While the American media fretted over the career futures of Brian Williams and Jon Stewart, Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first trip to Egypt in a decade, exploiting America’s increasingly tenuous relationship with its long-time ally. In less than two weeks, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Egypt and its new President, Adbel al-Sisi. America is on the cusp of losing Egypt.
Breitbart News sat down this week with Mostafa el-Gindy, an Egyptian politician who has played a pivotal role in the revolutions against former President Hosni Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood. Gindy said that, under Obama, American foreign policy in the Middle East assumed the Muslim Brotherhood in positions of power. When the Egyptian people threw the Brotherhood out of power, America’s strategy was left in tatters.
“America is losing Egypt,” Gindy said. “We see how you treat Israel, who for 50 years was your closest ally. We see how you treat them and how you are now treating us. Russia and China see it too.”
While the international press noted Putin’s trip to Cairo, the most important symbol of the visit went largely unnoticed. “Look where Egypt took Putin,” Gindy said. “They took him to ‘the tower.’ That was aimed at the Americans.”
The Cairo Tower was built in the 1960s by former Egyptian strongman President Gamal Nasser. The Tower, the tallest structure in Egypt, was partially built with $6 million the US had offered Nasser as a personal gift to curry favor with the leader. Nasser was insulted by the gift, interpreting it as a bribe, and publicly dedicated the funds to erecting the tower.
“The Egyptian people see Sisi and Putin in the Tower and they know what that means,” Gindy said. “Sadat threw the Soviets out of Egypt. Then the Soviets were gone. Now the Russians are back.”
Gindy said the US lost Egypt when President Obama and other American officials called the country’s revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood a ‘coup.’ “A ‘coup’ does not happen with 40 million people in the streets,” Gindy noted. “Coups happen at night, not during the day.”
Gindy reflected that he first came to America soon after President Obama’s landmark speech in Cairo early in his Presidency. “I thought Obama was opening a bridge to Egypt,” Gindy said. “I believed America and Egypt would get closer.”
“Now, Obama calls our revolution a ‘coup?’,” Gindy added. “I don’t understand this guy. One minute he’s good, the next minute he is evil.”
“For 20 years, America has called Hamas terrorists. They are terrorists,” Gindy said. “Now Obama and the Americans say they aren’t terrorists. In one day, Jordan did more damage to ISIS than the Americans have in months.”
Gindy said a reshuffling of power was underway in the Middle East. Russia and China, he says, see the vacuum left by America and are pouring into the region. “Russia is building Egypt a nuclear power plant,” Gindy said. “They are offering us arms and the Emirates [United Arab Emirates] will write the check. Our trade will now be in roubles and Egyptian pounds, not dollars.”
Gindy noted that while Sisi gave Putin a cartoche, an Egyptian hieroglyph denoting royalty, as a gift, Putin presented Sisi with a kalashnikov, the iconic Russian machine gun.
Gindy pointed to an upcoming Egyptian economic conference in March as a critical juncture in relations between Egypt, America and the West. Billions in infrastructure projects and other economic developments will be discussed and finalized in that conference. Gindy said Russia plans to send 900 officials and businessmen. China is expected to send an equal number to the conference. “Where are the Americans?” Gindy asked.
“Sisi has gone to the Egyptian people and in one week they gave him $60 billion to widen the Suez canal,” Gindy add. “Not the World Bank. Not the IMF. The people have given him the money.” Gindy shrugged, “And you call it a ‘coup.”
Gindy said the expansion of the Suez canal will also feature miles of warehouses, industrial parks and commercial development. He said he expects Russia and China to secure most of that development. “There will be Russian and Chinese bases,” Gindy said. “Of course, they won’t call them that. But, they will be bases.”
Towards the end of our visit, Gindy received a phone call. After 15 minutes he hung up. “That was Nasser’s son,” Gindy said, referring to former President Gamal Nasser. “He says everyone is calling him [in reaction to Putin’s visit]. He says ‘My father’s time has come again. The Russians always stood by us.'”
Gindy is returning to Egypt for parliamentary elections this Spring. He is expected to have a major leadership role in the new parliament. Despite the fecklessness of the Obama Administration’s policies, he still believes America and Egypt can be close. “I don’t worry about Egypt,” Gindy said. “God protects Egypt. Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed all sought refuge in Egypt. God protected them. I worry about America.”