U.S. must address conflict in Egypt

“The Army is not in the hands of anyone,” said Mahmoud Shokry, a retired diplomat and a friend of the new vice president, Omar Suleiman, in response to the recent announcement.

Now that the Army of Egypt has officially announced that it will not fire on the protesters who have rallied in Cairo, negotiations between protestors and President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak’s political affiliates have begun.

Mubarak’s government has also been a close U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism and a critical point of transit for much of the world’s oil. Despite controversies in Egypt, such as alleged governmental corruption, unemployment, poverty and decades of political repression, the U.S. has Murabak’s presidency.

This makes sense, as Egypt is one of our strongest allies in the War on Terrorism. However, it’s odd that President Obama has yet to publicly request Murabak to step down.

While it is important for the U.S. to hold onto its allies in this time of war and unrest in the Middle East, we also must ask ourselves when basic morality overshadows diplomacy.

We need to take a step back and re-examine the mistakes of the past. The U.S. has financially supported other countries in financial crisis and poverty including Haiti, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. Why now has the U.S. government taken pause to lend aid to Egypt?

President Obama must persuade Murabak to resign. Murabak assumed office in 1981. It is time for him to end the cycle of political autocracy.

Obama’s major weakness is his inability to make decisions. He hasn’t taken a consistent stand on the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, he has had made efforts to fast track the process of decreasing military. And Obama has made efforts in the past to settle disputes such as the Israel/Palestine conflict.

However, Obama needs to make choices and follow them through. Egyptians have called for support from our president but all he has yet to even make an official statement on the crisis.