Throughout the ongoing crisis in Egypt, President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak has appeared personally on television and given statements where he emphasized his legacy and accomplishments during his 3 decades as President.
Not only that, but in a recent interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour it was as if he was saying he remained in power for so long against his will, that it was in fact a big burden (perhaps he meant how difficult it counting the estimated 70 billion USD family fortune he gathered over the past 30 years ) and stated that he would like to leave as soon as possible but fears the chaos which would occur if he does.
(President Mubarak in his most recent televised speech)
Mr. Mubarak is of course absolutely correct. Under his reign, Egypt has accomplished a lot! Now, whether or not these achievements are considered 'positive' is another issue.
For example, Mr. Mubarak has overseen the transformation of the once highly dynamic, liberal and forward thinking 'Umm EL Dunya' (Mother of all Nations) to a police state where the Moukhabarat (intelligence) spies on everyone and everything, where people's competency is measured not by academic achievement or work-skills but by how much of a relationship they have with the ruling party, its leading figures or supporters.
As for the so-called 'stability' he so vainly prides himself of achieving, well, the peace treaty with Israel has actually been signed before he came to power and will still remain enforceable as long as both countries wish it to be, disregarding who runs the show on either side.
Mr. Mubarak warns that if he leaves then the 'much dreaded' (in his and some Western points of view) Muslim Brotherhood will become the de facto rulers of Egypt and the world will have to deal with a country that has a religious agenda.
Well, let me say this -- by delaying his departure he is making it easier for the Muslim Brotherhood to take-over. However, I don't think the brotherhood is looking to take power by force, which is something that didn't happen even at the movement's prime after the late President Anwar El Sadat was assassinated in 1981.
If anything, the people of Egypt have proved that they will take dictatorship no more -- so if the Muslim Brotherhood does indeed want to rule, they will have to stand in line behind Ayman Nour's 'Kefaya' Party, The former IAEA's head Mohammad El Baradei and perhaps even the current Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa.
Once Mubarak is gone, the world will have to accept and deal with whoever wins the elections and the Egyptians must take full-responsibility for their choice to over-throw their current president elect a new one.
Neither Mubarak or any other World Leader should stand in the way of the free-will of the Egyptian people or claim more knowledge or concern with the welfare of the Nation - the millions of people in Tahrir Square are not children after all!
I also think President Obama has been well advised so far by leaving it to the people of Egypt to determine their destiny and being careful in making any statements; This is a very delicate and critical situation; you see, the irony is that Mr. Obama would actually be doing President Mubarak a huge favour if he talks aggressively against him. I anticipate an immediate shift in official Egyptian propaganda to the over-consumed line of 'This is a Western imperial attempt to interfere in the affairs of our country'.
This kind of rhetoric has already begun, Dr. Ibrahim Kamel - Secretary General of the ruling NDP party told BBC news that he thinks the Western media is conducting an 'ugly campaign against Egypt' and that he is disappointed with some Western countries who he thought previously were Egypt's friends.
Well to Dr. Kamel I say the following: This is not Iraq, there is no unauthorised war being waged against you from the outside. The reality is, the millions of people protesting in the streets are not American, British, Russian or French. In fact, these passionate men and women can't be more Egyptian, so it is time to wake up and smell the Koshari!
The only party that I think should be involved is the Egyptian army. It has been reported that the newly appointed Deputy President and former head of intelligence, Omar Sulayman, keeps taps on all top Generals, but it is not acceptable that the army stands there when Mubarak's henchmen are looting, causing disorder and beating up the protesters.
Yes, many of us are worried about how will the new Middle East look like, but our worries are also the fault of Mubarak, Bin Ali and the other dictators of the region who got us to this situation.
In all cases, a future that is gloomy for everyone is much fairer than a present situation which favours a few and deprives the most.
Follow Faisal J. Abbas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/FaisalJAbbas