There is no sovereignty, man

This is, as far as I know, the only actual photo of the underground wall that is being built. It ran in Al-Masry Al-Youm English Edition last week.

When I was sixteen I used to make a really great argument that free will doesn’t exist. I’d be sitting in the car next to my friend and we’d have a conversation that went something like this:

Max: “There’s no free will, dude.”

Friend: “What are you talking about, man?”

Max: “No, dude. Seriously, man, you think there is, but really there isn’t.”

Friend: “Dude, of course I have free will!”

Max: “Okay, dude. If you have free will then run this red light and drive down that one-way street.”

Friend: “Dude! I can’t do that!”

Max: “Exactly, dude.”

I’ll admit it’s a pretty sophomoric argument, but at its heart there was an important truth. Free will only exists within the parameters that society has established for action.

Anyway, I thought of this whole thing when I went to the Daily News Egypt website this morning and saw the headline on the latest story about Egypt’s underground wall that is supposed to prevent smuggling. The headline reads, “Gaza barrier a ‘sovereign right’: Egyptian state-owned daily”.

“Egypt, which protects its sovereignty, has the right to develop the barrier separating it and Gaza. It has a right to have a wall that is strong and not subject to collapse.”

The editorial is the closest Egypt has so far come to officially confirming it is building the underground barrier to stem smuggling into Gaza through underground tunnels.

“Sovereignty” here reminds me of free will in my old argument.

Smuggling tunnels into Gaza are really not a threat to Egyptian security. However, they are a problem for Israel’s blockade on Gaza. And the US, which backs both Israel and Egypt, has the power to stop them.

There is every indication that the underground wall is a project undertaken at the behest of the United States. Some newspapers have even reported that the US Army Corps of Engineers is helping to build the wall.

So what does “sovereign” really mean here? Seriously, dude. Think about it.


1 Comment

Filed under Diplomacy, Egypt, Israel-Palestine

One response to “There is no sovereignty, man

  1. Gogo

    You’re absolutely right about the US-Israel-Egypt love affair, but don’t forget the essential ingredient of the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship to Hamas. AIPAC wouldn’t exist if the US didn’t *already* have imperial interests in the region as a starting point. Similarly, the NDP and most other Arab tyrants are interested first in their own seats and pockets and those of the businessmen they’re in bed with. The US and Israel wouldn’t find an ally in Mubarak if he weren’t the liberal mammoth he is, vendetta against Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to boot. So it’s not exactly as if Mubarak is forced to subordinate his sovereignty to the whim of the US when he fortifies the siege; he wants it just as much as they do if not more.

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