Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Egypt… And Overthrowing The Revolution

By Mohammad Salah  
This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 16/05/2011

Not a single country in the world has voiced its objection to the revolution. Yet does this mean that the overthrow of the Mubarak regime and Egypt entering a new era has pleased all the countries of the world? Of course not, as diplomatic customs and perhaps political “courtesy”, as well as the balance of interests, have made even the countries that had not welcomed the revolution, or had been saddened by Mubarak’s fate, use neutral terms, such as “not interfering in Egypt’s affairs” or “respecting the choices of the Egyptian people”, so as to spare themselves from entering into a clash with the regime which the revolution will produce. Inside of Egypt, on the other hand, it is no secret, and is in fact quite clear, that some people and parties have suffered losses as a result of the revolution and have had their interests harmed, in addition of course to the leaders of the regime, who have no choice left but prison or trying to flee the country.

There are thus several parties that have a vested interest in the failure of the Egyptian Revolution, and in it eventually resulting in a civil war between Egyptians, a weak state that suffers ills worse than those that afflicted the state under Mubarak, or the conviction being reached among Egyptians – and with them certainly the rest of the Arab peoples – that corrupt regimes have produced corrupt peoples, and that things remaining as they had been would have been preferable to the regimes falling and the peoples remaining, on the basis of the claim that a corrupt people cannot in the future produce just rulers or sound government. The goal is then for the Arab peoples to receive a message signifying that revolution, even if it has positive aspects, has much greater harmful aspects. The goal is also for another message to reach the Egyptian people: that of accepting another dictatorial regime strong enough to use force against those who threaten the structure of the state – in other words, for the revolution to lead in the end to overthrowing Mubarak in order to replace him with another Mubarak.

The Egyptian state is in need of a phase of rebuilding, not because the revolution has toppled its supporting pillars, but because thirty years of tyranny, oppression and corruption has resulted in a state that is decayed from various aspects, and the treatment of which requires short and urgent plans, as well as other long-term plans, in order to return Egypt to the course that it deserves, so as for the economy to recover, for people’s lives to improve, are for the state to attain the standing that it deserves, affecting neighboring societies regionally and internationally, and becoming an active agent rather than one that is acted upon. There is no hope left for those who hate the Egyptian Revolution inside and outside of Egypt, those who oppose it or those who seek to make it fail in order to restore Mubarak to power once again, but there remains their desire to stifle any positive outcome of the revolution, to ruin the joy of Egyptians over it, and to warn the other Arab peoples that the scene in Egypt would repeat itself if they were to rebel, and that it would be preferable for them to be content with their rulers and to accept to “live with them”, because the absence of their rulers from the scene would mean taking a turn towards the worst.

Yes, Egyptians went through a difficult night until dawn yesterday, as they followed the bloody incidents in front of the television building between the Copts protesting there and the baltagiya (paid thugs). Before this, they followed the events in Imbaba, were concerned about what happened in Abu Qirqas, quivered at the events of Manshiet Nasser, and were frightened at what they saw in Atfih. Yet those incidents of sectarian strife were not triggered by the revolution, but rather directed by those who were harmed by the revolution, and who were the reason behind every occurrence of strife in the past. This is with the knowledge that the Kashah incident alone, which occurred under Mubarak, led to the death of more than twenty Copts, not to mention what took place in Alexandria and in Cairo, or in the provinces of Upper Egypt, in terms of similar incidents, all under the sponsorship of the former regime.

Yes, Egyptians suffer from the spread of baltagiya, but such thugs (balatgiya) were manufactured by the former regime, which made use of them politically, and allowed them under its rule as well to spread fear in every Egyptian province, so much that the Egyptian media itself never stopped accusing the Interior Minister of focusing on political security at the expense of the security of citizens.

Certainly, there is chaos at the security level in the Egyptian street, but was security under control throughout the rule of the former regime?

Suffice it to review the numbers of incidents of exchanged violence between citizens, of cases of suicide, of victims of car accidents, collapsing buildings or the spread of drugs, to realize the amount of corruption that existed under the former regime, and to realize that what happened after the revolution was the product of what came before it, not that of the revolution itself. Egyptians have overthrown a corrupt regime with a revolution, not a military coup, and have prosecuted their former President, his family members and the leaders of his rule, under the law and without taking any exceptional measures. They have put a stop to theft and corruption that lasted many long years, and they still have hope for a better future for their children, as they realize that maintaining the former regime would not have given them any hope at all.

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