Two Views of Egypt

Mahmoud Mohamed Boray in Qena wrote the following:

Was it a Coup or a Revolution?  It’s not really hard to answer the question. If you want to know just open the dictionary to find the definition of the coup; you will find (a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially : the violent overthrow alteration of an existing government by a small group). This is exactly what happened in Egypt when the army overthrew the first democratically elected president in the history of all Egypt. In the first of the essay I will try to give a small hint of the most populated electorate in Egypt that voted for Morsi during the presidential elections in 2012.

In the first round Morsi was defeated in the battle of ballots for example in (Cairo, Alexandria and Mounfia) but most of the upper citizens voted for Morsi (except Luxor, which depends on tourism).

What I’m trying to say is that a lot of people are against Morsi in Cairo, but many more are supporting him in the south (where the media is absent). Watch the videos of the upper Egypt massive marches in Qena, Aswan, and Menia.

You can find more cities and many marches from all upper cities and in Cairo, Alexandria almost all parts of Egypt, but those who protest against Morsi can be found in certain areas.

We all know that democracy is the rule of Majority and we can know who is the majority by elections not but mobilizing people in the street.

Why it is not a revolution?

Because it’s the first revolution that the army, police , the ex-members of Mubarak’s party and the thugs participated in and for the first time they were in Tahrir Square as revolutionaries.

El Baradi himself said that once on CNN “we made an ally with the ex members of Egypt Mubarak members to get ride of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Well people said there was no democracy during Morsi’s era and that’s why there were 30 million in Tahrir Square!

First, there weren’t 30 million. That is a lie made by the military council to cover the coup with the people’s will of 30th of June.  According to some calculations Tahrir Square is smaller than Macca the biggest square in the world. People that were in Tahrir couldn’t be a million according to the calculations of engineering.

Second , during Morsi erano channel that was against him was shut by the Islamic government.

Some went beyond Criticism like Basem Yousef in his show (El Barnameg). He called Morsi  the weak sheep, the idiot and sometimes the devil. After all Basem and many more like him were working freely under Morsi regime. Under Morsi regime (for the first time in the history of Egypt the constitution was written by members who were elected by the parliamentary members who were elected by thepeople of Egypt and 66 % of the Egyptian people voted for the constitution (around 20 Million). Under Morsi regime there was a demonstration almost every day and there were so many demonstrations near the presidential palace in Cairo.  Some protesters tried to burn the palace and the guards returned to use water and tear gasses to stop them from breaking in the palace.

In this video you will see the protesters trying to burn and break in the palace during the year of Morsi there were 600 marches and strikes against him yet the country kept going with building new factories and saving some jobs for youth.

Now in Egypt  there is not an elected president or parliament.

There is nothing called freedom of speech as they shut down 10 channels and 8 Journals.

During the Military rule there were 18000 detained with no crime (merely because they protested against the coup). There is nothing called an elected committee for the constitution. All its members were appointed by the army to mend the constitution or to write a new one. They appointed generals as ministers and governors (militarize Egypt) as people call it.

During the Military rule, 5000 were killed by the army , police and thugs.

In resolution of Rabaa Adawiya in Egypt as the army used the bullets to end a peaceful sit-in and they used snipers to kill the peaceful protesters, they burned the people who were there.

The same scene was repeated on Friday in Ramses Square, Mostafa Mahmoud Square, and every single square in all the governorates of  Egypt. In my city people were killed and many were injured by the police and the army.

If Morsi was a dictator, I have no idea what to call the current regime.

The Muslim brotherhood made mistakes, but in politics everyone makes mistakes and sometimes big ones, but what happened in Egypt was a conspiracy made by the army and Mubarak’s men (beginning with the blackout, lacking of petroleum products and gases ). These were all made by the army to mobilize people against the democratically elected system at the End and I’m sure of what will happen next.

REVOLUTION CONTINUES

revolution at night - Tahrir Square circa 2011

revolution at night – Tahrir Square circa 2011

Crystals Gray’s View:

Egypt is on my mind. It is a horrible situation, but it is also very complicated and if one just follows the mass media it is easy to think it is simple. Of course, the violent over-reaction of the military (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, special forces, militarized police) is wrong.

I feel the resignation of ElBaradei (Nobel Peace prize UN arms control inspector who stood up to the US over Iraq), who was Vice President of the new government is appropriate. But some Egyptian revolutionaries do not.

Why? The Brotherhood is:

1) not democratic, as their actions since they came to power prove;

2) the Brotherhood is not nonviolent. While hundreds of Brotherhood protesters have been gunned down, dozens of police have been killed as well. Brotherhood protesters have also attacked Coptic churches (30 or more), Coptic businesses, and even the Library in Alexandria.

In the election that brought Morsi to power, the revolutionaries got more votes (in the primary), but they were divided among  3 candidates. Since then, the Brotherhood has lost support, so while they have a strong organization they are now clearly in the minority.

Most Egyptians fear the Brotherhood more than the military. The bulk of the soldiers are two-year conscripts, which is why the first stage of the Revolution was a success… there were not enough elite “political” troops to overcome the protests….although several thousand people were killed. But, hardly any (if any, I cannot confirm any military, police, or thug deaths in the first stage of the revolution).

Compare that to the current situation, which clearly includes armed Brotherhood militants as well as sectarian attacks on Coptic and secular institutions. If the Brotherhood came to full power, Christians and Shia and other non-extreme Sunni would be directly persecuted. All women would lose most of their rights. Homosexuality and all other secular perversions, such as alcohol, would end and tourism would be drastically cut back.

Reprehensible as the military actions are, it is understandable that most of the revolutionaries (the majority of Egyptians these days) are supporting the military at this point, even though parts of that same military have killed several thousand revolutionaries. The other option is worse.

[Edited by Judy Youngquest]

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

One response to “Two Views of Egypt”

  1. modok says :

    I’m mostly in agreement with Crystal’s analysis of what’s happening. But what are the lessons for those of us who want to build and sustain a successful revolution?

    While I was glad to see the regressive politics of  Morsi & the Brotherhood go, the actions of the Egyptian military in the process have, as most agree, been reprehensible.  It seems naive to trust that the Egyptian military leadership isn’t in bed with militarists in the US government who are desperately trying to maintain their own global power by creating chaos and mayhem that serves their own interests and ultimately ‘requires a military response to protect our national security’. We know that, for years the US has given the Egyptian military massive “aid”, the 2nd highest amount given to any ally, behind only Israel—tellingly, aid that has still not been cut-off in the face of this coup. Clearly the Egyptian military coalition with Mubarak’s allies (and Mubarak’s subsequent release from custody since the coup), only increase my suspicion of what’s really going on. So something more is certainly afoot, but what??!

    The coup in Egypt has clearly destabilized alliances in the region increasing the potential for the US to spread its mayhem elsewhere. Interestingly, Syria is now allied with conservative Gulf monarchies and pro-Western Jordan (preeminent in backing the anti-Syrian-government forces) in supporting the military coup in Egypt. Similarly, Turkey and Tunisia have joined Iran in opposing it. Israel, Libya, Yemen and Hamas in the Gaza Strip have no comment, but Mahmoud Abbas praises the Egyptian army for its action. Mindful of it’s own devastating ten-year civil war, only Algeria has called for consensus, unity, national reconciliation, and respect of the constitution to satisfy “the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people.”

    But more importantly for revolutionaries, the move vs Morsi also appears to have successfully split (and weakened) the people’s-revolutionary movement, with the most radical, (seeing that the lesser of two evils is still EVIL), now deeply critical of those who have aligned with the military (as ‘the lesser evil’) to get rid of Morsi. One possible US strategy: drive a wedge into the united-front that helped spark people’s-revolutionary movements resisting autocracy on both fronts (ie, vs government AND the military leadership) across the region and worldwide, as we saw during that revolutionary Spring.

    What’s the lesson for revolutionaries? I am once again reminded of the critical importance of building a sustainable foundation for our people’s revolutions: mere resistance alone–even in a broad-based united-front, is NEVER enough on it’s own!  This dissolution of the opposition coalition in Egypt is exactly the pattern we see in virtually all such resistance-based revolutions that succeed in toppling governments, in the absence of a deeply-held set of SHARED VALUES AND GOALS at the core of the ideas which catalyze the movement! (The Paris Commune, 1917 in Russia, 1948 in China, more recently in S Africa, Nicaragua and on…)

    Clearly articulated and shared values and goals not only inspire a united-front to catalyze, they also prescribe a set of shared strategies and tactics to SUSTAIN a new decentralized, broadly-supported, alternative model of organizing our collective power to create wealth, specifically, a political-economy actually controlled by the people, which is what we need if we are to ever achieve true freedom, justice and peace. We’ve seen numerous examples of people’s movements in which, initially, a broad-based coalition catalyzes a united front to bring down a mutually-hated government, with all participants acting for their own set of very different reasons.  After the common enemy falls, the united-front too falls into factional in-fighting. The most weakly aligned of the former coalition stand-aside and let the most radical of their former comrades be killed, exactly as we’re seeing now in Egypt and have seen in so many other ‘revolutions’ back to the time of the Paris Commune in the 19th century. 

    To be clear, my point is NOT that, ‘…so therefore, people’s revolutions are impossible.’  My point is that to truly succeed and be sustainable, a people’s revolution MUST be founded on the mutual-trust created by overtly shared core values which prescribe common goals, strategies and tactics.

    Clearly articulated common values must be at the CORE of what catalyzes the united-front at the outset, (much as organizers of the highly successful global anti-nuclear power & weapons movements succeeded in doing, albeit in a very limited way, in the 1970s-80s). 

    This is THE conversation WE revolutionaries need to be having, now. To inspire and catalyze a powerful, broad-based revolutionary movement in the US and worldwide, revolutionaries must answer what has become The question of the day on the lips of anyone who’s paying attention: ‘Yes, I know it’s bad, but what can I do about it??’ (This IS a legitimate question, not a cynical, apethetic cop-out as many activists busy organizing the ineffective ‘demonstration’ de jour seem to think.)

    To those interested in inspiring active participation in something truly effective and catalyzing a sustainable and success-focused people’s revolutionary movement everywhere, I would suggest articulating something along the lines of the following core value as THE catalyzing idea, at the outset:  “Our core value is sustaining the overall health and well being of ALL people, communities, and planet and WE will work for nothing less.  Building a new, decentralized, peer-to-peer political-economy designed explicitly to deliver sustainable prosperity for ALL, in close collaboration with the natural systems of our planetary biosphere, is our shared goal and the primary vehicle of our activism.  Our two-pronged offensive is powerfully strategic: on the one hand we collaborate intentionally, using the networking tools we now have in our hands, to completely replace the irretrievably broken, hopelessly corrupt, UN-reformable, and ultimately obsolete corporate-state mode of organization that currently still rules, and is destroying, our lives. We invite all to join us in building a completely new, direct, peer-to-peer, political economy to create sustainable prosperity for ALL! The second prong of our offensive involves mass resistance, via tactical withdrawal of our cooperation and all forms of collaboration with the old dying corporate-state model of organization, as a secondary strategic thrust. We believe with Steven Biko that “the most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

    We know that the best defense vs those who have made us and our children their prey is an unstoppable offensive designed to take back our own power to consciously rule OUR OWN LIVES. Still, yes, active resistance to these predators at every turn IS important and necessary, but only as a secondary point of focus. We must keep our eyes on the common prize: a fundamentally new people-controlled political-economy.” 

    I want to suggest that such a catalyzing idea is ultimately capable of inspiring a critical mass of intentional collaborators to make and sustain a broad-based people’s movement to take on the non-trivial task of re-making our world in relatively short order.

    The old corporate-state order is desperate to survive, given the reality of this highly-disruptive (from their POV) possibility. The old order is already collapsing around us and the predator is desperate to maintain control.

    WE now have a window of opportunity to make a real difference, before the old order succeeds in enforcing a new dark age of brutality, scarcity, war, and wide-spread violence on us. But we better hurry ;-). Love, modok.

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