How is it that historians decipher what really happened during the Revolutionary War? The Vendée French genocide? The Falkland Islands conflicts? Everyone knows you can’t really trust the newspapers to give you the whole scoop. War correspondents sit in cozy bars drinking grasshoppers (or whatever journalism majors drink) and write what the bartenders think is going on.
Personal correspondence is the gold mine of the history books. The best books are written after sorting through thousands of letters written by soldiers, wives, statesmen and ordinary people who lived it. The following letters were exchanged by Coptic Christian refugees who recently fled Cairo and their close relatives still in Egypt. These have been provided by long-term HillBuzz/HoneyTrail/PoliNation blogger Ting who knows these people personally. Sam is her neighbor. She writes:
I will never forget taking Sam to a tea party tax day rally in 2010, just so he could see what it was all about. At the time he said that they would never allow it in Egypt – the police would be breaking it up and sending everyone home. When he arrived in the US about 10 years ago, he said that they did not have any love for Mubarak, but that they did appreciate the way he kept things under control, and things functioned relatively smoothly.
Then in Feb. of 2011 when Mubarak was ousted he was overjoyed at first, but by April he was worried that they were calling for the elections to be too soon, that no other group except the Muslim Brotherhood would be able to organize in time. He felt like Obama had a roe in that timetable. It has been very hard for him to hear the things that his family tells them. They fled Cairo a few months ago and went to someplace they have way out in the country.
Forty years from now, the history of the Egyptian agony, and possibly its triumph, will be written from letters like these. Perhaps sooner than that, we will begin to acknowledge that the Muslim Brotherhood that our own State Department and President continue to support, with words and funds, are nothing but a minority of thugs that the people of Egypt, supported by General Sisi and the military, are bravely resisting.
You may have heard in the last few days about Egypt through the media. I hope you will take time to read the email below. As an Egyptian who was born in Egypt and is now an Egyptian-American, I cannot agree more with the content of this email. It truly explains the current situation in Egypt accurately. The Brotherhood is nothing more than a terrorist group who tries to take away the tiny bit of freedom that everyday Egyptians have and impose their radical religious beliefs on others. I have been enjoying the freedom and democracy here in America. I hope someday that my family and other Egyptians will have the same freedoms or even a small part of the liberties we so often take for granted. Please, pass this message to your friends and may I ask your prayers for all law abiding Egyptians both Muslim and Christian.
Dear Pete and Ardy,
Hope all is going well at your end… I wish you happiness and health and all the good in the world…
I need to ask you to please spread the word… You know us, you know Egypt… and I am so surprised at the media in the US and Europe.. We took to the streets in millions on the 30th of June to oust Morsi and the MBs from Egypt…
These people are terrifying us… Their leaders literally said that the terrorist attacks in Sinai could stop if morsi is released… I heard them myself… We took to the streets again today to support General Sisi’s campaign against terrorism.
MBs are real dictators, they have alienated everybody at the time of Morsi’s rule. The constitution they passed is far from democratic ( I read it all ). Morsi released terrorists from prisons, in thousands… I saw faces that I thought were sentenced to death because they killed both Egyptians and tourists on the peaceful land of Egypt. Please spread the word, it is not a coup, it is a war against terrorism and we are supporting Sisi all the way.
MBs are hiring thugs to shoot protestors, they steel [sic] dead people’s bodies and claim they belong to them to show the world that they are the victims.. I know one of them! And other friends know of other examples.
Al Jazeera, CNN, Guardian and BBC are lying to the world… They are showing Morsi’s supporters as millions and this is not true.. MBs are protesting near by my mother’s place and they kidnap people and they torture them inside the “mosque” can you believe this?
Our army is being shot at in Sinai and many soldiers killed while defending our land. We trust them, we sought their support to bring our country back and they responded to us.
I am sorry for my long email, and sorry to bother you.. But I know you love Egypt and you know Egypt more than many Egyptians do… If you could spread the word, I and so many others will be very grateful to you.
Love you both very much, and wish you peace and happiness forever.
Now, here’s some lighter commentary about the administration’s relationship with General Al Sisi.