Saturday, July 30, 2011

Whose Revolution?

"We agreed with the Brotherhood and the Salafis over the past week to come to Tahrir Square today, unite, and pressure the government to work on reform. They lied to us and came down to promote themselves and show off their power. The Salafis attacked us because we were calling for the demands of the revolution." Youssef Adel, of the liberal Youth for Justice and Freedom
Who can they trust, then, the youth of Egypt who claim they want to achieve a secular-type liberal-based democracy that will offer them freedom and opportunities not available to them under the old Egypt represented by the president whom they opposed and successfully deposed? And whom they still insist must be brought to 'justice', along with his sons and all those who served him faithfully as president of the country.

Theirs was the initial world-arresting effort that brought the country to the condition it now stands in. The youth of Egypt, those who were unaffiliated with a deep religious conviction, and who yearned for the types of freedoms that were so available elsewhere in the non-Muslim world, felt their idealism could move continents. The Middle East would become like Europe, like America; secular, democratic, lawful, wealthy.

President Hosni Mubarak who had ruled his country like a potentate of old, yet with concern and wisdom, struggling on one hand to contain the Islamists, the Salafists among the population - determined to restrain them and to ensure his country might prosper with considerable monetary aid from the United States, and peace with his militarily powerful neighbour Israel - kept their aspirations capped.

For this he must pay, there would be no acceptable excuses, no circumstances cited in his defence. Unwittingly, the students, the young people who began a revolution they could not control, did the work of the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, who sat back, unblinkingly, and watched ... and waited. Their turn would come. Tahrir Square belonged to them. Egypt would be theirs.

"The Islamist movements ignored the agreement between all political and community currents to unite against the attempts of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to divide us and tarnish the reputation of the revolutionaries", claimed 34 political parties and youth movements, including the principal groups who had led to the toppling of the government of Hosni Mubarak, as they voiced their protest against the Islamist capturing of their mission.

Their dreams have been shattered. They were willing dupes, and now they are hapless victims. Again. The liberties they foresaw as their modern birthright and their future destiny, evaporated. Because the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, no longer led and directed by a man with a vision and a love of his country, has turned inward to embrace Islamism, power and the Muslim Brotherhood.

An entirely, unfortunate but predictable outcome. Inevitable, as the ruling military's and the protesters' ideologies clashed, values colliding irreconcilably. The military now portray the protest activists as troublemakers, agents of foreign governments, doing the work of the United States, of Israel, once again mortally suspect, alien, forbidding and dangerous. Peace agreement? It can be abrogated.

The Muslim Brotherhood simply makes a better fit for the military, with its large support base and its organizational and public relations skills reaching out to the larger world to portray themselves as religiously-politically neutral, not extreme nor threatening within or outside Egypt. Major General Mohammed al-Assar of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces praises the Brotherhood for its constructive role in post-Mubarak Egypt.

And Egypt's ex-president will now face a murder trial shortly, in Cairo. Along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal. This demand of the activists who will not be appeased in any other way than to have their revenge on Hosni Mubarak, because they must have at least that satisfaction, will be met. Six police commanders, a businessman and the former interior minister also scheduled to be thrown to the wolves of rage.

Accomplishing precisely ... what ... ?

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