Good Example Of Essay On Reasons Why The Military Dominated Egyptian Politics
I think, there is a variety of reasons for why the military dominated the Egyptian politics for that long and in order to analyze these reasons I am convinced it deems necessary to distinguish among them some internal factors, the roots of which are in the very essence of the Egyptian national mentality as well as Egyptian social and economic peculiarities of that time, and also several external reasons which shaped the Egyptian authority in such a way so as to let the military stay at the top for that long period of time.
Let’s start with the internal factors. The most fundamental of them is probably the one that initially helped the military gain vide support within the population of the state and therefore helped to successfully overthrow king Farouk – dissatisfaction with the policy of the king, of how ineffectively and relatively unwillingly he tackled social problems and, especially, with how much oriented on the Great Britain, the former colonizer of Egypt, he was. All of these were things little popular among the Egyptians, so the military took advantage of these dissatisfaction. However, this reason of their success was more of an impetus for their coming to power than a good reason for why they stayed for that long.
The second internal reason, I think, was the very policy and reforms the military implemented as most of these reforms were very beneficial for the population from the social point of view. For instance, they recovered the land, which for long had been owned by the powerful and rich few and gave it to the poor. Also, in the era of Nasser a period of industrialization in Egypt began boosted majorly by a very significant and bold move by Nasser – nationalization of the Suez Canal which, though being protested against among the international actors helped to draw quite a good amount of money to the Egyptian budget. Or yet another instance – the military were the ones to initiate the talks about the equal rights of men and women, and I must say these talks succeeded much, as women, for instance, were given the right to vote. Also, the military tried to combat corruption, which, though being only relatively successful, was a very beneficial sign of the military’s commitment to its eradication to the social favor (‘Revolution Day’).
The third internal reason, I think, is knowledge of populism the military certainly possessed. In this relation this reason is closely intertwined with the previous one. Of course, these reforms were targeted at strengthening Egyptian economy and at bettering standards of life of Egyptians but also they were the means by which the military held on to power for that long, simply because they did what the population needed and what it wanted the new authorities to do, especially compared to what the king had – or had not – done.
What touches upon the external factors I think I can name at least two. First of all, this is the geographical proximity of Israel and therefore – of a significant military threat to Israel, given the protracted tension between these two countries. The military were the people who certainly could tackle the problem of this given threat better than anyone else, though not every historical episode proves it (for instance, the Six Days War). The military were the ones who proved not only to the world but also to their own people that Egypt is very strong in military terms and that it can tackle significant threats. It was namely during the reign of Nasser that Egypt started to be called the most powerful country in military terms among the Arab nations. Another proof of the military great capacity to defend and to fight was the Suez crisis 1956, which proved that even attempts of several powerful Western countries combined with Israel could not effectively struggle against Egypt. All of this proved to the people of Egypt that they are being defended and protected well and that the military authority of Nasser and then Sadat is probably the one that makes them feel not only the most safe possible but also very proud of their country and army. However this trend began to fade closer to the end of Sadat era, as the Correction of the Revolution turned his political course quite to another direction than the one Nasser initiated (‘The Corrective Revolution in Egypt 1971’).
The second external factor is political one. With the nascence of the military era in Egypt this country began to present itself to the world as the outpost of the movement of non-alignment, identifying itself neither with the Soviets nor with the West, but leading an independent policy. This gave a new “voice” to the former colonial and relatively undeveloped countries, and this literally granted leadership to Egypt in this movement (‘Anwar Al-Sadat’).
Therefore, I am positive that this array of reasons I have presented are the ones that namely helped the military be that popular in Egypt and stay at the top for that long.
‘Anwar Al-Sadat’, Ibiblio, viewed 27 February 2015, <http://www.ibiblio.org/sullivan/bios/Sadat-bio.html>.
Guindy, Hosny, ‘Liberating Nasser’s Legacy’, Al-Ahram Weekly Online, viewed 27 February 2015, <http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/501/nasser2.htm>.
‘Revolution Day’. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, viewed 27 February 2015, <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1449894/Revolution-Day>.
‘The Corrective Revolution in Egypt 1971’. On War, viewed 27 February 2015, <https://www.onwar.com/aced/chrono/c1900s/yr70/fegypt1971a.htm>.