Hard on the heels of Max Boot's LA Times op-ed on the need to push for democracy in Egypt, Saad Eddin Ibrahim - the dissident cited by Boot - has his say in the Washington Post:

What, Mr. Mubarak, have you done to preserve the popularity of non-Islamist forces in the country? What has your regime done with more than $100 billion in foreign aid and remittances from Egyptians working abroad? Why has Egypt's ranking during your rule steadily worsened on every development index -- from that of the U.N. Development Program to the World Bank to Freedom House? And why does Egypt now rank with Russia, Syria and Nigeria among the most corrupt countries in the world?

Isn't it these dismal failings that feed popular discontent and contribute to the Islamists' growing numbers? And isn't it Mubarak's repression of secular civil forces that has kept the field empty for the Islamists in Egypt, where there are now more than 100,000 mosques where they can freely preach their message -- but only a handful of registered political parties and human rights groups?
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/modern-pharaoh-hard-on-heels-of-max.html|||2/11/2005 12:29:00 pm|||||||||