Saudis Upset Egypt Plans to Prosecute Mubarak
This according to the New York Times:
The charges — brought by prosecutors Mr. Mubarak had appointed — included hints that former subordinates might testify against him, as onetime allies and government insiders turn on one another.
A Cairo criminal court is expected to set a trial date within days, and the Egyptian people could soon see the leader whose iron fist ruled them for nearly three decades seated in the steel cage that serves as a docket in Egyptian courtrooms.
Alarmed by the calls for Mr. Mubarak’s prosecution, the Saudi royal family has for weeks urged Egypt’s current military rulers to avoid harsh treatment, fearing that it could intensify unrest in the region, according to Saudi officials and a Western diplomat. Some argue that watching Mr. Mubarak endure the humiliation of a criminal trial and potential conviction could harden the resolve of embattled leaders like Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to hang on to power at any cost.
I remember the good old days, when only international prosecutions undermined peace by providing dictators with an excuse to fight to the death. Now it’s any attempt to hold dictators accountable for their actions. (Look forward, not backward!) Next thing you know, people will be arguing that we should provide dictators with their own islands, hefty bank accounts, and the latest designer clothing. (Not to mention the de rigeur cookies and smiley faces.) Because if a dictator can’t be certain that he will enjoy his retirement, what reason will he have not to “hang on to power at any cost”?