The Perils of Hosni Mubarak; Egyptian Thriller

By Reed, Stanley | The Nation, April 12, 1986 | Go to article overview

The Perils of Hosni Mubarak; Egyptian Thriller


Reed, Stanley, The Nation


The Perils of Hosni Mubarak

Prsident Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has emerged from February's rampage by his security police conscripts in better shape than many observers had expected. The revolt by the very people who are supposed to protect his regime might easily have dealt a fatal blow to confidence in Mubarak's authority; instead, the President was given credit for the military's speedy restoration of order and commended for permitting the Egyptian media to provide the public with full coverage of the disturbances. Even his normally vociferous critics now praise him for resisting the temptation--to which his predecessor Anwar el-Sadat often yielded--to make scapegoats of them. "I believe there was no involvement by any religious or leftist group or any other movement in what the police dared to do,' Mubarak declared on March 10.

But it would be a mistake for us to draw too much comfort from the positive outcome. The rioting was the latest evidence that Egypt is enmeshed in a political and economic crisis which will require American attention. The regime has been shaken by a series of bizarre incidents that began with the Achille Lauro affair last October, and was followed by the bungled and bloody raid on the hijacked Egyptair plane on Malta and the murder of seven Israelis in Sinai by an Egyptian policeman, whom the opposition turned into a cult hereo. On March 19 unknown assassins calling themselves Egypt's Revolution killed one Israeli diplomat and wounded three others in a street ambush. The government's seeming inability to protect Israelis in Egypt certainly does not bode well for warming up the cold peace between the two countries.

To compound Egypt's problems, the sharp decline in the country's foreign exchange earnings is crimping its ability to pay its rising import bills and service its staggering external debt. The resultant shortage of resources for domestic needs has put intolerable pressure on the millions of Egyptians who live below the poverty line, including the 300,000 draftees charged with guarding foreign embassies, government buildings and other strategic points.

According to the opposition newspapers, the rampaging conscripts were venting anger over wretched conditions, including their inadequate $4 monthly pay, which had recently been cut by 50 cents. "They didn't tell us the reason [for the cut],' a draftee told the opposition Socialist Labor Party weekly Al-Shaab, "but we knew it was to pay Egypt's debts.' Al-Shaab reported that the troubles began in a camp near the Giza Pyramids when a large contingent of troops, scheduled to be discharged, were told by an officer that their terms were being extended for another year. Explaining the subsequent riot one of the soldiers said, "We remembered that our wives and families . . . were not satisfied with the pennies that represent our monthly salaries.'

In a matter of hours the rebellion spread from Giza to police units posted in distant parts of greater Cairo, to Ismailia in the Suez Canal zone and to Sohag and Asyut in Upper Egypt. As many as 17,000 troops joined in, wildly firing their weapons and trashing and burning hotels, nightclubs, automobiles and other symbols of wealth. The government acknowledges that 107 persons died in the melee. That figure may be low, considering that the military used helicopter gunships against some of the rebels.

Even before the violence broke out, Mubarak knew he was sitting on an economic powder keg. The collapse of oil prices will cut by half earnings from Egypt's main export, which last year brought in $2.1 billion; reduce Suez Canal tolls; and diminish the remittances from Egyptians working in the Arab oil-producing countries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Perils of Hosni Mubarak; Egyptian Thriller
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.