This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Petulance of a Megalomaniac

"Aside from the hefty financial, emotional and physical price me and my family paid in this case, I think it's a matter of principle for me to get my Egyptian citizenship back. I didn't want to give up my Egyptian citizenship but I was advised -- some call it coerced -- to drop my citizenship because this was the best way to gain my release. I got assurances from both the Canadian government and the Egyptian government that this was the best way to go. But then they threw me back in the cage rather than release me in the same way as Peter [Greste]."
"Mr. Harper delegated his responsibilities to the ambassador and his staff. They were amazing, but they didn't have the clout to pull it off. Of course, I was betrayed. You're talking about a life or death situation."
Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy
Credit Image: © Li Muzi/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com    Opponents of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi gather in Tahrir Square.

Mohamed Fahmy, from the safety of Canada, has filed a $100-million lawsuit against Al Jazeera, claiming that Al Jazeera Mubasher, the network's Egyptian affiliate was in reality a "thinly veiled mouthpiece" of the Morsi government and acted as a propaganda arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Well, in actual fact, this is the precise charge of the Egyptian government against Mohamed Fahmy and his colleagues, during a time of great national upheaval, when Cairo was roiled by violent demonstrations, and this man was the official station chief for Al Jazeera.

He most certainly would have known what Al Jazeera was all about; he certainly identified it as accurately as the Egyptian government in charging him did, in his lawsuit. It acts as a propaganda tool of its founding- and funding-source, Qatar, which supports the Muslim Brotherhood. The removal of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, which had placed the Brotherhood in virtual control of the country did not sit well with the majority of Egyptians. Al Jazeera was presenting the Brotherhood version of events, which was what Mr. Fahmi was charged with.

In prison, this man who in effect, betrayed his own country's values as station chief for Qatar's news mouthpiece, wailed and whined about his predicament unceasingly. It was he and he alone who made the decision to leave Canada to seek journalistic fame and fortune wherever he could, ending up with Al Jazeera in Egypt. His own free choice, one made for professional and personal reasons that suited him, of his own volition, but he finds fault with the government of a country whose passport was valuable to him in the pursuit of his professional advances, while remaining a dual citizen of Egypt.

No government under these circumstances can extend authority into another country's affairs, interrupting its lawful processes. Even the new Egyptian President el-Sisi, found it difficult, despite the pressure placed upon him internationally and from Canada directly through high-level interventions, to counteract judicial decisions in respect of his own country's legal process. That he did eventually intervene speaks to the discomfort of the situation in the face of a country with good relations with Egypt, actively courting it to release the man.

Ambassadors and their staff are delegated to do many things in representing their countries' interests. Attempting as best they can to speak on behalf of nationals who get themselves into trouble is one of the consular duties imposed upon them by virtue of their profession. Mr. Fahmy's inflated sense of self-importance leads him to think that a prime minister has nothing better to do than follow every national in every country whom foreign-service consuls are already working on behalf of.

He is enjoying his too-long-extended period of fame in the compassion extended to him by others who respond to the misfortunes attendant on those who believe the world circles the sun on their sole behalf, weeping inconsolably for himself while blaming others for the consequences of the decisions he made to advance his personal interests. That journalists are subjected to dire consequences of their professions infuriating tyrants and autocrats as they are in Russia and Turkey is a fact; that Fahmy's plight fell into their category is questionable.

Anti-Morsi protesters chant slogans during an opposition rally in front of Al-Qoba presidential palace in Cairo.

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