Fading Leadership Luster

Four causes underlie Egypt’s fading luster as the traditional leader of the Arab world:

1. President Hosni Mubarak has been in office too long, yet in all those 19 years has solved none of Egypt’s fundamental problems of pervasive poverty, chronic unemployment, over-population of its cities and a fossilized economy in no condition to fit into the new global world order of high technology.

2.  In the past, the Egyptian regime traditionally regarded Arafat as a local leader operating under Egyptian suzerainty and Arafat toed Cairo’s line, in the belief that Egypt was the only regional power capable of protecting the Palestinians and helping them reach their goals – that is until he launched his uprising against Israel last September. He instigated and orchestrated that venture without consulting the Egyptian leader or seeking his consent and continued to defy Muabrak, despite every effort to call him to heel, in some of which President Clinton was involved. Arafat’s defiance has done much to erode Egyptian hegemony in the Arab world and beyond.

3.  The quiet but constant spread of Moslem extremist influence through one walk of Egyptian society after another, including the army officer class. Despite the huge resources the Mubarak regime invests in exposing and rooting out these underground movements, especially the Egyptian Jihad Islami, they advance ever closer to threatening the secular regime and the life of its president.

4.  Cairo feels the cold from the East as the Saudi throne, its most reliable buttress in the Arab world, grows weaker.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email