Egypt, unite or die trying. Again.

Egypt, unite or die trying. Again.
4 min read
03 Dec, 2014
As Mubarak and his entourage walk away from court innocent of crimes of murder and crushing dissent, the political motives behind the former dictator's acquittal are becoming clear.
The "not guilty" verdict sparked limited protests against the Sisi regime and judiciary [Anadolu-Getty]

The trial has ended but questions still remain.

Did you notice on the faces of Mubarak and his cronies the sense of certainty and confidence about a "not guilty" verdict being given from the start of the trial? Did you notice that no one in the dock looked nervous when the judge instructed the accused to return "to your seats"?

What did the judge mean when he said "seats"? Did he mean the seats of power or the seats in the cage? The accused carried themselves as if they were at a book signing. Like they had memorised the contents of the novel and knew how the story ends.

False modesty and arrogance

The essential question here is, would the accused have been so audacious if it were not for the coup in June 2013 and the measures taken to purge Egypt of resistance and restore the Mubarak deep state?

The real surprise was that, after the verdict given, one of them pretended to be surprised - while it was clear that all the signs pointed to this result. The expressions of surprise at the verdict and its consequences were artificial, the finishing touches to the farce.

In November 2012, before demonstrations gathered outside the Ittahadia palace in Cairo to demand that Mohamed Morsi be overthrown, I wrote an article entitled Who will be the president of Egypt in 2013?

"There are people who are promising to bring the Morsi era to a rapid end, toppling the temple on everyone's heads to take Egypt back to how it was before the revolution," I wrote then. "This is not guesswork or an arbitrary interpretation of the current situation. We are now going through a stage where mines and booby traps are being laid in preparation for a big explosion… so that, by the time the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution comes, everything will have fallen into place, and the crows can come home to caw and celebrate their victory."

Counter-revolutionary agents

I had heard reports that opponents of the revolution were pumping huge amounts of money into Egypt to spread chaos in the country. They even said they would be back in power, promoting an atmosphere of terror and panic as part of a psychological warfare campaign.

It is important that we ask about the nature of the protests that took place after the acquittal of Mubarak and his cronies.

Were these objections to a politically tainted verdict demonstrations of sympathy for the families of those killed?

Or was it a revival of the popular struggle, like the January 25 revolution itself, based on a broad consensus of political ideas and opinions?

In other words, do we need to reverse Mubarak's acquittal or bring down the Mubarak regime embodied in Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his entourage?

It makes no sense to talk about saving the revolution from those who have hijacked it unless we admit, openly and honestly, that it was wrong to get involved in the counter-revolutionary movement against Morsi in the first place.

This was a movement driven either by a hatred for the Brotherhood and political Islam, or by attempts to make financial or political gains from the army.

     History offers no examples of superior democracy emerging from military coups.

A storm brewing?

Some of them are shocked by the coup-makers' decision to hijack the presidency, although history offers no examples of superior democracy emerging from military coups.

Logically, those who mobilise people to overthrow a government that has come through democratic election, with whatever flaws it may have, are bound to aspire to power.

I can still detect the obnoxious attitudes and false pride among a clique who took part in the January 2011 anti-Mubarak revolution, when they attempted to set the conditions for taking part in the protests against Mubarak's rule - as if they alone possessed political wisdom and revolutionary purity.

They ignored the fact that, while they strolled through the gardens of the military regime, other people stood bravely and pumped their chests out at the most brutal system of repression and murder that Egypt has ever known.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.