In his Feb. 24 piece, Paul Hanna asks his readers and the people of Egypt to remember the good times under the Mubarak dictatorship. Sure, 30 years of repression of the rights of an entire nation to self-determination and civil autonomy is kind of bad, but what about the regional stability?
On top of that, surely the fact that he fired his cabinet and appointed a new prime minister (who, it is worth noting, committed his own share of atrocities in the name of stability) in the face of his failure to put down the popular rebellion is something to be considered before casting judgment, right?
This same, tired argument is trotted out every time a cruel, self-serving oligarch is deposed. Just as we were asked to forgive Pinochet for his black-bagging, massacres, and exploitation of the Chilean people because the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country went up near the end of his reign, Hanna asks us to forgive because Hosni Mubarak helped the United States in its attempt to establish hegemony over oil and mineral rights in the region.
It is Hanna who should remember that people have suffered and died as a result of this man and his policies.
The American justice system does not consider the prior good deeds of a murderer when the time comes for conviction, nor how such an offender comes into custody.
If we are to do as apologists like Hanna ask, and remember the wonderful stability that Mubarak offered, let us also remember the impoverishment, torture and extra-legal killings that paid for this vaunted stability, as well as the other crimes that he conveniently neglected to mention outside of a single, hedging paragraph.
Let us also not forget that the ends rarely justify the means, and that the Mubarak regime is no exception to that maxim.
Editor’s note: In Hanna’s commentary, he never asked readers to forgive Mubarak.