Ousted President Mubarak
Photo: Reuters

Let Mubarak die in peace

Op-ed: Mubarak was a dictator, yet his wrongdoings pale in comparison to his achievements

Finally, five months after he was removed from power disgracefully, President Mubarak has someone who bravely defends him. Jihad al-Khazen, one of the most prominent, influential and respected columnist in the Arab world, defended Mubarak in an op-ed published by leading newspaper al-Hayat:


It doesn’t befit you, al-Khazen reprimands those who demand the death penalty for Mubarak. I too have criticism over his conduct and I too did not spare him harsh words. Yet look at his contributions and achievements on behalf of Egypt during his 30-year rule and compare them to the delusional accusations you level at him.


After all, Mubarak was the best of Egypt’s four rulers, al-Khazen writes. He urges his readers to compare the ousted president to the hedonistic, corrupt King Farouk, to the adventurous Gamal Abdul Nasser with his iron fists, and to Sadat, who was detached from realities within Egypt.


You will discover that Mubarak was the responsible adult, who kept Egypt away from security and economic adventures, al-Khazen wrote. Stop being so cruel to him, Mubarak doesn’t deserve it and this is incommensurate with the Egyptian people’s mercifulness.


The target date for the opening of the trial, August 3rd, is driving Egypt mad. A spot for hanging Mubarak was already marked at Tahrir Square and Egyptians are unwilling to compromise on anything less than a death penalty for the ousted president. Any lighter sentence is expected to produce waves of fury and riots.


The media and spokesmen in Cairo are also going above and beyond in order to provide reports on the deteriorating health of the patient hospitalized in room 309 in the third floor of the Sharm hospital. The truth is that nobody, with the exception of his wife Suzanne and a limited medical team, knows the real situation. The German doctor who operated on Mubarak a year and a half ago is prevented from entering the hospital, on the assumption that if he gets close to the patient, the information that will be leaked will immediately cause mayhem, regardless of whether Mubarak’s condition is stable (hard to believe that’s the case) or whether he has only a few days left.


Mubarak a man of honor

Let him die in peace. I’m betting, based on longtime personal familiarity with Mubarak, that he too, held in his room for five months now like in detention, is aspiring for his death to arrive as soon as possible. Mubarak is a man of honor, who is now paying the price for his insistence to hold on to power and enjoy the perks of power 18 years beyond what Egyptian law stipulates. Had he retired voluntarily, had he not been certain that only he knows what’s best, his life’s drama would not have ended with such yellow sensation.


There is no arguing that Mubarak was a dictator and there is no doubt that under him, regular folk had no reason to dream about better lives. In recent years, because of his deteriorating health and advanced age, anyone who met Mubarak could see how detached he was: Later we may discover that the decisions that prompted the hunt for protestors at the squares were taken without him even being in the picture.


A transcript of his interrogation published this week showed how the shocking order to free 23,000 prisoners and send them to pulverize protestors at squares was issued without Mubarak’s knowledge. As it turns out, in his last year in power Mubarak worked only two hours a day and fainted often. This information was hidden, and those who exploited the power vacuum are in jail now.


A courtroom was already prepared in Sharm al-Sheikh and officials announced that should Mubarak have trouble leaving the hospital, the judges will arrive at his bedside. Yet it’s hard to believe that the trial will be opened in two weeks. Mubarak deserves to sink into a long coma, so that the drama will end – just like Jihad al-Khazen wishes him – with rest for all the people who want his head, and who also forgot about compassion.



פרסום ראשון: 07.19.11, 23:34
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