The myth of the Egyptian revolution’s US- and Israel-friendliness

You’ve all read in Western – I use this term as a shorthand for « European and North American » – mainstream media how nice the Egyptian revolution was as neither the US nor Israel were at its core. This has always made me laugh – pretending that the popular protest movement would somehow be positively inclined – or indifferent – towards the US and Israel – well, you’d have never to have spoken to a protester to believe that. The youth movement that triggered the Egyptian revolution has its roots in the protest movement against Operation Defensive Shield and the Jenin bloodbath in 2002 as well as the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 – when students, islamists, leftists and liberals coalesced in grassroots protests.

Well, I don’t really know how these talking heads are going to try to gloss over this:

Revolution Youth Coalition refuses to meet Clinton

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Mar 2011
The January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition has announced it refuses to meet Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, during her visit to Egypt. The Coalition stated that the US administration was a vital supporter and ally of the ousted Mubarak regime.

The coalition, made up of six youth groups, said it did not welcome Clinton’s visit to Egypt and demanded that the US administration make a formal apology to Egypt’s people for its foreign policy towards the country in the past decades. They added that “the Egyptian people are the masters of their own land and destiny and will only accept equal relations of friendship and respect between the people of Egypt and the people of America.”   

The coalition’s declaration added that “the US administration took Egypt’s revolution lightly and supported the old regime while Egyptian blood was being spilled.” It also condemned past American policies towards Egypt and demanded that they be reformulated to achieve a balance between the interests of the Egyptian and American people. 

Clinton’s tour of the Middle East, which starts today in Egypt before taking her to Tunis, is the first cabinet-level visit to the region by the Obama administration since the revolutions in both countries.

And it takes an Egyptian newspaper to notice the unescapable:

Mubarak’s close relationship with Israel drew scorn from Tahrir protesters. Chants encouraging Mubarak to resign in Tahrir Square were frequently tailed with, “Tell him in Hebrew, maybe he doesn’t speak Arabic.”

Don’t tell Thomas Friedman, who surely must have written the stupidest column ever to have been published in the New York Times (Sarah Carr’s satire is quite good as well): he’s convinced the Egyptian revolution was caused by admiration for Obama and Israel…

3 Réponses

  1. A very wise person said a long time ago: « Countries do not have friends, Countries have interests! »
    All the western powers are doing know is pursue their own interests.
    Just look at how they handled the Libyan revolt, they calculated that they are far better off with Gadhafi than with a group of rebel they don’t know.
    Bloggers in the US have pointed out that the vast majority of foreign fighters during the Iraq war were coming from the Benghazi area.
    This triggered a reaction from the US government, and the rebels are now being slaughtered without a soul being stirred by this brutal crushing of the Libyan revolution.
    It is sad, but I think that the Libyan revolution could not sell itself to the west the same way the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution did.
    Gadhafi will come out weakened from this revolution, but he will survive it. Unless some unforeseen miracle happens.

  2. Thomas Friedman was not alone in that. U.S. pundits across the political spectrum attributed the egyptian revolution to everything but the egyptian people. The right eulogized Obama’s influence and plotted the root of the revolution squarely on his landmark speech in Cairo to the Arab people. The left attributed the spark that ignited the powder keg to Rice’s 2005 speech at the American University; they also lauded twitter and facebook (both American inventions) so much so that one wonders whether Egyptian youths were standing on the sidelines of their own revolution.
    I’ve always thought Friedman’s op-ed columns are fairly balanced; When I read This is Just the Start, I surmised the guy must have been high when he wrote it. Google earth?… what the f**k?
    In his defense, he’s always contended that the U.S. should support the uprising and defended the Egyptian youth movement as an antidote to political Islam and a driver of long lasting stability in the region.

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