The latest news out of Egypt is President Mubarak relaying his resignation through Vice President Omar Suleiman and relinquishing power to the Egyptian military. NPR reports with celebratory tone, and I can attest to it listening to it’s radio this morning; all voices it carried were anti Mubarak:
“It’s the greatest day of my life,” opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei told NPR. “I could never have imagined that I would live long enough to see Egypt emancipated. It’s an electrifying feeling.
“We have finally hope to catch up to the rest of the world and bring our country where it deserves to be — a democracy.”
ElBaradei said he believed that Egypt’s emergency law, which gives police virtually unlimited powers of arrest, had been lifted. “I think it is. I was told — but it’s not confirmed — that the [military’s] first command would be to abolish the emergency law.”
In similar fashion, BBC reports reactions from major Western leaders embracing the ousting of Mubarak:
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said this was a “really precious moment of opportunity to have a government that can bring the people together”, and called for a “move to civilian and democratic rule”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the “historic change” in Egypt.
US Vice-President Joe Biden said Egypt had reached a pivotal moment in history.
Wait a minute! I couldn’t help but scratch my head. What? Mubarak was a staunch ally to the U.S. (and the U.S. lead West) for the last 30 years. Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney recently said he was a “good friend.”
“There is a reason why a lot of diplomacy is conducted in secret. There are good reasons for there to be confidentiality in some of those communications. And I think President Mubarak needs to be treated as he deserved over the years, because he has been a good friend,” Cheney said at an event commemorating the centennial of President Ronald Reagan’s birth.
I’ve started searching for negative news in the Western media about Mubarak before the outbreak of this recent protest. I will admit it is a cursory search thus far. But would you be surprised if the Western media basically took Cheney’s stance prior to January 2011?
The question is then what transpired in the shifting positions of Western governments and media? Few posts ago (“Egypt’s foreign aid, a poison pill? Another lesson?“) I argued Egypt is no longer as strategically important given the U.S. military bases now established in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Obama administration publicly distanced itself from Mubarak recently, and in the linked article above, Cheney was in fact reported urging Obama to be more cautious.
What is the U.S. government strategy now? My guess is that the U.S. government has now decided to ditch Mubarak and publicly “siding” with the Egyptian population. It will work behind the scenes to ensure a new government just as loyal as Mubarak’s government was. That loyalty trumps the Egyptian people of course. By the way, I am not saying the U.S. is not interested in a prosperous Egyptian society. I think the U.S. is ambivalent on that; prosperity is fine as long as the loyalty is there.
30 years later, the Western media predictably crusades for “democracy,” now it is apparently convenient. They don’t give a damn about the Egyptian people really. Nobody expects them to. It is really the lack of honesty and the blatant hypocrisy that is the sorry state of the Western media.