|Though one is cleary enough.|
CAIRO — In the days before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived here on Saturday, becoming the highest-ranking American official to meet with Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president, she planned to deliver a forceful public speech about democracy.
But with the new president still struggling to wrest power from Egypt’s top generals, there were too many questions, too many pitfalls and too little new for Mrs. Clinton to offer, said several people briefed on the process. After rejecting at least three different drafts, the administration called off the speech days before its scheduled delivery, these people said.
She said she would work with Congress and the Egyptian government on the details of delivering a $1 billion aid package that President Obama promised a year ago and that Egypt desperately needs. [Fatboy: The Congressional Budget Office said that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014. The US also desperately needs an aid package. The US government borrows $1 billion from China to provide aid to Egypt?]
But she alluded only lightly to the military’s recent grab for power, or its failure to deliver on its promise hand power to civilians by July 1.
Officials say that the generals have repeatedly ignored American pressure, including the threat that the United States might end its $1.5 billion a year in economic assistance to Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military aid.
She said she planned to meet Sunday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
On Friday, thousands took to the streets of Cairo to demonstrate for the demands of the revolution and against the US-backed counter-revolution in Egypt. The military-installed regime of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf passed a law on Wednesday banning all protests and demonstrations, and punishes violations against the legislation with draconian penalties.
The attempt of the Egyptian bourgeoisie to stabilise the economy through the use of force and thereby reassure foreign investors has the full support of governments in Europe and the US.
Ahmed, an unemployed journalist interviewed by the WSWS in Tahrir Square, said, “At least by the time Sharaf and the military moved to clear Tahrir Square, it was obvious they are controlled by the old forces. The military leadership, in particular, still stands for the old Mubarak dictatorship. I especially hate Tantawi. He’s an old friend of Mubarak and a close ally of the US”.
Ahmed said that the hypocrisy of the US’s role in events knew no bounds: “Hillary Clinton now tears around Tahrir Square, exhorting the virtues of democracy! I remember very well the weapons and the tear gas ‘made in the US’ that were used against us”.
Nothing Egypt's military council has done in its past suggests it has the capacity or inclination to introduce speedy and radical change. Guaranteed its $1.3bn (£812m) annual grant from the US — a dividend from the Camp David peace accord with Israel – it has gained the reputation as a hidebound institution with little appetite for reform.
The frustration of the military's American benefactors shines through in leaked US cables, where the criticism focuses mostly on the man at the top, 75-year-old Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi.
In March 2008 cable , the US ambassador to Cairo, Francis Ricciardone, described Tantawi as "aged and change-resistant".
Tantawi and [Hosni] Mubarak are focused on regime stability and maintaining the status quo through the end of their time. They simply do not have the energy, inclination or world view to do anything differently," it reads