It’s been up and down, and brutal sometimes, and we’ve all found ourselves asking the same question I was asked today by a friend; whose side is the army really on? And just by answering off the cuff, I seem to have formulated some kind of view – and here it is:
Army isn’t on OUR side or HIS side, army is on ITS side – or the Supreme Military Council is, at any rate. So sure, they’re his old time buddies, but they’ll sell him out as much as they need to in order to protect themselves from US, meanwhile, they’ll clamp down on US as much and as often as they CAN, in order to AGAIN – protect themselves. You’re confused cause you’re asking WHO are they with? And forgetting the obvious answer: Themselves.
It was confusing at first, cause they didn’t HAVE to screw Mubarak and his people too badly, it seemed they could let that other gang live by just taking him off as president. But we were a million strong in Tahrir AGAIN two weeks ago ( I repeat AGAIN – for them this is HUGE) – and we were saying NOT ENOUGH.
So they’ve decided to sell him out. Some will obviously try to bargain. Some will say, fine – ta7qiq bas akhret’ha idoony bara2a, etc. But today, after these arrests I decided to look at the Ahmed Ezz in prison footage again, and you know what? El ragil beyetmisi7 bekaramit ommoh el ard. Nobody will take that as part of a ‘play’.
Especially not these kind of people.
So the question always was ‘how many will be sold out?’ – to which the previous friday showed them ‘a lot’ and the next Friday showed insurrection. And:
1. Their brutal attack was caught on TAPE. Played on screens. Making international media talk about the army in a way that Egyptian tv, state or otherwise is NOT.
2. If a million came the week before, then this e3tesam, if they had let it – AND with army people in it? Would’ve KILLED them.
They’re literally on the ropes. They have as much time as it takes for the people at large to KNOW what they’ve done. And in that window of time, before knowledge overcomes the ignorance, they HAVE to make us happy. So they make more promising moves – but in the process dig an even deeper whole.
Now imagine what would happen if Mubarak gets a verdict of ‘innocent’ – can you even consider the scale of reaction that would entail?
The question is – now that they’re there, how do we take advantage? They’re hoping they’ve scared us away, and to a certain extent, they have.
But again, playing stick and carrot (excuse the reveral) – they also captured the Mubaraks and what’s his name today, placating us – and it worked because the Revolution Coalition put off next Friday’s planned OPEN Sit-In, and – you have to consider that the this Sit-In call WASN’T based on the Trial of Mubarak (that would’ve been a regular Friday demo) – but as an objection to the brutality of the Pre-Dawn April 9 attack on Tahrir.
I’ve said before, when reflecting on the various ups and downs that we’ve all felt since Feb 11th that we’d gone from a Win/Lose situation to a Tug-of-War – and that is why so many of us who were involved with high-adrenaline situations found so frutstrating and infuriating, for all of us – the win-a-little, lose-a-little of Tugging was cheap, and annoying, and slow.
But now – We’ve gone from WIN/LOSE to TUG-of-WAR and now it seems we’re Reversi (or Othello as it’s sometimes called) where you play a piece in the right place and it flips over all the ones in between.
The internal rationale from the coalition for putting off next Friday’s protest may be that they’re not sure they can pull it off – because of the attack on Tahrir, but if that were the issue, then they could just downgrade it from a Sit-In to a regular Happy Friday Demo – and NONE of those have been attacked right now – nor could they be since they rely on post-curfew logic, defining anybody left over as ‘thugs’. Also – the perceived rationale for the army is that the Sit-In was put off because they gave up the Mubaraks.
They may be placing some faith in their ability to bias the media, but the fact that they have been so desperate to do so since the attack makes it very clear that in their perception the truth will definately spread. They simply don’t know how long it will take. Between Jazeera, the Internet, International Media, Facebook and Twitter (which for them are still total X-Factors), and simple word of mouth – the people will know.
And they’ve already seen that the most dangerous flip (Reversi/Othello again) is actually possible, that the army COULD THINK of flipping on them. Ironically, their actions last Saturday make that even more likely. Since despite the public’s doubts about the identity of the ‘people wearing army uniforms’ in Tahrir, we can assume that some of them, at least, actually were officers – and that – they are therefore known to other officers and soldiers within the army – and that the people who know/knew them, those non(yet) dissenting officers and soldiers who have so far done as they’re told – since they were instructed that they are working for the revolution – are now being ordered to execute some of their own (the dissenters), who – strangely enough – seem to be saying – surprise – that they are also working for the revolution.
So – if people who barely know the soldiers have had doubt sown into them, then surely that doubt it multiplied for those who knew any of the potentially real officers. Again, they’re digging a deeper hole. Which might mean that very soon they’ll need us to throw them a rope – and that rope might well be what we’ve been asking for all along – a Presidential Council or a Presidential Committee, etc – which, by the way, is (in a different robe) being created as we speak.
Not by them, and not as a presidential council, de facto, or otherwise, but by a ‘National Advisory Committee’ – or something like that, which is being put together by over 80 entities here in Egypt, including just about ALL of the heavyweights – and – invaluably – including the actual revolutionaries.
Okay, so advisory, but the point is this – that once this is created – we will be back to the point of consensus, but this time, not around Mubarak & Regime, but about Elections, Constitution, etc – and various much more instrumental and long-lasting building blocks – and it being a consensus will mean that effectively it will speak for (at the very least) – how many went to vote? Around 18 million Egyptians – which is encouraging/disappointing when you think about it cause that’s just a little more than how many were involved in the Revolution nation-wide.
So the good side is – they’re actually STILL invested, and the bad side is, the people whose lived are ruled by fatalism and futility – well, not many of them have balled up – or they consist entirely of the elderly who didn’t quite want to get tear-gassed and shot at.
All things considered, I sound surprisingly optimistic despite the foul mood I’ve been in since Saturday.
So to steal a line:
Good Night & Good Luck 🙂