The Egyptian Angel of Darkness passes away

I knew that the Obama administration was not fully grasping what the then-emerging Egyptian revolution was about when it tried to position Omar Suleiman as a palatable successor to Hosni Mubarak.  Suleiman was, in a man, everything that was profoundly, pathologically wrong with the Mubarak regime: he was the ruthlessly professional spy chief, a willing partner to the American rendition program, and the man who had ordered the torture of more Egyptians than any other in its modern history.  Yes, the Israelis liked him: this does not speak in their favor, or necessarily in his.  The CIA loved him: make of that what you will.  Now Suleiman is dead and the vast network of dark and sinister ties he once controlled will shrivel in his absence.  Still, he commands the respect of people who, by rights, ought to denounce him.

“I think a lot of secrets will die with him,” said Nabil Fahmy, the former Egyptian ambassador to the United States. “He had a unique ability of being in a very sensitive, often controversial position as head of intelligence but at the same time preserving the respect of people toward him. He was a professional.”

Or, as my former publisher at the Cairo Times puts it:

“He is entitled to have a military funeral by law and I respect that, but I don’t think that he deserves it,” said Hisham Kassem, a publisher and political analyst. “This is a man who basically spent 18 years making sure Egypt does not move to the road of democracy.”

That is putting it gently.  My feeling is that one must fear the Muslim Brotherhood quite a lot to mourn the passing of Omar Suleiman, who spent his career attempting to cut down the MB and surely goes to his grave regretting the turn of events that has brought an MB figure to the presidency of Egypt.  I distrust the MB, but not that much.

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Is Omar Suleiman really dead?  Or is this another ruse, like the news reports last month that Mubarak was ‘clinically dead’ and then miraculously undead?  Well, he died in an American hospital and had no prison to escape so it is likely that the Angel of Darkness is truly gone.

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