Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Egyptian Army - To be feared or revered? WikiLeaks

Was just flipping through WikiLeaks when I came across this article... something I am sure Egyptians also have access to, given the amazing ability of technology to facilitate dissemination of info.

Robert Fisk, a respected British journalist who for many years has covered the Middle East and whose integrity has not been questioned, has reported that Mubarak actually ordered a Tiananmen Square like execution of the protestors in Tahrir square, which is not surprising.

What is surprising though is the fact that according to Fisk, the military honchos agreed to carry out the order but it was the soldier on the street who refused to follow the bidding of the military higher-ups. A far cry from Tunisia, where General Rashid Ammar, refused to follow Ben Ali's orders for a public massacre!

So the key question is whether the Army that is currently holding the fort in Egypt will be able to exercise control and enforce law and order or it too, may be at the mercy of the emotions of its rank and file? Anyone who has worked in the police / army knows that a large amount of power that the police or army wields is psychological - the fear of what the army and police can do often drives the public's response to them. In the absence of that fear, their ability to enforce law and order is hugely compromised.

But even more than that, is a bigger question, a bigger fear - is Egypt really safe in the very hands that were willing to order a massacre to control the pro-democracy demonstrators?

The Army has moved in, suspended the constitution, assumed power, promised to rewrite the constitution in 10 days and put it to vote, to limit its tenure to 6 months, to hold elections and the fact that it has included 2 on-line activists, Google executive Wael Ghonim and blogger Amr Salama, in the group of opposition leaders, augurs well.

But it has still not released prisoners that it took during the revolution, it has not lifted the longstanding emergency law which allows the authorities to arrest people without any charges and also allows them to restrict the right to freedom of speech...Has Egypt got rid of one kind of dictatorship only to be replaced by another?

On the flip side, maybe the refusal of the rank and file to obey the massacre orders was a good thing to have happened. If nothing else, this would be an indication to the Army that they cannot ride rough over the people, cos its own rank and file - its means and tools of imposing control - may well rebel against it dictates if the dictat is against the common will and good.

See Link to WikiLeaks:


Anonymous said...

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Manisha said...

Hey I am not currently residing in Cairo...