by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 1, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1431)
There is much concern in Western capitals about what would happen in Egypt when the aging Pharaoh, Husni Mubarak dies. He is in his mid-eighties and not in good health. He has ruled Egypt with an iron fist since he became president in October 1981 after his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, was executed by his own soldiers during a military parade. Mubarak has ruled Egypt through a state of emergency that is renewed every six months.
Egypt is a US-Zionist colony; corruption is rampant and the Egyptian bureaucracy is bone lazy. Nothing gets done without greasing some palms. Its streets are congested, the infrastructure is collapsing and nearly 50% of children do not have access to clean drinking water. Coupled with extreme oppression — the Egyptian police has swelled from 200,000 in 1981 to more than a million today — and lack of facilities for people, the Egyptian society is on the verge of explosion. Its prisons are bursting where every kind of torture is inflicted on people, from suspending them from ceilings while their wrists are tied with handcuffs, to setting dogs upon them.
Tyrants are useful as long as they are in good health and can deliver what the West demands. When they grow old and there is no system to choose a successor (none is tolerated during his lifetime), this creates a major problem. The only alternative to the Pharaoh of Egypt are the Ikhwan al-Muslimun, officially banned but a potent political force in the country. Of all the opposition parties, the Ikhwan have the largest number of seats in parliament although they cannot operate openly. The Ikhwan are no longer a revolutionary party; they want to come to power through the ballot box, something neither the regime nor the West would allow yet they cannot be ignored. Mubarak, of course, would like his son to succeed him. There is widespread revulsion at the thought. One Mubarak, they believe, is quite enough.
If Washington is worried, it has only itself to blame. For nearly three decades it has backed the Pharaoh and given him the wherewithal to torture and terrorize his people. Even as he brutalized his people, the US poured billions into his coffers only because he had to be kept neutered so that his army would not a pose a threat to the Zionist entity. Egypt, the leading power in the Middle East, is today little more than a footnote. Politically, however, it is approaching a moment of truth. Once Mubarak is gone, the situation is likely to get messy. Some observers believe a military takeover is likely. It is quite possible that the US has already lined up some ambitious colonel to take over and clamp down hard so that the Ikhwan are not able to take advantage of the situation. There is, however, no certainty about what might happen.
Egypt is heading for some interesting times even if they are likely to be unsettling for those that have amassed fortunes over the last three decades.