Those Crazy Egyptian Infowarriors!
I’ll try to keep this one quick, though I could really go on for hours about it.
Apparently, Hillary Clinton was recently in Egypt, where her motorcade was the target of tomatoes, shoes, and other signs of “anti-american” behavior.
The New York Times (blog, I think) and Rachel Maddow (citing the Times), blame American right wing “conspiracy theorists” (Glen Beck, Michelle Bachman, two other people I’ve never even heard of) for riling up the Egyptians. Said riling took the form of said theorists claiming that the United States meddles in Egyptian politics.
You can watch/read if you want a reasonably convincing argument, source to “several protestors,” in support of this supposition. I’ll offer the following arguments against it.
The government of Egypt has been a creature of the United States for almost 60 years. The series of long ruling dictators were less than beloved by the Egyptian people who were well aware that the United States was providing the arms and intelligence that prevented them from any degree of political self-determination.
The Egyptians have watched several hundred thousand of their co-religionists starve to death, die from embargoes of medical goods and be vaporized and disappeared to concentration camps by various US lead coalitions. These atrocities happened in countries in extremely or relatively close proximity. Somewhere north of 30,000 were killed in a neighboring state just a less than a year ago. Outside of the US propaganda sphere and a handful of particularly callous western european commentators, these deaths are rightly seen as cold blooded murder by an invading empire.
I have less evidence for this last point, but I just can’t imagine too many Egyptians watch Glen Beck. I didn’t even know Michelle Bachman was still in congress.
Now, every person living in Egypt is, of course, an individual. I’m sure there are a couple who believe that Obama is secretly a Muslim bent on the creation of a neo-caliphate because Michelle Bachman told them so. Who knows, this entire protest could actually have been peopled by an unlikely seeming Egyptian Glen Beck meetup group.
Allow me to assure you, though, that the average Egyptian is not indulging in conspiratorial thinking along the lines of lizard people and alien visitations by thinking that the US might–just might–be fucking with their political system. It’s akin to one of us hypothesizing that Exxon or Goldman Sachs might be, in some way, trying to influence the outcome of American elections.
There’s a good deal of really, really well founded anger directed at the American ruling class by a whole world of victims of American foreign power. The anger would be universal except for soothsayers like Maddow and the New York Times (and the rest of the media establishment for that matter) insisting that everyone else in the world’s anger is directed at our government because of “our freedom,” “our prosperity,” or because they’ve fallen victim to zany tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.
Update: Jon Stewart makes the point funnier.