Obama “Rewrites” His Role in Deposing Egypt’s Mubarak
Before going on his Christmas vacation, US President Barack Obama held a most unusual press conference on Dec. 18 at the White House. It was mostly a long monologue – in essence, a catalogue of the decisions he made for the Middle East in 2011-2012 and how justified they were in the light of the events he predicted would unfold in 2015.
But his version did not quite fit the facts, and there are enough leaders, politicians, military officers and intelligence officials still around in the region, who were directly involved or affected by those decisions. They have a different version of what happened. Some even bear the scars of those decisions and policies and admit that in consequence, they lost faith not only in Obama but in America.
For instance, the president’s denial of a US hand in the “Arab Spring” which swept across the region three years ago is countered by evidence in a number of intelligence files of how the Obama administration prompted and promoted those uprisings, with the intention of liberating Middle East peoples from authoritarian rulers, especially in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria.
The regimes he envisaged rising in their place would be led by moderate Muslims, like the Muslim Brotherhood, who would be America’s future allies in fighting the spread of radical Islam.
In the first three, their rulers were outsted, but in Syria he was finally stopped short, with calamitous consequences.
So he could not expect to get away last week with this claim: “We did not depose Hosni Mubarak. Millions of Egyptians did, because of their dissatisfaction with the corruption and authoritarianism. The notion that somehow the US was in a position to pull the strings on a country that is the largest in the Arab world, I think is – is mistaken.”
This claim was refuted by his own worlds on Feb. 5, 2011, when Obama said publicly: “The key question he [Mubarak] should be asking himself is, ‘How do I leave a legacy behind in which Egypt is able to get through this transformative period?’” he said. “He needs to listen to what is being voiced by the Egyptian people and make a judgment about a pathway forward that is orderly but that is meaningful and serious.”
In other words, your time is up.
By then, US agents in Cairo had meanwhile enlisted Mubarak’s own Intelligence Minister, Gen. Omar Mahmoud Suleiman, as the key figure for their contacts with the Egyptian Military Council. So, when the Egyptian ruler asked Obama for just one more week to suppress the Tahir Square riots and reestablish order in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, Obama turned him down. He was already in negotiation with the Military Council on the procedures for the Egyptian president’s resignation and handover of transitional power to the generals.
They were intended to keep the seat warm for the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian ruler’s close friend Saudi King Abdullah, who died last January, laid the blame for his ouster and disgrace squarely at Washington’s door. Appalled by the way Mubarak was treated, he refused to talk to Obama for two years. On Aug. 19, 2013, the king alleged that American “ignorance” and “interference” caused the Egyptian crisis and that Washington had played with fire, so it got burned.
America’s role in deposing Mubarak and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi blew back on the Middle East in the turbulence that is still ongoing in 2015.
Syrian President Bashar Assad determined that, come what may, he would never suffer their fate – a decision that has cost an estimated half a million Syrian lives, displaced many millions and ruined his country.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin has stood foursquare behind Assad. He was determined that the US and NATO would never again inflict on any Middle East leader the fate that befell the Libyan ruler.
In September 2015, Russia intervened in the Syrian conflict and is expanding its military input up until the present.