A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Talk About a Dark Horse: Promoting ‘Omar Suleiman for President?

If you thought some of the conspiracy theories making the rounds in Egypt were rather bizarre, Zeinobia's blog brings us news of the strangest movement yet: a movement to promote the candidacy for President of former General Intelligence Chief and Vice President ‘Omar Suleiman. Now mind you, the longtime spymaster's qualifications are real enough, but most people assumed his death in July of 2012 would have disqualified him.

The Deep State, indeed. So deep you have to disinter your candidate?

The campaign, which has a Facebook page (of course) which had 9000 likes when Zeinobia posted but has 20,000 as I post this (Arabic link), may be a joke, but Zeinobia takes it seriously and there were plenty of conspiracy theories when he died unexpectedly in an American hospital. Most of those were either that the US and/or Israel killed him (even though those were the two countries with which he had worked most closely) or that he'd really died in the Damascus bombing that killed Asad's security chiefs.  I suppose the idea he's not really dead and is awaiting a messianic return is only a step or two loonier.

Or is this a subtle parody of the return of the mukhabarat state and the talk of Sisi as the reincarnation of Nasser? The fact that it's increasingly hard to tell what's parody and what's not says something right there.

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