http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/06/29/155368.html

In post-revolution Egypt every story has at least seven versions and nothing guarantees that one of them will eventually turn out to be truth. The result is that we are always left with a series of speculations and each of us chooses the scenario that best suits his or her inclination as to which way things are heading in the country in which hardly one day passes without action. One thing, however, remains common between the different analyses and the conflicting reports: conspiracy.

Detecting a dark force that aims at inflicting a damage of apocalyptical proportions is not new to our culture—and I mean the Egyptian and the Arab—for we are a people who tend to bestow an epical aura on all the battles we fight, maybe owing to the degree of self-confidence this assumption endows us with or to the heroic attributes with which we are to be labeled for fighting such a formidable enemy.

It could also be much simpler: the more the suspense, the more attention you get and the more time you buy whilst trying to figure out how to deal with some fix or another… and—this is something most people are not wise enough to see—the more distracted you get from the real cause and the more energy and time are wasted in fighting windmills while the real enemy—which might turn out to be your own self—becomes a few steps away from declaring you dead.

True we have always been like that, yet with an unprecedented revolution that together with toppling the regime unleashed the long-repressed complexities of the political, social, and religious situation in Egypt, this tendency to place a larger-than-life power behind each and every crises was taken to the next zillion levels.

The exact truth of the violent clashes that took place in Tahrir Square on Tuesday night remains unrevealed. The story we have so far is that a memorial service for those killed in the revolution was held in a theatre when a group of people—allegedly families of other martyrs who were not invited to the memorial and allegedly armed with cudgels and Molotov cocktails—tried to break into the theatre and a huge fight ensued when they were denied access.

The same alleged families of martyrs allegedly took the battle to Tahrir where clashes erupted with security forces and intensified in front of the Interior Ministry where police vehicles and motorcycles were burnt and where tear gas was fired to disperse the protestors/rioters.

The skirmishes, which lasted till dawn, left dozens injured and millions wondering what is happening in a country where it has become next to impossible to tell who is fighting who and who started what. Nobody really knows if those people who tried to enter the theatre were actually families of martyrs because if they were, why were they armed and why did they destroy the theatre? And why would they attack the Interior Ministry? To vent their anger at the government’s procrastination in putting policemen charged with killing protestors on trial? Maybe, but why have they decided to resort to violence all of a sudden while all their protests over the delay of trials have so far been peaceful?

If these were not what the press and some eyewitnesses claim they are, who are they? What else? They must be thugs? That doesn’t help a lot. Now, the word “thugs” is almost becoming synonymous with “people” so when you say that it is thugs who did, it is like you said nothing at all.

Thugs are usually believed to be dispatched by some person or some entity that has a direct interest in the situation although this is not necessarily the case. Here we come to the question that blew off the lid of Pandora’s Box: who sent the thugs? And all kinds of answers start popping up, and with each answer an entire world of sneaky intrigues and mischievous plots reveals itself to an audience yearning for an action-packed story that absolves them from blame and holds some invincible power accountable for their misery.

In order not to exert a lot of effort in order to make sure it is indeed a conspiracy, the Higher Council of the Armed Forces has already announced that the last Tahrir events are part of an “organized plan” to destabilize Egypt. This established, it was the people’s turn to figure out what kind of conspiracy it is and who is behind it and what their motives are and so on and so forth.

It was the “remnants”—I wish one day would pass without this word coming my way in some form or another—of the ousted regime, some said. They could be getting back at… not sure who—I assume not the court that issued the ruling—for dissolving the municipal councils, a haven for corruption, bribery, and nepotism in pre-revolution Egypt and from whose influence millions benefited during the Mubarak era. Those same remnants could also be engaging in one of their several attempts to undermine the gains of the revolution and discredit the post-Mubarak government that keeps promising to maintain law and order and constantly fails to do so.

While these theories are not totally implausible, there are many reasons that make them not as credible as they might sound to be. If we assume that those thugs who engage in such riots are hired, those who hire them must either want to gain one thing or avoid losing some other thing.

This, for example, was the case with the brawls that came to be known as the Battle of the Camel, in which supporters of the regime tried to scare the protestors away from Tahrir in the hope that the revolution would be aborted and that Mubarak would stay in power and, therefore, their interests would not be jeopardized. The same applied to Interior Ministry thugs who were out to terrorize the people that were left unprotected after the police was withdrawn on January 28 and to deliver the regime’s message that “it’s either us or chaos.”

Now, who hires those thugs and for what? The regime is toppled anyway and all those implicated in its crimes are either in jail or trying to figure out how to cover up decades of illegal practices and destroy flagrant evidence on abuse of power. How will sending thugs to a theatre be of any benefit to those “remnants” at the moment? To destabilize the country? Why again? I would have believed that had there been any hope that the regime might be restored and that they might eventually make up for their losses, but this is not the case.

I find it very hard to believe that if I am hit on the head, I would stagger after whoever hit me and risk losing consciousness while trying to do so rather than stay where I am and try to regain my balance, especially if I can see that the culprit is already miles away and that catching him would mean an inevitable suicide. I don’t see how the “remnants,” whether they are businessmen or former officials, can be actually paying money to thugs while they can become penniless any moment.

The “remnants” myth is becoming very dangerous and I am surprised that some people are still falling into this trap. Well, I am not as surprised as I think I am, for this is the same bait they happily munched on during the time of sectarian clashes. “This is a conspiracy,” they said. By whom? Of course, it’s “them.” Why? “Because Muslims and Christians will never do that to each other.” Well, they apparently did, so let’s face it and admit that there is something wrong with us and that we need to work on identifying and fixing it instead of always insisting that it is not our fault and that we are the victims of some attack from Mars.

I don’t think there is such a thing as “remnants” and if there is, they must be cowering in their hiding places, trying to get a ticket on the first flight to the Virgin Islands, or contacting as many lawyers as they can afford. Destabilizing and jeopardizing and undermining and all those verbs used in association with those mythical creatures seem to be the least of their worries now.

To be fair, I have to admit that Egyptians are not one-track minded and that they are resourceful and shrewd enough not to only blaming the “remnants” for all its post-revolution misfortunes. They are not that naïve to assume that everything has only one reason. There is another enemy that, according to several testimonies I heard, takes part in every action that is detrimental to Egypt’s security and that specifically took part in Tuesday’s events: Israel.

God! I wish the Soviet Union were still around. Wouldn’t the Communist flavor have added more spice to this “they are all against us” saga?