Giorgio Cafiero


Foreign Policy in Focus contributor Giorgio Cafiero discusses his article “Resurgent Arab Nationalism in Egypt;” a history lesson on Gamal Abdel Nasser and Egypt’s non-aligned independence during the Cold War; US support for the Muslim Brotherhood as a bulwark against Arab nationalism; how Egypt was brought under US influence after the 1973 Yom Kippur War demonstrated the power of Arab unity against Israel; the current runoff presidential election in Egypt, which does not include the popular 3rd place nationalist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi; the big divide between supporters of an Egyptian Islamic state and those preferring an inclusive secular state; and why the Muslim Brotherhood won’t push the military out of politics – which means no foreign policy changes or major rifts with Israel.

MP3 here. (18:31)

Giorgio Cafiero writes for Foreign Policy in Focus.

7 thoughts on “Giorgio Cafiero”

  1. outstanding interview sh. complex topic for us audience that certainly needed some parsing when interviewing regional scholars

  2. Get organized or get violent — For you slaves are outnumbered

    This week the President of Egypt will be elected, and as both candidates are of the rich ruling class, the 25% most wealthy, the entire revolution was a gigantic waste of good blood.

    For the voting majority is the 51% most wealthy, which means that half of the voters are of the rich ruling class. Surely politics in Egypt is nothing more then a debate over who gets to enslave the uneducated lower half of society.

    So, if any change is to ever take place, great affection and good organization must be established within such an enslaved laboring-class, or with violence most brutal must they pursue a deadly Revolution.

  3. The Egyptian people don't want Nasserites; didn't they just elect Islamist to 2/3 of the parliamentary seats?

    Giorgio Cafiero presents the side of Jamal Abdul-Nasser that serves his purpose. No mention of the Muslim Brotherhood members (both male and female) that he jailed, tortured and executed? Sayed Qutb and Zaynab a-Ghazali come to mind. (Read Zaynag al-Ghazali's book about her time in Nasser's prisons; it's published in English as 'Return of the Pharoah' – the despised Pharoah being Nasser, of course.)

    It's almost comical that he touts some Nasserite group as the one that will help the poor, become less dependent on the U.S., and have stronger ties to Turkey, when it's the Muslim Brotherhood that is known for those things.

  4. I don't believe that the guest ever portrayed Nasser as a champion of human rights, nor denied his human rights violations. He also explicitly stated that today the Islamists are very popular, as indicated by the the 2005/2012 elections. Nor did he state that the Dignity Party will help the poor, but rather much of the Dignity Party's candidate's success was attributed to a perception among young Egyptians who were anti-Mobarak, yet believe in religious freedom and the rights of Christians, that he would be a leader for the poor. His opposition to neo-liberal economic policies (which Islamists tend to support) was popular among the poor.

    In fact, the U.S. ties with the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1950s and 1960s are an example of a marriage between the imperialist forces and reactionary forces that weakened the Arab nationalists who sought to advance the cause of Arab independence from Western forces and former colonial powers. He also never stated that the Muslim Brotherhood didn't seek closer ties with Turkey, but rather the Dignity Party's candidate made that a foreign policy position a clear position of his.

    Moreover, Morsi's decision to visit Saudi Arabia as his first trip abroad as president suggests that under his leadership Cairo will not try to escape the Washington-Riyadh-Tel Aviv axis.

    Nonetheless, thank you for your opinion and book recommendation.

  5. news. Scott you can't stop. I will throw a good monthly donation your way. I don't have tons of money, but you are worth more than a few dollars a month to m

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