I found this note posted on Facebook yesterday and thought it was so well written, thorough and articulate so many important points, that I just had to share it with you.
by Mohannad Ali on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 (Source)
Excuse me I know I’m not very articulate, but here’s an attempt to explain reality to those who don’t understand it. Apologies in advance for typos, grammatical mistakes etc. I haven’t proofread this.
First refuting the promises:
- He wont run for another term.You are all accepting this as if Mubarak has a proven record of honesty, and he does deliver on his promises. Mubarak in 1981 said he will only stay in power for 2 terms, and we call saw how this turned out to be. We have seen the regime sending out a few hundred people in pro-Mubarak demonstrations, not to mention the tens of celebrities etc. who were saying all those nice things about Mubarak. Giving the regime 7 months to regroup and plan, don’t you think for example they can’t manage to create a massive large scale pro Mubarak campaign asking him to re-run leaving him “with no choice” but to re-run for another term? If I could think of such a cheap an easy plot, I’m sure Mubarak has at least a dozen of those up his sleeve.What happened to the rest of demands regarding elections? Judicial supervision, the right to vote for Egyptians abroad, voting using your ID (raqam qawmy) to avoid fraud, international and civil society organizations supervision?Again there was no mention of Gamal Mubarak not running for president, but more on that later.
- Looking into court appeals regarding electoral fraud Looking into those appeals would mean the re-election of many many seats (under no guarantees that the re-election would be fair [read next point about article 88 of the constitution]), plus the large number of appeals basically means the parliament is not legitimate and the proper course of action would have been dissolving the parliament entirely.
- Constitutional changes. Mubarak promised to ask the parliament to change articles 76, and 77 of the Egyptian constitution. 76 is the article regulating the conditions required to be a presidential candidate, 77 says the president serves a 6 years term with no limit on how many times he can be re-elected. He did not mention anything about article 88 which regulates supervision over the electoral process of the parliament, which means there will be NO guarantee they will be fair and fraud free.
What has Mubarak left out in his speech:
- Emergency law is still effective, which means oppression, brutality, arrests, and torture will continue. How can you have any hope for fair democratic elections under emergency law where the police have absolute power?
- Internet is still not working, no talks of lifting censorship.
- No talks of allowing freedom of speech, freedom to create political parties, freedom to participate in politics without the risk of getting arrested. FYI to start a political party you need the government’s permission. How do you expect democracy to come out of this?
- He said he will put anyone responsible for corruption to trial right? What about putting the police who killed 300+ to trial? What about members of NDP who are the most corrupt businessmen/politicians in the country. Do you think he’ll put those to trial? Think again.
- He didn’t even take responsibility for anything that went wrong in the last 30 years. Not even his condolences to the martyrs who have fallen in this revolution.
Why should Mubarak leave now and not a day later?
- He can’t be trusted, and we can’t believe a word he says. He’s a murderer and a criminal with a 30 years criminal record, and the blood of thousands on his hands.
- Every day he stays in power, not only are his cronies stealing every dime and every inch of this country, but we’re giving the regime a chance to regroup and get their shit together, and if not Mubarak, or Gamal Mubarak, I’m sure we’ll get someone even worse from within the regime.
- Egypt will see the worst 9 months of its history in terms of oppression, arrests, and torture from now till September (and after that). Rest assured the regime (with or without Mubarak), will stop at nothing to stay in power. He has given no real guarantees whatsoever that the situation will improve. None. Not even regarding Emergency law.
- You should NOT believe that there are any good people in the new cabinet Mubarak recently assigned. No good honest man would work for a criminal and a murderer, especially not in this war cabinet. Many honest Egyptians along the years have declined positions in Mubarak’s governments.
- If protesting stops now, it will never start again. At least not in those numbers, and thus creating no real pressure. And while giving the police a chance to regroup and reinforce their lines, expect more police brutality, and expect more deaths.
- Most importantly, 300+ haven’t sacrificed their lives, so we’d settle for some lame ass promises with no guarantees, and risk all this going to waste. They wanted Mubarak gone, and the least we can do is honor their will and keep going until Mubarak, and the rest of the regime are gone. Not in 9 months, but now.
My answer to the following claims:
“But the country is already in a state of chaos. Lets stop protesting so we can have some security and stability”
Don’t be fooled, this state of chaos is mostly intentional. With the economy reaching almost a complete halt, and lack of security on the streets etc, Mubarak made sure you’d eat up whatever he throws at you. Would you rather be ruled by a corrupt and criminal regime for another 9 months (at least), or go through “chaos” for another week, two, or a month until the regime has fallen?
Don’t let the blood of our martyrs go to waste. We’ve seen countries rise from the ashes of war, we’ve seen countries rise from the devastation of nuclear bombs. We can most DEFINITELY pull through for another couple of weeks. And once we have democracy, once we have freedom, once we get rid corruption, when 100% of our money goes into the country and not into the pockets of corrupt politicians and businessmen, we’ll rebuilt this country in no time. What are a few years of struggle in a the history of a free and proud nation?
“If Mubarak leaves now, who’s gonna be president? ElBaradei can’t be president!! With no one in power we’ll be in a spiral of chaos and havoc etc”
This is by far the most naive argument. Do you know what happens if the president has health problems? Do you know what happens if the president resigns? Do you know what happens if the president dissolves the government and resigns? Do you know what happens if the president dies? Do you know how an interim government works? Do you know what your constitution says? No. So any opinion you have on the matter is naive and based on emotion and not facts nor political understanding.
The constitution as it is tailored at the moment, puts on obstacles making it hard to proceed if Mubarak resigns at the moment. In other words the constitution obviously doesn’t account for the coup d’etat scenario. You can read articles 82, 84, and 189 to understand what I’m talking about it.
However the scenario we want is:
- the ousting of the regime entirely: President, government, and parliament.
- Establishing an interim (transitional) government representing everyone across the spectrum, chosen by the people, to make the necessary constitutional changes and prepare for fair democratic elections in 6 months while providing the necessary guarantees. There are lots and lots of names who can fill this interim government but everyone is concerned about the president of that transitional government, and to those I say: a) Enough with the centralization of power. Its seems we can’t think out of the one-man-ruling-the-country box. b) We are a country of 80 million people. Any honest decent Egyptian, who isn’t part of the current regime, could be the head of this interim government. c) Whats wrong with ElBaradei? If you know anything about me I’m not exactly a fan of his, but we just need an honest man, who knows the necessary processes, constitutional changes and legislative changes required to establish the basis for democracy. I wouldn’t want ElBaradei or any of the current opposition leaders to be president for a full term, but ElBaradei has what it takes to put down the ground work for fair and democratic elections after 6 months. Some people say he’s too “soft” to handle the tough reality of Egypt, well you have to keep in mind a leader is only as strong as his supporters, so whichever whoever leader the people stand behind will have the necessary strength to lead this transitional phase. The circumstances of an interim government are different from a normal government. Think of it as a committee temporarily running the country with the primary focus being elections in 6 months. Finally given 6 months of political freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, no emergency law, and with constitutional and legislative changes, not only will we have one strong candidate for presidency, we’ll have dozens.
For the reasons above, our goal should be: keep going until we overthrow the regime completely. And if you’re bothered by the chaos, remember that the more people protesting, the faster the regime will fall and the chaos will be over. And once the regime has fallen, we should dedicate all of our efforts to make sure we choose a proper interim government that really represents the people, and everything will go smoothly from there, and the future of Egypt will be brighter than ever before.
Be strong, keep pushing, no compromises, don’t forget what they have done, we all know what they will do. The revolution has to go on so the lives of 300+ martyrs, and the blood of thousands other free Egyptians wouldn’t go to waste.
Don’t be naive. Its time to think politics and not just revolution. True freedom has a price and all of us should be willing to pay it.