Egyptian Intifada:The ultimate conspiracy theory and the uses of fear
by Adam Morrow
CAIRO, Feb 11, 2011 (Veterans Today) – If you thought the idea that 19 Arabs with box-cutters could bring down the World Trade Center (both towers!) was a stretch, you’ll love this one: In an effort to turn the Egyptian public against the ongoing uprising, the embattled Mubarak regime has promoted the ultimate conspiracy theory, involving elements from Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Qatar, the US, and – wait for it – Israel.
“The news that was broadcast on Egyptian state media in the first days of the uprising wasn’t news, it was madness,” Gamal Fahmi, political analyst and managing editor of opposition weekly Al-Arabi Al-Nassiri, told Veterans Today. “Madness that reflected the regimeÕs desperation.”
On Saturday, January 29, the fifth day of the uprising, Egyptian state media — along with certain private satellite television channels — began to report that these hostile powers were all working together to “destabilize the homeland.” From behind the scenes, state media alleged, the conspirators were directing and financing the tens of thousands of demonstrators who had converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
“The most dangerous foreign conspiracy strikes Egypt,” read one headline in the February 3 edition of prominent government daily Al-Akhbar. Similar headlines followed, including, “Hezbollah commando unit, supported by Hamas, infiltrates Egypt from Sudan,” and, “The Iranian hand in the recent disturbances.”
Meanwhile, state daily Al-Missa reported that certain US-based NGOs were “recruiting Egyptians to overthrow the regime.”