Continue reading Why Egypt’s Holding Americans Hostage and How The Obama Administration’s Destroying Its Own CredibilityWhy Egypt’s Holding Americans Hostage and How The Obama Administration’s Destroying Its Own Credibility
By Barry Rubin
A reader asks: Why is Egypt keeping Americans who have been working with pro-democracy NGOs from leaving the country and threatening to put them on trial as criminals?
Here’s the answer:
1. The military rulers want to show they cannot be pushed around by the United States. This is, of course, also a big way to muster popularity within Egypt. The resentment of foreign intervention is very high and as I pointed out in a recent article, even a U.S. Navy anti-disease program is being portrayed by a liberal party as a covert operation to spread disease, murder Egyptian children, and weaken Egypt so Israel can defeat it.
2. The armed forces want to weaken the “moderate” parties by blocking foreign aid to them. These forces are the junta’s main critics and are organizing demonstrations against the government.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports, and now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media
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