Tuesday 17 May 2011

The Egyptian Guide on How to Lose a country in 10 days

....Give or take a few weeks, we are Egyptians after all.

V for Vendetta: The Dominoes Fall

I've been postponing writing this blog post for multiple reasons, but honestly, enough is enough. I tend to think of myself as a "Big picture" kind of person, that doesn't mean I always know the big picture, just that I try my best to see it.

I said this a few days ago, we're on the cusp of something big, good or bad, we're at the cusp of something big, and we must remain vigilant. Which made me all the more surprised that Alaa El Asawani more or less said the same thing during an interview today.

I'm going to try to not get all "wordy" and such, so I'll try to keep this direct and to the point.

What were some of the methods and factors used by the Mubarak regime to distract people from their real issues and control them?:

  1. Football (Soccer for my American readers) and namely the Ahly-Zamalek (and later on Ismailey) "Wars"
  2. Sectarian Strife ( Mubarak claimed he "protected" us from it. )
  3. Celebrity news and scandals turned into public opinion issues. (And yes I still think Fishawy is one of the biggest scumbags to walk this planet, Hind you're still one of my heroes.) 
  4. The Palestine-Israel issue. (Keep people angry at Israel so they don't focus on you)
  5. Terrorist threats , and terrorist sympathizers (Again before anyone gets any ideas, we're talking a few hundred in a country of 90 million, which isn't even a statistic) again and again (Again Mubarak claimed he "protected" us from it.)
  6. Religion (Yes I realize it's Cliche but it's true)
And the sad thing is, those things were REALLY effective at keeping the struggling & starving population distracted, I mean, when you're fighting to eat daily, you'll take any distractions to not face the shitty situation you're in.

But, You can only keep an entire population distracted and suppressed for so long before they eventually reach the breaking point and explode. Tyranny is not as previously thought, sustainable. And the "Arab Spring" is a testament to that.

Now post-"The 18 days" (I'm not going to say Post-Revolution. The revolution is far from over), It looks like the same tactics are being used, to varying degrees of success. After all, The game has changed, not all previously successful moves are going to work.

Now what has happened since after the "18 days"? :

  1. The Football (Soccer) league was one of the first things to resume (No one finds this suspicious?) , and thankfully ended quickly. (A Blessing in disguise?)
  2. More Sectarian strife (This time violent) as I discussed in my previous post.
  3. Celebrity soap-opera like news. This time in the form of the Mubarak family. Be it stories about Mubarak's Health again and again , His upcoming "Apology" and plead for amnesty , his Wife's health (Are they trained to have heart attacks on command?) Blaming his wife for his "downfall" because she supposedly pushed for succession , Blaming his son for his downfall, a reported "Fight" between his sons about his "downfall" making out Alaa to be a "Good" son as opposed to his "Bad" son in some kind of Shakespearian drama that is SLIGHTLY plausible enough to be believable (but I believe is complete bullshit.) . Mubarak and his family, ARE the current "Celeb Story" and it's still unfolding.
  4. The call for a march to Gaza to demand the borders be reopened (Even though an agreement to form a unity Palestinian government has been finalized, and It's already been confirmed that the Rafah crossing WILL be reopened, regardless if people march or not, Not to defend the SCAF here, but things like this take time, especially considering the radical elements that have attacked Egypt before from Gaza ) , Protests in front of the Israeli Embassy (and the violent crackdown with people getting shot and arrested)
  5. New threats, Attempts more attempts and movements from Terrorists and Terrorist Sympathizers
  6. Various religious issues that I've previously commented on, Be it the forced retaking of a mosqueImams depending the independence of the Azhar from the state (Separation of Church and state, or something less noble?) , That it was a religious duty to vote one way over the other, the Jerkoff that previously talked about Ghazwet el Sanadee2 (The Invasion of the ballots) claiming it's "Haram" for there to be any interactions whatsoever between male and female students , and a leading MB figure stating that it's religiously permissible to convert.

Now those are just examples , but you can see the trend, no? And the results are obvious, and I've said this a million times before: There are no coincidences when it comes to Egypt. For example, we've already seen people that are afraid so they're thinking that the emergency law isn't such a bad idea (We've seen fear drive people to give up their liberties and freedom, like the patriot act in the USA for example). It's not coincidental.  In the slightest. I've already referred to the possibility of this stuff happening before, and people are starting to believe me now, especially with statements like "The Referendum was on if the people accept the SCAF as their rulers or not." (See this video around minute 6:50 ) , keep in mind, this is the same organization that previously said "We Administer but we don't rule the country"

Now while we're all distracted, let's see some of what has been happening? (And I've mentioned some of these before, and some of them are more critical than others):

  1. The Government says "There are no new jobs for new governments" , After they said otherwise before
  2. An increase once more in private school tuitions 
  3. The MB not only focusing on the elections , but aiming for 50% of the seats, refusing calls for a pre-election drafting of the constitution , submitting their party registration next Wednesday AND saying that "Attacks against them will not deter them into side issues"
  4. British courts attempting to fine Egypt 900 million l.e and freeze Egypt's assets in Paris
  5. UAE's Damac company filing suit against Egypt (Probably because their bribe begotten gains have been frozen) 
  6. Azmy being released on bail because "He's old and frail" (Yet that didn't stop him from working before?) and that the law doesn't "Punish people for gifts" (I.E Bribes)
  7. The Emergency law being extended until after elections by the SCAF (Contrary to what they said before)
  8. The Ministry submitting a plan to protect "sites of worship" (Why wasn't this done proactively?) 
  9. The reported "Political rights law" failed to materialize on time
  10. Protest of around 200 asking the USA for a military intervention  to "protect minorities" in Egypt. 
  11. Presidential candidate Amr Moussa proceeding with his election campaign (Are any of the others doing this? Baradei are YOU doing this? )
  12. A Diesel fuel crisis (Hello increased prices for food and other basic supplies!)
  13. Food price Inflation in April  (As if people can afford it in the first place)
  14. A violation of the personal freedom of Blogger AbdElKareem Sulieman (They have an issue with his hand on his significant others shoulder, but not with the high amount of assholes that go there to sexually harass girls?) 
  15. Doctors going on strike (Mainly because they can't do their job in the absence of security or equipment
  16. 31 detainees escaped a police station in Giza (Who are they?)
  17. A Law drafted to absolve "Corrupt investors" from legal issues. Mainly to appease Prince Waleed Ibn el Tallal, one of the richest men in the world.
  18. College professors charged for "Encouraging demonstrations"
  19. Egypt approving of the controversial Ethiopian dam (Will it affect Water Quotas? yes or no?)
  20. Al Jama'a al-Islamiya calling for a March to release their (terrorist) spiritual leader
  21. Arrest of police officers holding stolen artifacts  
  22. A "Reformist" brotherhood member running for president
  23. A clash between two unions in Egypt .
  24. Antique coins stolen from the museum  
  25. Investigations showing the Mubarak drove up Egyptian Public debt
  26. Political parties slamming the MB statement that "The MB is a mother to all political parties in Egypt"
  27. The disaster of allowing the Wildlife preservation of Ras Muhammed of being opened up for fishing.
  28. Statement that the SCAF can legally grant Mubarak Amnesty , and then a plain denial by the SCAF that they'll do such a thing  , not to mention a threat by the Revolutionary committee 
  29. Whistle blowers basically being tossed to the dogs.

Not to mention the absence of security in Egypt. The SCAF blames the people, but could the fact that companies have their trucks hijacked and their products stolen by thugs have anything to do with it? Answer: Yes.

Now I could go on for hours (and I have been so far) , but I'm sure my readers are intelligent enough to check news sources themselves for more "info" slipping between the cracks of our attention. (And I don't blame people for not being focused, the amount of shit going on is insane)

But the point is, we need to focus. We're following and listening to people without knowing who the hell is behind things. For example, I do not agree with what is being done to the Palestinians, and I am completely against the violence against protesters in front of the Israeli embassy. however I do not think we can afford to distract ourselves with more issues, and the thing is, I know most of the "wise" protesters have noble intentions (and the entire protest was what? 5 to 20 thousand at best?), but they didn't initially call for the protest or March, did they? 

Who is behind the protest? Why was it done in the same location, day and time as the planned National Unity protest (And frankly took over it, leaving the Copts protesting on their own in Maspiro) leaving no sign of a "National Unity" anything? Why were there people wearing "Army of Muhammed" Headbands in Tahrir? Why was a Saudi flag waved in Tahrir (And i'll upload a post on Saudi Arabia later)? You know, Saudi Arabia? The same country that attacked Egyptian protesters and supported Mubarak, Crushed the uprising in Baharain (with support from the US) as well as within it's own country. Could it be that Islamists were the ones behind the Call for the march (While pretending to be in support of the National unity March)? Of course it was, are YOU FREAKING KIDDING me?!

On another note, anyone aware who actually started the "Army and People are one hand" Chant? Mob Mentality 101 , don't you think? (I'm reminded of the How I met your Mother episode where Barney started a chant for "Shrimp Fried Rice" )

Also, Mubarak is going to ask for Amnesty and forgiveness. Am I the only one that thinks the Mubarak "Soap opera Drama" (The Mubarak and the beautiful) that we've been exposed to the past few months, is mainly so that the sentimental Egyptians grant him the Amnesty out of the goodness in their hearts, and unknowingly be kissing the stolen assets and money goodbye?

While I support the call for the May 27 protests/Reigniting of the revolution, I don't think it's going to get the public support it needs to be successful, because unfortunately as I mentioned before Egyptians are currently willing to trade their liberties and expectations for their much vaunted stability (And on a psychological basis, who can blame them?) not to seem narcissistic but to quote myself : " People in Egypt are unlikely to revolt again for a long time. They have suffered as a result of the revolution , the economy has been affected, people they know have been hurt or killed...etc The likelihood of them revolting again within the next 50 years, is VERY small and almost negligible. The claim of "the people will just revolt again" is not entirely true, because if they don't revolt again within the next two months, they will not for a very long time."

So here's my point, we need to keep our head in the game, we have one of two choices:

1- Focus on what's important, and move forward with what's important, Keeping in mind that EVERY respectable (and non-respectable) organization has people responsible for various tasks: The Public figures and PR people deal with things like Imbaba, while the people behind the scenes do the actual work. Do the liberal organizations in Egypt have that, or is it only the MB and Salafis?

2- Focus on every distraction out there, and if we do that, we might as well hand the country to the MB, NDP and their ilk on a silver platter.

Is that what we want?

At least it's not all bleak... The Upper Egyptians have been busy with some great things such as the creation of a Muslim-Coptic coalition to combat Sectarianism. They're a lot more politically active than most people know.

Focus people.

There are NO coincidences when it comes to Egypt.

Six hours of research and writing later, and I realize this article is nowhere near as short as I intended. Hope you enjoyed the 2 mins it took you to read it. Yes I do realize there are lots of formatting and editing errors, but I'm too tired to do anything about it.


  1. Nicely written, I've been ranting about this and debating with friends back home in egypt and others here in the gulf for weeks. It's getting increasingly frustrating being outside of Egypt and watching while a large number of people are taking up any and every cause they come across, while the other political forces are gaining ground and grass roots support in places most of us egyptians don't even know exist..

  2. Wise words, raises concerns many have had for some time.
    Very much appreciate the list of developments.
    Can you please enlighten ppl a bit more about the Revolutionary Committee? Its members, its actions, its level of influence and support, and its potential?