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Egyptian Uprising On Trial
By Jim Kirwan
It appears that the challenge presented to Egypt over the last three weeks may have fallen on fallow ground, if not on the barren rocks that lie beneath the desert sands.
So much passion and determination from the millions of demonstrators was expended and captured for the world in full public view: Yet this morning brought a series of articles that casts new light upon most of all that happened; only to arrive at this new impasse which is the same as the old-just without Mubarak himself.
This is Robert Fisk:
"Two days after millions of Egyptians won their revolution against the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the country's army ­ led by Mubarak's lifelong friend, General Mohamed el-Tantawi ­ further consolidated its power over Egypt yesterday, dissolving parliament and suspending the constitution. As they did so, the prime minister appointed by Mubarak, ex-General Ahmed Shafiq, told Egyptians that his first priorities were "peace and security" to prevent "chaos and disorder" ­ the very slogan uttered so often by the despised ex-president. Plus ça change?
In their desperation to honor the 'military council's' promise of Cairo-back-to-normal, hundreds of Egyptian troops ­ many unarmed ­ appeared in Tahrir Square to urge the remaining protesters to leave the encampment they had occupied for 20 days. At first the crowd greeted them as friends, offering them food and water. Military policemen in red berets, again without weapons, emerged to control traffic. But then a young officer began lashing demonstrators with a cane ­ old habits die hard in young men wearing uniforms ­ and for a moment there was a miniature replay of the fury visited upon the state security police here on 28 January.
It reflected a growing concern among those who overthrew Mubarak that the fruits of their victory may be gobbled up by an army largely composed of generals who achieved their power and privilege under Mubarak himself. No-one objects to the dissolution of parliament since Mubarak's assembly elections last year ­ and all other years -- were so transparently fraudulent. But the 'military council' gave no indication of the date for the free and fair elections which Egyptians believed they had been promised. ~
[A] clear divergence is emerging between the demands of the young men and women who brought down the Mubarak regime and the concessions ­ if that is what they are ­ that the army appears willing to grant them. A small rally at the side of Tahrir Square yesterday held up a series of demands which included the suspension of Mubarak's old emergency law and freedom for political prisoners. The army has promised to drop the emergency legislation "at the right opportunity", but as long as it remains in force, it gives the military as much power to ban all protests and demonstrations as Mubarak possessed; which is one reason why those little battles broke out between the army and the people in the square yesterday.
As for the freeing of political prisoners, the military has remained suspiciously silent. Is this because there are prisoners who know too much about the army's involvement in the previous regime? Or because escaped and newly liberated prisoners are returning to Cairo and Alexandria from desert camps with terrible stories of torture and executions by ­ so they say ­ military personnel. An Egyptian army officer known to 'The Independent' insisted yesterday that the desert prisons were run by military intelligence units who worked for the interior ministry ­ not for the ministry of defense." More here (1)
Cleary, the Army, the various 'Ministries' as well as all the massive layers of paper-generals have much to hide from an impatient Egyptian public and the world. Of course this is another reason why deposed dictators tend not live very long after they have been dumped: They know far too much that those who supported them for decades simply cannot afford to see revealed in anything like a memoir or a tell-all book. Consequently wherever Mubarak ends up living, it will be temporary at most. Those that inherited this problem will now face a different kind of resistance; depending on how they actually respond to what may be coming back to the streets in Egypt, once again?
"As for the top echelons of the state security police who ordered their men ­ and their faithful 'baltagi' plain-clothes thugs -- to attack peaceful demonstrators during the first week of the revolution, they appear to have taken the usual flight to freedom in the Arab Gulf. According to an officer in the Cairo police criminal investigation department whom I spoke to yesterday, all the officers responsible for the violence which left well over 300 Egyptians dead have fled Egypt with their families for the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The criminals who were paid by the cops to beat the protesters have gone to ground ­ who knows when their services might next be required? ­ while the middle-ranking police officers wait for justice to take its course against them. If indeed it does.
All this, of course, depends on the size of the archives left behind by the regime and the degree to which the authorities, currently the army, are prepared to make these papers available to a new and reformed judiciary. As for the city police, who hid in their police stations before they were burned down on 28th January, they turned up at the interior ministry in Cairo yesterday to demand better pay. That the police should now become protesters themselves ­ they are indeed to receive pay rises ­ was one of the more imperishable moments of post-revolutionary Egypt.
Now, of course, it is Egypt's turn to watch the effects of its own revolution on its neighbors. Scarcely a family in Egypt was unaware yesterday of the third day of protests against the president in Yemen and the police violence which accompanied them. And it is remarkable that just as Arab protesters mimic their successful counterparts in Egypt, the state security apparatus of each Arab regime faithfully follows the failed tactics of Mubarak's thugs." (1)
And it is this continuation of the tactics that have been in-place for over thirty years that will, in the end, create the next wave of protests in Egypt. But this time they will have to be far more specific! The world has a major part to play in all of this as well. Collectively we must insist upon huge and impenetrable walls between the military of any country and the governments in every society that want to be part of the community of nations; from now on. Just as the world came together to outlaw the kinds of gases that Israel still routinely uses against the Palestinians, we must now begin to take back governments from the privatized-whims of corporate-criminals that seek to use this association to make trillions in blood-stained profits over arms and weapons that are used against any that challenge their tyrannical-dictatorships, anywhere in the world.
Ironically the culprits here are the same global-corporatists that are DEMANDING the "Peace & Security" arrangements that are nothing more than a total surrender by any public that allows these policies to be implemented. This is true for every country whether it is for Egypt or the United States (which also just happens to still be in a "state of emergency" left over from WWII; which is why the US Department of War can charge such outrageous rates for everything that still goes to the Military).
This 'practice' is bogus, and its massively-criminal when you realize that every dollar of spending (in the new budget) by this government is now going exclusively to the US Military: While absolutely NOTHING will be spent on public services for any 'citizen-in-need.' For that alone Obama should face the wrath of this country in a public trial for treason, because those 'agreements to provide services' are part of settled law and cannot just go unfunded!
The same thing has always happened everywhere else for these sixty-pus years; but now what we did and still do to others; is now coming home to us with a vengeance that will kill millions of innocent people in the USA. The only real threat anywhere today is not from some imaginary bunch of supposedly global-terrorists, it always comes from criminally-situated governments that are hell-bent on stealing, torturing and murdering those that they are supposedly charged with protecting from criminals and from their own governments as well. This is not just Egypt's problem: it's a major problem for everyone that is not part of the elite or their own private system of rewards and protections that no one else will ever have.
If you think that this will not directly affect YOU; then you need to think again. Because every job lost, every price artificially raised, every home lost to a crooked deal and every bailout given to the same thieves that created all of this: Creates the battlefield that will make Cairo look like a kindergarten version of what must happen here: Before there is no way left for us to do this. If you want proof just look at the rapid acceleration of TSA into Viper and now it's morphing into psychology and psychiatry as it spreads out its obscene treatments of ordinary people, to become part of any form of transportation in the USA. Egypt's problems were understood and systemic: ours have been building up to that point for the last ten years of deadly silence that we have created for them to grow into! "Taking a stand AGAINST this government" is not really optional: Not if you want to have anything left of your life to defend by 2012.
Does this sound like a military that has just been chastised by a public uprising? To me this sounds a lot like what TSA continues to say those that complain about their existence and their tactics. You be the judge!
"The Egyptian military has rejected the demands of pro-democracy protesters for a swift transfer of power to a civilian administration, saying it intends to rule by martial law until elections are held.
The army's announcement, which included the suspending of the constitution, was a further rebuff to some pro-democracy activists after troops were sent to clear demonstrators from Cairo's Tahrir Square, the centre of the protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak. "We do not want any protesters to sit in the square after today," said the head of the military police, Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa Ali. Many agreed to leave but a hardcore refused, saying they would remain until the army took a series of steps toward democratic reform including installing a civilian-led government and abolishing the repressive state of emergency.
The ruling military council said it intends to retain power for six months or longer while elections are scheduled and will rule by decree. It suspended the constitution and said a committee will draw up amendments that will be put to a referendum. It also dissolved the widely discredited parliament, elected in a tainted ballot last year.
In a sign that the army will only tolerate a limited challenge to its power, it is expected to issue a communiqué on Monday saying that it will crack down on those creating "chaos and disorder" as well as effectively banning strikes." (2)
Finally; here is the comprehensive overview of the History of Military Rule in Egypt. The whole-world is connected. If we plan on surviving in it any longer, then we need to begin to cut off the tentacles that have enslaved us and expel the leaders that have been directing this blood-bath for the last thirty years in every country where they've sunk their relentless claws of greed and death! (3)
Robert Fisk: Is the Army Tightening its Grip on Egypthttp://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/
Egypt's Military Rejects Swift Transfer of Power and Suspends Constitution
Military Rule in Egypt
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