1 - 7 August 2002
Issue No. 597
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Recommend this page|
Revolutionary life, and death
No one is clear on the most basic question: Is the revolution alive or dead? Those who claim that the July Revolution is still alive run into an obvious dilemma -- our world, mood and principles have moved significantly since the time of the revolution.
Those who claim that the revolution is dead face a different set of questions: When did the revolution end? Did it end on 5 June 1967, when Abdel-Nasser's dreams of liberation were dashed? Or on 15 May? There is also the problem of how to explain Sadat. Was he a turncoat, a counter-revolutionary? If so, why did Abdel-Nasser appoint him vice-president?
There is no doubt that Sadat changed the country's political course, through his open-door policy, his visit to Jerusalem and the Camp David accords. Yet is it not true that Nasser paved the way for Sadat's makeover?
Some argue that Nasser's acceptance of the Rogers initiative was a tactical move. So, was the acceptance of UN Security Council 242, which grants Israel the right to live within safe and recognised borders also tactical? Were the overtures to the US, which began in Nasser's time, the same?
Nasser could not have gone as far as Sadat, but the latter clearly did not act in a vacuum. He represented changes that emerged within the social fabric created by the July Revolution.
Sadat did direct the country away from the revolutionary trail. But the river of the revolution was already changing course.
This week's soapbox speaker is a journalist and political analyst with the weekly Al-Ahali.
Letter from the Editor
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