Rallies have sprung up all over the United States to support the protests continuing to rage in Egypt. D.C. also hosted a rally, with several hundred people gathering outside the Egyptian embassy to call for a removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. According to people at the event, roughly half of the protesters were Arab-American with Egyptian-Americans dominating the group. The slogans borrowed heavily from the protests that had happened in Tunisia with cries of “the people want the regime to fall” in Arabic dominating. There were also several cries of “we don’t want Mubarak” and, at one point, the Egyptian anthem spontaneously broke out. When questioned about what the U.S. government should do, one point was brought up again and again “don’t interfere.”
The Obama administration would do well to remember that wish when they decide on what action to take. This revolution has been a long time brewing, and at this point there is little left to do but let the passion and anger that has built up over the last 30 years work its way out.
While the Obama administration urges the people to listen to Mubarak and believe in his promises of “great democracy” and “more freedoms” his track record has shown that he cannot be trusted to carry out these promises. This is a man who controls virtually every aspect of the government, who shut down the whole of the internet in order to suppress dissent and discourage protests, and who today had the army release a statement that said any protesters failing to adhere to the curfew would be in danger.
And throughout this his entire regime he has been given support by the US government. As I mentioned yesterday the Mubarak administration has received ample financial support from the US government over the years, with a large amount targeted towards their military. In large part, we have helped to support his regime, which means that we have helped to support an administration who ranks as “poor” in human rights by our State Department.
Because of this, there is little, if anything that the administration can do which the protesters will approve of. Any action taken by the US government for Mubarak will simply be seen as continued interference in support of a dictator. If the US really wants to accomplish something, cut off the Mubarak administrations money supply, and let them work out their differences with the protesters on their own.