Egypt’s leader proving to be a big barfbunker

Aman Ali's view

Normally Stater writers say goodbyes in their last columns. Not this bearded kid. Goodbyes are for wussies.

There is too much stuff annoying the crap out of me right now. I end this semester sharing with you a story about a futhermucker named Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s current president. Yes, I said futhermucker.

Hosni Mubarak has been president of Egypt since 1981 and has announced plans to run for his fifth term this September. For his past four terms, Mubarak has not allowed any party to run against him. However, Mubarak made headlines a few months ago when he said he’d allow direct multiparty elections to occur this September. Sounds like a huge change for a country that has a greater total of human rights violations than Tony Danza has canceled TV shows.

But U.S. News and World Report stated that the parties in September’s election had to be approved by Mubarak’s National Democratic Party to be on the ballot! That means the only real opposition party to Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood, doesn’t stand a chance. Mubarak is pretending to make “democratic concessions” without loosening his authoritative power in Egypt.

Last week, Mubarak gave an absurd six-hour interview that ran on the major Arab news networks. Let me just say hearing the man speak for more than five minutes makes me want to jam a fork in my eye.

In the interview, Mubarak said his age won’t prevent him from running this September, despite the fact that he’s a 76-year-old barfbunker (another word I made up). He had the nerve to say, “Not everyone can be a leader. It needs training, and not everyone who is trained can be a leader.”

Thanks for the insight, you barfbunker. I’m sure Mubarak has been a great leader with all the economic aid he gets from the United States. The Christian Science Monitor reported that the United States has given Egypt a grand total of $50 billion in foreign aid since 1975. Egypt is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid after Israel.

Yet, that same Monitor article said that the country’s unemployment rate jumped up to 25 percent in 2004. And, 16.7 percent of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.

I have even more information to make me sound smarter. Since 1981, Mubarak has enforced the Emergency Law, legislation that moderates public opinion by banning public protests in addition to other things. This law is only meant to last for six months, but Egyptian Parliament renews the law every time it’s about to expire.

Mubarak also has connections to torturing prisoners. In both The New York Times and The New Yorker this year, reporters discovered classified CIA documents outlining a U.S. governmental tactic called “extraordinary rendition.” Instead of torturing prisoners in the United States, the CIA has regularly sent prisoners overseas to be tortured by foreign countries. Egypt is the prime location where prisoners are sent.

Just some news to think about. Good luck on exams my friends, and make sure you’re sitting next to the smart Asian kid in your class in case you get stuck on any questions.

Aman Ali is a junior information design major, president of the Muslim Students Association, columnist for the Daily Kent Stater and a smart Asian kid. Contact him at [email protected].