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Who Are the Bad Guys in Egypt?

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Echoing the official line of the U.S. government, the New York Times has referred to the “terrorist insurgency” that has developed in response to Egypt’s military regime. The Times was specifically referring to the shoot-down of an Egyptian military helicopter by militants.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why people who resist tyranny are considered “terrorists.” After all, a “terrorist” is considered a super-bad guy, right? He’s a person that the U.S. government and the Egyptian government wield the authority to take into custody, hold indefinitely under military control, torture, and even execute or assassinate, all without due process of law or trial by jury.

Okay, so why are Egyptian militants considered the bad guys in all this?

For one thing, it’s not as though the militants targeted innocent civilians with their attack. They targeted a military helicopter, one that is owned and operated by the Egyptian military dictatorship. I thought that in war, military installations, troops, and vehicles are legitimate targets. Indeed, if revolutionaries can’t attack military targets without being called “terrorists,” then that begs the question: What targets are considered legitimate in a revolutionary war?

Under the principles enunciated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, don’t the Egyptian people have the right to violently overthrow the military dictatorship under which they are suffering? After all, it would be difficult to find a better example of tyranny than the Egyptian military dictatorship. The military has ousted and incarcerated the democratically elected president of the county, is murdering peaceful demonstrators, is jailing and torturing dissenters, is shutting down any criticism of the regime, is censoring the press, has imposed a “constitution” that protects the military’s privileged position in society, and now threatens to place another military strongman as president.

What better model of tyranny than that?

I would assume that most Americans, including the people at New York Times, would acknowledge that the British government in 1776 was tyrannical. Given that the Egyptian military dictatorship is doing much worse things than the regime of King George, doesn’t that make the Egyptian government, by comparison, much more tyrannical?

If the English colonists had the right to violently resist the tyranny under which they were suffering, why don’t the Egyptian people have the same right, especially since the tyranny under which they are suffering is a thousand times worse than that under which the English colonists were suffering?

My hunch is that there is one big reason that the New York Times and the U.S. government consider opponents of Egypt’s military dictatorship to be “terrorists”: The Egyptian military dictatorship has been a longtime partner and ally of the U.S. national-security state. Over the decades, they have worked together, trained together, and socialized together. Indeed, it has been the U.S. national-security state, including its vast army of weapons producers, that, year after year, has directly provided the Egyptian military dictatorship with an annual dole of $1.3 billion in weaponry and cash, knowing full well its purpose: to enable it to maintain itself permanently in power as the foundation of Egypt’s governmental system.

The fact that there are Americans who honestly consider the Egyptian military brutes to be the good guys and the Egyptian citizens who are resisting military tyranny to be bad guys only goes to show the degree to which the U.S. national-security state has warped, corroded, and corrupted the morals and values of the American people, not to mention the fact that the Egyptian tyranny has been knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally built, fortified, and supported by the government of the American people.

Hopefully, the death and destruction in Egypt will cause the American people to engage in some serious soul-searching about the nature of their own governmental system, specifically whether the Cold War-era national-security state apparatus (i.e., the standing army, military industrial complex, foreign empire of bases, foreign aid, foreign interventionism, CIA, and NSA) should be dismantled or continue to be part of America’s governmental structure.

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.