Once again, the Obama administration is unable to catch up with events in Egypt and unwilling to take a strong stand on behalf of the people who call for democracy and human rights. From Vice President Biden’s comment last night that Mubarak is not a dictator, Sec. Clinton’s weak words of “concern” and now President Obama’s statement which, while claiming to understand the “grievances” of the Egyptian people, relies still on Mubarak to bring about change and grants Mubarak a legitimacy clearly lost in the streets of Egypt today.

American officials continuing to look to Mubarak for “reform,” ignoring as we have for so many years the brutality of his regime will likely be as meaningless to the Egyptians as Mubarak’s own speech was.

As We are all Khaled Said noted after Mubarak’s speech:

Mubarak words have ONLY caused much more anger in the streets. Protesters are going crazy after all what they faced for the past 4 days and he is still talking about changing some puppet faces.

And as Al Jazeera notes:

3:00am Mubarak’s decision to sack the government does not seem to be enough to appease protesters. “The problem is he is a corrupt president and had a corrupt government and if he brings a new government is will also be corrupt since the system is all corrupt”, a man in Cairo tells Reuters. “It was never the government, by God, it is you that has to go, it is enough what you have done to the people,” says another protester.

Mubarak’s horrific treatment of the Egyptian people over the years is no surprise to US administrations – after all we’ve been providing him with the weapons and backing to keep it up.

Ahmad Al-Sayed El-Naggar analyzed US aid to Egypt in an essay for the Carnegie Endowment for international Peace this way:

As for U.S. security and military aid to Egypt, which is about $1.3 billion annually, it does not aim to strengthen Egyptian military power against any external threat, as this would be contrary to the declared U.S. objective of ensuring Israeli security and maintaining Israeli military supremacy over its Arab neighbors, including Egypt. Instead, this aid is devoted mainly to strengthening the regime’s domestic security and its ability to confront popular movements.

Tomorrow there will be demonstrations in support of the Egyptian people around the world. Please check the list here for locations near you – and join in. I’ll be heading to the demonstration at the Chicago Embassy.

And tomorrow will bring more demonstrations in the streets of Egypt. No one knows how the army now filling Egypt’s streets will react. We are watching the world change today – will we demand our government to change with it and support the right of the Egyptian people to chose their own future?



Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com