Robert Fisk: The Great Tragedy is Obama Chose Not to Hold Out His Hand

Democracy Now!
Feb. 9, 2011

“The Great Tragedy is Obama Chose Not to Hold Out His Hand”: Robert Fisk on the Gap Between U.S. Rhetoric and Action in the Egyptian Uprising

The longtime Middle East correspondent of The Independent newspaper in London joins us from Cairo to talk about the popular uprising ongoing across Egypt, its regional implications, and how Obama should respond. “[The protesters] are asking for nothing less than Americans accept in their own lives,” Fisk says. [includes rush transcript]

ROBERT FISK: What they’re calling out for are everything which ordinary Americans would agree with: multi-party democracy; a new constitution which gives equal rights to everyone; an end to fraudulent elections, which have allowed, of course, Mubarak to carry on year after year for three decades until the age of 83, based on elections that gave 97.8, 97.9 percent of the victory; and an end, in fact, to long presidential periods of six years in office, bringing it down to four years; and they want a maximum two terms for a president, rather than indefinite presidency or presidency for life, which is effectively what Mubarak got. These people are therefore asking for nothing less than Americans accept in their own lives.

And the great tragedy is that at this critical moment, Obama chose not to hold out his hand to the democrats and to say, “We support you, and Mubarak must go.” He chose to support, effectively, Mubarak by saying orderly transition. You know, he wants another general—he’s already got one, Omar Suleiman, the Vice President—to take over. The army, which receives $1.3 billions of American taxpayers’ money every year, is going to be called upon to try and make this transition, even though Mubarak himself, of course, was the head of the air force. He was a general, too. Omar Suleiman, the Vice President, is a general, head of intelligence, a very ruthless man. His people carried out a lot of tortures in the past against Islamist uprisings in Egypt. And for many of the people on the street, there was deep disappointment that at this critical moment the President of the United States, who came here to Cairo just under 18 months ago to tell the Muslim world—he held up their hand, and he said, “Do not clench your fists in response.” When the democrats came onto the streets of Cairo and wanted what Obama had advertised to them, it was Obama who clenched his fist and Hillary Clinton who said that it’s a stable regime.


via “The Great Tragedy is Obama Chose Not to Hold Out His Hand”: Robert Fisk on the Gap Between U.S. Rhetoric and Action in the Egyptian Uprising


The Egyptian revolt is coming home by John Pilger

The Biggest Obstacle to Democracy in the Middle East

Let It Cut Both Ways: US Foreign Aid and State Sponsored Terrorism by Sibel Edmonds

Time for Democracy in Egypt by Ralph Nader

US Warships Signal Washington’s Intervention to Save its Egyptian Garrison by Finian Cunningham

Robert Fisk: Obama Admin Has Been Gutless and Cowardly + Eyewitnesses to a Massacre

9 thoughts on “Robert Fisk: The Great Tragedy is Obama Chose Not to Hold Out His Hand

  1. Pingback: The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! Special on Mubarak’s Resignation « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Is this a Young Turks moment all over again? By William Bowles « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Change Has Finally Come to Egypt + Revolution in Egypt « Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: The Fascination of The Mediterranean World by Gaither Stewart « Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: Pacified and Lulled, Still Waiting for the Pendulum to Swing by Sibel Edmonds « Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: The New York Times backs the Egyptian army By William Bowles « Dandelion Salad

  7. The US will try to BUY OFF and influence pro-democracy leaders like 6th April, but support them verbally, hell no. They knew what was coming and hedged their bets. Hi LIAR y brought them over on a regular basis. She thought that they were “safer” than the Muslim Brotherhood.

    When Wael and his friends outsmarted the US intended control of The Movement, Barry&Co immediately grew frustrated and have blown this crisis/opportunity in every way possible. Both public and private diplomacy “efforts” are DISASTERS. MurKa has shown itself to be only capable of supporting military action/elites. They have no concept of making friends based on moral, ethical, and values as the basis of true alliance. Choosing Wisner as the POINT MAN was a TOTAL disaster from everyone’s point of view but Wisner’s and Mubarak’s – and shows precisely why the US cannot be trusted. No one will convince me that they did not know of Wisner’s CIA connections, his firm representing The Regime and his own personal investments in Egypt. Strains credulity doesn’t it?

    It becomes increasingly clear that Obomber’s only agenda is to get enough money to run in 2012, and for that he needs to kowtow to those who would never even consider speaking with, let alone supporting, someone who is an ACTIVIST. Remember: he needs to raise $1.6 million per DAY to get the necessary funds. As this all rages, he with the Chamber of Commerce and making deals with Canada to have 30 corporations RUNNING North America.

    Barry thinks no one in Egypt with power, clout and MONEY is backing The Movement. I think that Dream TV interview with Wael indicated something far different. I think we will see resources being mobilized to help the new leadership and America be DAMNED. The Regime has a new call for a bond issue that is slipping in under the wire – they made a tender on Monday to keep themselves “solvent” as the elite raids the treasury before leaving. Fortunately, the real leaders of The Movement are figuring out what to do as I type. I’ve posted their preliminary demands to freeze these assets from officials and slap travel bans on them so that they can’t flee with funds. I think banks who help these criminals will be held liable, too. Mubarak, alone, has enough money (not counting his gold) to bail out the entire Egyptian debt !! What will Barak do when the protestor/citizens get what is ‘RIGHTFULLY theirs?

    As Allen J. Roland said: This is not a bright, shining moment for Barak ….

  8. Pingback: America’s Strategic Repression of the Arab Awakening « Dandelion Salad

  9. Pingback: Creative-i : Egypt Newslinks 9-10 February, 2011

Comments are closed.