Egypt and the Fourth of July
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Isn’t it amusing that U.S. officials just celebrated the Fourth of July, given that they also ardent supporters of the tyrannical regime that governs Egypt?
The Declaration of Independence, which is part and parcel of the Fourth of July, doesn’t mince words. It holds, among other things, that:
Every person is endowed with natural, God-given rights which no government can legitimately infringe upon;
Whenever any government becomes destructive of these rights, it is the right of the people to resort to violence not only to defend themselves against the tyranny but also to overthrow the tyrannical regime and install new government.
“Every person” doesn’t mean only Americans. It means every person, including Egyptians. Like Americans and everyone else, the Egyptian people have been endowed with natural, God-given rights, which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It would be extremely difficult to find a better example of tyranny than the regime that has governed Egypt for decades and which continues to do so. I suppose one could cite the Hitler regime or the Stalin regime as being worse models of tyranny, but just because a particular regime doesn’t reach the level of tyranny that Hitler and Stalin reached doesn’t mean that it isn’t tyrannical. Tyranny comes in gradations, and the Egyptian tyranny clearly ranks near the top.
In Egypt, the government is a military dictatorship. The government is run by generals and colonels, who issue edict-laws. There are no elections. The military dictatorship smashed Egypt’s nascent experiment with democracy when they didn’t like the man the voters had elected. Not only did the generals and colonels violently remove him from office, they’re now going to kill him, after a show trial of course.
People who protest against the military dictatorship or its actions are arrested, incarcerated, tortured, and, if necessary, executed. The regime severely punishes anyone who exercises his fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the press and to peacefully assemble.
Needless to say, Egypt’s military dictatorship does not recognize the right to keep and bear arms. There is strict gun control within the country.
Civil liberties are nonexistent. If national-security state goons take someone into custody, there are no rights of trial by jury, effective assistance of counsel, bail, speedy trial, public trial, confrontation of adverse witnesses, habeas corpus, and due process of law. The military regime’s power over people is omnipotent — they can kidnap, arrest, incarcerate, and torture people to their heart’s content.
There is no elected and independent legislature. The courts are totally subservient to the generals and colonels, issuing whatever judicial rulings they are ordered to issue.
So in Egypt, we have a pure tyrannical regime.
What does that have to do with the Declaration of Independence and the celebrations that U.S. officials, including in the Pentagon and the CIA, had on the Fourth of July?
Well, guess who is the biggest supporter and enabler of the Egyptian military tyranny. You guessed it — the U.S. government. It’s the U.S. government that has helped to build up and fortify Egypt’s tyranny for decades and continues to do so to this day.
How? With weapons, tanks, bullets, equipment, training, and money, all of which are used in one important way: against the Egyptian people, with the aim of maintaining and enforcing the military tyranny under which they have suffered for so long.
Of course, there are those who believe that U.S. officials support the Egyptian tyranny and oppose those Egyptian people who resist the tyranny purely for expedient reasons — i.e., to keep Egypt as a loyal partner and ally within the U.S. Empire.
That’s pure nonsense. The reason that U.S. officials, especially within the national-security branch of the federal government, have long supported the Egyptian tyrants and continue to do so is that U.S. officials ardently believe in what those tyrants are doing to maintain “order and stability” within Egypt.
Take a look at this editorial in today’s New York Times, entitled “Within Washington’s Complicity, Egypt Cracks Down on Critics.” Notice all the things that this tyrannical regime is doing. The regime has declared a “war on terrorism.” It has enacted an “Emergency Law.” They are establishing special tribunals for terrorism suspects, where they plan to mete out hasty death sentences to “terrorists.”
Do you notice something anything familiar about all that? If you don’t, think back to 9/11, when U.S. officials declared their “war on terrorism.” Do you remember the USA PATIOT Act? Military Commissions Act? CIA torture schemes? Secret prisons? Rendition for torture (including to Egypt). The NSA and its secret mass surveillance schemes? USA FREEDOM Act?
There is no doubt: The Egyptian tyrants would love them all, and they all would fit perfectly inside Egypt today.
The fact is that what the Egyptian military dictatorship is doing is the hallmark of tyrannical regimes. But guess what: It’s no different when the national-security branch of the U.S. government does the same things.
When the Times asked the U.S. State Department to comment on its editorial, the Department responded that its supports Egypt’s “fight against terrorism, but we hope that the final version of this law will support the protection of individual rights for Egyptians.”
As the Times put it, “That’s laughable.”
That’s because Egypt tyrants’ fight against terrorism is, by its very nature, a fight against the fundamental, God-given rights of the Egyptian people, who, as Jefferson pointed out so clearly, have the right to violently resist the tyranny under which they are suffering, including violently overthrowing the tyrannical Egyptian military dictatorship.
Is there other evidence that the “war on terrorism” mindset of U.S. officials mirrors the “war on terrorism” mindset of their Egyptian counterparts?
Yes. Several years ago, U.S. officials prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated a New York attorney named Lynn Stewart for being a supporter of terrorism. What did Stewart do to warrant such treatment? Here in the United States, a country that celebrates the Declaration of Independence every year on the Fourth of July, Stewart read a statement to the press that supposedly called on people in Egypt to consider taking up arms against the Egyptian military dictatorship, which the U.S. government was supporting and fortifying.
Two questions naturally arise out of the Stewart case, especially within the context of the express language of the Declaration of Independence.
One, doesn’t everyone have the fundamental, God-given right to say whatever he wants to the press or anyone else?
Two, when government becomes destructive of the natural, God-given rights of the people, don’t people have the right to take up arms in an attempt to overthrow their tyrannical regime? Indeed, isn’t that what the British colonists in 1776 did? Isn’t that what Americans celebrate every Fourth of July?
The Egyptian experience holds valuable lessons for Americans. One lesson is that when it comes to the “war on terrorism,” U.S. officials and Egyptian officials are clearly on the same page. Another lesson is that tyrannical regimes always use a “war on terrorism” to implement and enforce their tyranny.