Monday, September 19, 2005

U.S. PRESS VIEWS EGYPT’S ELECTION

By William Fisher

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies’ report on the Egyptian elections says the mass media were generally biased toward the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate. The performance of audio and visual mass media was different from state-owned and private mass media. State-owned newspapers, in particular daily newspapers, continued to be flagrantly biased toward the ruling party's candidate, as they were during the first week of the campaign, it said.

In the U.S., where media is not controlled by the State but is usually owned by large corporations, journalists and commentators appeared to divide neatly into two camps. One clung to the Bush Administration’s view that the election represented “a first step toward democracy.” The other was that the election and the process leading up to it was “a shameless sham” intended only to ensure the uninterrupted flow of aid funds from Washington to Cairo.

In a real democratic election, said the New York Times, “The ruling party should not be allowed to shape the election arrangements and intimidate voters. The candidates should be able to compete on a reasonably level playing field. Impartial observers should be welcome and given time to deploy themselves at polling places nationwide. Not one of these defining features was evident in last week's Egyptian presidential voting, whose main purpose was to usher President Hosni Mubarak into his fifth six-year term.”

The San Francisco Chronicle said, “In effect, the BBC's Cairo-based correspondent Fergus Nichol pointed out, alluding to influence from the Bush administration in preparing for this latest ‘democratic’ contest, Mubarak's regime had been ‘forced by outside pressure into an election it never wanted. ...’ As a result, Mubarak ‘set out not to adapt to change, but to control it, in the process drawing a new template for cynical election management’.”

The influential Washington Post wrote, “For the first time in Egyptian history, multiple candidates were allowed to stand in the election. And many assume
that credit is due the Bush administration for its persistent pleas for democracy in the Arab world. But the far more significant outcome of the presidential election is that over the last year, as Egyptians anxiously anticipated election day, a strong and significant opposition movement against Mubarak went public. And who is the backbone of this opposition movement? The Islamists. For the first time since the 1970s, thousands of Egyptians of all political and religious persuasions joined forces in street protests, demanding political reform and an end to the regime. While a fractured opposition had operated behind the scenes for years, this election inspired secularists, leftists and, most of all, Islamists to take the unprecedented step of coordinating their various campaigns against Mubarak's expected victory.”

And in the heartland of America, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal-Sentinel wrote, “One in every four Arabs in the world is an Egyptian. Mainly because it is so huge, Egypt has traditionally been the most influential country in the Arab world, which, in turn, is why the slightly democratic election that was held in that country last week was an event to be saluted. ‘Slightly democratic’ is a term of faint praise, which is what President Hosni Mubarak deserves. The election he permitted - or acquiesced in - featured nine opposition candidates, and it allowed for the possibility, however remote, of a Mubarak defeat after 24 years in power.”

On America’s West Coast, the Los Angeles Times editorialized, “When Mubarak announced in late July that he would run in a real presidential campaign, it might have been a watershed moment for the United States. Egypt, its most stalwart Arab ally, was finally coming around to democracy. But then came events that undermined what seemed like a positive step: security forces cracking down on peaceful public protests; the government disqualifying 19 candidates without explanation; state-run press and TV openly stumping for Mubarak despite rules requiring them to be neutral. Mubarak also refused international monitors for the election, disregarding U.S. requests. The result was an election under the watchful eye of the state, with voters filling out ballots as Mubarak supporters peered over their shoulders. The turnout was 23%, with fewer than one in four registered voters casting a ballot.”

One of America’s more thoughtful liberal news-weeklies, The New Republic, said, “Last week, in the state controlled newspapers, the president offered a vague promise to expand civil liberties, though he stopped short of promising to release some of the thousands of political prisoners who have languished in jails for years under the Emergency Laws. The Muslim Brotherhood, which gained new stature and visibility during the campaign, has vowed to keep the pressure on the regime. ‘We want the abolishment of all the laws that limit the freedom of the Egyptian citizens’, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, supreme guide of the Brotherhood, told Newsweek. ‘We will not rest until the people of Egypt know what it is to live in a free society’. In the November parliamentary elections, analysts predict, the regime will almost certainly allow opposition parties to make substantial gains, though not enough to loosen the regime's hold on power. The question for the newly energized opposition--and for the youngbloods--is whether Egyptians will settle for that.”

USA Today, one of the country’s few national newspapers, wrote, “The government said the decision to allow challengers signals a move toward greater democracy in a country that has seen only authoritarian rule for more than a half-century. Opponents dismissed the reform claims as a sham, noting that Mubarak's party controls most of the government, including the election process, and that restrictions make it difficult for opponents to gain ground. The country's biggest Islamic group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is banned entirely.”

In Boston, the Globe newspaper wrote, “There should be no illusions about the authenticity of Wednesday's presidential election in Egypt. Even if reports of workers for President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party paying people to vote for him are unfounded, and even if objective monitors had been permitted at all 10,000 polling stations in Egypt, the exercise, with its foregone conclusion, would still be a derisory mimicking of a truly democratic election.”

Whether the election created an opening for a more inclusive, more transparent and more representative process in the future will be argued for years. Speaking personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath!

35 comments:

  1. Hi, thanks for letting visitors post comments. If you ever want to lose weight or gain muscle just visit my bodybuilding supplements site. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a bingo exchange link site/blog. It pretty much covers bingo exchange link related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a advantage exchange marketing mynetsuccesscenter.com traffic site/blog. It pretty much covers advantage exchange marketing mynetsuccesscenter.com traffic related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your page loaded really quick for all the content and images I'm impressed

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a banner exchange program site/blog. It pretty much covers banner exchange program related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. The first step in First Time Home Buyer is laying the ground work that means make a review of few important things which will play a important role in Buying a Home ,this will help you to determine whether you are eligible to apply for the loan and whether you can afford to buy the home or not.
    Review your assest,which includes saving,checking accounts.
    Review your monthly income,it should suport monthly payment for the loans.
    Make a list of current monthly expenses,to see if you can afford to pay the mortgage.
    plan how long you want to live in house

    ReplyDelete
  7. Help Mommy, there are Liberals! underneath my bed!!! (No, seriously, that's the name of the book...) Don't believe me? The dang thing's on Amazon, not some hippie-press bullcrap ;) Anyway, thought you might enjoy, pinko ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lose and SnoozeTM - Weight Loss Guaranteed

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a free site rotator site/blog. It pretty much covers free site rotator related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. hey i love your blog!

    if you want some free free bingo prizeprizes try blingo, its free to sign up and you can win free prizes! I just won a free movie ticket! Lets win together!

    ReplyDelete
  11. www.getipodsforfree.com has this cool thing where if you just sign up and do an offer, you can get a free ipod

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear fellow blogger,

    I perused your post with much interest, while looking for info about enterprise architecture. Unfortunately your post was not the exact kind of info on enterprise architecture that I had in mind. But I thought I should drop a note to thank you for the great job that you are doing. You might wonder what all these links are that I am typing in to my comment; well the link leads to a company's website that allows you to buy and sell almost anything like things related to enterprise architecture on interest free credit, and you may pay back whenever you like for your things related to enterprise architecture. You can get up to 100,000,000.00 CBD of credit line just for signing up as your initial credit line, and as you earn credit at the same time you increase your line of credit too by twice as much as what you earned. Here again one last time is the link: enterprise architecture.

    Cheers and happy trading.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear fellow blogger,

    I perused your post with much interest, while looking for info about automobile manufacturer. Unfortunately your post was not the exact kind of info on automobile manufacturer that I had in mind. But I thought I should drop a note to thank you for the great job that you are doing. You might wonder what all these links are that I am typing in to my comment; well the link leads to a company's website that allows you to buy and sell almost anything like things related to automobile manufacturer on interest free credit, and you may pay back whenever you like for your things related to automobile manufacturer. You can get up to 100,000,000.00 CBD of credit line just for signing up as your initial credit line, and as you earn credit at the same time you increase your line of credit too by twice as much as what you earned. Here again one last time is the link: automobile manufacturer.

    Cheers and happy trading.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear fellow blogger,

    I perused your post with much interest, while looking for info about hiking equipment. Unfortunately your post was not the exact kind of info on hiking equipment that I had in mind. But I thought I should drop a note to thank you for the great job that you are doing. You might wonder what all these links are that I am typing in to my comment; well the link leads to a company's website that allows you to buy and sell almost anything like things related to hiking equipment on interest free credit, and you may pay back whenever you like for your things related to hiking equipment. You can get up to 100,000,000.00 CBD of credit line just for signing up as your initial credit line, and as you earn credit at the same time you increase your line of credit too by twice as much as what you earned. Here again one last time is the link: hiking equipment.

    Cheers and happy trading.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear fellow blogger,

    I perused your post with much interest, while looking for info about antique car. Unfortunately your post was not the exact kind of info on antique car that I had in mind. But I thought I should drop a note to thank you for the great job that you are doing. You might wonder what all these links are that I am typing in to my comment; well the link leads to a company's website that allows you to buy and sell almost anything like things related to antique car on interest free credit, and you may pay back whenever you like for your things related to antique car. You can get up to 100,000,000.00 CBD of credit line just for signing up as your initial credit line, and as you earn credit at the same time you increase your line of credit too by twice as much as what you earned. Here again one last time is the link: antique car.

    Cheers and happy trading.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi, great blog! Let's talk Marketing and PR. Please feel free to visit my blog too at
    , RushPRnews Daily Gazette, Open-Call for Writers.
    My website is** RushPRnews press release services, distribution and free web posting** . Cordially, Anne Laszlo-Howard

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi there. Nice blog. Interesting posts. Looking for updated information about forex. Not quite what I had in mind, but very nice read none the less. I have a forexrelated site. Maybe visit if you have time Free-Cash-Site.com. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello. Great diet plans information. Its much appreciated because I have to lose 10 pounds. Thanks for your tips. diet plans

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello. Nice diets blog. Excellent diets tips. Check out my diets site if you have time.

    ReplyDelete
  20. For great prices and those hard to get items just check us out at http://www.bnbshoppersnetwork.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a mortgage calc site/blog. It pretty much covers mortgage calc related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi, Thanks for your interesting blog. Keep up the great work! I also have a site & blog about low rate car loan
    , please feel free to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a adverse credit mortgage
    site/blog. It pretty much covers adverse credit mortgage
    related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Shop online today. Forget driving to the mall when you can just click the mouse and order from your favorite store. No traffic to deal with

    ReplyDelete
  25. nice blog, I really like what you have done here and look forward to future updates. I have a website you might like

    acupuncture weight loss

    ReplyDelete
  26. great job on the blog, I really like it and look forward to some more awesome postings. I have a website you might like


    weight loss exercise

    ReplyDelete

  27. weight loss supplement 101 Ways to Get In Better Shape and Stay That Way.

    Therapeutic Massage : You might be thinking what does getting a massage do for my health other than to make me feel good.

    Eliminate Stress : Stress is a key contributor to poor health.

    Young at Heart : Regardless of your age, if you start acting too old, you will actually not benefit yourself at all.

    Body Fat : When you think about losing weight, more importantly than weight is the amount of fat you are carrying around.

    Do Not Forget the Teeth : Often the care of teeth and gums is overlooked as potential health risks.

    Be Careful with the Sun : Everyone loves basking in the warm sun, especially if it is lying on a beautiful sandy beach.

    Give your Eyes a Rest : Most jobs in today's society require the use of a computer.

    Breast Exams : Make sure you conduct regular breast examines.

    Make Time for Intimacy : If you are married, be sure to make time for intimacy in your relationship.

    Puffy Eyes : If you battle with puffy eyes or dark circles that make you look worn out, do not feel alone.

    FITNESS : Fitness is just as important as health, and in reality, fitness correlates directly with our health.

    Squats : Squats are excellent for glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

    Get to the Gym : Working out at home is a good option and for some people

    Get Ready to Run : Before any workout, always warm up.

    Resistance : The next time you work out try adding some resistance to your routine.

    Be Realistic : It would be great to be able to jump right into a hard workout, feel great, and see instant results.

    Bowling : Get some exercise by joining a bowling league.

    Fitness and Food : Certain foods provide specific benefits for people who workout.

    Diabetes and Exercise : Aerobic exercise can actually be beneficial for people with diabetes.

    Check your Pulse : As you exercise, it is to your advantage to keep track of your pulse rate.

    weight loss supplement

    ReplyDelete
  28. Always in a rush and I don't know why. The last site I was on was about car loan for people with bad credit which was okay to read. Your's was better.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Shop at your favorite stores 24 hours a day. Why go to the mall when you can shop online and avoid the traffic

    ReplyDelete
  30. I appreciate your blogs content. Gotta run.
    on line car loan

    ReplyDelete

  31. natural weight loss 101 Ways to Get In Better Shape and Stay That Way.

    Therapeutic Massage : You might be thinking what does getting a massage do for my health other than to make me feel good.

    Eliminate Stress : Stress is a key contributor to poor health.

    Young at Heart : Regardless of your age, if you start acting too old, you will actually not benefit yourself at all.

    Body Fat : When you think about losing weight, more importantly than weight is the amount of fat you are carrying around.

    Do Not Forget the Teeth : Often the care of teeth and gums is overlooked as potential health risks.

    Be Careful with the Sun : Everyone loves basking in the warm sun, especially if it is lying on a beautiful sandy beach.

    Give your Eyes a Rest : Most jobs in today's society require the use of a computer.

    Breast Exams : Make sure you conduct regular breast examines.

    Make Time for Intimacy : If you are married, be sure to make time for intimacy in your relationship.

    Puffy Eyes : If you battle with puffy eyes or dark circles that make you look worn out, do not feel alone.

    FITNESS : Fitness is just as important as health, and in reality, fitness correlates directly with our health.

    Squats : Squats are excellent for glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

    Get to the Gym : Working out at home is a good option and for some people

    Get Ready to Run : Before any workout, always warm up.

    Resistance : The next time you work out try adding some resistance to your routine.

    Be Realistic : It would be great to be able to jump right into a hard workout, feel great, and see instant results.

    Bowling : Get some exercise by joining a bowling league.

    Fitness and Food : Certain foods provide specific benefits for people who workout.

    Diabetes and Exercise : Aerobic exercise can actually be beneficial for people with diabetes.

    Check your Pulse : As you exercise, it is to your advantage to keep track of your pulse rate.

    natural weight loss

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi: I was looking for information on Hoodia Gordonii and can upon your site. I'm working on a site about Hoodia Gordonii and looking for any good facts that I might be able to incorporate into my site to really provide an in-depth information source. After reading your Blog, I found it interesting, but, it wasn�t what I was looking for. With that said, I must say I've enjoyed reading it. I bookmarked your blog for the future. Well I�m off again in search for Hoodia Gordonii info. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete