Trump’s favorite dictator

Asem Abdelfattah

Opinion Editor

Last week, President Donald Trump referred to Egyptian President, Abdelfattah Elsisi, as his “favorite dictator” at the G7 Summit in France, according to the Wall Street Journal who first reported the news.

As an Egyptian, I found Trump’s fondness of Elsisi to be callous support of tyranny. It is ironic, nay, a shame, that a leader of the free world has a favorite dictator at all; but this time it might be just a little worse.

President Elsisi’s regime is in hot water after an Egyptian billionaire and former government contractor, Mohammad Ali, took to social media to expose the gross inefficiency, blatant corruption and graft he was part of for 15 years. Ali’s videos were viewed by millions in Egypt reviving a wave of courage to stand up to Elsisi.

In fact, just hours after this column is published, Egypt is set to see tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people take to the streets calling for Elsisi’s departure. We know he won’t go without a fight, but Egyptians have had enough.

Unfortunately, these videos were only the straw the broke the camel’s back. Social, economic, and political injustice is the name of the game for Elsisi’s regime. Tens of thousands of Egyptians are in jail or exiled for political reasons. Hundreds have been killed for protesting in the streets. Inflation is skyrocketing. Foreign policy is pathetic. National land is being handed off for nothing. Soldiers are dying on the border. Presidential candidates vanish. This is just scratching the surface. Basically, Elsisi is the definition of a tyrant, a cheap one at that.

Quality of life for Egyptians is plummeting, and there is no hope for any improvement as long as the Elsisi regime is in power. So why does someone like President Trump support Abdelfattah Elsisi?

Actually, Elsisi is not just popular with Trump.He is popular with other world leaders,  especially in the Middle East. The reason is he is one of the most cooperative presidents to have led Egypt in modern history. World leaders want someone they can buy from and work with above anything else.

Elsis’s regime cut many business deals with world governments and multinational corporations that benefit everyone involved except the Egyptian people. The system and culture he fosters creates massive opportunities for corruption at levels that are unprecedented. So, of course he is supported.

President Trump needs to reevaluate his choice of favorite dictator to support. If he ever asks me, I would say not support a dictator at all, but that’s just my two cents.

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