OF WHICH are controlled by Mubarak's party. This reminds me of the Iranian Council of Experts.