Opinion

The Washington Post Should Immediately Apologize to Egyptians

The Washington Post Should Immediately Apologize to Egyptians

An Egyptian man lays flowers at the scene of the Russian passenger plane crash in Egypt's North Sinai.
An Egyptian man lays flowers at the scene of the Russian passenger plane crash in Egypt’s North Sinai (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/ Reuters)

To start with, it is beyond doubt that the Egyptian government has its flaws in managing the economy, its overflowing and corrupt bureaucracy, and its lack of respect for human rights. But things have come to a point where the western media needs to be put in its proper place.

I was surprised by the over-dramatic coverage of the crash by the Western media, but I found one article in particular quite shocking. In a recent Washington Post editorial titled “Russian and Egyptian officials are not to be trusted over airline crash”, it concluded that “the Egyptian and Russian regimes are far less adept at fighting terrorism than they are at lying”. This conclusion comes based on the Post’s belief that the Egyptian government will seek to cover up the bombing of the Russian airplane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai, as it would signal Egypt’s ineptitude in the fight against terrorism.

I find this editorial one of the most sickening pieces I’ve read in my life. The Post, walking the line of most of the western media, believes it has such a high moral stance that it can pass on judgements about a government that lost 224 of its citizens in a plane crash, and another that will suffer severe consequences in its tourism industry due to it. Instead of showing solidarity and support for a country that is struggling to get back on its feet, the western media seems almost cheerful that this accident took place. They are taking the opportunity to politicize the misery, in an attempt to undermine the Egyptian and Russian governments – falling so low as to accuse them of being liars.

 The claim that Egypt is failing in its fight against terrorism is simply a lie. After the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, bombs were detonated regularly across the country. Government buildings and churches were burned, and Islamic State affiliates raised their flags freely in North Sinai. As Egypt fought back, hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and policemen paid the ultimate price while defending their country – and still do to this moment.

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Today, most of the country is safe and people wander the streets freely without fear of being blown up. In North Sinai, the army has flooded the border with Gaza, cutting off vital supplies to ISIS militants. It has also killed hundreds of militants in the “martyr’s vengeance” mission, and those who are still alive are in hiding. This has indeed come at a civilian cost to the Egyptians in North Sinai – to which the government should do more to protect and compensate. The Post’s claim that Egypt has failed in fighting the insurgency is an insult to the sacrifice of our soldiers and policemen.

 The Post would do better to question the integrity of its own government in its claims to fight terrorism. Under the pretext of the war on terror, the United States and the United Kingdom occupied Iraq with no international mandate, hung its president, dissolved its ruling party, fragmented its military and shed millions of innocent Iraqi lives. The United States government lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction – and no US or UK official has been held accountable for this lie until today. Besides the destruction of the Iraqi State and the killing of over a million innocent civilians, the invasion has also fueled the creation of the very terrorists Egypt is fighting today. I urge the Washington Post’s editorial board to read its own investigation into the roots of ISIS, which were bred in Camp Bucca, a US controlled Iraqi prison.

The Egyptian government, with all its flaws, is nowhere to be compared with the lies and atrocities that were committed by the United States government. Furthermore, the Egyptian government has included several international experts in its investigation, in a sincere effort to boost its credibility. Even if the Egyptian government were to ‘lie’ about the bombing of this plane, it would be to protect a crippled tourism industry that provides jobs for four million Egyptians, not to invade a country and extract its oil.

Egyptians are not hysterical people who would continuously blame all of their problems on the United States or the CIA, as the Post alleges. Egyptians have legitimate reasons to be wary of American foreign policy in the region, as they are suffering its catastrophic repercussions today. The Post should immediately apologise for its condescending and insulting editorial, and Egyptians should no longer tolerate such preposterous allegations. Western media and governments should instead support Egypt at this critical period, as Egypt strongly supported the West in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and continues to do so today.

Why the West Should Not Apologize to Egypt
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@hassanfayed7

Hassan Fayed holds a BSc in Politics of the International Economy from King's College London. He is passionate about improving the lives of Egyptians through economic policy reform. He is a senior analyst at N Gage Consulting, and is working on pushing for reforms that will boost Egypt's financial and entrepreneurial sectors, and encourage scientific research and development.

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