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Arabs and the American myth

I do not want the approval of the late great thinker, Mohammad Abed al-Jabri, in my use of the term ‘Arab mind’. This term is problematic because it gives the assumption that there is one common ‘mind’ shared by all Arabs regardless of their ancestry and origin. However, one cannot deny that there is a common superstitious belief among many Arabs, especially modernists, who believe that America possesses extraordinary capabilities and that nothing can happen in the Arab world without America being behind it


Dr Abdelwahab El-Affendi

  1. I do not want the approval of the late great thinker, Mohammad Abed al-Jabri, in my use of the term ‘Arab mind’. This term is problematic because it gives the assumption that there is one common ‘mind’ shared by all Arabs regardless of their ancestry and origin. However, one cannot deny that there is a common superstitious belief among many Arabs, especially modernists, who believe that America possesses extraordinary capabilities and that nothing can happen in the Arab world without America being behind it.
  2. America’s ability to produce miracles often leads to the occurrence of one event and its opposite. For instance, America supported Mubarak but also led to his downfall. America supported the Muslim Brotherhood at one point and then financed the coup against them. It was also the mastermind behind the revolt against Assad yet; they also conspire to keep him in power. America also provides Israel with the finances needed to fight Iran and at the same time attempts to form an alliance with the country at the expense of its Arab allies.
  3. Like all well-established doctrines, this superstitious belief has many followers that believe in its validity much in the same way that certain people believe in horoscopes and fortune telling. If an American news station decides to interview Bashar al-Assad, horoscope readers will interpret it as a sign that the Capitol’s gods support the assassin and have decided to forgive all of his sins. If the New York Time’s were to publish an article about Iran’s new spiritual leader portraying him in a certain light, many would take this as a sign that American blessings have descended on Tehran and that the Ayatollah’s rivals in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will be consumed with anger because they were alienated.
  4. A few days ago, I listened to an analyst as he attempted to explain Turkey’s position on the Syrian Regime and how they have shifted towards an alliance by saying; “The Syrian Regime’s point of view has not changed during this political period and there have not been any major game changers to explain such a change. The only explanation for the ‘coup’ in Turkey is that a secret agreement was signed between America, Erdogan, and Morsi to reshape the region.
    I told our friend; “Do you not think that the killing of tens of thousands of Syrians and the complete destruction of half of Syria is a ‘big event’ that justifies a change in a political stance?
    “What Syria has done in Hama and other cities in the past is no less than this”, he responded.
  5. I said to this friend that we revolted against the Sudanese regime despite its Islamic slogans and despite the fact that some of its leaders were friends that we trusted. We revolted because we could not consciously bear some of the crimes that these individuals committed and they were much less gruesome than those that are being committed by the Syrian regime today. There are many supporters of the Syrian Bath party, including prime ministers and senior army commanders who abandoned Assad after his crimes exceeded the limits of comprehension. So why would Turkey stand in support of a regime that lost some of its most loyal supporters? Why do we need myths about secret deals to justify what is clearer than the sun? The whole world stands against Bashar and the only thing that needs to be interpreted is why someone would stand with him not against him. Why would anyone support the atrocities he commits?
  6. In addition, the Sudanese situation is an example that contradicts the myth of America’s ability to produce miracles. In 1985, demonstrations erupted in Sudan toppling former Sudanese President Jaafar Nimieri. This occurred while the American ‘Zeus” Ronald Reagan was engaged in the White House wars. Washington has made every effort possible to overthrow the current Sudanese regime including directly supporting and forming alliances with Sudan’s hostile neighbours. This has caused an increase in insurgency. Yet, the system still exists despite all of America’s efforts, which will eventually stop. Meanwhile, the efforts of the Sudanese people are strong if their political efforts are unified.
  7. The spread of myths and conspiracies among the elite is more frightening than the spread of religious extremism. It is yet another example of the contagious viruses that can infect the mind, leading people towards darkness instead of enlightenment. What we are witnessing today is a blatant evasion of responsibility as we stick to legends and myths that have nothing to do with our reality. These legends and myths are woven into our minds to brainwash us and prevent us from performing our duties.
  8. Perhaps the Egyptian scenario led to the spread of this contagious disease whose symptoms were evident even before the January 25th revolution, which eventually fell victim to it. The Mubarak regime repeatedly depended on American and Western aid, which they received day and night. Yet, despite this truth, they have the nerve of accusing the opposition of being agents of the West! Yesterday, an Egyptian official said that America and the West’s decision to reduce aid to Egypt is an attempt to force Egypt into coercion. This is a strange time. If the reduction of aid is an attempt to force Egypt into coercion then what was the purpose of this aid in the first place? Was it merely American charity?
  9. As it is expected, America does not provide sophisticated and advanced military aid to Egypt nor does it allow recipients of this aid to use it as they please; however, it justifies this expense to the American people by telling them that Egypt carries out certain actions on the behalf of the American army, the most important of which includes ensuring Israeli security. America does not feel as though the current regime is beneficial or supports their strategic interests because it threatens Egyptian security and the security of the entire region. The result of this instability will put more burdens on the shoulders of America and its allies. The logic behind this aid is the logic of giving, not the logic of begging followed by the fabrication of ‘tournaments’ when what is given is less than expected. One cannot have conditions and pose threats when the hand that receives aid is lower than the hand of the person who gives it. Egypt is the lower hand. Can there be any more brainwashing than this? In the words of a true Egyptian, al-Jabarti, is there anything worse than a ‘coup’ against the mind?

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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