The West’s strong endorsement General Omar Suleiman, the long-time head of Egyptian intelligence, could prove to be a blunder of epic proportions. And the backing he enjoys from Israel can only make things worse. He steadfastly refuses to lift the 30-year emergency law, making any meaningful democratic reforms, let alone elections, impossible. His statement that Egypt is not ready yet for democracy is an outright insult to all citizens. It shows his true colors when it comes to answering their demands. The Egyptian people know all too well this general is capable of a Tiananmen Square-style massacre. He won’t hesitate to order the army to open fire. The almost $2 billion a year question is, will the army of the people obey? Most units won’t, but some, and for sure the Republican Guard, will.
We hear from all at “ground zero” that every time a member of the government that won’t go speaks, more protesters arrive. The proclamations insult the intelligence of Egyptians who’ve only to look at recent history to know otherwise. When the government gives the people a raise, it takes it away and more by eliminating subsidies.
We’ve not seen a popular uprising like this since 1919. Nero is fiddling while Rome burns … the monarch is saying “let them eat cake.” How about a little help from the West so that history doesn’t repeat itself? Churchill said, “The Americans will always do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” What’s wrong with freezing the personal assets of the Pharoah and his cronies - all $150 billion of it – as a reality check? There’s nothing to lose in trying. We could argue there are lives to save.