Wednesday, February 27, 2013

When a "Revolution" calls for military rule

In the 2nd anniversary of the early open assaults by the Egyptian military on the protests, and the establishing of the No To Military Trials For Civilians campaign, the absurdity of the "military coup" proposal and the willingness of some in the "activists" and "opposition" community provoked me to break my silence for some little time before I go back to my shell.

Out of all the policies and moves that I have major disagreements with whether from the government or the opposition, and the seemingly intellectual/ideological conversations/fights that are taking place in the political/ public sphere that I don't think are worth wasting my energy on, proposing that a military coup is a possible solution to get Egypt back on track again was especially appalling.

Seeing that many people I used to have respect for are fine with such a proposal, although not surprising these days, made me want to clarify where I'm standing at the moment. 

The talk has been going around for a long time but only recently many in Egypt are talking openly about the possibility of welcoming a military coup to bring Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood down. Thinking that a "military intervention" is the only ultimate solution to the Egyptian crisis indicates that many in the opposition are obviously using the revolution rhetoric to accomplish their own political and personal purposes. 

Who would call for a military coup in Egypt?

"We support the Egyptian Army" a logo from a Facebook page that calls for the Egyptian Army to intervene and take over Egypt

I tend to think that those calling for the military to intervene in the situation directly possibly fall in the following categories:  

1- (The Wannabe Dictators): Political entities that are fully aware they can't get into power through legitimate means such as elections or building up an alternative stronger long term form of resistance against the regime will more likely ask for a military coup.
They might be remnants of Mubarak's time opposition, or also from the neo-controlled-opposition that came to the surface after the revolution.

2- (The Better- the- dictator- we- know folks): These are hardcore members of the Mubarak's regime or supporters, Pro-military and Pro-Shafiq supporters who are still trying to bring the entire military structure back and thus, the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in power harms their goals. 
Supposedly, at some point in history, these people and their positions were considered anti-revolution but you never know these days.

3- (We-are- so- not- over- ideology -and -we -know -it folks): Many in the secular/leftist/liberal political sphere have major disagreement with the Muslim Brotherhood ideologically speaking (For real reasons or some times just on the surface) and thus believe that the co-operation and power sharing with a secular institution like the military will be better for their future political and economical interests. As long as the military will only persecute Islamists when it comes to power, it should be fine, they think. They missed that in our very recent history with dictatorship and oppression in Egypt, the tyrants didn't just crack down on Islamists.  

For the smarties out there: It's important to note that many within the Islamists camp who have so much criticism towards the Muslim Brotherhood policies and ideology will not resort to the coup proposal for a multitude of reasons. The same applies to many principled opposition figures and groups from the secular/leftist/liberal and non-ideological revolutionary groups, but that's a different story. 

Why call for a military coup in a military dictatorship with a civilian cover?

As I'm trying to understand I'm wondering: If not for pragmatic political and economical interests, are there any legitimate reasons or "revolutionary" justifications for such a call? 

Again and again, the Egyptian military you're talking lightly about still controls an estimation of 30-40% of the Egyptian economy and has been operating autonomously for decades on different levels (economical, legal, and administrative local and international). The Egyptian military institution, although it might seem is not intervening openly in the political process, is still influencing the situation in Egypt whether through its economical structure and presence in all Egyptian civilians institutions, or through its diplomatic relationships with other governments. 

I'm not going to begin talking about all the calls against military rule, the atrocities, or the tragedies we are still recovering from. I'm not even going to mention anything about all the fading and seemingly unrealistic dreams about a civilian Egypt where the military will not be a state within the state. Let's say that I'm pretty much over all of this and that I'm trying to cope with the reality. I'm not even talking as a revolutionary since a long time but I think I do have some legitimate questions that I got no answer for.

Does Egypt really need to get more militarized than this and so you're calling for a direct military coup?!

At this point I also feel that there's a need to answer the question regarding the meaning and principals of revolution and  revolting in Egypt because it seems like people have different versions for each. 

For those of you who don't know me personally or those who do but regardless will jump into the conclusion that I'm not revolutionary enough or an undercover Muslim brotherhood, like how it's been like in the last few months, please take sometime to read my previous posts here in the blog.

It shows my criticism to the Muslim Brotherhood policies and ideology back in the day before the anti MBism became too mainstream and before the Mubarak and military people joined the party.
I wish I didn't need to state this every time I write something and people suddenly realize I wear a long head scarf and don't curse the Muslim Brotherhood on my twitter timeline or Facebook everyday to sound revolutionary enough to them. I hope that you will consider thinking about what I wrote here before judging me.


SupportBahrainRights said...

Thanks for the great article, Alshima.

Yes, a military coup would be a disaster. The military already dominates Egypt. The last thing we want is for the military to expand its powers even farther!

You clearly show how contradictory it is asking for the military to oppose a regime it is already dominating. Great article.

Anonymous said...

Thx for this awful article. You got exactly the points that I'm asking myself and other ppl during the last ongoing protests in Egypt.
Please stay safe and continue to write articles with your own opinion and please do not give a f*** on them who are criticizing you without knowing your background or your past.

Love and greetings from a german blogger! <3