A Dispatch from Egypt

egyptFor the last two years, Digital Americana has been lucky to have received a few op-ed pieces from Juditta Salem in Egypt. Her first was about the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak and her second was an update of what was happening in her nation a year later. With this week’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi, who was elected last year, we asked Juditta to give us an update from Egypt. She sent us back the piece below. It makes for an interesting read, not only because of what is going on in her nation, but also because it lets us reflect on our own revolution that began almost 240 years ago.

This was not a Military Coup! Stop Using Democracy to Divide and Conquer.

Back in 2011, there was a military coup in Egypt. On June 30th, we, the civilians, not the military, reversed it. So, basically, the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) had no choice, but to join our revolution. Instead of glorifying them, I would just be grateful they decided to clean their own mess… for now. Everything else that comes after will be under much scrutiny, as it will take time for them to earn that trust on our part.

It’s been a very hectic two years of unrest, preceded by 50 years of oppressive military rule. And the pressure mounted from Nasser to Mubarak, from the SCAF to the MB (Muslim Brotherhood), who are neither Muslim, nor brothers, and, it seems, not even human anymore. The brilliant production by the SCAF is unparalleled. They never relinquished power and control, and the world ate it up with a spoon. The great news, however, is that at this point, we all seem to be ready to strike a deal and reach some middle ground, something the SCAF now seems to get. They know they can’t take us backwards anymore. They took an excruciating year to get their stuff together, from protecting their status, financial gains, and what have you, and we are willing to let it slide, as long as they finally fulfill all of our demands, which will have no effect on them. I believe that now we can have a civil government, write a constitution that supports human and animal rights, and protects our freedoms of speech, religion, and a healthy, balanced living. The SCAF’s objective is to maintain power, and protect themselves from public resistance.

Revolution. Here is my simple brief regarding the events that played out over the last two and some years: Egypt revolted against Mubarak and his regime. The regime unleashed the State Security Police, who suffocated us with tear gas and both rubber and live bullets, all aimed at our eyes to keep us blind. The SCAF interfered, remaining neutral at first, reassuring the youth that they are on our side. The Muslim Brotherhood rode this wave of revolution, infiltrating us with their weapons. The SCAF arrested protestors and gave them military trials and virginity tests. The SCAF hosted fake elections, and brought us the MB, the ghost they’d been threatening us with. The MB screwed the country even more because they are brainless. When the SCAF struck a deal with the MB, the MB was stupid enough to think they could outplay both the SCAF and the world’s governments, including the US. Egypt rose again, this time against the MB. The SCAF came in with a rehearsed heroic entrance to arrest armed MB members. The SCAF saved protestors and made its power official once again. If it sounds like the labyrinthine plot of any recent Call of Duty video game, you’d be correct. Only a year ago the SCAF tortured, randomly arrested, and even molested young innocent civilians just because they asked for their freedom and the right to live a decent life. We asked for the minimum that any human could ask for, the same rights sought by any forward thinking nation: freedom of speech, dignity, minimum wages, solid healthcare, good uncensored education, while preserving our heritage and identity that offered so much greatness to the world.

If I were able to speak to your government, your White House, Congress, all of them, directly, I would ask why they remain so ignorant when it comes to the Egyptian people. You’ve supported and continue to support the MB, a terrorist group, as any conscience-ridden entity would, thinking that our elections are inherently the will of the people, when it was in fact, faked, and I personally went to several voting stations, and saw countless people finding their names signed in favor of Morsi, before they actually voted. Obama assumed we would welcome oppression, which is the biggest evidence that he does not understand the Egyptian people. Your government made a terrible and too often fatal mistake in assuming that the Egyptian public, because they are, for the most part, Muslim, would be sedated with an Islamist government. The SCAF, however, never forgot that Egyptians are passionate, wild, and free by nature. Even those that choose to build moral prisons around themselves still enjoy their little pleasures, many of which would not be tolerated by an extremist government. This week’s uprising was an anti-military coup that began over two years ago. It’s something that the US Government did not expect to happen, and, in their arrogance, couldn’t handle it. When I hear certain US officials say that this is an attack on democracy, I find it hard to express myself without cursing out loud at such a cheap, untrue statement, which echoes, of all groups, the MB’s opinion on the matter. Then again, it could be said that all terrorists think alike in that thinking that their way is right. If Morsi claims that it is anti-democratic or unconstitutional to kick an “elected” president out of power without a voting ballot, then he is essentially saying that Mubarak should still be President of Egypt, since he was not officially voted out. How US officials can share the same sentiments is beyond me, since they so often speak of liberty, freedom, and the will of the people. What saddens me about it though is how much love and respect we have for the American people, while their government continues to tarnish their image to the rest of the world, as it has aggressively done for a little over a decade. Luckily, we are not so ignorant to judge a nation by its rulers. At the end of the day, we share this planet, and unfortunately we are all trapped under the rule of corporations, bankers, and the lawmakers they have in their deep pockets.

What I think part of the US Government’s objective is in supporting the MB, and how my mother so eloquently put it, is that on one account, it neutralizes their threat to America, while sending Palestinians out of Palestine and into Egypt, while also ensuring the MB, with the help of their terrorist group Hamas, to destroy Egypt, which has the strongest army in the region. It’s my opinion that the fall of Egypt would mark the downfall of the Middle East. Omar Kamel, a friend as well as a great writer and activist, also added something I am in complete agreement with: “We’re all skeptical (downright distrusting in my case) of the military, but this is a popular removal of Morsi. That is not a failure, although what comes next might be. On one point we all agree: Morsi and his so-called Islamist goons cannot continue to hijack this country.”

If I were able to speak directly to the international and local media I would say this: behaving like a whore to ratings, viewership, and advertisement money is no surprise. We were well over thirty million people on the street protesting the MB, yet the media, including CNN and BBC at first, and many of the local media run by the MB, declared us supporters of the old regime that were retaliating. Delusional ideations have often been a trademark of the media, and certainly is when it comes to our fanatic brothers and sisters. I can’t blame the public for believing them too much because, personally, I would have a hard time thinking straight if I were starved of food and knowledge. But I do want to blame the creators of ignorance, starvation, and injustice in this great country. I want to blame those that are blind enough to follow a fascist, fanatic regime, believing in some kind of sick and twisted higher purpose, through the murder and the terrorization of the masses, all the while insisting that we adopt their backward views and principles, or lack thereof. I want to blame those who continue to glorify the SCAF despite the massacre that happened in Egypt only a year ago, where hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed in cold blood just so they could protect the power and assets they stole from us. I want to blame the intellectuals, who keep opting for the lesser evil, who voted Morsi into office, just to spite the SCAF, only to run back to the SCAF to spite Morsi. And I want to blame every person who believed in a voting system carried out by the same people who were oppressing us that same day. It’s on this note that I want to shake everyone and remind them that a corrupt government should never be acknowledged through a fake voting system. I want this great nation to understand that the SCAF and the MB had a deal, so that once we experienced the horror of extremism, we would never dare to revolt again. I want to blame the revolutionaries for not being uniting enough. Despite all that, I have a deep respect for the collective energy of this great nation that will not accept oppression in any form, and certainly wouldn’t fall for the lies of a terrorist and his people. I salute every citizen in this country for rising up against all oppression and for proving both to the SCAF and the world that we will not be silent and will not be oppressed again.

On a personal note, I have been personally affected, like millions of liberal Egyptians, by the embarrassment of having a prison escapee for president. From being is sharp contrast with their extremist views, to not being able to enjoy the little pleasures that most of the world takes for granted such as walking on the street, without the worry about sexual harassment, or some bearded monster insulting me for not wearing a headscarf. From electricity cuts, that stalled our production, and hence, economy, water and petrol shortage, and the attempt of MB to hijack our much beloved Sinai to hand over to Hamas! Still, I thank the universe for bringing on such an experience of an extremist, bunch of inmates of a government, so that the less privileged Egyptians may finally see their true colors, and stop supporting them in any way. Freedom does not carry a machine gun, neither does it impose its religion on others. I also give credit to the MB for creating thousands of Atheists in Egypt and the Middle East.

Finally, again, addressing Obama, we will not be threatened with your financial grants. We will manage without you, and frankly, what happens here, is in no way your business.

As for the beautiful American people, supporting a government that supports oppression and terrorism, makes you a target for those same problems, and trust me, as you have done, we would support any injustice you may be subjected to, so don’t be swayed by illusory borderlines and apartheid, because at the end of the day, we are all one. Bill Hicks needed to live a bit longer.

I am an Egyptian citizen who will continue to play my part in protecting our nation, planet, and the freedoms of anyone on this Earth and beyond. Wake up.

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