Does the United States not know what’s happening in Egypt?

Does the United States not know what’s happening in Egypt?

Farid Zahran

Farid Zahran

In the loud conversations that occurred before and after the removal of Morsi, some stressed the importance of explaining the truth about what is going on in Egypt to political and media circles in the west. The conversations were directed specifically to the United States, on the basis that the information reaching those circles is incorrect or inaccurate, maybe due to the weakness of their sources or a bias to one party over the other. Those people, keen on getting the information across, were blaming the American embassy in Cairo, specifically Anne Patterson, for the wrong information on which Washington DC was basing its position regarding the events taking place in Cairo. They also believed that Patterson was sending wrong information because she was siding with the Muslim Brotherhood.

I think we cannot explain Patterson’s position by saying that she is leaning towards the Brotherhood, since I doubt she is a “member” or sympathises with them. I also doubt that the US depends on information sent from the American embassy only. It is known for anyone involved in politics that the American administration collects information from several sources including the American embassy, no matter how powerful the ambassador is. Therefore, one can deduce that Washington must know all the details concerning what is happening in Egypt. However, one cannot justify some of the American positions that seem odd or illogical to some people by relating it to inaccurate information.

These odd positions are due to two reasons. Firstly, the situation relates to the interests of the United States rather than any principals to which the administration is committed as believed by some political amateurs. Those naive individuals think the US sides with democracy, protects minorities and defends women’s rights as advertised by American media and political propaganda.

US interests are a matter of dispute, since they are not the ones advertised, but rather those of the governing elite with their different institutions and political trends. For instance, some may believe that the US is only concerned with opening communication channels with Iran, and reaching some agreement without any escalation or tension. That might be explained by the American wish to ensure peace in the Gulf and the Middle East, thus providing Israel with some security. Others may assume that those interests relate to garnering international and regional support to enable them to conduct some military action against Iran. At the end, the US depends on a myriad of information provided by several institutions, with the CIA at on the top of the list, followed by the Department of Defence, the State Department and some research centres. Therefore, they are provided with many scenarios and possibilities as to what can be done, including a failsafe option, approved by the governing elite.

People believed that the American estimation of the situation translated into the necessity of delivering the authority of the region and Egypt to the Islamist political movement. US interests in the region have three main goals: Firstly, building some Sunni support in the face of the Shi’a “danger,” which is supported by Russia, and maybe China. Secondly, providing Israel with a sense of security, and thirdly executing the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) reformative economic program in Egypt. Depending on the performance of the Brotherhood during the past year, one can see that they were efficiently implementing those goals, more so than during Mubarak’s regime, which was accused of its inability to fulfil them. The Brotherhood was successful in supervising a truce between Hamas and Israel, which added legitimacy to Hamas’ representation of the Gaza Strip, which officially divided the Palestinian people with the blessing of the Egyptian government for the first time. This might lead to Gaza’s independence or it being under Egypt’s administration, which would carry out Netanyahu’s vision and eliminate the Palestinian state: Jordan would handle the West Bank while Egypt handles Gaza.

The Brotherhood also severed all connections to the Syrian regime and announced Jihad, but because the army did not side with them they refrained from sending troops to Syria. They also garnered public support of Sunni against the Shi’a, to the extent of prompting the massacre that happened against Shi’a families in the Abu Mussalam village near Cairo.

Finally, Morsi was successful in implementing the IMF’s severe economic austerity measures such as removing subsidies.

However, handing power to the Islamist political movement harms American interests in the near and far future. One recalls how the World Trade Centre was wrecked due to Washington’s alliance with Bin Laden and the Taliban, and how Sadat was killed due to his association with the Brotherhood and Islamic organisations in Egypt.

In the end, democratic powers will only object to American interests if they intend to militarise the region and push it into several wars. Democratic powers are capable of providing internal and external peace, while providing Egyptians with a good life that would eventually expel terrorism and tyranny. The question is, however, will Washington insist on pushing Egypt into a civil war by cooperating with fascist powers?

The second reason for American support of the Brotherhood is that the governing elite’s future is linked to that of the Islamist political movement, which they have been supporting for years. The removal of Morsi by a popular revolution and the army means a great blow to all Islamist organisations not only in Egypt, but the entire region. Therefore the ambassador, along with the elite, has become directly involved in the conflict, trying to prove the power of the Brotherhood and its moderation. Recent events proved, however, that they are neither more powerful than the people nor are they moderate, as Al-Qaeda flags flutter over their protests, and their armed movements in Sinai and around the Republican Guard headquarters show.

Overthrowing the Brotherhood in Egypt and the region simply means that the elimination of the American governing elite and the end of its political and academic future.

To those who support the Brotherhood in Washington: What you are doing might end in terrorist actions against American and European targets. If some American circles believe that an Egyptian civil war will help weaken it and preserve Israel, well, I believe that Egypt will not witness one since most people stand united against the Brotherhood. The same goes for the army, police, judiciary and most media figures. Therefore, there is no division in society that might lead to a civil war. On the other hand, such war will not be beneficial to the region or the entire world, and will jeopardise the security of any involved party.

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