Tonight CBS’ 60 Minutes is only now broadcasting a 4-month old interview with the balding Egyptian interloper.
An unflattering entretien, it featured El-Sisi’s pasty face and pig-like little black eyes. He looks increasingly uncomfortable at the questions, which were not shown to him beforehand, and soon is sweating profusely, even as he tries to maintain a supercilious smile, while being grilled by Scott Pelley about the 60,000 political prisoners rotting in Egyptian jails, which once included an American citizen (Mohammed Soltan), who was incarcerated around 2015 on a life sentence for “transmitting false news.”
This macabre performance has immediately prompted some Arab commentators to ridicule El Sisi as (note the rough breathing diacritical mark before the first “a”) elʾa’raan (pronounced el-ar-aan, it is based on the word عرق, which means “sweat” in Arabic) — thus meaning, He Who Sweats, i.e., The Perspirer.
(News flash: he is called a lot worse in the Arab world: you can see it streaming on the Internet, such as the relentless dismemberment of the “low class” Sisi who is mocked for being brave only when “under the shade of his tanks” by the Turkish-based Egyptian provocateur/amusing political raconteur Mohammed Nasser, but alas it is all in Arabic, as to be expected, except for the Al Jazeera stuff.)
The Egyptian government, through its embassy in Washington, has been trying to squelch this interview; unfortunately for Egypt’s murderous dictator, we still have free speech in this country.
For example, a freshman congresswoman of Palestinian origin can (rightfully) say we are going to “impeach this motherfucker,” and cannot officially be touched by the short-fingered vulgarian.
Rulers like El-Sisi, and of course the orange motherfucker himself, and of course every last fascist thug before them, hate concepts such as the First Amendment.
Free speech in Egypt does not exist; and has not existed in my over half a century lifetime — and it probably never has. Think about it: this is a civilization that has existed for millennia, and has never been a free country — never free, for over 5 thousand years.
Think about what this has done to the national character of Egypt.
Think about how you would feel if you grew up in a relentlessly dirty, loud, poor, deeply sexist, predatory, xenophobic third-world country, one with a disastrous Malthusian problem.
Think of growing up with no freedom, few career opportunities, and the suffocating weight of army, religion, oppressive customs, violent shurta (police), government goons, constant surveillance, automatic suspicion of anyone under 40 who is not from the moneyed and influence-buying “upper classes,” who could literally get away with murder, and of course a massively corrupt business elite breathing down your neck, day in, day out.
What does that do to a human being?
What happens when the lives of millions of young Egyptians are already ruined by the time they are 10, and young homeless boys are sold or rented on the streets of Cairo to Saudi and Gulfie pederasts?
What happens when a most likely significant percentage of the future of a nation dream — it’s young — of leaving their country?
What happens when millions of young Egyptians lose themselves in drugs and alcohol, or — metaphorically speaking: the reality is the rampant sexual harassment in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria — jerk off incessantly to Lebanese-American pornhub star Mia Khalifa or heed the siren call of ISIS in the mountains of Sinai, while the entitled sons and daughters of Dreamland (a gated Cairo development), Maadi (a rich suburb), Zamalek (an upper class island in the center of Cairo) and elsewhere live the good life while you, you, you have nothing.
I remember seeing in 2013 the dispossessed youth of Egypt walking in downtown Cairo while holding on to planks of wood with nails hammered into them and clashing with Morsi’s Islamic supporters, as the police and army stood aside, and everywhere around Tahrir in the ertswhile cultural heart of the Arab World — my once beloved Cairo — looking more like an open-air dystopic prison movie set — complete with burning tires, broken glass and ripped up sidewalks — than a city that used to fancy itself as Paris on the Nile.
Erudite discussions of hapaxes in the Qurʾān at El Azhar were probably not held that day.
The Utopia that the late and extremely prolific Ahmed Khaled Tawfik ( أحمد خالد توفيق ) wrote about in one of his most popular novels — a 2008 book that has many affinities with Amirpour’s film — gave rise to the El Sisi phenomenon: the bargain made in hell by the rich of Egypt as well as the Copts (10% of the population) that he would protect them from the so-called anarchists and Islamists and revolutionaries looking for social justice whom they were convinced would seize their fortunes and slit their throats — even one of my own crazy aunts kept carrying on about the coming dabha and stupidly exclaimed, when I visited Egypt again last year, how much she loved Sisi, how great a man this Sisi is: which in my mind confirmed that most of my immediate Egyptian relatives who are older than, say, 70, have become battier than bats.
It must be the climate.
At any rate, during this pivotal time in the history of Egypt (early 2013), when many felt Egypt was under assault by the Moslem Brotherhood (which it was), after true Freedom seemed finally at hand, at long last, but only briefly so, places like El Gouna on the Red Sea stood empty, while the so-called elites packed their bags and fled to London and elsewhere to ride out the imbecilic reign of Morsi.
Now Morsi and Mubarak are being led about (simultaneously this week!) like chimpanzees in kangaroo courts in Cairo, while Sisi sweats on American TV taped video, as he is nailed about imprisoning masses of Egyptians and betraying Palestine, or, to put it in more graphic terms, how this great man became Bibi’s little bitch, and sold off Egyptian land to the murderous Saudis, as the Muller time bomb keeps ticking, and the orange clown carries on inanely about this and that, and our government remains closed.
Bad Batch is currently streaming on Netflix.
It proffers a rather disturbing vision, unless you are used to these sorts of movies, but it’s worth the watch, even if not, for it’s a cannibalistic metaphor as to where we may be headed.
Here comes the cod liver oil closer.
Unless we in the US can return to being a country that is once again ruled by law, and that the laws we pass are fair and just to all, and that the idea that the USA is a Christian nation that is ruled by a white male patriarchy is relegated to the dustbin of history, once and for all, there is a good chance that we will end up just like Egypt.
Fuck that vision of Egypt, which might one day be replaced by another, with no room for the likes of El Sisi — who perhaps, no make that definitely, ought to be dragged in chains, along with his good friend Bibi, to The Hague for Crimes Against Humanity.
In the meantime, things are bound to start getting really ugly. Time to choose sides, come what may.
Note: After watching the interview, it is safe to say that 95% of Sisi’s statements were a complete fabrication. I was in Egypt for 3 months in 2013, and then again for an extended period of time during his farcical re-election.