START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,282,746 people care about Politics

Hillary Clinton Visits Egypt, Snubbed by Youth Activist Coalition

  • by
  • March 19, 2011
  • 6:10 am
Hillary Clinton Visits Egypt, Snubbed by Youth Activist Coalition

In the Obama administration’s first cabinet-level visit to the Middle East since the onset of the region’s political unrest in January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Egypt and Tunisia this week on a “democracy cheerleading tour” to pledge support for the countries’ transitional governments and to rally up populist support for democratic policies.

“To see where this revolution happened and all that it has meant to the world is extraordinary for me,” Clinton remarked during a visit to Tahrir Square.  “It’s just a great reminder of the power of the human spirit and the universal desire for human rights and democracy.  It’s just thrilling to see where this happened.”

“Egypt and the United States have many strategic interests in common and a democratic Egypt will continue to have strategic interests with the United States.”

As if to put our money where her mouth was, Clinton also pledged a towering amount of aid to the rebuilding of Egypt: $90 million in emergency economic aid and $60 million in an enterprise fund to help the country create jobs.  The Egyptian army, famous for its torture methods and human rights abuses, already receives about $1.3 billion a year from the U.S.

“To the people of Egypt, let me say: This moment of history belongs to you,” Clinton said in a joint press conference with Egypt’s new foreign minister, Nabil el-Araby.  “This is your achievement and you broke barriers and overcame obstacles to pursue the dream of democracy.”

“The pyramids are magnificent but nowhere near as magnificent as what you have already done… No one is permitted to hijack this revolution, no one is permitted to turn the clock back on this revolution, no one is permitted to claim it for only one group of Egyptians and exclude other Egyptians.”

It wasn’t all fun and games this time around.  Egypt, once one of our busom buddies in the Middle East, now has an entirely different view on United States foreign policy.  To them, the US took too long to support the protests, effectively making them Mubarak supporters in democracy’s clothing.  If we want the Pharonic love, we better be ready to say sorry and play nice.

“There was an invitation for members of the coalition to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition issued in a statement on their Facebook page, “but based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation.”

In a separate statement released to an Egyptian newspaper, the coalition, made up of six youth activist groups, also said, “the US administration took Egypt’s revolution lightly and supported the old regime while Egyptian blood was being spilled.”  They went on to elaborate that Clinton was not welcome in Egypt “because the U.S. administration long supported Mubarak’s corrupt, dictatorial regime financially, politically, and morally.”  They expressed no interest in meeting with her until the United States makes a formal apology to the Egyptian people for their support of Mubarak’s regime.  “The Egyptian people are the masters of their own land and destiny and will only accept equal relations of friendship and respect between the people of Egypt and the people of America.”

A spokesman for Clinton had no immediate response.

According to ABC News, “Clinton was perceived as slow to recognize the strength of the protest movement.”  When first asked about the protests on January 25, she told reporters, “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.”

“I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family,” she said in a 2009 interview with Arab satellite channel Al Arabiya.  “So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.”

You can see from these statements where Egyptians feel they’re in the right to not only question Clinton’s motivations in her turnaround support for the revolution, but to also point out her apparent weathervane approach to the sweep of political protests, one that changes directions with whatever tide brings in the most stable position for mass approval.  

About two dozen pro-democracy activists did meet with Clinton privately, and they met her florid praise with some real-world criticism.  “We offered a serious critique of the U.S. foreign policy towards Egypt and the Middle East,” activist Ahmed Naguib told Reuters.  “We need to see a foreign policy that is receptive and in line with the reform movements sweeping across the region.”

The concerns are not trying to cut the ties with the United States, but are rather reflective of a broader regional mistrust towards American diplomacy.  Past missteps in history have caused many Arabs to question whether a United States stamp of approval has more to do to with economic interests and Western stability in the Middle East than it does with tumbling tyrants guilty of human rights abuses to pave the way for reform and the opportunity for Egypt and the Arab world to enter the playing field of First World powers.  

Mid-East confidence in the United States peaked at the beginning of President Obama’s term in 2009, but now that assurance has waned, and if the U.S. wants to regain its ground in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world, it’s going to have to start by courting the protesters that harkened democracy when the Obama administration lagged in straddling the fine line between status quo diplomacy and grassroots democracy.

Related Articles:

Making Sense of Egypt: 5 Must-Read Articles

The Women of Egypt – A Strong, Defiant Force

An Arab Spring?: Developments in Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Bahrain (VIDEO)


Read more: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo courtesy of Marc Nozell via Flickr

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

105 comments

+ add your own
6:18PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

It is sad that so many have fallen into the trap of demonizing liberal thinking & the Democrats. A balance of liberal & conservative thinking is what works. Liberals created the Constitution. Do you think for a moment that conservatives would have come up with freedom of religion, for example? Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote, & created Social Security, lifting millions of elderly out of poverty. Liberals pased the Voting Rights Act, got women the vote, Created Medicare, & the Clean Air & Clean Water Acts. What did conservatives do? They opposed every one of these measures.

6:42AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Maegan,

http://politicalvelcraft.org/2010/10/21/convicted-felon-george-soros-buying-off-corrupt-politicians-to-destroy-elections-for-americas-judicial-system/

6:23AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Maegan,
What you don't realize is that soros has many "organizations" that he is disguised in.

10:34AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

I don't understand why we would be so surprised at Secretary Clinton being snubbed, we don't even support Democracy in the US. The Supreme Court ruling that gave person status to corporations was extraneous: they already own a significant portion of Congress.

Maybe we didn't move on Egypt's Democracy movement because they didn't have corporate sponsorship.

9:28AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

Hi, Michael M.: Yes, indeed, the G.O.P.ers are 10 times worse than the Dems.. My mantra in the 2010 election was: DAMN A DEM. but VOTE FOR THEM - NO MORE BUSHWHACKED!!! Could be it'll get taped back onto the inside of my car's rear window again in 2012. But...

Rough as it is, we the sheeple had better do lots of hard work in figuring out, regardless of party or the lack there, who's a real McCoy wannabe server of the people vs. puppet or enforcer fo the villainaires. I support and cheer constantly for the truly ethical, progressive elected Dems. (ironically, often true fiscal conservatives insofar as they do their best to get us out of oh so profitabe for the villainaires constant warmode, and also try to push through and enforce regs. that control Wall St., bank st., insurance st., etc., again being fiscally conservative and watchful for we the sheeple vs. Koch suckers).

You're also so right also about all the karlroving spin, manipulation, distraction in today's 'mess' media, that we must learn to recognize and reject. But, there's a part of that karlroving that you, in your loyalty (good to be loyal) to the Dems., don't seem to recognize - many Dems. are no longer strong supporters of the common folk.

For example, here in Colorado, we've been disappointed, over and over, in elected Dems. who push for the villainaire's war, war, and more war. More like Koch suckers than supporter of we the sheeple, it seems to me. Soooo....let's be careful.



7:38AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

the capitalist right wing doesn't want you to vote so that they can win obviously.
I've never seen so much misinformation come out of the right wing in a long time.

Please don't let them win again.. no matter what you believe,
because even if they are only the best of the worst...
you can't let someone like sarah palin or bush make another huge mess of the world and the economy again.

It's too damn important to get hung up on right now.
we need to win now more than ever.

(just to elaborate my point.. Kennedy even was bad during the the cuban revolution, but he did help end the war in veitnam and died for doing it)
the conclusion: No president or prime minister is going to be without issues, but one is always a lot worse than the other

7:36AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

So that they can win. obviously...

And if you are naive enough to believe the alex jone's and glen beck's telling you that obama is the big bad wolf (while they are republicans themselves)
I'm sorry,
but you are the idiot
because you're not paying any attention to both sides of it.
obama tried to pass the disclose act, tried to end the corporate tax cuts, gave you public health care, allowed a democratic vote on legalization, has come out in support of these protesters after careful contemplation, and who is blocking him on every single good bill he tries to pass through congress... the republicans..
they're tried to stop health care, they've held 2 million americans unemployment benefits hostage in order to get their tax cuts extended, they are against equal rights for gay people and others, they have supported dictators all over the world from batista to dictators in the middle east..
how can any of you turn on your democrats right now after what happened with bush especially.

The democrats due suck in the context where if something is risky to support.. they won't support it,
but at least they are totally insane like the republicans.

there is a difference between the left and right in your country.
you are being brainwashed by a kind of propaganda called wedge politics where one party (the republicans) divides support for the other party (the democrats) by convincing them that their vote doesn't make a difference.

well it does..
the capitalist right wi

7:35AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

And if you are naive enough to believe the alex jone's and glen beck's telling you that obama is the big bad wolf (while they are republicans themselves)
I'm sorry,
but you are the idiot
because you're not paying any attention to both sides of it.
obama tried to pass the disclose act, tried to end the corporate tax cuts, gave you public health care, allowed a democratic vote on legalization, has come out in support of these protesters after careful contemplation, and who is blocking him on every single good bill he tries to pass through congress... the republicans..
they're tried to stop health care, they've held 2 million americans unemployment benefits hostage in order to get their tax cuts extended, they are against equal rights for gay people and others, they have supported dictators all over the world from batista to dictators in the middle east..
how can any of you turn on your democrats right now after what happened with bush especially.

The democrats due suck in the context where if something is risky to support.. they won't support it,
but at least they are totally insane like the republicans.

there is a difference between the left and right in your country.
you are being brainwashed by a kind of propaganda called wedge politics where one party (the republicans) divides support for the other party (the democrats) by convincing them that their vote doesn't make a difference.

well it does..
the capitalist right wing doesn't want you to vote so that th

7:15AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

as much as there are problems with the democrats,
we all know that the republicans are 10 times worse.
don't let any of this cause you to not vote and let the bastards that have always supported these dictators win.
Believe me, I've been following this since long before any of you ever heard of the revolutions and I let me assure you that if the republicans were in office right now.. they would be supporting the dictators right now and brainwashing the american people into believing that these protesters are terrorists or something.
Come on now.
that's exactly what would have happened

6:24AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

They are obviously not stupid and can recognize a two faced corrupt government!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

What a beautiful story ! That man is a true hero !!! Thanks.

JACarlton A. “I can't do it without throwing up in my mouth... Kevin, Dennis, Carole, Suba, Mary,…

ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.