January 25 and America

There is a tune now ringing out to us. Its melody carries the theory that the Jan. 25 revolution was nothing more than an American conspiracy to overthrow former President Hosni Mubarak. This theory echoes candidly and directly at times and is implicitly indirect at others. Those who hold this opinion claim that American funding was behind some civil society groups and some of the January revolution’s most celebrated activists. Overlooking details and making generalizations, we can argue that American funding played a role in the uprising. In fact, this phenomenon precedes the events of the January revolution by years. However, this does not mean that Jan. 25 was a conspiracy or should be considered an American product.

Similar to this previous theory, a number of people strongly insisted that the July 23 revolution of 1952 was an American conspiracy. Both Marxists and Islamists claimed this was the case, although the former later altered their initial assertion. It seems that there are those who insist on stripping Egyptians of any achievement they make and attributing it to others. There are even some who consider the war of October 1973 and the great crossing of the Suez Canal “a game” between Sadat and the Americans. I believe that those who insist on linking every successful act to the United States and conspiracy theories should reconsider their assumptions. Taking several events into account, we can say that it is in fact difficult for the U.S. to instigate a revolution.

To be more precise, American politics and culture are not favorably disposed to revolutions, and Americans themselves are not generally pleased with them. Although the idea that the U.S. takes after the fate and divine will of God is present in every place and at every time — particularly in our countries — this is a great delusion. Rather than instigating events, the U.S. tries to intervene and direct them in a way that serves or minimizes harm to its own interests. It does this by means of propaganda and by exploiting the weakness and delusions of others. In taking over an event and controlling its trajectory, the U.S. makes it seem as if it is caused the event. What occurred in January 2011 was most certainly of Egyptian origin. The U.S. did not plan it, nor did the Central Intelligence Agency expect it. Likewise, the Egyptian intelligence service did not anticipate or prepare for what happened in January 2011. The January revolution was undertaken purely for Egyptian reasons, foremost being the issue of hereditary succession that was evident in Mubarak’s usurpation of governmental institutions. Other factors include the dire social crisis, unemployment and rising poverty rates. However, the election fixing of 2010 and what transpired in Tunisia hastened the revolution. At the time, Egyptians also faced the psychological dilemma posed by their feelings of regional leadership and desire to be at the forefront of the Arab uprisings. Therefore, when the Tunisians launched the December 2010 revolution against President Zayn al-Abidin, Egyptians realized that the situation in Egypt was no better than that in Tunisia. This set in motion Egyptian ambition and stirred up their genetic predisposition to lead the region.

The spark was released on Jan. 25, and during the first days of the uprising, the American administration stood by President Mubarak. However, once the determination of the Egyptians to continue protesting, decline of the police and army’s complete support for the people were clear, the American position changed in an attempt to direct events and prevent further eruptions. The problem with the Jan. 25 revolution is that after it nearly succeeded, following the battle of the camel, imposters attempted to take it over and redirect the movement to serve their own interests. The Muslim Brotherhood, several activists, as well as American and European financiers, all attempted to manipulate the movement for their own benefit. All tried to present themselves as having played an instrumental role in initiating the revolution, and many believed their claims. As a result, when it was revealed that some might have either received American funding or made mistakes, such as torturing citizens in Midan Al-Tahrir, people began to see the adverse effects of the revolution and believe that it was an American conspiracy.

Everyone should be held accountable for his or her actions, errors or crimes. As for the revolution, it was a popular action, carried out by the Egyptian people as a whole. Therefore, we should refrain from depriving ourselves the ability to succeed by attributing our achievements to the United States. America does not create events but merely jumps on the opportunity to direct them. This is what happened during the Jan. 25 revolution, and it is now necessary to reclaim the revolution of June 30 from similar suspicions.

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