Rudd and the Egyptian

Mark comments on the politics of civil unrest in Egypt.

Author: Mark Seymour.

Date: 2 February 2011.

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While the Egyptian revolution is in full swing, let’s not forget what the Egyptian People are after… freedom and democracy. Their leader, Mubarak is the only thing standing in their way more or less, but he is a thug and a corrupt dictator who’s security police force regularly tortures it’s own citizens. Egypt, unlike the lucky country we live in is, to put it mildly, not a very nice place.

But other Arab states are run this way and they are friends of ours. So if I was a political science student I might be naive enough to ask the question, given there is very little difference between Sadam and Mubarak, what made Iraq so deserving of western military intervention back in 2003 while the west stands back now?

Or better still, why Couldn’t Rudd give a straight answer to the Sky News interviewer on January 29 when asked

“They’re calling for freedoms. They want more freedoms in their country,’ said the newsreader. ‘What’s Australia’s view on that? Do we support that?”

He squibbed it:

“We ourselves have long supported democratic transformation across the Middle East and across the Arab world, but equally we strongly emphasize the importance for those things to occur peacefully and without violence.”

Peaceful and without violence? Hell yeah. Well, just about… except for Iraq. But let’s not dwell on the bloodshed. What’s done is done and it only clouds the picture.

Still, at the very least, why couldn’t Rudd simply call it the way it is? Egyptians are demanding their basic civil rights and as the foreign minister of this freedom loving country he has the obligation to back them all the way, I would have thought..

Call it shrewd diplomacy, or ‘the covering of arse’, but unfortunately, Rudd simply has to wait to see which way the Yanks will jump then respond accordingly as per the script.. By the way, it’s less than a page long. It’s called the U.S. Alliance.