Egyptian nationalism explodes onto international TV on 30th June 2013 and once again the world is running for their guns. What is it about Egyptian nationalism that worries the US and it’s European counterparts? I don’t know, I am just asking the question. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – “nationalism” is generally used to describe two phenomena:
- (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity, and
- (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination.
30 June 2013 is the latest date nationalism has raised it’s head in Egypt, the day when, by any standards, an unprecedented number of Egyptian citizens took to the streets in every city, town and village to demand the ousting of President Morsi and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood. They were demanding the return of their country and, in the process, rediscovered their national identity and pride – a glorious thing to see! Revolution for the second time in two and a half years was the action they took to achieve self-determination.
They were not overthrowing a foreign invader or an international occupying force, they were taking their country back from incompetent Egyptian hands – so why is the United States of America, followed silently by the Europeans, through it’s many media lapdogs launching a concerted campaign against the Egyptian people? Why is it standing by the Muslim Brotherhood, who are currently waging violence throughout Egypt? If the US was so worried about inclusiveness in Egypt why did it not intervene earlier and forestall all this? If the US had been able to persuade or force Morsi to accommodate the demands of the Opposition and the Egyptian people prior to 30 June we might not be where we are today. Yet now they want to stick their finger in the pie and tell the Egyptians they have to include violent people in the democratic process – a process those people neither understand or want.
Please don’t anyone speak about that all important aid that comes to the Egyptian military from the US because that is just a joke. The US gives cash to the Egyptian military who the turn around and give it right back to American arms dealers and manufacturers thereby creating employment in the US.
We can understand the aims of Al Jazeera in Doha by blatantly mis-representing the news as they are owned by Qatar who were striving so hard to keep the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt – but the United States? That is something nobody has given a rational explanation for that I have heard to date.
Over the last week or so we have been told that American marines were standing by in Europe to land in Egypt “to protect American citizens. Al Jazeera poses the question “is it time for the international community to intervene? Today there is a news report that 2 US Navy ships in the Red Sea move closer to Egypt ‘just in case’. The NY Times blames the events in Egypt since 30th June on a Christian businessman and a female lawyer claiming that suddenly everything is alright in Egypt because the events of the last year happened because the whole nation plotted to sabotage the Muslim Brotherhood rule – what the hell is all that garbage?
But it brings to mind for me a previous time when the Egyptians found their nationalism and pride. I am not a historian so my facts may not be exact but the gist of the story is similar to what is happening today. Today it is the pen, the TV, the newspapers and social media that are taking the place of the broken promises and bombs of 1955/57. During those years the promises of ‘help’ with loans to finance the building of the Aswan High Dam by Britain and the US which came to nothing. The subsequent involvement of Russia in exchange for wheat and cotton as well as cash. Then Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal – effectively saying to the world “We will manage our own affairs, thank you very much!” Israel seized the opportunity to invade Egypt while Britain and France bombed Cairo and Port Said. Nasser and Egypt held firm – they kept the Suez Canal AND built their High Dam.
Do you know what the problem is? Do you know why the US seems to be running scared of Egyptians having a true democracy? Have you the faintest idea why the media are bent on discrediting the events of the last week? Why are they insisting that the Army is running the country when it is civilians who are doing so – eminent and educated people. Do they believe, as they have done in so many other countries where they have meddled, that it is easier for them to ‘control’ a militant extremist government in a foreign country? When has that ever worked out for them?
I don’t know, I am a foreigner in Egypt, baffled by what I read and see on the TV every day. I’m just asking the questions. But I do have a firm belief that the days of secrets are over; the days of meddling in other countries to the detriment of the citizens at large is over; I believe Egypt will take it’s place among the nations of the world – with nationalistic pride, just like Ireland has!