Paul Jay of The Real News Network talks with Egyptian Activist Mohammed Ezzeldin, a graduate of Cairo University (B.A. in political science). Ezzeldin is studying for his master’s degree in history at Georgetown University. This video was released by The Real News on 29 January 2011. The text below the video is an edited partial transcript of the interview.
Real News Network – January 29, 2011
The Egyptian Army And The Uprising
Mohammed Ezzeldin: The Egyptian people trust the army over the police,
but Mubarak is still commander-in-chief
Paul Jay: Yeah, we think it’s $1.3 billion of American aid, although do we know if that’s all goes to the military? Or does some of that go to the police?
Mohammed Ezzeldin: Most of them go to the military, I guess. But, you know, the budget of the military and the budget of the police are not discussed, and they are not publicly published or even discussed in the Parliament. So I don’t have clear information about it. But what I’m sure about: that these bilateral talks actually are going to ensure one thing that the United States and the Pentagon and the White House, of course, are interested in, which is the security of Israel. The indecisive situations and positions taken by Hillary Clinton and President Obama in the last two days actually shows one thing, one clear thing, to be frank: that the United States is not interested in any democracy or grassroots democracy or program of democracy in Egypt. Their main concern is the security of Israel — and other things, but this is their main concern, okay?
Paul Jay: The Egyptian army, given that it gets $1.3 billion a year — that’s a lot of money and it buys you a lot of generals — the Pentagon must have a lot of influence inside the Egyptian army.
Mohammed Ezzeldin: I don’t know, but maybe. We can expect a lot of things. But what actually was clear today from Mubarak’s speech: he’s completely consolidated and supported by the army.
Paul Jay: He didn’t look like someone afraid that he might have to get on a plane.
Mohammed Ezzeldin: Yeah, he was completely confident and completely unaffected and disconnected from reality. What happened actually made many people feel in the streets that the army . . . might play a role in suppressing Egypt’s road to democratization.
Paul Jay: And if they do that, it’s hard to believe they would do that without some kind of green light from the Pentagon here in Washington.
Mohammed Ezzeldin: I guess so. I believe so.