If Egypt Hates Foreigners, Why Not Tourists Too?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 11/19/2015 02:36:00 PM
It's all part of a vast conspiracy to defame Egypt's leaders according to, er, Egypt's leaders.
One thing that usually unites all conspiracy theories is that they lack logical coherence. At the broadest level, it is doubtful that so many entities would be conspiring to be against you specifically Similarly, it is often doubtful whether others would go to such extreme lengths to put you down. It is unfortunate that both are operational in modern-day Egypt after the downing of a Russian aircraft. Yes, it's apparently being called a Western plot to defame Egypt's leadership. While even Russian authorities have now concluded that the plane was brought down by a bomb, Egyptian ones are still in denial:
Instead, Mr. Sisi and his supporters have shut down any discussion of possible terrorism, and rallied patriotic passions against the idea, portraying Western alarms as a plot against Egypt. “Of course we are talking about a conspiracy,” Dr. Alaa Abdel Wahab, an adviser to the minister of tourism, said Thursday in a telephone call to a morning talk show. Dr. Wahab argued that Western governments were trying to harm Egypt because they resented “the popular support for President Sisi.”
This sort of pattern has a long history:
Egyptian officials have invoked similar themes for decades in response to crises, from Egypt’s defeat in the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, blamed on the United States and Britain, to the deadly floods this fall in Alexandria, blamed on the plugging of sewers in the city by Islamists.

But with so many jobs at stake — and so many other countries watching the investigation — some say the government’s response to the crash may be testing the limits of Egyptians’ willingness to suspend their criticism and to unite against an ambiguous foreign threat. After Mr. Sisi’s bellicose talk of going without food, “people are just making fun of him,” said Hisham Kassem, a veteran Egyptian journalist sympathetic to the president. “I am disappointed.”

The government has approached every crisis as a shadow war against foreign enemies, Mr. Kassem said, perhaps reflecting Mr. Sisi’s years in military intelligence before he led the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood two years ago. “The president and all of his advisers are from the security services,” Mr. Kassem said, but “if you are going to handle a P.R. crisis using the security services, you are going to bungle.”
If you devote even a smidgen of thought to the matter, it is easy to poke holes in this conspiracy. The most basic one is: if Egyptian leaders hate vile, conspiring Westerners so much, then why do they lament the loss of Western tourists? Theirs is Eddie Murphy logic all over again: kill the white people / but buy my record first. Except here it's...screw the white people / but visit my tourist traps first.

Should you really hate Europeans and all the rest, well, perhaps you shouldn't attempt make a living catering to their tourists to begin with.

PS: Also see Rob Brotherton's new book on the Psychology of Conspiracy Theories that is rather more forgiving of their logical inadequacies as a byproduct of cognitive limitations.