Egypt and the Gulf: Myth of Egyptian Role in the Persian Gulf War…….

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“Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Al Sissi has reportedly launched a damage control operation to ensure that his country’s relations are not affected by the alleged audio recording suggesting that Egyptian officials close to him viewed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with disdain. The conversation between Al Sissi who was then minister of defence and two aides, released on Saturday, includes remarks that some Gulf countries were half states, that they had more money than they needed and that Egypt should adopt a strict policy of give-and-take with them. It also includes verbal personal abuse of the Emir of Qatar…………..”

More about the Sisi Tapes. Sisi and his aides said the Egyptians should be tougher with countries ‘we liberated or helped liberate’ from Iraq. This is a misconception (actually almost a lie) that Egyptians keep repeating and now they may believe it. The Kuwaiti and Gulf media are too polite or timid to deny it directly. Egypt was very helpful but it did not actually liberate, nor did any other Arab country or army liberate Kuwait. Nor were they capable then, nor are they capable now of liberating anyone. The sheer logistics would have paralyzed them. It is the “Piss-up in a Brewery” syndrome that I am fond of referring to occasionally here.

Don’t get me wrong. Egyptian was very helpful and Egyptian public opinion was overwhelmingly against the Iraqi invasion and occupation in 1990-91. That enabled the Mubarak regime to send forces. Egyptians, unlike Jordanians for example, were never admirers of Saddam Hussein. I was in Cairo right after the war, and public opinion seemed strongly supportive of their ‘participation’.

Kuwait was mainly liberated by the Americans (boys and girls and Christians and Jews and Muslims and Vegans and Agnostics, among others). With some help from other European allies, especially the British. The Arab contingents that were sent to Saudi Arabia were just for window-dressing: the Americans thought it would help with Arab public opinion.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

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