Advancing a Free Society

Cairo Ironies

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The United States’ public position on Egypt is “flexible.” That in and of itself is not surprising, given the ambiguities surrounding the Cairo uprising. Mubarak’s Egypt originally offered the United States a continuance of Anwar Sadat’s Cold War anti-Soviet alliance, and later provided a relatively stable strategic partner in the increasingly terror-ridden Middle East. Mubarak’s own escalating authoritarian tendencies were mostly ignored by successive administrations — at best, because he appeared less murderous than the usual Middle East authoritarians and postured as an opponent of the radical Islamists who would otherwise ostensibly rise topower, and, at worse, because realists worried only about how Egypt figured into U.S. strategic objectives, without much concern for the human rights of its citizenry. In any case, a cumulative $50 billion–plus in aid was felt to have given the United States some influence in Egyptian governance, should Mubarak have deteriorated into something akin to Saddam Hussein.

Continue reading Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online