A power hungry populist is at the White House today, and so is the leader of Egypt


Today the White House is home to an authoritarian, populist, secularist, militarist demagogue. Also the head of Egypt's military junta is visiting.

In 2013 the leader of the army of Egypt launched a coup and took power from the democratically elected government of Egypt, less than two years after protests in Tahrir Square ignited the Arab Spring.

On Monday the leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is visiting the White House to speak with President Trump about security and economic matters.

A statement by the White House said:

President Al Sisi has taken a number of bold steps since becoming president in 2014, including calling for the reform and moderation of Islamic discourse and initiating courageous and historic economic reforms.

According to the US administration president Trump prefers to deal with human rights violations by Egypt in private.

El-Sisi has previously met with European leaders, and with former secretary of state John Kerry

President el-Sisi (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry sit before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo on 2 August 2015.President el-Sisi (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry sit before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo on 2 August 2015.

El-Sisi has not been to the White House since the 2013 coup.

After taking power, he was 'elected' in his own right, but international observers noted that several opponents in the 2014 race were arrested.

Egypt is not the country to be governed by an unelected authoritarian since the Arab Spring.

In fact many of the governments were unaltered by the protests.

Egypt's backslide from an unstable democracy into a military dictatorship appears to be of less concern to President Trump than to his predecessors.

The Obama administration refused to call El-Sisi's ascension to the presidency a 'coup', but nevertheless severed arms sales to the regime.

Similarly the Bush doctrine was for fostering democracy in the region.

According to experts at Human Rights Watch, Egypt's abuses were numerous in 2016.

Public criticism of the government remained effectively banned in Egypt in 2016.

Police arrested scores of people in connection with protests, many preemptively. 

Parliament proposed a new law regulating nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that would effectively end independent human rights work in the country.

Members of the security forces, particularly the Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency, continued to routinely torture detainees and forcibly disappeared hundreds of people with little or no accountability for violations of the law...

Putting the welfare of Egyptian citizens to one side, former officials from the Obama state department believe the US funded oppression is also creating new members of Isis.

President Trump has also resumed the sale of arms to Bahrain, which was stopped under president Obama due to human rights abuses.

Bahrain's authorities crushed the Arab Spring in the country using torture, murder, and with the support of Saudi Arabia.

HT New York Times

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