Obama treats Egypt like a Banana Republic

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Obama treats Egypt like a Banana Republic
By Ali Younes — President Barak Obama calls on President Mubarak to immediately arrange for transfer of power, and that a transition of power must begin “now” not only sounds hypocritical but also disingenuous. Not  to defend President Mubarak or his regime, but Obama and many in his administration, in bossing and pushing Mubarak around like a little boy shows the true face of a U.S administration when it deals with its Arab allies.

Obama’s sudden lionized rhetoric against Mubarak is not driven by his concerns about the Egyptians right to free speech, free assembly and to have access to the Internet or by a sudden awakening of his human rights impulse. Obama visited Egypt in 2009 and met with Mubarak then, but did not raise the issue of human rights with him, nor did he urge him to ease his grip on power. President Mubarak rule over Egypt is the longest since Mohammad Ali ruled the country from 1805-1849. It is time, therefore, for the Egyptian people to be able have a choice of their own and to improve their shattered lives without U.S patriarchal U.S intervention.

No doubt that Egypt under Mubarak is a country in decline. Its economy is fragile, it is dependent on foreign aid for sustenance, and its middle class have all but disappeared due to high inflation and high unemployment. The people of Egypt deserve to have real change, not just “transfer of power” which means another U.S ally who will continue to commit Egypt to circle in the U.S orbit in exchange for an injection of 1.5 billion USD per year which mostly goes to U.S companies for buying U.S military hardware.

When comparing the stances of president Obama and others in his administration, like secretary of State Hilary Clinton, on the issue of Israeli settlements or their dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama was practically reduced to begging Netanyahu who insulted him and his vice president and his secretary of state. The reaction of the U.S government to the Israeli humiliation was by turning the other cheek.

Furthermore, The U.S administration did not raise the issue with Israeli leaders over killing hundreds of Palestinians in their war on Gaza in 2009. On the contrary the Obama administration was instrumental in undermining the Goldstone report that charged Israel with committing war crimes IN Gaza.  So how one is supposed to believe a U.S administration that claims that it is concerned about the Egyptian people rights and freedoms while helps Israel denies it to the Palestinians?

Administration rhetoric with the Egyptian government and President Mubarak makes Egypt look like a banana republic, not a country with over 4000 years of history and is one of the oldest continuing political states in the world.  By using the Egyptian people’s revolt, Obama is attempting, practically, to remove Mubarak from office and install another U.S ally in his place.  Obama’s main objectives are to maintain Egypt under Mubarak or not as the U.S main Arab satellite state.

The Egyptian people actually deserve much more than that, but one cannot fail to see how this administration is trying to capitalize on the grievances of the Egyptian people in order to secure its own objectives in post Mubarak Egypt. The U.S policy in the Middle East must shift its orientation to have more of a human rights posture as oppose to supporting dictators and police states.

Ali Younes is a writer and analyst based in Washington D.C, he can be reached at ali.younes@charter.net

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com