Dr. Ashraf Ezzat
“On February 11, Mubarak, the head of the corrupt regime in Egypt stepped down … but the regime itself stayed very much in its place”
“Could Mubarak’s impending death be a game changer in the Egyptian revolution?”
Things are not always what they seem …
Thousands of Egyptian protesters came back to Tahrir Square once again on July 8, calling for faster reforms
The Egyptian revolution lasted for amazing 18 days. The president was forced to step down. The power was restored to the people. The mass crowd cheered and screamed in jubilation. Everybody returned home happy.
Dictatorship was overthrown and democracy has finally won and freedom prevailed… The revolution has come to a happy ending.
A wonderful and thrilling story, but unfortunately far from true or over…
Five months ago the whole world was captured by the incredible scenes of millions of Egyptians pouring into Tahrir square literally seizing and taking control of the square, not by force but through peaceful demonstrations and refusing to leave the place before they have toppled the dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for almost 30 long years.
Throughout those 30 years, like in any dictatorship ruled by one party, Egypt has witnessed one of its most corrupt and darkest eras. And as the political corruption was infiltrating all aspects of life the deterioration symptoms began to clearly manifest itself on the socio-economic life in the country.
Mubarak rule ignored everything that related to the human rights and the development of the people in Egypt, his party known as the National Democratic Party –NDP- did not care much for the welfare of the Egyptians, their education or their health care and even neglected the historic and strategic file of the river Nile.
The National Zionist Party of Mubarak
Following a failed assassination attempt on his life back in 1995 that took place in Ethiopia, Mubarak decided to turn his back on Egypt’s African neighboring countries especially Ethiopia, thus sacrificing the used to be close ties with the countries of the Nile basin, jeopardizing the coordination and cooperation with those countries regarding the water shares of the Nile, seriously endangering Egypt’s strategic depth and national security and conveniently leaving this strategic play ground for Israel to step in and make use of the vacancy Mubarak left.
This was not the only political concession Mubarak offered to Israel, for he strongly supported the Israeli side in the blockade on Gaza and moreover he kept the whole peninsula of Sinai – the Asian part of Egypt adjoining Israel- devoid of any population development and almost a barren land ready to be grabbed back by an abrupt Israeli attack at any time.
Being a military man, a former vice-president and surviving 6 assassination attempts, Mubarak knew for a fact that surviving as a head of a regime in the most volatile Middle Eastern spot had to rely on international support by the United States and the satisfaction of Israel but most importantly on an ironclad and loyal national security apparatus that would tighten his grip on the country.
There he was, Hosni Mubarak, the strong dictator who reigned over Egypt and turned its revenues into the pockets of his family and his inner circle of high officials and businessmen and who, after 30 long years in power, decided to bequeath all the reign, splendor and power to his son Gamal, in an unprecedented and most provocative move that enraged the Egyptians and drove them to revolt against his rule.
Mubarak simply turned Egypt into a crippled with corruption Middle Eastern nation that looked more Zionist than Arabic, he turned it into a police state with security forces especially trained and heavily equipped solely to serve and protect the president and his men and in doing so he spared no expense … And those are the exact crimes Mubarak and his regime should be prosecuted for, not for profiteering or money laundering – accusations that any inexperienced young lawyer could refute, compromise on the lawsuit and easily get him off the hook.
Egyptian police turning paranoid due to excessive power
Egyptians revolting against a police state.
During Mubarak’s reign and empowered by the unlimited authorities and power granted to the police and state security apparatus, Egyptian police officers began to feel they were above everybody and even above the law itself.
Over the years and as his power was growing all the time the police officer in Egypt became like the one everybody answered to while he practically answered to no one.
The Egyptian police and state security had absolute control over everything in the country starting from deciding on the size of the illegal drugs market and the scale of reported crimes, the where and when to play the sectarian tension card between Muslims and Christians, clearing government appointments and parliament nominations and finally rigging the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Intoxicated with brutal dominance, operating militias of thugs all over the country and brainwashed with myth of superiority the Egyptian police officer turned over the last decades into a semi-god with sadistic and paranoid inclinations characterized by mere despise to the people in the street whom he viewed as dispensable and parasitic creatures.
That might explain the inhuman brutality of the security forces crackdown on protesters, not only in Egypt but as the whole world has seen it take place in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and of course Syria where president Assad, while on his way to hit bottom, decided to give the Americans and the French a flavor of this brutality in a desperate attempt to deflect the world attention away from the uprising in Syria.
The Arab spring has clearly shown that the only thing that united the Arab regimes, beside their psychosis, is their common security perspective and the emergency plans backed up with similar conspiracy therories that they kept in case their regimes were threatened.
Round 2, People vs. security forces
On February 11, Mubarak, the head of the corrupt regime in Egypt stepped down … but the regime itself stayed very much in its place.
On February 11, the military supreme council took over the rule in the country but the inner circle of the old regime with its high officials and governors kept their influential positions.
On February 11, the dictator was forced to leave but he left behind an army of corrupt police and state security apparatus which couldn’t see losing the battle to some mob of parasites craving for more freedom and dignity.
Egypt police forces after five months of playing the truce card and reconciliation with the people came back on June 29, reloaded with new ammunitions and a lust for vengeance and clashed with the protesters calling for more and faster reforms injuring hundreds, amongst them were the families of those who died in the revolution.
In these clashes the police force displayed beyond any doubt the most sickening and shameful act any police forces could show toward the people they are supposed to serve and protect. But the most significant indicator in these ugly clashes is the fact that the police forces and the whole state security strategy in Egypt was very much acting in the same old way.
The counter-revolution and Buying time for a dying dictator
According to political science, revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.
Toppling the head of the regime without an overhaul job of the authoritative institutions of the country especially the security apparatus would certainly fall short of achieving the required revolutionary change and would embolden the guards of the old regime to fight back this wind of change with a counter-revolution and that exactly what happened and that is precisely where the Egyptian revolution went wrong.
The Egyptian revolution was not followed by a revolutionary political concept nor a revolutionary command, rather an interim government that is directed by the military generals who are obviously buying time for Mubarak and postponing his trial hoping that he would pass away as the former president and not as the convicted dictator, especially that he experienced frequent heart attacks lately and now is admitted to the intensive care unit and attached to a mechanical ventilator all the time and his impending death could very well be a game changer in the Egyptian revolution.
One of Cairo churches, in Imbaba district, set on fire in May, 2011
The scenario of the counter-revolution depended primarily on driving the country into chaos and extremism.
so it was time to open the gates of the prisons and let the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative groups of Salafis and jihad out and to even celebrate some of them who murdered the late president Sadat by interviewing them on the most viewed TV talk shows in the country and ironically ask their opinion of the future of post-Mubarak Egypt.
It was time to play the sectarian violence card and to have a couple of churches demolished or even burned down to the ground to push the society to the perilous terrain of civil war.
It was time, in the absence of police forces, to let the militias of thugs on the loose to spread terror and insecurity on the Egyptian street.
It was even time to sway the public opinion and divert the attention away from the uprising by shedding the light on yet another Israeli spy who has recently been captured after spending days and nights with the Egyptian revolutionary youths In Tahrir square chanting with them “ down with Mubarak” ..!!
It was time to play all the dirty cards and play all the dirty games to make the people feel more insecure and to make them regret what they did topple the strong president who regardless of his corruption kept them safe and secure.
Mubarak / Tantawy, a composite photo for the ousted president and the head of the Egyptian military council.
A wicked scenario and it almost worked hadn’t it been for the millions of Egyptians who refused to be dragged back to the dark abyss of Mubarak days once again and who decided on July 8, to go back to Tahrir square, where all this whole thing started and say no the counter-revolution, say no to the slow trials of Mubarak and his gang, say no to the acquittal of police officers and high officials responsible for the killing of almost one thousand innocent protesters and say no to the generals of the military who are running the country close to the way Mubarak did.
… Those 18 days of mass protests in Tahrir square will always remain the most magical and spontaneous moments in the modern history of Egypt … Nevertheless those glamorous days should have winded up quite differently, the millions who packed up the square should have chosen a leader or delegated a committee to speak on their behalf.
This is undoubtedly a grassroots revolution … but it is in desperate need now for some leadership that could pick up the remains of the revolution and put it back on the right track again and face the major challenges of starting over with a new concept for security, citizenship, human rights and constitution in the country.
The revolution needs a leadership that could actualize a new revolutionary concept for a new and truly democratic Egypt.