Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
29 April 2012
FROM THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING TO TAHRIR SQUARE AND BACK
You can tell the revolution is in trouble in Egypt when the henchmen of the ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak are hurtling back into the limelight. Candidates for the forthcoming presidential election include Mubarak’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, and Mubarak’s onetime Foreign Minister, Amr Moussa, who later became Secretary-General of the feckless Arab League. Even Mubarak’s old spymaster Omar Suleiman threw his hat into the ring before being disqualified for not having obtained the requisite number of supporter signatures. However, it is widely thought that Suleiman’s candidature was simple a ruse to enable the Election Commission to parade its neutrality by banning Suleiman at the same time that it vetoed the candidatures of two much more serious Islamist contenders, Khairat El-Shater of the Muslim Brotherhood and salafist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail. It is more than likely that the Election Commission is under the thumb of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has replaced Mubarak as the body which pulls all the strings in Egypt. Unsurprisingly, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s Defence Minister. The remit given to the Election Commission by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces can hardly be other than to weed out any strong candidate for president who might pose a threat to the political supremacy of the armed forces and to the mega-rich military-industrial complex which they control.
So Mubarak has gone – at least for now. But he is being replaced – by Mubarak’s men! Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. So much for the revolution and the Arab Spring. Goodbye Tahrir Square, welcome back to the Yacoubian Building.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.