Hosni Mubarak, the president of Egypt, was asked at a mini-summit of Arab governments (Syria, Libya, Egypt and the head of the Muslim League) whether their deliberations could avert the looming war in Iraq. “We would make ourselves a laughing stock if we thought we could postpone a war . . . “There is the (US) Congress and administration, a (UN) Security Council, a British parliament, they are the ones that can bring forward a war, wage war or postpone it . . .” He also admitted that Saddam Hussein could avert it by cooperating with weapons inspectors.
For the heir of the Young Officers’ coup of 1952 to admit the complete powerlessness of Arab governments in relation to a war in the Arab world must have been humiliating and tragic for Mubarak.