"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who have removed Morsi, have been in control of Egypt for decades behind a number of different regimes, including Morsi. The millions who forced the removal of Morsi as they did Mubarak are not the fools that the Guardian's Jonathan Steele considers them to be. Many are already determined that the SCAF must be fought and the SCAF, for its part, is only too aware that they are in no position to carry out an Egyptian version of the Tienanmen massacre."
The Egyptian revolution, the options of the SCAF and the hope of Palestine
Mick Napier 4 July 2013
Man is the measure of all things. (Protagoras)
Syrian dictator Assad and the brutal Saudi regime have openly welcomed the move by the Egyptian Army leadership against the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi. Weasel word aside, the US and the British governments have abandoned Morsi and accepted the Army’s move as inevitable, faced as it was with a determined mass mobilisation unprecedented in Egypt’s history calling for the overthrow of the Morsi government.
The popular mobilisation that forced the military leaders to move against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood was as wide and profound as any in human history, more powerful than the first revolutionary wave that overthrew Mubarak less than two years ago.
The lower depths of Egyptian society, uniting religious and secular, exploded again and ended fears (or hopes) that the Egyptian revolution had cooled with the overthrow of Mubarak and the voting into office of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The social base of the Brotherhood withered as it reneged on every promise Morsi made to get elected.
One example of such betrayal was the Egyptian Government’s maintenance of the brutal Israeli siege of Gaza, including the destruction of the tunnels that are the lifeblood of the struggling Palestinian enclave. Early this year, the Egyptian military demolished dozens of tunnels, and flooded them with toxic waste water – this at the behest of the US and Israel.
The continuity is not open to question. Under the Mubarak dictatorship, the SCAF repeatedly ordered attacks on the Gaza tunnels, a lifeline to the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza. Under the Morsi Muslim Brotherhood government, this policy was maintained. Egyptian Army (SCAF) attacks on the Gaza tunnels continued after Morsi was deposed.
As any student of revolution knows, whether hostile or supportive of revolutionary change, the dizzying speed of changes in the ideas and hopes of millions outstrips the capacity of four-yearly ballots to give even minimal voice to popular demands. The government propelled into office in the early stages of a revolution is discarded as it becomes a barrier to the rising demands of those who were previously outside the world of official politics, busy scraping a living to survive, or sunk in the apathy that follows the belief that the rich and powerful always win out.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who have removed Morsi, have been in control of Egypt for decades behind a number of different regimes, including Morsi. The millions who forced the removal of Morsi as they did Mubarak are not the fools that the Guardian’s Jonathan Steele considers them to be. Many are already determined that the SCAF must be fought and the SCAF, for its part, is only too aware that they are in no position to carry out an Egyptian version of the Tienanmen massacre.
The rising mood of popular confidence – “We have forced out two dictatorial governments” – means that any orders to Egyptian soldiers to fire on their compatriots would be a desperate gamble. The first soldiers to refuse to fire on the risen people, and go over to the side of the insurgent population against the SCAF, will open a revolutionary process in the entire Middle East that will challenge US and Israeli control of the region as never before. It is popular determination that breaks the rank and file of an army from the control of its officers in a situation like that developing in Egypt. Egyptians have that in spades.
The millions who confronted Morsi are the hope of the Palestinian people and the entire people of the Middle East and beyond. How ridiculous that this elemental force should be measured by the results of an election a year old, a year that might as well be a century! The regulations for an electoral process designed to minimise change are now in the dustbin, and the stage is set for a revolution to wash away all the corrupt dictatorships that remain across the region, and to end the power of the settler-colonial State of Israel. Israel will inevitably strike at any threat to Western control of the region’s oil, as it did in 1956, 1967 and is currently threatening against Iran.
The Zionist state relies on 6m privileged and heavily armed Jews against 400 million Arabs and has prevailed to date because of the Arab dictatorships that were only able to repress their citizens. Any revolutionary change in the region poses a great danger to Israel, since Arab revolutionaries see occupied Palestine as a western colonial outpost that must be liberated if they are to enjoy any real independence and freedom.
Democracy is not a matter of putting ballot papers in a box every so many years and then watching the elected politicians line their own and their friends pockets, as happens in Egypt, the US and Britain. Democracy is approached to the degree that the mass of people achieve real control and power in society and it is happening before our very eyes in Egypt. The sights are stupendous and the courage and determination are infectious.
There is still everything to play for in Egypt. Those who only see the change of formal, constitutional forms in the drama miss the bigger, beautiful picture – millions of people who are growing in stature, in their own and others’ eyes, and who will confound the plans of Saudis, Assad and western chancelleries to pillage their oil and keep them in the poverty and humiliation they have endured since they were conquered by Europe.
By virtue of their position and history, Palestinians have played a key role in opposing western plans to dominate the region by their resistance to the Zionist State of Israel. Their hope rose with the first surge of Egypt’s current revolutionary wave; it should rise further, in inverse proportion to Israel’s alarm at the second tsunami.
There are some reports that Netanyahu and others have welcomed Morsi's overthrow, but other and Israeli voices express concerns. Haaretz' Anshel Pfeffer notes how Morsi's government acted in ways that benefitted Israel to the detriment of the Palestinians. Among the "...reasons why Israel could end up missing Morsi" :
1. "Under Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood did the unthinkable when it affirmed the Camp David peace accords with Israel...on the most crucial level for Israel - the security channels - cooperation was maintained and even improved, Israeli defense sources said..."
2. "[T]heMorsi administration actually did not try to stop Israel from launching Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last year, in which Hamas' military leadership and infrastructure was severely damaged...The Muslim Brotherhood has reined in Hamas in a degree that never existed during Mubarak's time."
3. "...under Morsi's rule, the army...has demolished large numbers of smuggling tunnels."
4 July 2013
Hani Shukrallah Egypt's second revolution: Questions of legitimacy in Al Ahram Thur 4 July 2013
Khalid Shaalan Why the Western Media are Getting Egypt Wrong in Jadaliyya (accessed 5 July 2013)