Will Mubarak's failing health impact Egypt's future?
Christian Whiton and Col. Cedric Leighton discuss democracy in Egypt
- Duration 7:39
- Date Jun 20, 2012
Christian Whiton and Col. Cedric Leighton discuss democracy in Egypt
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According to a lack Christian let me come to you first on the question and all of us.
Hosni Mubarak's apparently failing health we never know whether we getting the truth from state TV or those who control state TV.
How significant would it be though.
If he would to -- way.
At this point just as we're about to get the final results of the election how does that feed into the volatility.
President I think Mubarak is basically receded from the scene pretty well he's been convicted of of crimes committed enduring his tenure and during the uprising.
He's not someone is looked upon finally by the masses and -- -- it's it's someone mutual at this point I think most egyptians are very focused on the outcome of the election which as you -- is pending who's going to be their president.
And then what role the military plays -- looks like the military may play a significant role.
Especially if they have holes that's always have so far some polls exit polls are the equivalent in Egypt.
That indicates and Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morrissey is one that's not a hard fast number 52 to 48 it's pretty close and could still go either way.
I -- the they -- the election results are gonna get certified we believe.
At some point tomorrow.
But it appears that whatever happens the military is pretty to determined as Christian was just say.
Two -- -- a great deal of control it doesn't quite -- to -- democracy in action as we know democracy.
No that's your Jonathan you're absolutely right and Christian is right to what will happen is a very tip of coal.
A way of handling the transfer of power in the Arab world and I see the armed forces.
Trying to retain as much power as possible -- supreme council this -- as it's known -- the supreme council of the -- forces.
Is in charge of really the day to -- government of Egypt and right now they're the leaders of the transition and they're the ones that I came in had to take away from the I chaos that was supported the Arab Spring I ended at that time the Egyptian people supported -- seemed to support a lot of what the military was doing.
But at this point in time if the armed forces are seemed to take away.
IE be legitimate election from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Then they'll be a lot of trouble and I can see some -- difficult times ahead for the Egyptian military and for the Egyptian people if that is scenario plays out.
Christian you've argued that the military keeping a role in the event of a Muslim Brotherhood victory is no bad thing from our point of view.
I think that's right you know -- worked -- the part of the State Department that was responsible for governance and if you will for spreading democracy to freedom agenda but one thing that was always made clear.
Was that democracy about is about much more than just elections -- about the rule of law.
It's about various pillars that make up civil society.
It's not just -- one election one time which is the real risk with any Islamist you know a lot of people in Washington have tried to convince themselves that the Muslim Brotherhood is coming from a cold they're no longer islamists like the Iran and regime more like al-Qaeda.
But I don't see that there's a lot of proof of that especially if you look at what they're saying an Arabic.
At their rallies it's actually pretty scary stuff that looks like you -- the same old Islamist agenda.
So what would serve US interest and -- frankly might serve Egypt's interest in the long run may in this case to be a very strong military that follows a Turkish model.
The model the Turkey had during the Cold War -- tacitly.
Military have been -- and authority to come in.
And basically push aside some elements of civilian rule when things got too far out of hand when the pendulum swung too far to the islamists or to the Communists in that case.
That may be a better scenario.
What's not necessarily democratic is the Muslim Brotherhood winning once and using democracy to kill democracy.
That kernel well what's your view on the -- I mean it didn't democracy is messy we don't always get the results we like as we saw -- Hamas that taking control in Gaza.
And Democrat and elections that if you're really fast for us to say well.
Laura as is the Muslim Brotherhood let's let the military chase comes usually keep control how we -- it seems to me that we can't say.
Let's have democracy on the one hand and well let's have democratic results that we like on the -- Well it's certainly true we have to be very careful that we're not seeing being seen as duplicitous or is talking out of both sides of her mouth.
When it comes to the Arab street and unfortunately.
Arab governments and to the Arab population kind of look at the US in that way.
But I do agree with their Christian in one respect and that is this.
That tell you -- it may not necessarily be bad if the military retains a degree of control over Egyptian politics from our standpoint.
But we cannot dictate that to them we have to wait and see how it plays out -- -- of course we hope that.
You as the -- Realize what the election results -- our.
That they will accommodate themselves the Egyptian people and the Egyptian power players of various stripes we'll accommodate themselves to that result and -- that accommodation has to include.
The armed forces to an extent.
Christian do we see any.
Muslim Brotherhood candidate -- you'll see who may well be the next president of Egypt.
Is at a real radical.
And if we don't see those -- should we be worried anyway.
We should there are signs and we should be worried you know there you have to look closely but.
Who's sitting on the podium on the dais at the speech -- a political rally I believe just last month where the master -- ceremonies was singing a song.
You know making sure the Jews never get any sleep -- about creating a united Arab states.
With its capital in Jerusalem and you know people in Washington say oh Leo that's just them being eccentric but.
You know this is then this is not a new story you have people saying soothing comforting things in English in the western press and then if you look at what they're saying to their own people in Arabic it's a lot scarier.
May need the Muslim Brotherhood -- that people have its number that I have people here are concerned about it people across the west investors you name it tourist people who keep Egypt's economy going.
So they've been saying some soothing things but and these people have wanted power for a long time they stuck with politics even a little it was very dangerous to do so in Mubarak's Egypt.
And I think they're gonna want some of the goals that they've been striving for.
For these past several decades.
-- out broad question if you don't mind but why would a Muslim Brotherhood victory.
I mean for the region and Walt would it mean falling Egypt's relations with the NI.
Well it depends if it be worse scenarios play out and if the gentleman who was talking while Morse who was sitting on the on the podium -- Christian described IE it actually did you know takes power or has a key role in the government.
Then who what we have is a very bad scenario we're -- the use of potential that the peace treaty with Israel would be abrogated.
You have a situation -- -- the military relationship between the United States and Egypt would be called into question.
And if that happens.
-- then we have been very very difficult time at least in that portion of the Arab world.
The key thing about Egypt is that it's really the cultural center -- one of the main cultural centers of the Arab world.
Large portion of Arab television comes from Cairo.
Very a lot of things in literature.
The all of these types of things play a role in net influencing not only Egypt but also influencing the broader Arab thought process.
And if we lose that leverage if we lose our ability to have contact -- that's significant portion of the Arab population.
Then there'll be some really difficult times especially as we try to contain Iran and as we try to work through the Syrian.