The talk about conspiracy is not new. For decades, all the rulers of the 1952 school of thinking talked about conspiracy. Sometimes it was an imperial plot, sometimes it was a communist one.
The funny thing about conspiracies is that supporters of the regime believe that conspiracies have expanded over the past years to include several parties, ranging from the Islamic State (IS) to Germany, all the way through Qatar, Israel, Turkey, the US, Britain, Russia, and Italy.
The talk about conspiracies, however, does not address all the aggressive practices undertaken by the government, but rather implies that Egypt is attacked by non-government parties so that supporters of the regime can freely discuss those issues on satellite channels and newspapers. Let us ask a question in order to correctly address this: why do some governments and media channels across different countries conspire against us?
This question has been persistent for many years, and it points to the political authority as people know that the suspected attack is not directed towards Egyptians as a people. It is not racist and does not discriminate against Egyptians, believing they are not eligible for democracy. On the contrary, those who believe there is a conspiracy against Egypt are actually those who look down on Egyptians.
A large number of those taking part in the alleged “attack on Egypt” stress that they criticise some measures and practices by the government, which supposedly reflects their deep appreciation for Egyptians. Now, regardless of this, and regardless of the fact that the used expression—“attack”—is incorrect, we will try, throughout the next few lines, to accurately answer a question deemed to be important by the loyalists of the political leadership “why do some countries and media from other countries conspire against Egypt and attack us?”
Again, the official answer is “yes, there is a conspiracy on Egypt.” However, it is important for the parties who believe in this conspiracy to answer this question and prove its existence.
If you look at the answer to the question carefully, without falling for the trap of long discussions about the details of this conspiracy, you will quickly realise that the answer to the question is pointless.
If the parties involved in the so-called conspiracy, as well as its goals, were determined, the answer to the question would not really provide a realistic clear explanation. This makes it necessary to ask another question directly, and that question would be: “why is there a conspiracy on Egypt?”
We can answer this question even with just a small degree of logical thinking. We have actually sought to answer the following question: “does Egypt, or its government, represent a threat to other countries or entities in the region? Is Egypt adopting a state of aggression to any of those countries who are supposedly conspiring against it?” And what are these countries and entities anyway?
If the answer was “yes, Egypt is a threat to other countries,” we could at least be more familiar with the nature of conspirators, their identities, and their motives—and, therefore, understand their goals. However, the stories told by supporters of the state authority have different starting points. Some of them begin with identifying conspirators first, then try to understand their motives later. The stories told by these supporters differ in terms of the nature of these supporters and their identities as well.
Generally, the US, Britain, Israel, and the west as a whole, are among the conspirators, in addition to Qatar, Turkey, Iran, and Russia. Focusing on any of these countries is directly related to the criticism made by them towards the political authority in Egypt.
The authority in Egypt does not assume that there is a distance or difference between the authority of a country, its press, its political parties, or its NGOs. It considers any criticism by a TV channel, a political figure, or the government, as criticism made by the entire country towards Egypt. This is why once such criticisms are made public, supporters of the Egyptian regime rush to explain the nature of the conspiracy planned by that given country—Italy, for example.
It is noteworthy to state that there is proof of a strong relationship at all levels, whether economic, diplomatic, or political, between Egypt and Italy. It was, however, something not usually taken into consideration, when the mother of Giulio Regeni, the young man who was tortured and killed in Cairo, made a statement accusing security forces in Egypt of being involved in his killing.
To the supporters of the authority, the conspiracy is large and aims to sabotage Egypt one way or another, hence, the conspiring parties are not many, but appear to be vague and unidentified. In other words, the list of the conspiring countries is vague enough to be open and subject to more additions based on the circumstances. This resulted in the expansion of the conspiring parties recently in a way that caused great confusion.
For example, while all evidence shows that the relations between the Egyptian and Russian governments are good, some still think that Russians are part of the conspiracy. However, when criticism comes from, say, an Emirati figure, supporters of the regime keep quiet and ignore the criticism.
The parties of the conspiracy appear to be varied and continuously changing. Moreover, the goals of this conspiracy are vague and unclear, but they all agree on one goal, which is, of course, overthrowing Egypt or—more specifically—overthrowing the “ruling regime.”
In order for the idea of overthrowing an authority to be scary and looked down upon, it must be related to the idea of a foreign power trying to establish control over Egypt, which again stresses that the conspiracy is lead by the West, according to the same supporters of the regime. Some claim it is in the favour of Iran and some think it is in the favour of both the West and Iran.
The accurate reading of the parties of the conspiracy and its aims change based on which “strategic expert” is speaking or even the orientation of the figure or group supporting the regime with their statements. If this person is of “leftist-nationalist” convictions and decided to support the current regime in Egypt, he will try to prove that the conspiracy against the political authority is imperial, colonialist, and Zionist, and aims to enforce control over the political decision-making process. The conspiracy, in that case, would include the US, Britain, Italy, and Israel. A “strategic expert” adopting this belief system will work hard to avoid considering the good relations between Egypt and the US, dodging around the fact that the American leadership is granting Egypt’s armed forces the second-largest military aid in its budget—only second to Israel.
This strategic expert certainly will not see the description of the Egyptian-Israeli relations in Israeli newspapers as “perfect” and “have never been better.”
On the other hand, if the strategic expert is from the right-wing camp, he might think that there is a conspiracy to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to power or even rebuild the Nasserist system. In this case, the parties involved in the conspiracy may be the brotherhood, Qatar, Turkey, and maybe even Russia.