Mubarak’s Defiance Breathes New Life Into the Revolution
Hosni Mubarak has simultaneously provoked the Egyptian revolutionaries and snubbed his nose at America and Israel. He’s enraged his enemies and burned his bridges. Defying the advice of his western and Israeli benefactors, and their global allies and economic partners, Mubarak makes one last ditch effort to cling to power. The integrity of the current oppressive regime will not be quietly transferred to a new administration under the guise of reform. Mubarak intends to fight to the bitter end.
A successful revolution threatens American and Israeli interests and the security of every other dictator in the region and perhaps the world. Global powers were willing to sacrifice Mubarak for the benefit of their interests. A so-called ‘smooth transition of power’ would have allowed the current regime at large, and international interests, to retain the status quo. Hosni was to cooperate and step aside. Hosni has gone rogue.
His regime remains in control of finance, communication, media, police, special security services, utilities, and transportation. His control of the military is yet to be seen. The strike that began earlier this week threatened control of finance and demonstrated the revolutionaries strength to eventually effect true change and gain control of the rest of the country’s infrastructure. This is something that they will not allow. Billions of dollars are at stake for the elite that remain in charge.
Mubarak stepping aside would be the only chance to preserve the power that is currently threatened by the revolution. Mubarak could be sacrificed for the good of the status quo. If Mubarak were to leave promises of reform could be offered and the current regime would maintain control. Mubarak’s insistence on retaining power threatens the entire establishment. If he doesn’t go he will take the whole house of cards down with him. Not only does his defiance breathe new life into the revolution but he makes himself the target of a coup by those not willing to take that fall.
America and Israel will have no option but to support a military coup by senior officers. Mubarak is expendable and the current arrangements must be maintained. Those senior officers that are as much a part of the current establishment as Mubarak will have no option but to comply if they wish to retain their elite status. A truly democratic government can not be allowed. They must defeat Mubarak before the revolutionaries do.
Suleiman has doubled down in support of Mubarak. His speech issued tacit threats against those who remain in the street. Those that he deems in favor of chaos, the protesters and revolutionaries, are now the implicit target of the state. They have been declared enemies of Egypt and the regime will employ every resource at its disposal to squash the revolution.
Both Mubarak and Suleiman have outlined their pretext for purging the country of all those that have opposed this regime. They have placed the blame on foreign influence and domestic trouble makers. The regime has been threatened. Their weakness has been exposed. They will now exact a brutal campaign against all that have exposed them.
Egypt’s revolutionaries must open up a dialogue with the younger, junior officers within the military. They must split the military to save themselves from a coup against Mubarak led by senior officers. They will have the backing of the troops but there must be an alliance formed between the organizers of the revolution and all those in the military not in bed with the current regime. This is their only chance to avoid mass bloodshed and achieve their ends.
The military, in conjunction with the revolutionaries, should support a new transitional civilian government. They should not simply claim the power for themselves. This may be what America, Israel, and their allies want but this does not bode well for the Egyptian people… particularly those that have led and participated in this uprising. Replacing Mubarak with a military dictatorship, headed by current senior officers, will be no change at all.
Mubarak remains in control of his incredible wealth and the personal power that it provides him within Egypt and beyond. His senior officers are bought and paid for. His cabinet and advisers are bought and paid for. The only chance for the revolutionaries to save their own lives, let alone accomplish any change, is a complete and successful revolution. There is no option. Their choice is victory or death.
If there is any message that the Egyptian revolutionaries should take from this, it is that they have scared their adversaries. They have the power to make change and the established powers are desperate to stop them. This is not a message that the revolutionaries should take and go home. This is a victory that deserves celebration but it is a small victory in a long struggle. They need to recognize their strength, fortify their resolve, press on, and complete the mission that they set out to achieve.
Mubarak has shown his weakness. He has defied his people as well as the powers that have propped him up for thirty years. He was expected to step down. America expected him to step down. Mubarak is over-playing his hand. His end is near. The revolutionaries must be prepared to step up and take control of their government. They cannot allow a military dictatorship to replace Mubarak.
Friday’s demonstrations will now be even larger and more energized than planned. The potential for conflict is also greater. The stakes are high and Mubarak has backed himself into a corner. The only tools he has at his disposal are his police and his military. He will not hesitate to use them. Whether or not the military allow themselves to be used, or whether they will support their fellow Egyptians, is the only question left to be answered.
The revolutionaries must make alliances within the military and not trust the commanding officers. The strike must be expanded. The people must institute a meaningful occupation of their entire country. They must take control of media, communications, utilities, finance and transportation. They must prove their ability to govern themselves by composing a clear declaration of their intentions and codifying the principles of a new constitution. The people of Egypt must surround the parliament until a government of, by, and for the people takes their rightful place. The revolution is not complete; it has only just begun. The dictatorship has blinked. Press on!