Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Turning Back

Protesters flock to Tahrir square in search of what’s left of a revolution hijacked by the military council. The attitude is comparable to that in the January revolution. It an attitude of determination to choose some sort of freedom called for since Januray.

Photo by Sarah Carr

For months protests have been tip toeing around the main issue which is the SCAF, but it seems that this time there is a direct resolve for the military to hand over power with a sense of immediacy. The military has squandered trust very efficiently over the past nine months and the extreme violence with which the protests have been handled have done little to restore it. People are now speaking against the military, but it's been a long time coming with a very strong build up ever since the military assumed power. The 18 November protest was advertised for some time, and that gave people a chance to accept it. When the security forces clamped down on it, it was unacceptable.

It seems that the security response is comparable to January and February but it's a lot more brutal. They have been targeting media personnel not just with arrests but with ammunition. A few activists and media personnel lost the use of at least one of their eyes and many have been injured. This time they were aiming for the eyes and the chest directly using rubber bullets, shotguns and birdshot. As usual, the government is commending the ministry of interior despite tens dead and thousands injured. So we have pretty much the same government response as in January.

The Muslim Brotherhood are not part of the protests this time, many of their members have gone to the square in defiance of the orders given in order to stand with the protesters under brutal attack. Will elections move forward? That's a difficult question to answer. The SCAF is in a precarious position. The new election law will not give any one power complete dominance over the parliament. They cannot take sides against the remnants of the old regime because they themselves are implicated and will be exposed if they do.

I don't see how nationwide protests can end without the military stepping down. The numbers are growing and so is the resolve. The government hasn't learned anything at all, they've been using the same techniques throughout their reign. It is unlikely that reforms will solve this situation, they need to trick people again, but honestly i don't think they have anything left up their sleeve.

They could have pretended to play nice till elections, after which all negative sentiments could have been directed to the parliament. Also they've made parliament a three step long winding process, so the results will show in January at the earliest. I don't think they'll survive that long. I'm sure as we speak, their Israeli allies are thinking up some clever scheme to resolve this volatile situation.

We’re at a stand off now. The SCAF squandered almost all of its chances of safe exit committing atrocious crimes added to those committed during Mubarak’s reign. They fear arrest if they step down and so will cling to power with all their might. They would have ordered the whole square bombed  had they not feared retaliation within the army if such a command is executed.  Their cards have been burnt. Sharaf, the media, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis and many other political parties have been exposed as loyal to power rather than the people.

The SCAF placed their bets on everything but the people. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis and all the political parties have placed theirs on the SCAF. The result is that of two delinquents masquerading as artists praising one another’s disdainful works.

People also have no choice but to remove the SCAF from power. If people return home all that’s left of the revolution will be violently targeted. Fear will drive SCAF to lunacy and they will not try to crack down even more violently and blatantly on anyone propagating ideas of dissent.

That’s why there is no turning back. There will be a long battle for survival; it’s either the regime or the people’s will to break free of their bonds.

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