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A Time for Courage and Vigilance

By Curtis FJ Doebbler
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 8, 2011

The courage of the people in Egypt is admired even by those at whom their wrath is directed. What is needed to achieve its goals is a strong dose of vigilance. 
The young, well-educated, middle class Egyptians who started this ‘social media revolution’ against the elites have earned the respect and fear of the old guard. President Mubarak has effectively conceded.
He is willing to step down. 
At the same time, reliable sources have suggested that he would have been gone by now if it were not for outside forces that urged him to stay on. In one sense, Vice-President and former Security Chief Omar Suleiman’s warning for vigilance against interference by outside forces is both true, but also misdirected because it ignores the outside influences propping up his regime. 
Despite appearances and public professions to the contrary, it is the United States and some of its closest allies, including Israel, which have encouraged—even coerced—Mubarak into holding on to power when his frail body and mind demand he walk away. 
Mubarak appears to have realized the sooner he goes the more face-saving his exit can be. Too early an exit, however, would leave the United States’ Middle East policy vulnerable, especially if the 30-year ruler has to leave with his full entourage, including Mr. Suleiman who has so consistently defended Us-Israel interests. 
For this reason, despite echoed calls from senior US democrat senator John Kerry and senior republican senator and past presidential challenger John McCain, Mubarak has gripped to power with an immutable lack of logic that defies even the Egyptian sense of pride. 
To ensure change the Egyptians who have so forcefully brought their message to their own government need to be vigilant of the powers lurking behind it. They need to ensure that the world—especially the United State government—understands that they Egypt’s future must be decided by Egyptians. They need to act in their own best interests.
And they need to send the message that outside interference is unwelcome. 
Unless they defy outside interference with all haste, the blood and sweat that they have shed to date, may merely make them slaves of the foreign interests who really do not want to see change in Egypt. 
*Dr. Curtis Doebbler is an international lawyer, author and human rights activists who regularly contributes to publications in the Middle East. Professor of Law (visiting) Webster University and Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations Route de Collex 15, 1293 Bellevue/Château de Penthes, 18 ch. de L'Impératrice 1292, Pregny Both Switzerland Email:





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