In July, General Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi – the strongman in Egypt at the moment – dissolved Morsi of his powers, insisting that it was the will of the people that was the reason for his removal. Since then, Egypt’s political leadership has begun to look very much like that of the old regime; the military is in control, the United States has maintained its financial aid, the Muslim Brotherhood is being suppressed, the regime’s leadership enjoys the support of Israel and the other US-backed countries (many of the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia; Jordan; and the Palestinian Authority), and the people. To add insult to injury, former President/Dictator of Egypt Hosni Mubarak was released from prison last month (though he is still under house arrest).
Of course, the Sisi-led and US- and Israel-backed coup by the military has resulted in a brutal crackdown on protestors. Hundreds have been killed (and continue to be killed) as tens of thousands have taken to the streets to continue demonstrating against the illegitimate powers in place. In short, the Revolution has been betrayed and the “democracy-loving” United States government – though it may not have been explicit – has been part and parcel of that betrayal.
As the rhetoric of the Obama Administration has increased regarding intervention in Syria after the purported usage of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, plenty of discourse has continued over the feasibility of intervening and the United States’ long history of problems entering into foreign wars. Interestingly enough, though, there has been very little discussion regarding our country’s behind-the-back intervention in Egypt, where a US-backed coup by the military uprooted a democratically elected government after one year.
‘Coup’ is Taboo
Unfortunately, the United States has the power and popular backing to continue its support for the reinstalled military regime in Egypt because the mainstream media – whether, conservative, moderate, or liberal – have successfully captured the thought process of the American people. Coverage of the coup regime and their subsequent activities has been very soft in discussing the situation and the faults of the Obama Administration. In fact, media in the mainstream have served as Obama’s accomplice; not only has it become taboo to use the word “coup,” but it is also frowned upon to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a democratically elected organization. This kidnapped thought process has extended to Congress as well, where there has been very little pushback against the Obama Administration for its support of the military in Egypt. Perhaps the biggest crime the media has committed is recognizing the coup regime as legitimate and normalizing the activities they have assumed since regaining power. This will prove particularly detrimental to any movement in the United States – whether in Congress or in more public spheres – that attempts to stand in solidarity with the kidnapped revolution.
As my complaints and concerns seem rather broad, it might be wise to take a closer look at specific examples of the media’s failures. Though I am certain my generalizations are correct, I have selected articles from a number of sources in the United States to help explain to those that have any lingering doubts that the media has taken on the view of the Obama Administration, which has subsequently aided the lies and the support for yet another round of military leadership in Egypt. Though it is not explicit, I urge readers to recognize the effort the media is putting into the normalization of the activities of the new regime; indeed, the media acts as though the regime was meant to be in power all along.
An article featured on Fox News (written by the Associated Press) provides a great example of the failure of the media in covering the issue. The article essentially covers the comments of Egypt’s puppet-President, Adly Mansour. Perhaps the most telling part of the article is the following excerpt, where the normalization process begins:
“The interim government is charging ahead with a transition plan, appointing a committee to review the constitution passed under Morsi. A new version is to be put to a popular referendum within two months, and if passed, it would open the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.”
The article never recognizes the government as being the result of a military coup, referring to it instead as an “interim government.” More importantly, this excerpt produces an image in the mind of the reader that shows a democratic process being implemented, instead of showing the democratic process that was in place that this very government devastated with a coup in July. It also fails to recognize the fact that such a constitution will do very little to stop the country’s government from returning to its pre-revolution state, which it already has in many cases.
An article released by NBC last week provides a more striking example of how the mainstream has completely condoned and even appreciated the actions of the military regime in Egypt and the Obama Administration’s support for it. The article discusses the trial of former President Mohammed Mursi. In essence, this article supports every lie that the Obama Administration would like Americans to believe; that Mursi is guilty of inciting violence, that he was overthrown by popular demand, and that he had abused his powers to the point that he needed to be overthrown. It also normalizes the activities of the military regime post-Mursi, implicitly proposing that these actions need to be carried out. The article even suggests that he escaped from prison during the overthrow of Mubarak’s regime and that he may be legally charged for this crime.
It seems that only Republican Senators John McCain and Rand Paul have read through the lies of the Obama Administration and the media. They recognized the irony in Obama’s condemnation of the regime’s use of force, as he continues to send foreign aid money to the regime. If other lawmakers can get behind the effort spearheaded by these unlikely allies, it might be possible for the Obama Administration and the United States as a whole to recognize the danger of the failure of Egypt to democratize.