February 5, 2011
Icheoku says it is laughable the sudden explosion of disgust at Mubarak's style of governance, a sentiment which has become rather too loud in the West particularly in America. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak has now become a pariah dictator whom everybody wants chased out of Cairo 'NOW' that you wonder what hallucinatory substance these 'traducers' have been on all these 30 years plus of Mubarak's dictatorship not to understand the manner of man or the nature of his government. Mubarak is now being attacked from right, left and center by persons and countries supposedly custodians of democracy; and you wonder where these countries and persons have been these past 62 years, particularly the last 30 years Mubarak has been a maximum ruler of the land of the Pharaohs including the 5years he was a vice president? These people as well as many television, newspaper and radio commentators are now behaving as if Hosni Mubarak suddenly and like a meteor, just materialized on the scene of power in Egypt.
To these bunch of people, Icheoku reminds them that Saudi Arabia, Libya, United Arab Emirate, Qatar, Morocco and Algeria are still subsisting Arab countries with maximum dictators and we are curious as to why they are not being called out to reform and democratize. It is also needless to mention China, North Korea, Burma and even Russia as other countries where peoples humanrights are being trampled upon and are not allowed to freely chose who leads them? Once again Icheoku reiterates that we have no problem with the world help in meeting the demands of the Egyptian people who want to see Mubarak gone; but we implore the world to be wary of what they wish for; just in case the sudden departure of Mubarak foists on Egypt as well as the entire Middle East, a Frankenstein character like ruler who will in turn become the West's biggest nightmare. Mobs are not rational people and in the usual characteristics of an over-heated and super-charged atmosphere of political volcano, questionable characters always arise to steal the moment and impose themselves on the situation. This scenario is what the world must avoid by all means necessary and as a precursor, allow Mubarak to solve this problem himself by using the requested six months to find a good replacement for him.
Icheoku maintains that neither America nor Britain can claim to know Egypt more than the man who has been in charge of the country for more than one quarter of a century and who has been somewhat around the corridors of power since 1952, being the part of the original triumvirates of Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak that overthrew the once powerful Egyptian monarchy. Mubarak knows fully well what will be afoot in Egypt with his sudden departure and has asked for a moderate six months to carry out a transition to civilian rule which will endure long after his departure. Icheoku says it will be utter madness not to accommodate this special request in the interest of an Egypt that will survive Mubarak's exit.
America and President Obama it would seem are now treating President Hosni Mubarak's promised departure with the notorious America's impatience of "it is my money and I want it now"; but like President Hosni Mubarak rightly pointed out, 'America does not understand the nature of the Egyptian culture to know that too much haste breaks the yam tuber inside the ground!' An Egyptian society that has never known democracy in its more than five thousand years of existence is being asked and pressured to democratize and NOW? An Egyptian society given to a command structure of order and absolute obedience from the times of the Pharaohs, as recorded in the Bible, cannot zap or free-fall into democracy as is being demanded by the West without adverse consequences. The Pharaohs of old ruled by fiat and cut off heads of dissidents to drive home their point and President Hosni Mubarak, as the present day pharaoh will be miffed at the apparent dictation being meted out to him by the West. Icheoku says yes it is good that Egypt democratizes but it cannot happen overnight as there are no institutions to support such a sudden development; and unlike some other know transitions lasting several years, Mubarak has promised to get it done in six months and this is a reasonable time. The West and America did not wake up suddenly to a Mubarak's dictatorship, hence it makes for great comedy the sudden hysteria being generated by when Mubarak should go - whether NOW or in September when he said he will. But let the West not allow itself, because of political expediency, to relive their Gaza Strip experience with a Hamas-like government being voted into power in Egypt. The world must take a deep breath and tread softly to avoid a backlash by not stampeding Mubarak into abandoning Egypt for extremist mullahs who will deny women their own freedoms!
Some analysts have pontificated that Mubarak is being abandoned by his friends in the West at his hour of greatest need for support; but Icheoku says it is very far from the truth as no one chooses to remain aboard a sinking ship. Mubarak's supposed friends promise was to protect Mubarak and Egypt from foreign enemies and external aggression but not from domestic and internal uprising from his people rising up against his tyranny; admitted these friends will not permit him to crack down heavily on the people by welding the sledge-hammer. Icheoku wonders how such a dictator can maintain a hold on power without having the ability to visit viciousness on his stubborn population in order to keep them in check and very obedient. Ironical, eeh? Some also even questioned the beneficial use of having these Western friends when, as it has just happened with Mubarak, they will readily throw their friend under the bus and switch sides; when a country like China protects their own friend North Korea at all costs, no matter their intransigence or know autocratic rule and other abusive human rights violations they carry out on their people. Icheoku queries whether this type of "good friendship" is the reason why dictators prefer to stick out with such countries as China that will always look the other way as they wreck their countries and peoples?
As the developments in North African Arab countries have once again shown and reiterated that those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable, the world is witnessing the fallout from such a long suppression of a peoples right to express themselves and have a say in who rules them. Now Arabs are rising up, demanding that Arab destiny be left for Arabs and in the hands of their own elected leaders and not for Jews and Americans to determine through their own anointed minions. From Morocco to Algeria to Libya to Egypt to Jordan to Syria to Yemen to Qatar the story is the same as Arab piece of humanity is braving it to challenge a clique of people who has for so many years dictated to them. These Arabs have so far fully succeeded in Tunisia with Ben Ali now in exile in Saudi Arabia; Yemeni's president has promised not to seek another term after 33 years in power, Jordan's King Abdallah is carrying out emergency reforms, Qatar has bribed their country men and women with a $3000 each shopping allowance, and the list goes on. As for Egypt, Icheoku affirms that Mubarak has to go and states further that technically, Mubarak has gone; but America and the West should help him to formally go by his September date. It is not easy and will not be easy after such a long time in power, with so millions of feeders and hangers-on that would rather they maintain the statusquo as it is, for Mubarak to just abandon ship. He needs time to reorder affairs in the house of the regime and its supporters and the West must help its conclusive resolution.
Icheoku says the lessons of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan must help inform America and the West in any manoeuvring going forward, and the experience should rather be driving the agenda of the transition instead of the deafening 'Mubarak go NOW.' Let there be a peaceful orderly transition in order to avoid some cows from straying out of the herd being shepherded by Mubarak, the current cowboy-in-chief. Even a water flowing downstream since 1952 would have accumulated much sediments that it cannot just completely shut down without addressing what happens to these sediments. A regime of three army officers dating back to 1952 is not different as it have a lot of dependents and cannot just fold up that easily and NOW. It has to make provisions for these people post regime; Icheoku believes that is what the six months is intended for and a forced capitulation by 'reform NOW' will not bode well - it will bring resentment if not resistance, as a backed people will always fight back to regain what they think they have lost or will lose. What the West demanded is a transition and Mubarak has accepted to comply but only needs some time to effect it. Even the United States of America, despite all their democratic perfections, still provides for a period of transition from one government to another; the reason why American presidents are elected in November and are sworn in in January - in order to allow a seamless transfer of power, metaphorically termed change of baton.
Further as the West and America demand that Egyptian government open up the transition to every shade of political opinion in Egypt and "that they engage all parties", Icheoku asks if Al-Querida in the Arabia or in Egypt is one of such parties as contemplated here and should also be accommodated in the talks? Terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Querida number two man after Osama Bin Laden, is an Egyptian opposition activist and one of the pioneering member of the Muslim Brotherhood and this fact questions the wisdom of throwing open the transition. Or put in another way, Icheoku asks how wide is too wide of what Mubarak's transition is required to accommodate. As with every enemy, until they drink of your blood, it is never enough and asking Mubarak to cede power to the new vice president might not satiate these protesters as they would soon thereafter, demand that Omar be also gone, being part of the old regime. The Egyptians like the trailblazing Tunisians will demand for a complete and total break away from the past and will not settle for an Omar led transition. It is at that point that the transition will unravel; so it would be a better choice if the man in the know is allowed to do his thing, as only he knows best, having survived the treacherous African political landmine of Egypt for this long.
President Hosni Mubarak is a grandfather personality, he is the commander in chief of the Egyptian armed forces and he is been around the block for so long to command some earned and deserved loyalty among many Egyptians as well as the armed forces. Above all, Mubarak also knows the bad guys who should not be entrusted with power in Egypt otherwise they will do evil with it; so Icheoku says let Mubarak supervise the transition to democracy in Egypt.
Hopefully Mubarak will simply ignore the West and America hysteria, a people who will not be there at the receiving end should Egypt implode; afterall they have already flown out their folks out of the ground zero; and do right by Egypt and Egyptians in mentoring a smooth transition from his dictatorship to a democracy that will survive and endure long after his exit. Americans and the West cannot be more catholic than the pope and they cannot be heard to pretend to love Egyptians more than their own Mubarak; afterall why did they not move for a democratic Egypt until now, instead of playing a second fiddle to those brave Egyptians who first took matters into their hands and marched into Tahrir square. Anyway as the drama unfolds, Icheoku wonders when the bees-treatment will be meted out to those hold-over protesters who seem not to be placated with the promise to quit in September. Africa killer bees can sting the hell so much it hurts badly and will be the most effective way to tame and drive away all those "unruly" Egyptians holding the square against the will of their maximum ruler and his henchmen! Did you just believe that; except that if Mubarak chooses to dig in every option will be on his table; and that reminds Icheoku that President Laurent Gbagbo is still in Ivory Coast presidential mansion several months after he lost an election and the world demanded that he be gone; including a spineless ECOWAS that threatened a "legitimate military force" which logistics is still in infantile stage? So after all said and done, President Hosni Mubarak still has all the all the aces and will leave at a time of his choosing and he has chosen September 2011 and it is not too far!
Originally appeared appeared on Icheoku.