In my relatively short time on this Earth, I have witnessed major events that had an impact, of varying degrees, on my life. To list a few: The Gulf War (1990/1991), September 11 attacks in New York (2001), the fall of Saddam Hussein and the American invasion of Iraq (2003), the Arab Spring (2010/2011), the quick rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (2012/2013), and the COVID-19 pandemic (2020/2021).
Yet, the unthinkable, for me, is watching the plebeians storming into the Capitol Hill building, in the capital of democracy Washington, D.C., after the President of the United States, shamelessly, mobilized them in a rally to protest election results, because he refuses to peacefully hand over power to his elected successor. I am one of the millions, around the world, who envy the American people for being born under a democratic system that allows them to peacefully select or change their representatives in power. It was heartbreaking to watch President Trump setting democracy on fire, and risking the national security of his own country, for selfish reasons.
On the morning of Wednesday, 6th of January, U.S. President Trump made a long speech, wherein he incited his supporters to organize in a rally at Pennsylvania Avenue moving towards the Capitol Hill building to stop the Congress from counting the votes that would confirm his loss of the presidential elections. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough and we will not take it anymore… we fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore;” that is how Trump spoke to the crowds, who were burning with the anger he had been stocking in their hearts since the announcement of Joe Biden’s victory of the presidential elections, in November.
Less than an hour later, people, from all over the world, were mesmerized in front of their TV screens watching democracy being raped by Trump supporters at the Capitol Hill. After the killing of four people, deployment of The National Guard forces, multiple resignations by top presidential aides, and confirmation by Congress on Biden’s victory; Trump made another speech on Thursday, January 7th evening, declaring that he condemns violence and is willing to accept election results and hand over power. Unfortunately, that was too late.
On these days last year, after the successful termination of the notorious Iranian general Qassem Suliemani, Trump was seen by people, not only in America, but also in the Middle East, as a superman. Despite the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020, the last year of Trump’s administration, marked unprecedented diplomatic triumphs in the Middle East. The most prominent of which are the Abraham accords between Israel and some Arab countries.
However, today, in Egypt, as well as many other countries in the Arab region, people are gloating over the horrid scene in D.C., with an overwhelming sense of dejavu. The storm into the Capitol Hill reminded them with famous scenes of the Arab Spring of random people storming into government and parliament buildings, in 2011. The public gloating, which I despise, is emerging from a conspiracy theory, adopted by many in the Arab Spring countries, claiming that the U.S. administration is the mastermind behind the the Arab Spring revolutions. Thus, for them, the U.S. is responsible for the fall of their states and the damaging consequences that followed, such as civil wars and the spread of terrorist organizations. Actually, a quick look at the leaked emails of Hillary Clinton and the recently published “A Promised Land” book by Barack Obama proves the opposite.
Unfortunately, all the positive achievements by the Trump administration, especially in the Middle East, will be forgotten. Trump will be only remembered as the American president, who, before leaving the office, attempted to destroy the pillars of democracy, that is supporting his own country. Just the same way Samson destroyed the pillars of the temple on his own head; while Trump was purposefully attempting to set democracy on fire, he committed a political suicide that he cannot reverse.
by: Dalia Ziada