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February 23, 2009

On conspiracy theories—عن نظريات المؤامرة

Filed under: Masr —مصر — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:10 am

I should clarify that the suggestion articulated in my previous post that the regime may have had some hand in yesterday’s bombing is total conjecture, suspicious though it is that it falls on the same day that one of Cairo’s newest dailies, El-Shorouk carried the (perhaps-premature) headline “Repeal of Emergency Law in March” prominently on its front page. The fact remains that the regional landscape is changing significantly with Isreal firmly entrenched in a reactionary—nay, fascist—collective mindset (with notable exceptions, of course), the historic role of the PLO hobbled by an increasingly-illegitimate Fatah, the fitful rise of Hamas, a new American administration still playing it close to the chest and the reconfiguration of local, regional and international powers through a combination of movement-from-below and global economic pressures. Senescent though the Mubarak regime may be, it is not unaware of the shifting sands beneath its feet. It is to be expected that it will seem to relent in certain areas where it can afford to take a limited loss (as in the release of Ayman Nour) in exchange for a better relationship with those reconfigured powers. But, for the time being at least, the regime clearly feels uncomfortable with giving up its power to detain and torture arbitrarily under the Emergency Law. Perhaps when those sands have stopped shifting—when it is possible to identify with some certainty who it is necessary to label as a terrorist—maybe then the regime will be willing to replace the Emergency Law with a more limited, but equally oppressive, Anti-Terrorism Law. That the regime has a history of using false-flag terrorism toward such ends provokes the conspiratorial sensibilities of many Egyptians, as well as this American.


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