Outraged by the bloody repression of Qadhaffi but traumatized by the memory of the war in Iraq, Egyptian public opinion is very divided.
A shrug, a sigh. Mohammed Sallam sweeps astonished Parisians comments , with a touch of arrogance, seeing the rebels in the spring of Tahrir Square, Cairo, remain deaf to the plight of their brothers in Libya. "We feel sad for Libya" admits this young professor at American University in Cairo,"but we have in mind other concerns, other emergencies, a few weeks after gaining our freedom, just days after the vote for the revision of our constitution".
The Egyptians, indeed, have many other topics of conversation lately. And for the first time in sixty years, they have especially the right to talk out loud in public. "The democratic process is fragile, it will take time. We must remain vigilant until the parliamentary elections", justifies the professor. Here, everyone is absorbed by the magnitude of the task : that's all it takes to rebuild the country, its institutions, its economy, its social fabric.
A shrug, a sigh. The same gestures too easy to dismiss the irony that wells behind the question that arises casually on the other side of the Mediterranean: Why the Egyptian army, the most powerful in the region, did not participate in the rescue of Benghazi insurgents to oust out of Tripoli an older and crazier dictator than the one of Egypt? "Why should we intervene militarily?" asked the journalist Tareq Shoala. "This is an internal matter to Libya. The Egyptian army has facilitated the passage of humanitarian convoys to the eastern part of Libya. It allows volunteers to cross the Egyptian border, it assumed the care of wounded Libyan .... "
But busy with internal security and democratic transition, buffeted by the turmoil among itself between guarantors of the revolution and nostalgia for the regime, the Egyptian army has other tanks to fry.
Oil and weapons The largest Arab nation despite knowing that in the area, all eyes turn toward her with eyes of Chimene, she begins to think that democracy has to be earned. That its neighbors should be able to conquer only what they themselves and the Tunisians have paid with their blood. This does not prevent the Egyptians to support with all their hearts the Arab peoples who want to hunt their tyrants. Tareq Mostafa participated in the revolution in Tahrir from January 25. "Qadhaffi is crazy!" Commented that student in political science. "Since he returned the weapons against his people, I became friendly international military intervention. But the goal must be clear: there is no question that foreign forces remain in Libya. Once Qadhaffi is gone, foreign forces have to leave too. "
International intervention in Libya? Neither for nor against, quite the contrary ... outraged by the brutal repression of Qadhaffi but traumatized by the "crusade" in Iraq led by the West, the Egyptians are divided. "I am for the air strikes", says Sherif, a 45 years old n accountant. "But I am opposed to a single foreign soldier hits the ground in Libya. For there, we would exceed the limit between the fact of saving civilians and occupying a country. I do not see another Iraq ".
The opinion is wait. And dubious about the intentions of major powers. For Abdullah, a 41 years olf worker, things are clear: "The West have destroyed Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein to get their hands on its oil. Now they are trying to seize Libyan oil. And destabilize the Arab world to strengthen Israel. "
"Why the United States and Europe nevr intervened militarily to save the Palestinians from Israeli massacres? adds Radwan, 29 yeras old. We have to end this policy of double standards. "
This article was written for the french magazine Marianne