HUGO CHAVEZ vs. HOSNI MUBARAK
· Age: 56
· Roman Catholic
· President (dictator) of Venezuela since 1999
· Spent 17 years in the military
· Critic of capitalism
· Nationalized main telephone company and steel companies
· Critic of U.S. foreign policy
· Called George W. Bush ‘the devil’
· Visited Saddam Hussein in 2000
· Manipulated elections so he ran unopposed
· Accused of human rights violations
· Shut down non-government-controlled TV and radio stations
· Has aligned Venezuela with U.S. enemies, including Iran and Syria
· Gets support for his nuclear program from Russia
· Trade between Venezuela and the United States decreased by more than half in the first semester of this year (2009)
OBAMA GREETS CHAVEZ WITH LAUGHS AND SLAPS ON THE BACK!
(Republican Sen. John Ensign (R) of Nevada, appearing on CNN the following Sunday, said it was "irresponsible" for Obama to be seen "laughing and joking" with the Venezuelan president.)
· Age: 82
· Sunni Islam
· President ( dictator) of Egypt since 1981, following assassination of Anwas Sadat
· Was career Air Force before entering politics
· Has supported the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty signed by Sadat
· Allied Egypt with the west in the 1991 Gulf War (when the US was hunting for a military alliance to force Iraq out of Kuwait, Egypt's president joined without hesitation and committed 35,000 Egyptian troops)
· Does not support America’s immediate withdrawal from Iraq
· Shuts down internet during uprising
· In May of 2009, the United States and Egypt signed a Plan for a Strategic Partnership, with the goal of fostering increased bilateral economic cooperation, especially in regards to trade. Already, the United States and Egypt share a robust trading relationship; with $8.4 billion in goods being exchanged in 2008
· Mubarak has condemned the use of violence by extremist groups.
· His friendships with Western leaders, and his recognition of Israel and its right to exist have been dangerous for him, as they were for Anwar Sadat, and have cost him political and popular support.
· Nine out of ten women in Egypt suffer the mutilation called female circumcision. Mubarak has twice outlawed this practice, without success - the imams say it part of the islamic faith.
OBAMA URGES MUBARAK TO STEP DOWN – this represents the wholesale and opportunistic abandonment of one of the West’s key allies in the Middle-east.
[NOTE: The general view in the Middle East seems to be that the US is selling out its allies and interfering in Egypt’s affairs in pursuit of its own agenda. Supporters of the Islamic Brotherhood protesting in London make clear what history makes obvious - that democracy and sharia are incompatible. The Islamic Brotherhood wants democracy only long enough to implement Islamic law.]