News Release

Mubarak’s Base


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Gerges is director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics. He writes in a piece in today’s Independent: “The regime’s base is extremely shallow in comparison to the opposition, which represents an overwhelming majority of the population. The regime has alienated most of the rising social and political classes: centrists and democrats, leftists, nationalists, independent Islamists, and the Muslim Brotherhood. They’re left with about 10 percent of the country, the uppermost echelon of the population.”

Seif Da’Na is an associate professor of sociology and international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside specializing in the Mideast and North Africa. On January 25, the first day of protests in Egypt, he was featured on an IPA news release stating that the popular movements indicated the “beginning of a new era” in the region.

He notes that economic policies pursued by the the regimes being protested were favored by the Western powers and the International Monetary Fund.

Talhami is emeritus professor in the department of politics at Lake Forest College. Her books include “The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt” and “Palestine in the Egyptian Press.” She said today: “The U.S. is still oblivious to the fact that the de-legitimization of the Mubarak regime has [also] been due to its total lack of leverage over the Israeli-Palestinian question and its weakness and inability to exercise any influence over U.S. policy in the Middle East as well. Egyptians cannot fail but notice the abject weakness of their regime on the international arena when the U.S. administration publicly admonishes their leaders for human rights violations, as welcome as this may be, while it refrains from doing the same to its other ally (read client state) in the Middle East, namely Israel. … So, this uprising is not only about democracy and civil liberties, it’s about the loss of autonomy in international affairs, forcing a military-style state of stability on Egypt while the region around it is a living example of instability and constant state of war.” She is not available for interviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Brownlee is currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He is working on a book on U.S-Egyptian relations. He will be in Washington, D.C. on Monday. He is also associate professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin. Brownlee’s previous book was “Authoritarianism in an Age of Democratization.” He said today: “Despite the talk of an ambiguous and fluid situation in Cairo, reports from demonstrators paint a vivid picture — of a plain-clothed government crackdown abetted by a loyalist, U.S.-funded military. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have defied Mubarak’s violence, though, vowing to hold Liberation Square until Egypt is liberated.”

“If U.S. officials don’t want Egypt to be Iran 1979 [the Iranian revolution], they should prevent an Iran 1953 [when the U.S. re-installed the Shah and deposed the democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh]. All it would take is cutting their client-military loose and supporting indigenous democratization.”

“Rather than embracing the demonstrators and Egypt’s democratic awakening, Obama seems to be trying to salvage as much as possible of Mubarak’s brutal security apparatus.” Brownlee was one of the organizers of a recent petition of academics and others calling for a new U.S. foreign policy.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167