Egypt's loans from the IMF have always been looked at by the United States as a way to apply leverage over a post-Mubarak Egypt to continue Mubarak's policies and to deny a political role to potentially anti-Zionist factions in Egyptian politics such as the Muslim Brotherhood. I've never worried about these loans because they could only have a short-term effect, but once an accountable government takes hold in Egypt I've been completely confident that it would handle its relation with Israel's supporters much more firmly and deftly than Mubarak did. IMF loans or no.
Egypt has dropped plans to seek loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Finance Minister Samir Radwan has said.But I'm surprised and pleased to see Egypt's military council pre-emptively turning down these loans and any conditions the US would like to sneak in on the side for accepting them. What this says it that it is not just me, and it is not just the Muslim Brotherhood who do not believe Mubarak's relationship with Israel's supporters was healthy. There is now clearly a voice on the military council itself that already, even before elections, disagrees with the direction Mubarak was leading the country.
The move comes after the planned deficit in the 2011-12 budget was revised down from 11% to 8.6% of GDP, Mr Radwan told Reuters news agency.
An adviser told AFP news agency the decision had been partly a response to the "pressure of public opinion".
I've said before that I have no expectations of Egypt's military council. It is not accountable to the people of Egypt and it consists of figures selected by the Mubarak regime. An elected parliament, when it comes will not have those shortcomings and will mark the beginning of independent Egyptian policy.
I'm pleasantly surprised to see indications that the members of Egypt's military council are acting like, first and foremost, Egyptians. Even without the threat of losing re-election they are at least making small steps in the direction of independence from the US/Zionist colonial structure.
At times like this I become optimistic about Egypt's future.