Is Pursuit of Stability Wasting Egypt's Moment?

Why was former Ambassador Frank Wisner sent to Egypt to talk to President Mubarak last week rather than our current ambassador? Prof. Vijay Prashad smells a rat...

Pulling himself away from the Georgetown cocktail parties and the Langley Power-point briefings, Wisner finds his way to the Heliopolis cocktail parties and to the hushed conferences in Kasr al-Ittihadiya. Mubarak (age 82) greets Wisner (age 72), as these elders confer on the way forward for a country whose majority is under thirty.

The Republicans have their own ghouls, people like James Baker, who are plucked out for tasks that require the greatest delicacy. They are like diplomatic hit-men, who are not sown up by too much belief in the values of democracy and freedom, but to the imperatives of "stability" and Empire. The Democratic bench is lighter now, as the immense bulk of Richard Holbrooke has departed for other diplomatic assignments... Wisner comes out of the same nest as Holbrooke. He is the Democrat's version of James Baker, but without the pretend gravity of the Texan.

We will all be thankful for the nasty pursuit of stability if Egypt transitions toward legitimate democracy without turmoil - or Islamic Fundamentalism - taking hold.

Without the CIA and the muscle of the US government, it is unlikely that the Subic Bay power station deal or the Dabhol deal would have gone to Enron. Here Wisner followed James Baker, who was hired by Enron to help it gain access to the Shuaiba power plant in Kuwait. Nor is he different from Holbrooke, who was in the upper circle of Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Perseus and the American International Group.