Skip to main content

"The news is more evidence of the close ties between Israel, the United States and Mr Suleiman, who is tipped to replace Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s president", writes Christopher Hope in a February 09 article in the UK Telegraph, who explains his sourcing as "The close relationship has emerged from American diplomatic cables leaked to the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph."

Mr Suleiman is Israel’s preferred candidate to replace 82-year-old Mr Mubarak. A secret hotline between Mr Suleiman and the Israelis was said to be “in daily use”, according to US diplomatic cables.
[...]
Mr Suleiman worked hard to position himself as the main Egyptian link with Israel. According to the cable, he was blocking attempts by the Israelis to form links with other members of the Cairo government.

This was, according to Mr Diskin, because of Mr Suleiman’s “desire to remain the sole point of contact for foreign intelligence”.

The efforts paid off. In 2008, Mr Suleiman was named as Israel’s preferred successor to Mr Mubarak and the new secret direct hotline was in daily use. By early 2009, Dan Harel, deputy chief of staff at the Israel Defence Staff, was reporting that “on the intelligence side under Suleiman co-operation is good”.
[snip]
Mr Suleiman has already won the backing of Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to lead the “transition” to democracy after nearly three weeks of demonstrations calling for Mr Mubarak to resign.

As far as I know now, even after the military takover of Egypt this morning by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the High Military Council that took control of Egypt on Friday, Omar Suleiman remains Egypt's Vice President, presumably having taken over the duties and the powers of the President after Hosni Mubarak resigned Friday. This is an assumption I'm making here - if anyone has differing information about Suleiman's role now, please let me know.

..........

Professor Gilbert Achcar of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, grew up in Lebanon, and is currently Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London. His books include The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder, published in 13 languages, Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, co-authored with Noam Chomsky, and most recently the critically acclaimed The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives.

In this interview from Feb. 08, 2011 Achcar talks with The Real News Network's Paul Jay about the Egyptian protest movement, about the Egyptian Army, and about the illusions that many harbored and still harbor about the role and intentions of the Egyptian military in the sweeping revolutionary movement that developed over so many years of oppression of ordinary Egyptians and flowered into the mass movement we've all been watching the past couple of weeks:

JAY: This is a military dictatorship at the core of this government. It's essentially a client military, a client state of the United States. It's certainly, at the senior levels of the army, a part of Egyptian crony capitalism, where the top leadership of the army are enriching themselves alongside allies, I guess, Egyptian millionaires and billionaires. Yet when you ask kids in the square what they think of the military, nobody wants to say a critical word. It's they're on our side, they're neutral, they're independent, they want to--they're going to protect us. But we know Mubarak is still the commander-in-chief, so one would think if the military is taking that position, it's because Mubarak has decided it's is in his interest for them to do.

ACHCAR: ...if we are speaking of the soldiers, of the rank-and-file of the Egyptian army, I mean, of course they are part of the toiling masses of the country [inaudible] of the poor people. One very likely reason why the army has not been used by the regime to quell the uprising, at least until now, was--is the fear that the soldiers might be very reluctant to carry out such orders and even this might have led to some forms of mutiny. So the regime was cautious not to use the troops in a direct confrontation with the people.

So in that sense, speaking of the army, addressing the troops makes sense. But where it gets into something rather dangerous politically is when it turns into sowing illusions about the military as an institution, about the army as an institution.

The army as an institution is definitely not on the side of the people and definitely not neutral. It is completely on the side of Mubarak. And Mubarak actually, and the army general staff, were keen on emphasizing this by showing, you know, on the television, on Egyptian television, Mubarak meeting with the general staff and all that.

So the army's behind him. The key people that he put, you know, in at the head of the government that he formed after he dismissed the previous one, or the man he named his vice president, are all people from the army. So it's more than ever, if you want, a military--I mean, a rule by the army of the army men, of the military.

Real News Network - February 8, 2011
Illusions About Egyptian Military Can Damage Movement
Gilbert Achcar: Ordinary soldiers may be with the democratic movement,
but high command is at the core of the regime
...full transcript here...

It would appear, in light of all of the preceding, that the Egyptian High Military Council and the Egyptian Army had no choice if they wished to not become as much targets for public anger as Mubarak had become and wished to retain the power and control of Egypt they have held for more than half a century, that they would have to tread very lightly in dealing with the burgeoning protests in Tahrir Square over the past couple of weeks or risk alienating the entire country.

What has the Egyptian "revolution" accomplished? I'm very sure that most of the protesters cheering today in Tahrir Sqaure are ecstatic today that Mubarak is gone, and I'm very happy for them for that. They had dreams and they did everything they could do non-violently to turn those dreams into reality.

And the result has been a military takeover of their country, or as STRATFOR described it this morning, a military coup:

Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman delivered the following statement Feb. 11: “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody.”

Suleiman’s statement is the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It is not clear whether Suleiman will remain as the civilian head of the army-led government. Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers. The question now is to what extent the military elite will share power with its civilian counterparts.

Reuters describes Tantawi this way:

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Higher Military Council that took control of Egypt on Friday after President Hosni Mubarak was swept from power, has spoken with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates by phone five times since the crisis began, including as late as on Thursday evening.


The ties are long-standing and important to Washington, which provides about $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt each year.


Pentagon officials have been tight-lipped about the talks between Tantawi and Gates but the U.S. defense chief has publicly praised Egypt's military for being a stabilizing force during the unrest. On Tuesday, Gates said Egypt's military had "made a contribution to the evolution of democracy."


Robert Gates, originally appointed as US Defense Secretary by former President George W. Bush and retained in that postion by Barack Obama, has been the point man in charge of delivering "freedom and democracy" to the world on behalf of US corporations for years.

Have the Egyptian people been outflanked, and had the clock turned back half a century on them to the very system that produced a Mubarak in the first place?

Will this be, for Egyptians, as much a "Change you can believe in" as Obama has turned out to be for Americans? Or better?

As far as I can see from all of this, the Egyptian Army's so-called "restraint" the past couple of weeks was self serving purposeful manipulation of the protesters.

They had many, but far from all, of the protesters in Tahrir Square believing the Army were the good guys on their side because it wasn't attacking them. If they hadn't the din of protest would have been unbearable this morning when the Army took over the country.

Whatever happened to "we want the whole regime gone"? Eh?

The "regime" - the military dictatorship - that has run Egypt for the past 60 years has just ridded itself of a 83 year old has been hated by the Egyptian public, framed itself as "the good guys", co-opted the revolution, and now has a firm lock on power in Egypt, and a hotline to its friend Robert Gates in the Pentagon and the White House, and I'm sure there are people in Tel Aviv dancing with joy tonight.

I can only conclude that the Egyptian protesters who put their hearts and souls into freeing themselves were coldly manipulated in a power play stretching from Washington to Tel Aviv to Cairo that now leaves them at the mercy of the same "regime" they wanted gone and has them - for the moment - cheering for it.

Perhaps ElBaradei was prescient when he said Thursday that "Egypt Will Explode". As the realization sinks into the Egyptian public of just what has taken place over the past day, Egypt may very well do just that...

..............................

Roving journalist Pepe Escobar has also done a fantastic job of keeping up with events in Egypt the past few days:

Anybody believing that Washington's "orderly transition" led by Vice President Omar Suleiman (aka Sheikh al-Torture, according to protesters and human-rights activists) could satisfy Egyptian popular will believes Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin could have gotten away with a facelift.
[...]
"Orderly transition" may also be regarded as a ghastly euphemism for sitting on the fence - way distinct from an explicit call for democracy. The White House has morphed into a succession of white pretzels trying to salvage the concept. But the fact is that as much as Pharaoh Mubarak is a slave to US foreign policy, US President Barack Obama is boxed in by geopolitical imperatives and enormous corporate interests he cannot even dream of upsetting.

A crash course on 'stability'
To cut to the chase; it's all about oil and Israel. That's the essence of Washington's foreign policy for the past six decades as far as the Middle East, Arabs and the Muslim world at large are concerned.
[snip]
So as one of the pillars of the "cold peace" with Israel, Egypt is a paradigm. It's a bipartisan phenomenon, in US terms; Republicans and Democrats see it the same way. There's the Suez Canal, through which flows 1.8 million barrels of crude a day. But "partner with Israel" in the 1979 Camp David accords is what explains all the billions of dollars showered on the Egyptian military and the three decades of unconditional support to the corrupt Mubarak military dictatorship (and make no mistake, the US implication in that vast shop of horrors is all documented in the vaults of the regime). On a parallel track, "stability" also translates as a lousy quality of life for virtually the totality of Egyptians; democratic rights of local populations are always secondary to geostrategic considerations.

The dominant geostrategic status quo in the Middle East, that is that is the Washington/Tel Aviv axis, has hypnotized Western public opinion to accept the myth that Arab democracy = Islamic fundamentalism, disregarding how all attempts of popular rebellion in the Arab world over the past decades have been squashed. The Israeli government goes beyond this equation; for Tel Aviv it's Islamic fundamentalism = terrorism, ergo, Arab democracy = terrorism. Under this framework, Mubarakism is an essential ally more than ever.

Originally posted to Edger on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 02:50 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Egypt's military has (15+ / 0-)

    dissolved the cabinet and sacked both houses of parliament, and will institute an interim government along with the head of the supreme constitutional court

    Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

    by Edger on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 02:50:13 AM PST

    •  Mubarak was not "the regime" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, JesseCW

      He was the visible face of the regime, but "the regime" is not a one man show...

      Feb 08, 2011:

      The Real News Network talks with Khaled Fahmy, professor and chair of American University in Cairo's Department of History, who describes the power structure inside Egypt's Mubarak regime and explains that things in Egypt are not as simple as getting rid of Mubarak personally - that he is not a "one man show" and that there is a very well established political and social counter-revolutionary power establishment including the Egyptian military that is determined to defend the Mubarak regime, and the Egyptian Army is not nearly as much on the side of the protesters as might appear on the surface...


      Real News Network - February 08, 2011

      Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

      by Edger on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 08:01:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of the reasons I'm careful about (6+ / 0-)

    what I say about recent uprisings. The outcome is often the return of the status quo.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 02:58:05 AM PST

  •  It remains to be seen what will happen. (8+ / 0-)

    Miltaries have cut deals in the past with Democractic movements.  See Portugal for one suprising example.

    Everyone knows that only witches stand up for accused witches!!

    by JesseCW on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 03:16:12 AM PST

    •  This is where the US can influence (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, Terra Mystica, JesseCW

      in a positive way.  Or negative.  Let's see where the policies shape up.  Will the US be a brake on a total military coup, or support the military regime becoming the permanent gov't?  "stability" or democracy?  Which will we choose?

      it could really go either way.  

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 03:40:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Egyptian Constitution.. (7+ / 0-)

    ..has no language regarding the Vice-President succeeding the President.  That is a view we take, as Americans, but the entire office of Vice-President was only recently created by Mubarak himself.  When Mubarak left office, Suleiman effectively went with him.

    Their Constitution actually requires that the President of the Assembly assumes command, but that man happens to be something of a nebbish selected for political reasons, and has shown no interest in a promotion.

    The government is currently being run by the Council of the Armed Forces, and based on their activity, they are simply waiting for a new civilian government to coalesce before resuming their separate-but-equal role.  That government will likely be a unity power-sharing aren't-we-all-so-happy-together mishmash.. which will devolve into political infighting within a few years.

    Welcome to democracy, Egypt.  

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 03:20:37 AM PST

  •  Tantawi was the Minister of Military Production (7+ / 0-)

    which is really a quasi government owned corporation that controls a large part of the Egyptian economy, with factories that produce everything from sewing machines to automobiles for civilian use.

    During the GWB administration these factories began seeking contract manufacturing contacts and licensing production, generating huge funds flow to the military leadership and regime.

    One effect was to dampen private sector job creation, one doesn't compete with the State.

    I would supect Tantawi and his US sponsors would seek to conserve this power base, and the reformers would seek reform.

    It is also the ministry that controls the flows of foreign military assistance funds from the US.

    The civilian products produced in these factories include: medical and diagnostic equipment; domestic appliances; fire extinguishers; machine shop equipment including lathes, drills, grinders, generating and welding sets; electric motors; television receivers; computers; batteries; electric and water meters; electronic meters; agricultural machinery; kitchen equipment; water purifiers; printed circuit boards; laser alignment instruments; calibration equipment; passenger cars; single engine aircraft for training and transportation; fire-fighting vehicles; microscopes and binoculars; incinerators; and medical diagnostic equipment.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/...

    Iran has a similar model, with the IRGC owning and operating factories.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 04:31:50 AM PST

  •  I've paid very, very close attention to the (11+ / 0-)

    uprising and find your diary untimely.

    The military has acted pretty well and there's a good chance that they'll act as an honest broker until a civilian government is instituted, imo.

    And your assumption about Suleiman seems to be wrong - it does not look like he has much influence anymore.

    The Egyptian pro-democracy groups seem pretty happy with how events have unfolded.  Maybe we should be happy with them instead of immediately trying to see the worst possible scenario in everything?

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

    by Lawrence on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 04:44:08 AM PST

    •  It's certainly guarded optimism (5+ / 0-)

      Remember, 10 million people flooded the streets once there was no doubt the bastard was going down.

      The 1 million that hung their asses out on the line when shit was dicey...are generally a good bit more guarded.

      That said - I very much hope that their representatives can convince the Military Council to immediately begin sharing power with a Civilian Interim Council, and things can move forward rapidly toward democracy.

      Everyone knows that only witches stand up for accused witches!!

      by JesseCW on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 05:38:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I prefer to be informed in a timely fashion, not (4+ / 0-)

      blissfully ignorant and too late to react.

      I learned a lot from this diary about Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and what is happening in Egypt now, and I don't believe the diarist is

      immediately trying to see the worst possible scenario in everything

      but analyzing the geopolitical reality in Egypt.

      The diarist didn't make the assumption that you allege about Suleiman having undue influence, but quoted him saying

      President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country.

      The diarist then interprets Suleiman's statement as

      the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

      The diarist goes on to say that

      It is not clear whether Suleiman will remain as the civilian head of the army-led government. Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers. The question now is to what extent the military elite will share power with its civilian counterparts.

      This diary is loaded with facts that don't get covered by the MSM.  It's a mystery to me how you could characterize this diary as simply seeing the worst possible scenario.

      I'm just wondering why you want us to just dance a happy dance and why you disparage the thoughtful analysis found in this diary as negative thinking.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 06:39:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I prefer to stick to the hopeful (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nellcote

        attitude that pro-democracy activists in Egypt have, and I find a proclamation that the "revolution has been co-opted" to be somewhat insulting at this point in time.  This is an incredibly hopeful moment and I am happy to join Egyptians in celebrating and savouring that moment instead of being cynical about it.  If the Egyptian people had been continually cynical, then they likely never would have accomplished this great feat.

        #

        1. There's still a great deal of uncertainty about what form of government will eventually emerge. Veteran pro-democracy campaigner and newspaper publisher Hisham Kassem is hopeful. He tells the BBC: "The idea that another dictator will happen in Egypt is out of the question. Mubarak came to power in 1981 during the Cold War, Soviet Union - pre the internet, pre satellite and pre 25 January. The rules have changed completely in Egypt after January 25. People pushed out an incumbent dictator that had been there for the last 30 years. Whoever comes next has to deal with this new reality."

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 07:19:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The cynicism of the Egyptian people is precisely (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Edger, JesseCW

          why they flooded the streets.  If they had the wool pulled over their eyes, they wouldn't have bothered.

          I don't view this diary as cynical, but giving us a good dose of reality and context.  We would be naive to believe that the Egyptian people can rest, because they have won their democracy and their work is done.

          No, I prefer to have my eyes open and my mind fed with facts, not manipulated by the propaganda machine to complacently turn the channel...we're done here...everything is fine...we can all go home.

          It isn't as simple as Mubarak is bad.  Mubarak is gone.  Egypt is now a magical dream land of flying camels.  The military is fully behind the people, ready to hold fair elections, transfer power, and transform their torture chambers into amusement parks with licorice whips...  La, la, la, la,...

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 08:02:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you really think that cynicism is why (0+ / 0-)

            they flooded the streets, then I have to say that you either don't understand cynicism or don't understand human nature very well.

            I have rarely seen a more hopeful, enthusiastic, forward-thinking group of people at work than we saw in Egypt recently.  They are the virtual opposite of cynics.

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

            by Lawrence on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 11:54:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I've got my concerns, as I've voiced and as (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, truong son traveler, Tanya

      you've replied to, but I am trending a little more optimistic than previously. Many of the protesters know (per interviews I was listening to last night) that what they have achieved is a remarkable first step, but that the real challenge is just beginning. Disentangling the apparatus of the Emergency Laws from the quotidian lives of average Egyptians is going to be difficult.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 06:43:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I have my concerns as well. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nellcote, angry marmot

        And I agree with you that Egyptians have a tremendous challenge ahead of them.

        I also have gained tremendous faith in the Egyptian people, though.  After what they've achieved, I doubt that they will be denied what they are striving for.  We could all learn alot from them, imo.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 07:06:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Generals and Mubarak (5+ / 0-)
    Gamal Mubarak was leading an effort to privatize and compete with the State owned factories controlled by the military, and was a deeply unpopular choice amongst the Generals for a successor. They wanted Suleiman (as did the US) as succesor since 2008. The military sat on the sidelines to allow the revolution to proceed, eliminate Gamal from succession, but I imagine they will resist any serious reforms of state industry

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 04:44:58 AM PST

  •  Military discipline can be a very shaky thing (6+ / 0-)

    in revolutions. If the soldiers are for the people and the high command is on the other side, the soldiers sometimes notice that they have a whole lot more guns than the officers.

    For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

    by Kimball Cross on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 04:47:48 AM PST

  •  I am watching two signals (6+ / 0-)
    To see where this is going, if the military will preserve Mubarakism and oppose the will of the people 1. Opening of the Rafah crossing, the closure is deeply unpopular, but has been uneasily supported by the military as a concession needed to preserve the US support the military depends on. 2. Cessation of discounted gas sales to Israel, actually this issue was the coalescing seed of the reform movement as it is deeply unpopular, with several lawsuits progressing. If the new regime supports the status quo in either of these conditions, we will know who is in charge, the people or the Military industrialists.

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 05:24:50 AM PST

  •  fact free CNN coverage (8+ / 0-)

    I saw last night a bit on CNN where they put video of Cairo on Feb 11 up next to video of Tehran Feb 11, 1979 and "asked the question" - "could the same thing that happened in Tehran happen in Cairo?"

    Of course, CNN was just "asking the question"

  •  Military was always going to call the shots (13+ / 0-)

    about removing Mubarek. That was a given because they always had the power. The Egyptian people knew that. They are not fools.

    No one knows how this revolution is going to evolve. Yesterday was just the start of a long road.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 05:26:32 AM PST

  •  There be dragons... for sure. It isn't over by (5+ / 0-)

    any means, but it is moving in the right direction with a huge first step.

    Two factors argue for continued movement in the right direction, imho:

    1. Obama seemed genuinely moved and/or relieved by the outcome so far.  He seemed to gain (regain?) some clarity on the issues in his most recent speech.  This may serve to check the Gates wing of the admin in its efforts to support the more recidivist elements of the Egyptian power structure.
    1. There seem to be many competing interests that power structure, even within the Army itself.  Do younger members of the officer corps want to simply fall in with the octogenarian general staff, or do they see opportunity here to create their own economic power bases within an unleashed and expanding Egyptian economy (the bigger pie theory)?  It's an open question.

    There is a difference between co-opting and normal political stratification.  Both may look the same at this stage.  But you're right to point out the dangers in assuming natural evolution at this point.  There are substantial forces in play to co-opt the progress that has been made.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

    by Terra Mystica on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 05:43:11 AM PST

    •  The Egyptian Military (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terra Mystica, CIndyCasella, JesseCW
      at least the officer corps has highly refined and decades in the making stability. Great perks, great retirement. The enlisted are mostly conscripts, who are used as labor in the military owned indistrial enterprises. The children of the cosmopolitan elites get deferrals, or get get good assignements in the capital. I wouldn't count on the young officers seeking any changes to the game, but the conscriptees could force positive change, but very, very unlikely.

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 05:56:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. I'm just saying that with the democratic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, truong son traveler

        chaos coming, paths to power, in addition to the one you describe, will open up for the younger officers.  Their opportunities will be much less linear and/or sequential than has historically been the case.  

        My suspicion is that the more ambitious among them would see that and seek to preserve those opportunities.  That would make for a less monolithic military, while still preserving the power base as a whole. That's the carrot.

        The stick is that if the status quo is preserved under new names, the past few weeks will be continually revisited and repressed.  That results in destructive chaos and an erosion of the prestige, power, and economic opportunities for the Army elite, and everyone else.  My assumption is that the Egyptian street isn't going to sit still for that.

        "Dega dega dega dega. Break up the concrete..." The Pretenders

        by Terra Mystica on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 06:18:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the cycle (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terra Mystica, JesseCW

          seems to be a nationalistic "colonels" coup of younger officers, which the old guard is supremely sensitive to.  The military wants a civilian face at the top.

          The Military ministry of production is pretty well run, however, and growing, lots of opportunity inside the officer corps, and damned little outside, if you are educated or a professional,

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 06:34:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Now that Egyptian have thier freedom (0+ / 0-)

    They should  build thier new  democracy  based on the best interest of the people of  Egypt and hold the one that  oppress them accountable for thier crimes against the people of Egypt , and not seek any kind of violent retribution against those who oppress them but make them attone for thier behavior  while they sit by and watch the regime oppress them

  •  Good one Edger. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Edger, JesseCW

    I saw this stuff early on just by reading the same sites and authors you've read.  While most still complain about but get their news from the MSM and TV soundbites.  Too bad more people won't read this stuff.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Feb 12, 2011 at 08:09:09 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site