[T]he recent Wikileaks revelations uncovered US foreknowledge of the regime’s brutality. Exposing what most informed political analysts, as well as the majority of Egyptians, have known all along about the Mubarak regime, the second highest recipient of US military and economic aid in the world after Israel, one cable pointed out that government brutality is ‘routine and pervasive’. Furthermore, the use of torture against ordinary criminals, Islamist detainees, opposition activists and bloggers, the cables acknowledged, is so widespread that the Egyptian government ‘no longer even tries to deny its existence.’
The cables also reveal that the Obama administration aimed to maintain a close political and military relationship with Mubarak, despite acknowledging the existence of a colossal democracy deficit, stating: ‘The tangible benefits to our [military] relationship are clear: Egypt remains at peace with Israel, and the US military enjoys priority access to the Suez canal and Egyptian airspace.’ […]
Once again, the Obama administration has demonstrated a gross duplicity in its approach to the issue of democracy promotion in the region. In this sense it, like other western governments expressing their preferences for ‘stability’ and ‘order’ over justice and accountability, has found itself on the wrong side of history.
Corinna Mullin: Obama and the Despots of the Middle East