Thursday, August 15, 2013

Egyptians slaughter Egyptians, and Somehow, it is America's fault?

Today has been a brutal and bloody day in Egypt, as the military rulers who ousted the democratically elected leader of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, slaughtered Muslim Brotherhood supporters who have built protest camps. It ended in up to 240 death (more, many more if you believe some reports).

Now, as I do, I have been reading the comment sections on news stories, on Facebook, and various tweets. What I see is something that infuriates me. Somehow, this has turned into yet another reason for too many in the MENA to blame America for everything. Apparently, far too many people today say that the "American backed military" slaughtered unarmed, peaceful protesters. How dare the US back this military!

Okay, wait....isn't this the same military that had thousands upon thousands of people in Egypt flowing into the streets in support for, when ousting Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power? And, when anyone dared call what happened a coup, anti-Morsi folks would scream, "It's not a coup, it's a continuation of the revolution! The Military is on our side and doing what we want them to do!" CNN in the states made the mistake of calling it a coup and had angry Egyptians picketing their studios and organizing an online campaign to tell them it wasn't a coup. The hash tag #notacoup was used in social media by people furious that an obvious coup was being called a coup.

Interestingly enough, the US has been blamed for supporting Mohamed Morsi and backing the Muslim Brotherhood. What? Say that again? Yes, frankly, too many rather disillusioned folks seem to believe that the West is on the side of the MB. What? You know what the great mistake the US made was? Working with the democratically elected president of Egypt. The people put Morsi in power, and the US reluctantly went to work with him because it was the will of the people. They didn't exactly embrace Morsi, and when asked, Obama even said that Egypt wasn't necessarily an ally as a result of Morsi taking power, which got Obama in hot water with many Republicans in the US who feel that Obama ended up losing Egypt as an ally under his watch.

So, the US and other "Western" governments worked with Morsi. Then, bam, Morsi gets overthrown by the military in a coup that wasn't a coup. Now, Morsi supporters are blaming the US for supporting the military. Well, yes, the US has a long history of working with Egypt's military, and understandably so. Egypt is the world's most populated Arab country. It is a major powerhouse in the MENA, and stability there is vitally important for the entire region, if not the world. It is advantageous for the US to have a good working relationship with whatever government is leading Egypt.

And then, today happens. After Morsi was overthrown to the cheers of millions of Egyptians, the military that they were so excited about, who they felt was working for them turned around and slaughtered a few hundred Morsi supporters. Oddly enough, I have seen little online comments or commentary from those folks who cheered for the military just a few weeks ago. But, what I do see over and over is that the military that is killing these backed by the US. Wait...hello....remember how the military taking power was the will of the people and the continuation of the revolution? YOU put these guys in power. YOU validated their power grab by showing support. YOU wanted these guys! Look what you got! Don't start blaming any other entity or country for this. This is all you guys.

I'm not saying the US is some innocent nation that has never done wrong. In fact, I used to be highly cynical and distrusting of the US, particularly when it came to Middle East politics. Then I moved to the Middle East and saw how the US (and of course Israel) is used as a scapegoat and a way to manipulate emotion. If a group doesn't like another group, aligning them with the US or even worse Israel, is a huge insult and makes that other group look bad. It's too often crying wolf.

Scapegoating the US for BAD domestic decisions does not help anyone or anything. Take responsibility! If you said you were happy the military took power, ADMIT IT and stand by what you said. Don't turn around and put the blame on the US or anyone else.You facilitated this just as much as anyone. It wasn't the US that caused all of this. It was Egypt. It wasn't the US that killed anyone today, it was the anti-Morsi, pro-Military backed Army that slaughtered those people, no one else.

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