Monday, January 31, 2011

Egypt Aflame

All I have to say is where is this generation's Major General Mohammed Naguib? A man who seemed to keep Egypt on a middle course? Who still stand against the descent of anarchy in Egypt today? And will the world support that person?

For fun lets use the Wayback Machine and go to Sept, 1951 to see what TIME magazine was writing about the Middle East and Egypt.

In every city, in every oasis, speakers are whipping up hatred for the West. It is the hour of the nationalist fanatic and his gunman hireling. In recent years, the Moslem secret societies (the Moslem Brotherhood, the Crusaders of Islam, the Arab Sacrifice League) have murdered: one King (Jordan's Abdullah) and one President; four Prime Ministers; two cabinet ministers; one police chief, one judge, and one army commander in chief. Near misses: one Shah, one Premier. Two agents of the Moslem Brotherhood were reported last week to be trailing King Farouk on the Riviera.

From Sept, 1952. Again TIME magazine and after the overthrow of King Farouk of Egypt.

Overnight, something new has come to this ancient and despairing land, something that gives a new snap to the salutes of Egyptian soldiers and has brought the new government 50,000 grateful letters—in a country where only one in six can write. For the first time in living memory, there is hope in Egypt.

The man who has roused that hope is a soldier whose name was almost completely unknown in Cairo, London or Washington seven weeks ago—Major General Mohammed Naguib (pronounced Nageeb). He is now acclaimed by his people as a savior, and by Western diplomats as the most promising figure to appear in the Middle East since Turkey's late great Kemal Ataturk.

Committee members keep their names almost a military secret. One of the few known personalities among them is big, burly Colonel Mohammed Rashad Mehanna, 42, who acts as liaison man between the committee and Aly Maher's cabinet, in which he sits as Minister of Communications. A religious nationalist and supporter of the Moslem Brotherhood, Mehanna's is the voice that urges Naguib toward an all-out dictatorship, anti-British, antiChristian, anti-Jewish. He is opposed by Wing Commander Anwar el Sadat, who urges Naguib to leave political business to those who understand it—or think they do—and to stick to the army.

In truth it seems Egypt has not really progressed much. Just more bodies have been added to the graveyards. Maybe this time it will be different if average citizens are willing to stand up against the mobs to protect their culture.

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