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Unearthing the Hidden Truth - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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There is an ongoing conflict between Mamdouh al-Laithi, the producer of the as yet unreleased film “Nasser and Amer” and the censorship bodies in Egypt who have raised strenuous objections to much of the film’s content, and who are also calling for sovereign bodies like the Intelligence services and Military Intelligence to approve the film prior to release.

Mamdouh al-Laithi has confirmed that this film will not be revealing any security secrets or classified information, but will instead focus upon the enigmatic relationship between [former Egyptian President] Jamal Abdul Nasser and Abdul Hakim Amer. This was a relationship that was fraught with favoritism and cronyism and came at the expense of the welfare of the country and the region. This relationship saw Amer being given preferential treatment by Nasser and he was not held accountable for his irresponsible mistakes with regards to his recklessness towards the duties of his position.

One of Amer’s biggest failures was his incompetence in handling the union with Syria [United Arab Republic] and his disregard for the political interplay of this historically, socially and economically unique country. Amer wanted to erase all of this with a stroke of his pen, and so he appointed a group of irresponsible individuals to spark panic in both countries by enforcing this union regardless of the price. This resulted in an adverse reaction to the union and Syria’s militarization. It was Amer’s intelligence services tactics that had brought about the unification between the two countries, and it was these same tactics that inevitably led to the disheartening breakdown of this union. Rather then Nasser learning a lesson from this and realizing that Abdul Hakim Amer was a disorderly and incompetent individual, Nasser allowed him to keep his position and continued to give him authority over the Egyptian armed forces.

While Nasser at times issued threats against Israel, and at other times threatened Arab countries, the Egyptian armed forces were dealt a serious blow during their war in Yemen after Egypt’s entire gold reserve was spent in order to purchase arms and equipment. After this, the Egyptian armed forces suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands of Israel during the Six Day War. All of this took place because Nasser’s political discourse was completely out of touch with the readiness and competence of the Egyptian military. For the political discourse was in one sphere, and Abdul Hakim Amer was in another, and so Nasser had no choice but to get rid of Amer by removing him from the army

Now, long years after Nasser’s death, there are those who are saying that he did not die of grief after suffering defeats, disappointments, and broken dreams, as is commonly accepted, but that he was poisoned. They claim that the US and Israel wanted to rid themselves of Nasser and instead bring in Anwar Sadat. What kind of nonsense is this? Did the US and Israel ever make any gains comparable to those they made during the Nasser era? Nasser wanted to change history, but he ended up only changing the geography of the region. Israel more than doubled its territory as a result of the gains it made during the 1967 war, and Sinai, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights were lost over a period of just six days. What an outstanding achievement!

Bringing up allegations that Nasser was poisoned at this time in order to strike at those who succeeded him is an obvious case of [political] score settling. What is important now is to eliminate the remnants of the Nasser era and to deal with its complexities in a serious manner. This era was nothing more than an era of setback.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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