A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6, 1973 and Today: Triumphant Photos and a Sad One

Having been posting on October 6 since 2009  I am running out of new things to say.

On October 6, 1973, Egypt crossed the Suez Canal, took the Bar-Lev Line and despite the military setbacks that followed regained enough prestige to move towards peace with Israel. In four years, Sadat was in Jerusalem.

But on October 6, 1981, Anwar Sadat was assassinated at a Military Day parade.

But on October 6, 1984, at an Egyptian Military Day reception, at the Officer's club at Fort Myer, Virginia, I met my future wife.

So as they say on Facebook, "It's complicated."

After nearly seven years rehashing the October War is pointless, Some photos of the exubernce of the time, followed by a sad one on where we are today:

Moving on from the triumphal first moments of Egyptians setting foot on Sinai for the first time in six plus years I want to look at a less pleasant photo of Egypt's military prowess:

This photo of an unexploded bomb in the ground in Syria, is being circulated by Syrian opposition forces in social media. Assuming it is a real photo, neither Photoshopped nor shown out of context (an assumption I cannot verify), it is clearly of Egyptian manufacture.

The logo (perhaps suspiciously clear in the photo?) is clearly that of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, a major component of the Egyptian defense industries, (Right,)

But today the Sisi  regime in Egypt is generally anti-Asad but has given some support to the Russian intervention, perhaps a result of its major funding sources in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE being virulently anti-Asad while Egypt is buying arms from Russia. The AOI has been around for decades and even if the photo and its provenance are real, it could have been purchased over a long period. But it reminds us how the bipolar Middle East of the 1970s has become a kaleidoscope of shifting allegiances.

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