[This is a syndicated post from the blog: The Big Pharaoh.]
It was 1954. Gamal Abdul Nasser had just managed to get rid of his predecessor General Mohamed Naguib and put him under house arrest. He also went ahead and banned every aspect of democracy we had before the military coup of 1952. Parliament, parties, elections and free media were all abolished when Nasser became sure he was on his way to single handedly rule Egypt. However, one thing was still missing. A thing that ensured Nasser had minimum opposition to his rule: an enemy.
Egypt’s new military dictator had to keep the country in a constant state of war in order to portray dissidents as foreign agents aimed at undermining Egypt “when the whole world was conspiring against it”. Nasser managed to rule for 17 years before death decided to end his regime. During that period, we’ve been to 3 wars and between these wars, thousands of opposition figures ranging from communists to Muslim Brothers were imprisoned, tortured and killed.
I believe our military generals or the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), are trying to copycat the same plan. They might not be able to singlehandedly rule like Nasser, but given the pressure exerted on them these days, portraying that we are under the threat of an outside enemy will definitely give them more freedom to undermine and tarnish their opposition, namely the revolutionary force. This is where the whole confrontation with the US comes in.
SCAF is under considerable pressure both from the revolutionary street and from within the army itself. What better way to protect their position than to portray themselves as victims of the world’s sole superpower that have nothing else to do except “fomenting plans against Egypt”. This is one of the things SCAF wants from this whole NGOs crisis. The other thing is to silence and intimidate the institutions that help in creating an Egypt quiet different from the one they have in mind.