Sunday, August 18, 2013

The war zone called brain

I am always extremely hesitant about writing anything about places that in times of conflict, i am privileged enough not be in, where the present happening will not directly influence my life but theoretically and maybe indirectly in defining the upcoming politics of the MENA region.

At the same time, it goes without saying that the debate about what's currently happening in Egypt have become something international where different poles are trying to pull towards one side, reproducing an ever recurrent binary of this or that, army or the muslim brotherhood in the egyptian context. Leaving those who oppose to both powers in the middle - and thanks to local and international media -silencing the voices that realize the pragmatism of the situation, who refuse the fascism of the state and at the same time realize the danger of the bigger project of political fundamentalist islam, but at the same time as well, refuse the violence practiced from state against the protesters from the MBs. Moreover objecting to the violence practiced from the MBs  towards the coptic minorities, and whosoever is doubted to be not from their community.

To begin with, i never and won't ever agree to justify state violence against anyone, not to mention massacres, and killing. Violence is never the answer, state violence and army violence in specific is always unjustifiable. It is just our romanticization of fascist eras where a part of us feel melancholic towards being smashed under the military shoes that have become almost inherent for us to feel "safe". Finding refuge in state oppression in the name of protection. On the other hand, i won't as well justify the violence produced from the MBs side against everybody else who is not on their side, especially their brutal projection of sectarianism on the copts.

What the international media is failing to portray is the situation from all it's angles, violence perpetuated by both sides. Where the western postcolonial diasporas are failing to contextualize the stand of the people living in egypt (or at least the ones i know of) who are against the MBs and have suffered from their reign for the past year. But instead, our lovely postcolonial diasporic theorists are situating it within the global islamophobic context, where muslims are a minority - of course within the war on "terror" -  refusing to analyze anything within a geographical context. You people in specific are getting on my fucking NERVES.

Let me start by breaking down thing to myself, since just like a lot of us, i am not making sense to myself sometimes.

First to call the MBs "terrorist" is very problematic. The phrase terrorist have become so political with a certain history attached to it, that as an arab i refuse to use it, since it is used to describe us. Yes some argue that the MBs are part of Al-Kaeda which is labeled a terrorist organization, but excuse me if i have a problem with the USA naming everything and the rest of the world legitimizing their naming business by using it.

Second, to victimize and classify all the MBs as non-violent un-armed peaceful protesters is an over statement itself, that complicates and distorts reality. But at the same time to agree to the state violence practiced on each and every protester and justify the massacres that has been practiced against them is inhuman and fascist. It goes without saying that in wars and violence, those who belong to a community and are supporting that community in the streets are usually the victims of a political game toyed by those who are in power, where usually the war at some point (and hopefully soon) ends, and they are mostly the one in power are who survive it. Where the circle of politics continue to exist and an agreement happen under the table and those of us who care about human lives are the only ones who loose. Loose life but gain a goodnight sleep maybe!

Most importantly, the biggest problem with a military rule, it's that it doesn't discriminate - it applies to everybody who opposes it, and everybody means everybody. The army over history has proved it's disfunction in dealing with free speech or any type of freedom, or any type of self expression. So for those of you who are feeling romantic towards a military reign, do know that you are next, and the moment you object, you will inhabit the category of terrorist or "outlaw" where you will be finished and oppressed in the same name of the so called "protection" and the "bigger good" of the "nation". It's sad, really sad that people will not feel bad about other people being killed and oppressed, but will feel alarmed once the gun is pointed to their own heads, or once the military shoes will step on their own freedoms (at least the illusion of freedom we believe we have).

I can write and analyze forever, in writing i am just clearing my head of all these contesting ideas fighting in it, but in this foggy situation, where an overwhelming feeling of worry and sadness occupy my head - feeling anxious and worried about my friends and loved ones in egypt, there is one thing that i am certain of: i refuse to take a side - not that me taking a side matters, but theoretically speaking.

There's a naive side of me that want to believe that power gains it's legitimacy through a discourse of agreeing to it. As i mentioned before, those of us who care about human lives inspite of whom those lives are, are always under a dictatorship of a binary of choice. This binary is imposed on us in states of emergencies; where most argue that the army does not have any other option but to kill the MBs, and others argue that the MBs are the victims of the so called "coup". But i would argue that those are two power poles as i mentioned before, and those powers are both corrupt with an agenda that does not care about anything but their own bigger political project, and by siding with one of them, i will be legitimizing their crimes. The problem is that we always forget that we can refuse to be on any of the sides, we can refuse to legitimize them, even if theoretically. Moreover, there's another naive part of me that believe in disagreeing to both powers a counter discourse can be created that can break out of the binary of imposed choices. I have mentioned the same thing in a blog earlier, where the army and the y the salafis where recently fighting Assir in Saida, and similarly to now, i have before refused to take a stand.

Anyway i will shut up now, and realize the helplessness of the situation, where i know that nothing i would say will change any of the happenings, that's when you feel so small and helpless in the world.

But i have to admit, there's a sick pleasure (among all the sadness and the worry) that derive itself from watching the USA's stand on what's happening. The problem with the USA is that it's scared. It's scared that one day it's people might realize that representational democracy is a failed system. It's terrified from the possibility of the ongoing egyptian revolution of imagining and creating a new system that can be inclusive to all sides and work. It's scared from the power of the people who were not domesticated by ballots, who still do not believe that the ballots can get them what they want, but believe in the power of the street, in the power of the people. And this to me justifies every stand it has been taking if we analyze deeper than it's interest in the middle east staying as a conflict zone. Fear baby, it's fear.

It's inevitable to miss a point here or one can out-write Gilgamesh. The head is a war zone as well.

By the way, this blog is  not only about egypt, it's as well for the people lebanon who have a fetish for army boots - think of it, it applies. 


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