Sunday, April 17, 2011

What Real Change Would Look Like in Egypt

Eric Margolis writes:

Much of what happens this fall in Egypt will depend on what Washington decides to do. US influence over Egypt remains paramount. Egypt’s 468,000-man military is joined at the hip to the US military establishment...

 The Pentagon channels much of the annual US $2 billion aid directly to Egypt’s armed forces and senior generals. This is a huge amount for so poor a nation.

Egypt’s ruling military establishment is a kingdom within the nation. Like their Pakistani counterparts, Egyptian generals own tourist hotels, apartments, factories, telecommunications and drug firms. Call it Egypt Inc...

If real change comes to Egypt, the first signs may be ending the siege of Gaza and Egypt’s supply of gas to Israel. Next, a major shakeup in Egypt’s high command, with promotions of younger nationalist officers, demands for a Palestinian state, ending torture, and sharp curtailment of US influence in Cairo. 
A majority of Egyptians want such changes. But if the angry Americans cut off aid, who will then feed Egypt and pay its bills? Independence has high costs.

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