Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Al Masry Al Youm Censored from Robert Springborg’s Article

On 1 December 2011, Egypt Independent, a printed paper produced by Al Masry Al Youm’s English section was censored. Over 20,000 copies were pulled from the market upon the request of Magdy El Gallad, the editor of the Arabic version of Al Masry Al Youm. El Gallad asked that an article by Robert Springborg be revised. The article was entitled, ‘Is Tantawi reading the public’s pulse correctly?’.

Magdy El Gallad
The Egypt Independent crew opposed this censorship. Alistair Beach wrote an article in the Independent criticizing this form of censorship entitled ‘Censorship row fuels public's fears over Egyptian election'. Magdy El Gallad accused Beach of having a foreign agenda. Robert Springborg exposed El Gallad in Foreign Policy with his article entitled, ‘What Egypt’s Military Doesn’t Want Its Citizens to Know’.

In response, Magdy El Gallad wrote a piece defending himself. This is word for word translation, and this is a more accurate translation that captures the true spirit of the piece.

The revised article was published in Al Masry Al Youm’s English edition but the uncensored version never made it officially. Through a bootlegged copy, for your reading pleasure, find below in quotes the part that was censored internally by Al Masry Al Youm’s Magdy El Gallad.

Is Tantawi reading the public’s pulse correctly?

In his speech to the nation on 22 November, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, almost as an aside, announced that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was prepared to hold a referendum on the issue of the military turning power over to civilians. This was intended as a threat to his civilian challengers. Reported to be a keen follower of public opinion polls, the Field Marshal and his advisers no doubt calculated that in any such referendum, the majority of voters would support military over civilian rule.

“The second problem is more profound and threatening to the SCAF, namely that many in the military resent the reputation of their institution being abused by the Field Marshal and his 19 colleagues on the SCAF. This resentment would be greatly heightened by a referendum, especially one in which the wording of the proposition purposely ignores the differentiation between the SCAF and the military, thereby tarring the latter with the brush of the former. The present rumblings of discontent among junior officers, Chief of Staff General Sami Anan’s greater popularity than the Field Marshal in the military and among Egyptians as a whole, and intensified pressure from the US could all result in the Field Marshal sharing President Mubarak’s fate. The military institution could remove him to save itself. If matters became truly desperate, discontented officers not in SCAF might decide that a coup within the coup would be the best way to save the honor of the country and their institution.”

By seeking to retain power and control over the transition process, the Field Marshal is playing a very dangerous game that threatens both the military’s and the nation’s well-being. He should have another look at that polling data.


Anonymous said...

The article is real and Tantawi should know that in the 21st century even with the help of Moubarak friens ,the moslem brotherhood ,the Salafi, these people are not doing any good for Egypt.They stole the wealth oF Egypt since Nasser the religious stole the brain of the naive and ineducated ones to gain power and the army took off almasru alyoumout of the Internet we can't get access to it They say they want a democratic system We do not beleive all these well organised people who want only the power to dominate.

Gihan said...

One named "Fadel Soliman", just hours after Tantawi's speech.. concluded that the speech is directed more to the army and its reputation slash PR image than to the people in tahrir and their martyrs.

I found it an obvious and a logical explanation of how disconnected the speech was from reality.. The coup within a coup scenario is still open.. if not already planned for..