November 21, 2011
Why They Are (Again) Fighting In Tahrir
It is now the third day of renewed intense street battles around Tahrir Square and in other places in Egypt. Some 40 people have been killed so far and thousands wounded.
The people want their revolution back. The immediate reason for these renewed protest is a paper that was somehow published last week:
The rally was called to protest a document floated by the government which declares the military the guardian of “constitutional legitimacy,” suggesting the armed forces could have the final word on major policies even after a new president is elected. The document, which includes guiding principles for Egypt's new constitution, also introduces clauses that would shield it from civilian oversight.
Most of Egypt’s pro-democracy groups object to the document, calling it an attempt to perpetuate military rule past the post-Mubarak transitional period which is supposed to end with the election of a new parliament and a new president.
A democracy with the military as a guardian of “constitutional legitimacy" would not be a democracy at all. It would be military dictatorship with a pseudo-democratic face.
To keep it like that would be very much in the U.S. interest. The personal well being of the generals in the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) depends on the yearly U.S. stipend of $1.5 billion and that will only flow if Egypt does what Israel wants it to do.
After the ousting of Mubarak the military first gave in to public demand and said it would open the Rafah crossing to Gaza. But it did not do so. After the foreign minister Nabil el-Araby, seated by the military, united the Palestinian factions against Israel's will, the military moved him away to head the Arab League. On these and other issues the military did not adhere to the will of the Egyptian people, it adhered to the will of the U.S. government.
A really democratic Egypt would elect a government responsible to the will of its people and such a government would not do what Israel wants. The people in Tahrir can therefore not hope for any support or help from the U.S. or any other "western" government. A real democracy in Egypt or any other Arab country is about the last thing the U.S. wants.
The people will have to fight this out. The chances are slim but it is unlikely that the military will risk to send any troops, aside from the military police, into the street. The allegiance of the rank and file soldier to the generals is dubious as several defection during the last protests and the Mubarak ouster have shown. If the pressure from the street and the workers (the military forbid strikes and took other worker rights) becomes big enough the SCAF will have to give in and will have to hand over its current power to a civilian government.
Only then can the process to a genuine democracy in Egypt begin.
Posted by b on November 21, 2011 at 10:29 AM | Permalink
A democracy with NATO as a guardian of “constitutional legitimacy" would not be a democracy at all. It would be military dictatorship with a pseudo-democratic face.
b, you are a bright guy but you'll never let go of your liberal illusions.
Perhaps that is why I choose to take any analysis of "democracy" further...
Posted by: Malooga | Nov 21, 2011 1:05:58 PM | 1
"A democracy with NATO as a guardian of “constitutional legitimacy" would not be a democracy at all. It would be military dictatorship with a pseudo-democratic face."
Yep, or maybe they could follow the U.S. model, a corporately controlled government with a pseudo-democratic face.
Posted by: ben | Nov 21, 2011 1:39:57 PM | 2
Perhaps that is why I choose to take any analysis of "democracy" further...
Did you mean, elsewhere, or indeed,'further'? If the latter please share where that would be, because I'm in need of a broader paradigm and or supplement. And I still have a dirty glass.
Posted by: Uncle | Nov 21, 2011 4:15:24 PM | 3
Democracy? Where is that practiced? On neighborhood committees? Because I don't know about any nation that practices democracy.
Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 21, 2011 5:12:04 PM | 4
Amazing, isn't it? The Israeli's can shoot American citizens engaged in peaceful protest with nary a grunt from our scumbag State Department. Waddaya wanna bet that are more Americans that recognize the name "Neda" than there are those that reconize the name "Emily Henochowicz"?
Meanwhile, jackbooted thugs primp for the cameras while spritzing defenseless and static American students in the face with pepper spray, all in the name of "campus safety".
But how protesters are treated in far off lands seems to be an issue to these posturing frauds in DC. The irony here is that the very power structure that "we" (the scum) are trying to install in Egypt is the self same entity that these blathering hypocrites in DC are going to "criticize" for how the protesters are treated in Egypt.
Or, more likely, these protestors, (which are undoubtedly the same protestors these lying sacks of shit in DC claimed to be supporting initially), will be branded with with some sort of label that deems them unworthy of consideration or humane treatment. "Muslim zealots", "factions of the Muslim Brotherhood", "jihadist antagonists" yadayadayada.....
Remember the kaleidioscope of labels we put on the Iraqis depending on our bullshit d'jour??? "Sunni insurgents", "former baathists", "Saddam loyalists", blahblahblah. These warmongering pricks in DC have a carefully contrived label for everybody and everything that gets swept up in their global misadventures. And these labels are highly fluid, and purely situational. You might be a blood sucking ghoul today, and the Easter Bunny tomorrow.
So yeah, these are now OUR puppet jackboots murdering and maiming Egyptian protestors. The only question is, how can DC convince the American public that the rioting heathen devils deserve it?
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 21, 2011 6:39:09 PM | 5
I wonder if Malooga will expand. I seem to remember a few years back when similar weird and seemingly uncharacteristic non-sequiturs appeared
over the malooga nym it transpired that his account had fallen into the hands of some un-named grinch.
Or perhaps malooga expresses the same disgust with top down political systems that I share.
It seems patently absurd for any informed reasonably educated society to continue to appoint 'representatives' to do their bidding.
The same thing happens every time.
Humans being humans after a period, a 'spring' of idealistically inspired activity conducted in the name of citizen's best interests,
every top-down system, beneficence comes to an end.
No matter how well-intentioned it began, inevitably gets invaded by hubris sodden self important species Effusus Rostratula commonly referred to as the slimy-backed, fork-tongued guttersnipe. Consequently the enterprise turns to shit, tout de suite.
Malooga has frequently referred to 'grassroots' led movement in the past and they do have some merit for sure but then many of the models
characterised above began as grssroots led revolts, a reversal of the top down model yes, but still a vertical structure where the few claim
to do the bidding of the many. They eventually - well most often quickly, revert to the 'old ways'. NBSATOB (new boss same as the old boss) syndrome.
Horizontalism as it is currently being called interests me because it claims to work by involving everyone in decisions.
This stuff is rarely difficult. Once you peel away the jargon which has often been inserted to make issues appear inaccessible, like Hollywood plots, most political decisions boil down to variations on the same 4 or 5 stories.
(i)Coagulation of capital shits on citizens
(ii)Citizens actions impede the ability of some to coagulate more capital
(iii)Greedies with too much time and insufficient constructive imagination, invent a new way of sodomising citizens.
(iV)Citizens discover new lockable butt plug to prevent a particular form of buggery
Now we have the means to keep all humans on the planet objectively informed of their true situation, why persist with political structures devised for societies where most participants knew bugger-all about what's going on?
Some re-education of some societies might be neccessary to protect people from themselves if they did actually hold power over their
own destiny, however right now that education is occuring, it has its own momentum.
Anyway 'nuff of that. About Egypt. Most of us knew that what is happening now was an inevitable occurence from the moment Mubarek was forced out the way he was, which left the structure in place same as it ever was.
The sheer predictability of this combined with the certainty that only egyptians should be involved makes watching the grass outside my back door grow, a slightly more spiritually rewarding endeavour.
all the usual suspects are following the script.
Al Jazeera english has a different take on this than it did back in March/April when the emir of Qatar decided Mubarak had to go for exiling the emir's best mate and spiritual advisor. No surprises there.
None of that really matters because this is a movement of the masses and will succeed or fail on the strength of the masses support for the re-occupation Tahrir square and most importantly the sites outside Cairo. Peripheral players such as western TV won't effect the outcome
much at all.
The real issue is whether 'the average Egyptian' has thrown in the towel, has allowed him/herself to be alienated by the politics of
sectarian division which the elites have carefully nurtured over the past 6 months or so. (no link go an google xtain/ islam riot egypt or somesuch).
I don't know from here. The egyptians I have discussed this with don't appear to know either.
One thing that the movement holds and is probably correct on is that the longer this limbo continues on the surface while the elites reinforce their positions covertly, the more likely it is the movement will wither & die.
On the other hand striking against the military too soon, was considered to be non-productive as it would
a/ seem as though there had been no victory at all, and,
b/ appear as if the rebels weren't giving the military a chance to do the right thing.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 21, 2011 7:28:59 PM | 6
Stand up, be proud!!!! The tear gas cannisters being lobbed in Tahir Square are MADE IN AMERICA!!!! Who says we don't manufacture anything anymore, by golly! And with a patriotic effort at nurturing international commerce, the company manufacturing these tear gas cannisters is an Israeli company. OI VEY!!! Do you think Tristan or Emily have considered hitting them up for a job?
Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 21, 2011 8:39:32 PM | 7
From the World Socialist Website:
“The US views the military as the backbone of the Egyptian bourgeois state, defending capitalist rule and the interests of Western imperialism in the Middle East. Ever since the mass uprising that led to the ouster of Mubarak on February 11, the Obama administration has worked closely with SCAF to try to end strikes and protests by Egyptian workers demanding social equality and democratic rights. It has sought at all costs to prevent a second revolution.”
The Egyptian Army is not only the holder of guns but has been part of the State “+” the Private Sector since forever. It is embedded, if one likes, in society through its ownership of land, and thus agriculture in a very consequent way; its full ownership or controlling interest in many businesses, from manufacturing to hotels, tourism, services, very heavy in construction, produces cars - Jeeps, Wranglers! - energy, gas - and on and on.
It is also a sought out employer, selecting ‘favorable’ ppl, and using army personnel in its empire (for the last that is something I can’t document now..) For a young man, entering this military-biz nexus means guaranteed income, good housing, marriage to any loved one, children, money to support extended family.
So, it was, and is, part of the State and Mubarak was a kind of front man who went over the top...
see for ex here, very brief.
...i realise many know this..
Posted by: Noirette | Nov 22, 2011 12:12:16 PM | 9