There has always been determination, in the state’s crimes, to distinguish between itself and those going against the state or actors outside of this political unit that forms the world order. This is the moral reference that defies any other reference and is superior to any other reference. It is only from this reference that actions gain legitimacy and are not questions. Despite the criticism that a state’s actions may receive, they remain implicitly accepted, even if its criminal nature surpasses the actions of those outside it.
The majority of the unarmed innocents who were killed in the world were killed by the state, and the few who weren’t were killed by external actors, some of which are tools for the state. Even if we exclude the victims of wars, the number of unarmed victims who were not fighters are victims of “surgical operations”, such as the US and its allies’ operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, in addition to other operations, and the victims of mysterious operations, or events fabricated by the intelligence services, is still large.
The heinous and brutal actions in recent and modern times are likely the act of the state, such as the brutal acts of torture committed by its intelligence services, as well as the kidnapping, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings, even outside the frameworks created by the state. Those who determine the laws have the right to violate the law and the mechanisms for determining the laws is only an internal system related to the state determined by the necessities of “wisdom and legitimacy”.
In this situation, the state turns into a God, and this is the essence of its modern nature. This transformation legitimises the humanity of people and creates obscene forms of discrimination, oppression and enslavement, but without provoking the necessary condemnation or rejection. This is because consciousness that it has set in finds the state’s actions acceptable, regardless of how outrageous they are and the rejection and condemnation of its actions are considered the crime of “disbelief and infidelity in the state”.
The reputation of the Arab state has always been bad in this regard. Heinous acts remain heinous, even if they are committed by the state, but in some way or another, it becomes acceptable or requires silence and submission. Not only is it faced with a state of fear, but also a state of accepting the sovereignty of the state and the belief in the legitimacy and legality of its actions.
Torture, forced disappearance and extrajudicial killings have always characterised the Arab intelligence agencies, almost without exception. However, the use of the armies to crush cities and attack tens of thousands of people, was not the result of the Arab revolutions, nor was this method invented by Bashar Al-Assad, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, or Muammar Gaddafi.
Therefore, there is nothing new or astonishing about the actions of Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi’s army that were documented in leaked footage that was recently broadcasted by the opposition television channel, Al-Mekameleen. The footage documented the Egyptian army killing unarmed civilians, including children, and then falsely portrays them as terrorists killed during clashes with the army.
It is nothing more than a documentation of the state’s chronic actions and crimes; it is just a small slap to remind those with a short memory and weak eyesight. It is for the foolish people who attribute the killing of innocents, field executions and desecration of bodies to the hearsay of Daesh, the fools who have waged a war on history. It is for the fools who distinguish between crimes based on references, not based on the act itself, making Daesh’s actions accepted if committed by their state, yet they still look for the intellectual roots established by their claims of violence and extremism.
It is only a passing blow to open the eyes of the blind, as if Al-Sisi’s army and policy did not kill thousands in the streets and squares in broad daylight before the eye of the entire world. It is as if they did not forcibly displace hundreds, suffocate prisoners, and did not falsify facts and incidents before now, unless political rivalry justifies actions for the state that are otherwise forbidden to others.
It is not important to convince the dead, or to evoke hidden insinuations, but it is necessary, first of all, to continue the revolution path, regardless of the setback it is suffering from. Secondly, there is a need to reformulate our political community based on new foundations where the state is removed from the centre and stripped of its tyranny.
Translated from Arabi21, 25 April 2017
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.