Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cablegate And Egypt : Talking To Liz

Wikileaks has released a new batch of cables today including 11 cables originating from the U.S embassy in Cairo dating back to the Bush administration in 2005. The star of cables this time is Gamal Mubarak no doubt. As they are time consuming , I have decided to publish one by one cable. It will be much easier to discuss too.
Liz Cheney in Amman May 2005
The first cable was sent on October 11th, 2010 from the U.S embassy in Cairo and it is actually an extract from the original cable. The confidential cable was summarizing the meeting between Elizabeth Cheney and Gamal Mubarak on September 28 in Cairo. Gamal Mubarak was identified as the head of the NDP policies committee while Liz Cheney was the assistant secretary of State for near Eastern affairs. Liz Cheney was among the team that pushed for democratic reforms in the Arab world especially Egypt. In that meeting following the Presidential elections by couple of weeks and preceding the parliamentary elections  in 2005 , Gamal Mubarak reviewed with Liz Cheney his father’s campaign and the preparation of the coming parliamentary elections. Cheney and her delegation met with Mubarak to discuss the democratic political reforms.
Gamal opened the meeting with questions about Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. PDAS Cheney updated Gamal on cleanup and recovery efforts and thanked him for GOE relief supplies. The Charge noted that Washington had been gratified by the speed of the GOE airlift to supply water, blankets, and other items.
I did not know that the government of Egypt had sent an aid to the U.S after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Turning to the September 7 presidential election, Gamal noted that he and his NDP colleagues had been working on the campaign since the end of June, when President Mubarak had indicated that "he wanted a proper campaign team." Gamal said the team, which included Ahmad Ezz and Mohammad Kamal, used focus groups and polling to fine tune the President's message. After the campaign team devised a "credible program," which the NDP "simplified" to address focus group concerns, the party used the campaign period (August 17-September 3) to reach out to voters.
So that proper campaign team is Ahmed Ezz and Mohamed Kamal !! Gamal explained in boring details about the presidential elections campaign of his father. Cheney and other American guests pressed the need of international observers along with other areas that could be improved in the future. Gamal had to fire back blaming the judges for the low turnout.
The PDAS noted the USG's continuing encouragement of the GOE to invite international observers, and pressed Gamal to identify areas that he though could be improved in future elections. Gamal described Egypt's outdated and incoherent voter lists as "not a huge issue," but noted that cleaning them up would be a long-term project. He blamed the low turnout of the presidential election (about 7 million voters or 23 percent) on overzealous judges supervising the September 7 ballot who had, allegedly, refused to allow more than one voter at a time into polling stations, and thereby diminished turnout. "We were aiming for at least nine million voters, but many people went home without voting because of the queues," Gamal said.
Ok last parliamentary elections held from couple of weeks ago had no overzealous judges supervising who allow one voter at time and yet the turnout did not exceed 10% according to NGOs
Gamal termed the controversy over domestic observers on election day as "a huge mess," and noted that the party had tried to play a constructive role on this issue, behind the scenes, despite the obstructionism of the Presidential Election Commission and some of the judges.
Kill the judges !! Gamal Mubarak then moved to his plans for the parliamentary elections which Gamal believed that it was hard than the presidential elections.
Gamal said that a central difference with the presidential campaign would be that campaigning for the 444 parliamentary races "would be the party's effort, not the President's."
Gamal then answered the questions of his guests on how the NDP would choose his candidates recognizing the failure of the party to choose its candidates in the past.
Gamal noted that the party's selection process hadn't worked in the past, since it permitted candidates with deep pockets to win the party endorsement even if they were not able to win at the polls.
Gamal Mubarak claimed that that was in the past , I hate to disappoint you but this is still how the NDP chooses its candidates based on their deep pockets.
Gamal said that the parliamentary elections would be "both messier and easier" than the presidential election. The PDAS pressed Gamal to suggest steps that the GOE could take in the next few weeks to demonstrate its commitment to political reform. In response to the PDAS's inquiry about the GOE utilizing transparent ballot boxes in place of the existing wooden boxes, Gamal described them as "cosmetic." For Egypt, he said, the key is judicial supervision.
Well to be honest now we got the transparent glass wooden ballot boxes regardless of how Gamal Mubarak described them !!
Improving the available information about the polling station locations and access was Gamal's highest priority. "If I was in charge," he said, "this is what I'd do."

“If I was in charge , this is what I ‘d do” interesting , first of all I think that he was/is in charge , second of all “most important” this man thinks that he is better than his father and he is waiting for the day to rule. This reminds with he said after 3 years later in his meeting with that congressional delegation in Sharm El-Sheikh about Basher Al Assad , may be he was not speaking truly about Basher but rather about himself considering the fact that he is following Al Assad’s steps !!

Gamal was asked about after the elections and what if the opposition failed  in securing the 5%  of the seats in the parliament that would enable it to run for the presidential election according to article no.76.
Might the GOE revise Article 76 again, the PDAS asked, if an opposition party failed to get the required five percent? Gamal replied that talk of additional modification of Article 76 was premature: "the ink is not yet dry," he said.
So if the ink is not yet dry why the NDPians remind us that there will be no modification to that bloody unique of its kind article day and night !!??For the record the opposition failed in scoring 5% of the seats in the parliament this year.
I hope that Gamal Mubarak remembers his words to Liz , already whether he likes or not there will be a modification to that bloody article in the coming area because honestly it will be an insult to his father to run against Mohamed Abdel Aal , who should be serving time in jail not to be seated in the Egyptian parliament !!
He also argued that the special candidacy rules in 2005, to encourage multiple presidential candidates, could not be extended in future elections. The somewhat less restrictive rules for 2005 had been necessary, he said, as an incentive to the parties to "get their acts together." In the long term, however, encouragement of fringe candidates who do not have significant parliamentary representation would be a recipe for "chaos."
Well what you know now we have not got real opposition and we are entering in to a real political chaos thanks to his team and his vision !!
The following part deal with the old rumors about that Mubarak would appoint a vice president. Not only Gamal Mubarak claimed ignorance but he also claimed to the arguments that support having a VP and opposite arguments that we should amend the constitution to make having a VP unnecessary !! You feel that the constitution is like their own magazine in the NDP , they can add and remove from it whatever they want.
The PDAS sought Gamal's views on rumors that the President plans to appoint a vice president. Gamal professed ignorance on the subject. Should the President appoint a VP, the PDAS asked. Gamal paused for a moment then said some people argue the President should name a Vice President, while others say that the new amendment to the Constitution makes a vice president unnecessary. Gamal said, "I listen to both arguments."
Now I have got one question which probably if you are Egyptian , you will be asking too , if Gamal Mubarak and his NDP are so much against international observers as an attack on our sovereignty , in the elections then why on earth and heavens he gave Liz Cheney that detailed report about our elections in that humiliating way !!??
The last part was talking about the reception Gamal Mubarak held to entertain foreign guests in the NDP circus and it was attended by many ambassadors including the Iranian ambassador. The man from Tehran was not the only interesting thing  that caught the American diplomats in the NDP cocktail.
Party old-guard figures Kemal al-Shazli and Safwat Sherif stood together off to the side while Gamal was clearly the center of the show. Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Maghrabi, told the PDAS that members of the new guard received loud and prolonged applause whenever they took the podium at the party congress. The reception for old guard figures, by contrast, was muted and polite. Judging from this, Maghrabi said, "I don,t think the old guard will be with us much longer."
People suspect that Maghrabi will lose his position because of that statement , my dear ones Maghrabi will lose his position either ways in the coming reshuffle without that cable I wonder if Liz Cheney knows about the history of Sherif in 1960s.
Of course I do not get bored from asking why did Gamal Mubarak meet with Liz Cheney in the first place considering the fact that officially he is none other the head of the policies committee in the ruling party NDP !!?? That meeting is more insulting to our sovereignty  and our national security than having international observers and independent observers !!


  1. Insult to our sovereignty and our national security?
    What do you expect? since 1967 such things are only an image that our government will use to deflect some obscure problem with nothing of real value....
    About national security, our defenses are at max a sophisticated common border control, with no strategic value whatsoever.
    And about sovereignty... and in the cablegate new style:
    "The AmCham has more influence at the WH and USC than the MoD and MFA combined..."
    (sorry for the style, to much reading USDS terminology on wikileaks although its getting to me !)

  2. to the earlier comment..I was struck by identifying "1967" as a milestone demarkation point! before 1967 things were "hunky dori"???..another Hykal impersonater..Back to the point at hand..I would argue that the Sadat period saw an example of walking the fine line .. engaging the key players, earning the respect of the whole world (Americans included) and achieving enormous benefits to our national security. Mostafa


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