An Egyptian Blogger’s take on Robert Fisk’s Piece
Date posted: January 16, 2009
Perwin Ali's take on Robert Fisk's piece for The Independent: The Rotten State of Egypt is too Powerless and Corrupt to Act. The Egyptian blogger wrote:
I believe [that Fisk's piece] is the latest example of how formulaic and commercialized one can get… even a highly respected source. It shows you that one can't blindly follow and/or agree with someone or something all the time. We should always question things, and definitely think for ourselves Now, While I have nothing but respect for Robert Fisk, I can't help but feel that what he's saying here, while true, is out of context… or at the very least needs the added layer of what happens to Egypt and Egyptians outside of "Egypt's economic foundations [crumbling]" as a result of crossing its so-called allies. Why isn't he talking about the fact that Egypt will stand alone in fighting the Israelis, Americans, Brits, and the other covert cohorts, if it does indeed open the Rafah gate? And fight them on her own land, the much-coveted Sinai? Why isn't he talking about how opening the gate will give Israel a much stronger footing in Gaza when Palestinians start leaving in droves?
She also highlights another instance where Fisk goes off point saying:
It also feels more like a formulaic piece than a true evaluation of the Gaza crisis and its implications on Egypt, since everybody seems hell bent on making Egypt a star in this catastrophe, albeit a notorious one. I mean, he does a good job of stating the key negatives of the government which we all know by heart now, but why is he talking about prison rapes and negligent doctors? Where is the context of how this fits in with what's going on right now? Is this what he needs to be talking about now? After finding out what I think of this piece, a friend asked me in great surprise if I don't believe that Egypt is corrupt and corrupt to the core. The kind of corruption that would push many youth to embrace possible death at sea just to get out of here. So I explained to her that I'm not saying it's untrue, I'm saying the opposite. It's true… very true. But it's also very out of context here. Fisk's tally of Egypt's degrees of corruption isn't what he should be talking about here if he really wants to talk about what he clearly believes to be Egypt's lack-luster role in all of this. I think he's just using his trusted technique, pulling out his old notes filed under 'examples of corruption in Egypt' as a space filler for something he clearly doesn't want to look at objectively.
Concluding her post she advised Fisk:
If he had really wanted to use a constructive example he could've used something like the undeterred gas deal with Israel. Now that's much closer to home in this case, not the classic sensational stuff he used. But then again, it's not as scandalous as "…a religious facade in which the meaning of Islam has become effaced by its physical representation." which is a sentence I'm not sure fits how exactly with the supposed abominable performance given by Egypt so far. Maybe when you read his article you can explain it to me. Surely Fisk can do a better job at being unbiased, objective and analytical.