This could put the U.S. in a prickly situation given the Egyptian people don’t trust us due to our strong support of the Egyptian military.
While the Egyptian military did exercise significant restraint during the uprising, the U.S. turned a blind eye to the ongoing detention and torture of activists and dissidents by the military, preferring instead to blame it all on the undisciplined security police.
It’s unclear what the U.S. is doing behind the scenes but I sincerely doubt that we are willing to jeopardize our strong ties with the Egyptian military, even if it means we let the creation of a true democracy fall by the wayside.
From Haaretz today:
Egypt’s council of military rulers will not allow international monitors to observe upcoming parliamentary elections designed to move the country back toward civilian rule, a council member said.
The decision, which is part of a new election law approved by the country’s ruling generals, was swiftly criticized by activists who said it raises questions about the transparency of the first elections after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak and urged the military to reconsider.
Egyptian election monitors will observe the process instead, he said.
Hafez Abou Saada, a member of the National Council for Human Rights, said promises of free and fair elections from the military are not enough, and noted that denying international monitors mirrors the line adopted by Mubarak’s regime.
“International monitors are part of any modern elections,” he said. “Many countries are watching what is happening in Egypt. This is not a very positive signal.”
The law comes amid a fierce debate in Egypt about the military’s place in public life, with some viewing the army as a bulwark against Islamists rising to power and others as a pernicious force protecting its own deep-seated interests and those of Mubarak’s ousted regime.
Many suspect that the generals now ruling Egypt are trying to enshrine a future role for themselves, possibly with the authority to intervene in politics. Their push appears to be driven by the military’s fear of losing the near-autonomous power it has enjoyed for almost 60 years.