Egypt today, like when Nero burnt Rome

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

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As far as my understanding goes, nothing similar has happened to Egypt like what it is currently witnessing. No other country has passed through this complicated phase we are living. There is this tampering with the state’s constituents and a crazy surge towards tearing apart the country’s fabric. I do not think it has happened before that rulers let their country’s situation reach this phase while they carelessly observed and are only concerned with being the sole leaders. What is certain is that rulers’ chairs are comfortable. The ruling palaces are wider. Their jets cannot be compared with three-wheeled rickshaws seen on the streets. But what kind of enjoyment is this when the state is collapsing?

Egypt’s ruling party only possesses an image of the state they want, and it is not a problem if the price is the collapse of the state which they are suffocating. This is what Emperor Nero did when he burnt Rome.

In 64 AD Nero had the idea of rebuilding Rome. Fire started at the Circus Maximus and vigorously spread for a week across Rome. The fire destroyed ten of the entire fourteen districts. As the fire spread and people screamed as they burnt, Nero sat in a high tower enjoying the scene of the fire which enchanted him and played his musical instrument as he sang Homer’s poetry which describes Troy’s fire. He killed his allies then his mother then his wife and he burnt Rome imagining that he will rebuild it from ashes.

Initial fears

What I say may seem over-pessimistic. But I see it as a realistic fear that could lead to tragic results.

The first of these initial fears is the complete disregard for any other power in society whether it is religious, political or ethnic. There are also their actions based on the logic that they are the country and their voice is that of the entire people and there is no voice beside it. They began to make statements regarding how they came into power. So they began to market the idea that they rule because voting was in their favor although they are the first of those who know how the results of these elections were and are controlled. They know better about their own means. It is a snatched legitimacy on the truth’s body nurtured by lies and elimination of others. The weakness that struck the opposing parties supports and nurtures this snatched legitimacy. But they are careless about the static force that they mistakenly think is under their control. They are delusional here because no matter what the comments are on this static force’s stances and reactions during the past months, their position will be decisive in this struggle. But we hope this decisiveness will be before the fire and not after it.

Egypt’s ruling party only possesses an image of the state they want, and it is not a problem if the price is the collapse of the state which they are suffocating.

Abdel Latif el-Menawy

Harming the concept of the state and pushing towards reaching a state of chaos is one of the features of the behavior of today’s rulers. This is displayed in that devilish desire to push for causing a general confrontation between the people and the police. This is by the way is an old scheme or at least part of it is. It aims to destroy and dismantle the state’s basis so they establish their state the way they see it. This crime against the country and the state will only lead to the fall of the basic elements of the society and will have the door wide open for the era of militias to begin. Talk of this era of militias has already begun. They think that the collective mind has become readier to accept the idea of militias for the sake of restoring lost security.

Thuggery and militias

We can clearly sense many of these introductions of what I am talking about. The “chivalry” of some ruling groups that rolled their sleeves and confirmed their militias’ and brigades’ readiness to immediately take to the streets to replace the police hich retreated from some of their positions in protest after they discovered the conspiracy of the clash they are being pushed towards with the people. It is important here to note that serious beginnings of any civil war is the presence of militias. There is also that “genius” idea to quickly issue a law to organize the work of security companies that fill the gap of the absence of security, as one of their leaders said. This legal organization for the presence of private security companies which foundation may be composed of their militia members is one of the means to light the fire.

The most devilish of models is that “satanic” idea made by one of their partisans to grant the authority of judicial regulation to the people. Because people like you and me will not understand the gravity of this measure due to physical and other reasons, those who will practice this right which aims to do wrong are those who formed militias. This announcement comes to grant them a legal cover as a pretext to replace the police being pushed into a fiery confrontation with the people. The police are thus left with either striking or burning in confrontations. It is true that another partisan came out to correct what was meant by the judicial monitoring. He did not deny or withdraw this right but his statements were more of a correction than they were of a confirmation.

What I mentioned is some of these introductions and not all of them. I think we are all capable of seeing other details that confirm heading towards what pushes the country to where we do not desire.

Nero deserved his end after he ruined his mother’s life and burnt a country. After the massacres and the fires he lit in Rome, he went to Greece to practice his hobby in singing, dancing and acting. Meanwhile, a revolution in Gaul erupted. As the revolution escalated and after Nero’s defeat and failure in managing the crisis, his friends and entourage left him. He therefore found it mandatory to flee his castle and go far away to a cottage that belongs to one of his servants who stayed with him. Over there, he cried a lot for what he’s become, and he remembered his mother whom he murdered. He continued to hide until he felt the soldiers’ hoofs roaming around, so he decided to kill himself. After many suicide attempts that failed out of his fear of death, he finally killed himself and the tyrant who exhausted Rome with his insanity and shamelessness died.

Abdel Latif e-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy

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