NEVER TOLERATE TYRANNY!....Conservative voices from the GRASSROOTS.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak remains the lifeblood of the demonstrators, who still number in the tens of thousands in downtown Cairo and in other major cities, albeit on a lesser scale. After being overwhelmed in the Jan. 28 Day of Rage protests, Egypt’s internal security forces — with the anti-riot paramilitaries of the Central Security Forces (CSF) at the forefront — were glaringly absent from the streets Jan. 29. They were replaced with rows of tanks and armored personnel carriers carrying regular army soldiers. Unlike their CSF counterparts, the demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s exit from the political scene largely welcomed the soldiers. Despite Mubarak’s refusal to step down Jan. 28, the public’s positive perception of the military, seen as the only real gateway to a post-Mubarak Egypt, remained. It is unclear how long this perception will hold, especially as Egyptians are growing frustrated with the rising level of insecurity in the country and the army’s limits in patrolling the streets.
There is more to these demonstrations than meets the eye. The media will focus on the concept of reformers staging a revolution in the name of democracy and human rights. These may well have brought numerous demonstrators into the streets, but revolutions, including this one, are made up of many more actors than the liberal voices on Facebook and Twitter.
After three decades of Mubarak rule, a window of opportunity has opened for various political forces — from the moderate to the extreme — that preferred to keep the spotlight on the liberal face of the demonstrations while they maneuver from behind. As the Iranian Revolution of 1979 taught, the ideology and composition of protesters can wind up having very little to do with the political forces that end up in power. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) understands well the concerns the United States, Israel and others share over a political vacuum in Cairo being filled by Islamists. The MB so far is proceeding cautiously, taking care to help sustain the demonstrations by relying on the MB’s well-established social services to provide food and aid to the protesters. It simultaneously is calling for elections that would politically enable the MB. With Egypt in a state of crisis and the armed forces stepping in to manage that crisis, however, elections are nowhere near assured. What is now in question is what groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and others are considering should they fear that their historic opportunity could be slipping.
One thing that has become clear in the past several hours is a trend that STRATFOR has been following for some time in Egypt, namely, the military’s growing clout in the political affairs of the state. Former air force chief and outgoing civil aviation minister Ahmed Shafiq, who worked under Mubarak’s command in the air force (the most privileged military branch in Egypt), has been appointed prime minister and tasked with forming the new government. Outgoing Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, who has long stood by Mubarak, is now vice president, a spot that has been vacant for the past 30 years. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi (who oversees the Republican Guard) and Egypt’s chief of staff of the armed forces, Lt. Gen. Sami Annan — who returned to Cairo Jan. 29 after a week of intense discussions with senior U.S. officials — are likely managing the political process behind the scenes. More political shuffles are expected, and the military appears willing for now to give Mubarak the time to arrange his political exit. Until Mubarak finally does leave, the unrest in the streets is unlikely to subside, raising the question of just how much more delay from Mubarak the armed forces will tolerate.
The important thing to remember is that the Egyptian military, since the founding of the modern republic in 1952, has been the guarantor of regime stability. Over the past several decades, the military has allowed former military commanders to form civilian institutions to take the lead in matters of political governance but never has relinquished its rights to the state.
Now that the political structure of the state is crumbling, the army must directly shoulder the responsibility of security and contain the unrest on the streets. This will not be easy, especially given the historical animosity between the military and the police in Egypt. For now, the demonstrators view the military as an ally, and therefore (whether consciously or not) are facilitating a de facto military takeover of the state. But one misfire in the demonstrations, and a bloodbath in the streets could quickly foil the military’s plans and give way to a scenario that groups like the MB quickly could exploit. Here again, we question the military’s tolerance for Mubarak as long as he is the source fueling the demonstrations.
Considerable strain is building on the only force within the country that stands between order and chaos as radical forces rise. The standing theory is that the military, as the guarantor of the state, will manage the current crisis. But the military is not a monolithic entity. It cannot shake its history, and thus cannot dismiss the threat of a colonel’s coup in this shaky transition.
The current regime is a continuation of the political order, which was established when midranking officers and commanders under the leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser, a mere colonel in the armed forces, overthrew the British-backed monarchy in 1952. Islamist sympathizers in the junior ranks of the military assassinated his successor, Anwar Sadat, in 1981, an event that led to Mubarak’s presidency.
The history of the modern Egyptian republic haunts Egypt’s generals today. Though long suppressed, an Islamist strand exists amongst the junior ranks of Egypt’s modern military. The Egyptian military is, after all, a subset of the wider society, where there is a significant cross- section that is religiously conservative and/or Islamist. These elements are not politically active, otherwise those at the top would have purged them.
But there remains a deep-seated fear among the military elite that the historic opening could well include a cabal of colonels looking to address a long-subdued grievance against the state, particularly its foreign policy vis-à-vis the United States and Israel. The midranking officers have the benefit of having the most direct interaction — and thus the strongest links — with their military subordinates, unlike the generals who command and observe from a politically dangerous distance. With enough support behind them, midranking officers could see their superiors as one and the same as Mubarak and his regime, and could use the current state of turmoil to steer Egypt’s future.
Signs of such a coup scenario have not yet surfaced. The army is still a disciplined institution with chain of command, and many likely fear the utter chaos that would ensue should the military establishment rupture. Still, those trying to manage the crisis from the top cannot forget that they are presiding over a country with a strong precedent of junior officers leading successful coups. That precedent becomes all the more worrying when the regime itself is in a state of collapse following three decades of iron-fisted rule.
The United States, Israel and others will thus be doing what they can behind the scenes to shape the new order in Cairo, but they face limitations in trying to preserve a regional stability that has existed since 1978. The fate of Egypt lies in the ability of the military to not only manage the streets and the politicians, but also itself. http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110129-the-egyptian-unrest-a-spe...
It is not at all clear what will happen in the Egyptian revolution. It is not a surprise that this is happening. Hosni Mubarak has been president for more than a quarter of a century, ever since the assassination of Anwar Sadat. He is old and has been ill. No one expected him to live much longer, and his apparent plan, which was that he would be replaced by his son, Gamal, was not going to happen even though it was a possibility a year ago. There was no one, save his closest business associates, who wanted to see Mubarak’s succession plans happen. As his father weakened, Gamal’s succession became even less likely. Mubarak’s failure to design a credible succession plan guaranteed instability on his death. Since everyone knew that there would be instability on his death, there were obviously those who saw little advantage to acting before he died. Who these people were and what they wanted is the issue. Let’s begin by considering the regime. In 1952, Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser staged a military coup that displaced the Egyptian monarchy, civilian officers in the military, and British influence in Egypt. [...]
New reports coming out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where many of the top leaders of banking, finance, industry and politics gather every year, are showing great concern over the unprecedented events now threatening to plunge the entire Middle East, if not the entire planet, into total chaos and anarchy. The spark that ignited the firestorm currently sweeping the planet was struck, literally, by a 26-year-old Tunisian with a computer science degree named Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17th, who unable to feed his family, and not allowed by his government to even get a permit to sell vegetables, had his face slapped by the police for even daring to ask why he couldn’t be free. Not content to let his life be written off by his government as worthless, Bouazizi publicly doused himself with gasoline, lit a match, and burnt not only his own body, but the entire consciousness of a world, and its people, being destroyed by the corrupt elites who rule over them. In less than a month, on January 14th, the fire started by this 26-year-old Tunisian had burnt to the ground the entire government of his country which was forced to resign and its president-for-life, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was forced to flee the country. The people’s coup in Tunisia, called the Jasmine Revolution, sent shockwaves throughout the Arab world, but with many experts stating that it wouldn’t spread. They couldn’t have been more mistaken as the firestorm started by Bouazizi is now burning in Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Hungary, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. [...] http://www.eutimes.net/2011/01/fourth-turning-event-stuns-world-powers/
Slideshow: Egypt in Revolt
Egypt has been rocked by its worst civil unrest in recent history. Inspired by the popular uprising that toppled the 23-year regime of Tunisian strongman Zine el Abidine ben Ali this month, ordinary Egyptians have taken to the streets to oppose Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years. Led by a new generation of youth, protesters have defied Mubarak's extensive security apparatus and massed by the hundreds of thousands in the cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. http://www.newsmax.com/Slideshows/Egypt-in-Revolt/118621/A-Nation-in-the-Hands-of-Youth/1
Or why not emulate the ancient Egyptians under the tyrant Cheops by commissioning an immense mausoleum to stand in eternal testimony of our bold and visionary ruler, Pharaoh Obama the First? According to Herodotus, Cheops achieved full employment by enlisting nearly the entire population to build his legendary pyramid — but this was done by depleting the treasury so thoroughly that the ruler had to sell his own daughter into slavery to raise the funds for some forgettable and long-effaced bit of decorative filigree. The same ancient historian observes that for centuries after Cheops died, the Egyptians refused so much as to utter his name (or that of his equally despicable brother, Chefren), so reviled had he become on account of his tyrannical profligacy. Pointless expenditures on space exploration or construction of monuments to the vanity of the ruling class would actually make more sense than the Regime's present course, which is to ruin the currency in a doomed effort to save a terminally insolvent banking system. [...]
The King of Shambhala