Egypt demands US help: as long as it is on our terms

What Egyptians want from the U.S. is an endless list of very complicated demands that may conflict with one another if truly addressed. Egyptians wonder why the United States, as a global superpower and the largest economy on earth, doesn’t offer its full-fledged support to our country – especially after the inauguration of President Donald Trump whom we, among a few other countries, hoped would win the presidency.

Egyptians want the United States Administration to help resolve Egypt’s economic challenges by investing a tiny percentage of its national budget in our economy, along with increasing economic aid substantially. In addition, we want the U.S. to assist us to settle our regional disputes by imposing our government’s political viewpoint on the nations with whom we are in conflict. While Egyptians are busy adding to their demands from the U.S., we have not bothered to find reasonable justifications as to how the United States would benefit by acceding to these demands.

Egyptians view successful foreign relations as ‘friendships with one-way benefits’ (in our favor, obviously). We believe that other nations should be committed to helping us either because we had once supported them a few decades ago or because by strengthening the Egyptian State, they too will benefit. While we want the United States and other nations to support our full demands, the Egyptian government believes that foreign nations should not interfere in our domestic affairs; even the offer of advice is viewed as an attack on our national sovereignty.

The majority of our fellow citizens tend to adhere to our inherited thinking pattern, including people who have permanently immigrated to other nations (but refrained from truly absorbing the cultures of their adopted homelands). Large numbers of well-educated Egyptians, some of whom have been living in the United States for years, endorse this political proposition. Not making room for understanding other nations’ political dynamics has trapped us into over-anticipating their willingness to support us.

The Egyptian government and its cronies had imagined that once President Donald Trump came to power the growing wish list that had been stuck away in a drawer for years would be transformed into purchase orders paid for by the new American administration; they believed that President Trump would immediately instruct his officials to respond positively to our demands. This belief was demonstrated by the dispatch of various semi-governmental delegations to meet with United States decision-makers; a move that, unawares to us, ended up harming our position further.

Our incomplete understanding of the political dynamics of many foreign nations, including the United States, has widened and intensified our regional and international quarrels. Why should any nation work on increasing its enemies by adopting Egypt’s political agenda? Granting Egypt’s political and economic demands, which include supporting the ruling regime over rival domestic political forces and pressuring nations with whom we currently are in vital conflict, will place other nations in impartial positions – even if our State’s demands are justified.

Meanwhile the U.S. and other nations often suggest alternative approaches to our problems, and we tend either to overlook their gestures or to neglect their advice, believing that our tactics will serve us better. Furthermore, most foreign countries still prefer to discuss their political disputes with Egypt behind closed doors; thus, our citizens are left in the dark, with the result that we don’t know our friends from our foes.

As our wishes and demands accumulate, the Egyptian state persistently hints to its citizens of the need for extreme caution when dealing with foreign nations! Thus, even if the U.S. Administration were to decide to comply with the entirety of Egypt’s requests, Egyptians would still question the motives behind the United States’ political move! Within the current conspiracy theory framework, the United States, and other nations, will always be viewed as the beneficiaries of their relationship with Egypt, regardless of their genuine support efforts or financial aid.

 

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