February 7, 2011
In her memoirs written after the Romanian revolution, Barbara Bush recalls an official visit to Bucharest to see Nicolae Ceausescu in the summer of 1989. On that occasion, President George Bush Sr tried to save Ceausescu’s hide by advising him to step down. Ceausescu shouted back so loudly that presidential guards had to be removed from underneath the windows of the residence.
The outcome is known to all: while the leaders of East Germay, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria bowed to Moscow pressure and stepped down, Ceausescu was obstreperous and ended up shot dead. Other US-backed dictators, from Noriega to Marcos and now Mubarak, refused to listen to American pressure when their rule came under threat. Is Washington perhaps in need of Russian expertise in the matter ? Well, Omar Suleyman is at hand, as a former graduate of the Frunze Academy.
As Mubarak’s intractability is more dangerous than the supposed Islamic takeover of the country that his supporters blackmail the West with, the State Department and the US Presidency should speak with one voice and act in a less dysfunctional manner. Who needs more bloodshed in Egypt, I wonder ?Spotlight on Geopolitics