Over the past few weeks, the WikiLeaks Internet platform has published secret documents that shed a revealing light on the criminal cooperation between US imperialism and the Mubarak regime in Egypt. The leaked documents, personally despatched from Cairo by US Ambassador Margaret Scobey, expose leading Egyptian politicians as unscrupulous agents of the US.
One of the reports bearing Scobey’s signature was written around the time of the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh in May 2008. It concerns a meeting between a US congressional delegation and the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. The congressional group was led by Rep. Brian Baird, Democrat from Washington state. Mubarak was accompanied by Omar Suleiman, head of Egyptian intelligence, and Gamal Mubarak, secretary general of the political committee of the ruling National Democratic Party.
The meeting dealt with major issues, including the situation in Iraq, Iran’s role in the region, and the Middle East conflict.
With respect to US-occupied Iraq, Hosni Mubarak voiced concern about developments in the country, stressing that US troops would not be able to withdraw in the immediate future owing to the prevailing security situation. The only way forward, he said, was to establish a dictatorship: “Strengthen the armed forces, relax your hold, and then you will have a coup. Then we will have a dictator, but a fair one. Forget democracy, the Iraqis are by nature too tough”.
Furthermore, it is clear from the report that Egypt was apprehensive about Iran’s influence in the region. Suleiman complained about Iran’s involvement in Iraq, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the Shiite communities in the Gulf States. A “very close” relationship between Egypt and the US would be necessary to counter this trend, he said.
Mubarak warned that if Iran succeeded with its nuclear programme, Egypt might also be forced to develop its own nuclear programme.
Gamal Mubarak added, “The battle lines are clearer for Egypt than ever before”. His remarks on Egypt’s attitude to the situation in the Gaza Strip also reveal that the Egypt government stands wholly on the side of the United States. He described as a “common concern” the blockading of tunnels used by the trapped and impoverished people of Gaza to gain access to essential goods.
In November 2009, Egypt began building a 10-kilometre-long and 30-metre-deep iron fence, ostensibly to prevent the construction of these tunnels. In fact, the fence is part of the Israeli blockade policy, which aims to depose the elected Hamas government by force.
That the Egyptian government is pursuing the same strategy as Israel and the US is also confirmed by a secret report of April 30, 2009, citing a conversation between Suleiman and US Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The report declared that Egypt’s ultimate goal is the return of the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip, because Suleiman believed “Gaza in the hands of extremists will never be quiescent”. Mullen had then praised Egyptian efforts to combat “smuggling” in the Gaza Strip.
Suleiman went on to claim that extremism formed the “backbone” of the region’s security threats. Egypt was “surrounded by extremists” and would have to vigorously oppose them. Egypt had already entered into “a confrontation” with Hezbollah and Iran, and Iran would under no circumstances be allowed to carry out any operations in Egypt.
Egypt had already sent a clear message to Iran. If Iran dared to interfere in Egyptian affairs, Egypt would interfere in Iran’s, said Suleiman, adding that the EGIS (Egyptian General Intelligence Services) had already started recruiting agents in Iraq and Syria.
He also expressed the hope that the US “does not go the same way as the Europeans” in relation to negotiations with Iran. Iran should have to “pay the price for its actions, and it must not be allowed to meddle in local affairs”. He went on to add: “If you want Egypt to cooperate with you on Iran, we will...; It would take a big burden off our shoulders”.
Many other leaked reports illustrate the cooperation between the oppressive Egyptian regime and US imperialism in relation to Iran. One of the documents gives an account of Hosni Mubarak’s meeting with US Senator John F. Kerry, in which Mubarak describes the Iranians as a “big fat liars”.
The documents published by WikiLeaks provide valuable information on the extent of Egypt’s cooperation with US imperialism. Following the revelations, Hosni Mubarak found himself obliged to deal with WikiLeaks in his first speech to the new parliament. With undisguised cynicism, he stated: “What we say in public is also what we say behind closed doors”. Then he added: “We don’t bow down to any conditions or instructions, and we will not give up our sovereignty or our independent will”.
The documents, however, demonstrate the exact opposite. The Egyptian bourgeoisie is in lockstep with US imperialism. As for the state of the purported “democracy” supported by the US in Egypt, recent polls indicate that only 5 to 10 percent of the eligible population took part in the parliamentary elections in early December. Human rights groups claimed that electoral violence and electoral fraud was rife in the polling as never before.