Opinion: U.S., Russian stances on 30 June uprising juxtaposed

Perhaps because it is a relatively young nation, the United States does not seem to learn much from history. Today’s events do not seem to differ much from what happened in the 1950s, when the US administration failed to understand Egyptians’ ambitions and their hopes for a better future.
During the Cold War, which pitted the US and the USSR against each other, former President and patriotic leader Gamal Abdel Nasser realized that if Egypt did not get American support to build the High Dam in Aswan, he could always try to gain the support of the USSR. The dam became a symbol of the friendly relations between the Egyptian and Russian people. In contrast, the Cairo Tower is a symbol of American foolishness, as the money used to construct it had been given by the US to Egypt in an attempt to change the latter’s stance on Algerian resistance to French occupation.
Today, the US is making the same mistake by ignoring popular will in Egypt, which was manifested in the mass rallies staged on 30 June and 26 July.  Indeed, despite these protests, the US continued to apply pressure for the return of ousted President Mohamed Morsy to power as the elected president. When the ludicrousness of its stance became obvious to the world, the US began to push for incorporating the Brotherhood in the new regime, contrary to what the US itself mandated in Iraq and contrary to what has happened in other countries in the world, including South Africa.
As in the 1950s, Russia was ready to support Egyptian popular will and appreciated the hopes of Egyptians for a better future. The current political leaders, who are no less patriotic than Nasser, have a golden opportunity to adjust the balance of international relations by bolstering ties with Russia. Why not invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Egypt as a gesture of appreciation for his position of supporting the crowds that took to the streets on 30 June, crowds who were quick to celebrate Putin's statement of support? Protesters in Alexandria raised a picture of Putin next to that of Nasser and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last week. Our political leaders should make this official state policy in order to liberate post-revolution Egypt from unilateral international relations.
Mohamed Salmawy is the President of the Writers’ Union of Egypt and Secretary General of the General Union of Arab Writers. He is also the former Chief Editor of al-Ahram Hebdo.

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