Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mission accomplished?

Well that was a hectic few days by the pyramids wasn't it. Mubarak after the daring camel charge made up of interior ministry thugs and there mates who wanted a quick pay check failed to do much other then get a snigger out of people watching the news, and kill a few people gets the hopes of his people up that he would finally leave, after all the protesters enthusiams for the army was cooling fast and the Americans his regimes and its security apparatus biggest financial backer slowly but surely inching its way to the protesters side -incidentally readers of blogs like the polemical report will no doubt recall a similar scenario occurred in Honduras) where the US government and the Emperor of change Obama did not side with the democracy advocating people- only to make a speech saying he'd stay till September when his "democratic" term is up only to have his military the last working pillar of his regime give him the boot, but given that he's amassed a fortune estimated at $70 billion -all paid for by a grateful state and populous- no doubt, in foreign banks all over the world his retirement prospects aren't as bleak as most in this tough financial times.

But does that mean this is over and we can now move onto gawking at the next teetering middle eastern regimes attempts to protect there privilege? Well no theres still much to do in Egypt. Rather then an outright Democratic transfer of power to a constituent assembly or an equivalent, Egypt is now under the control of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) a council that has only previously been formed in times of war.

Now much of the mainstream media is talking about the Turkish model of government where the military is the Supreme power but unlike in Pakistan is fine with letting the civilian politicians do the difficult task of actually running the country. It is argued that this is what has kept Turkey an over 90% Muslim nation that has on occasion elected "Islamist" parties of varying degrees to government like the current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party* from sliding into the evils of fundamentalism. Just why Islamic countries require a strong secular officer corps while predominantly Christian nations could develop secular governance without them is rarely explained by advocates of the Turkish model.What is also overlooked is the role the military plays in Turkey's aggressive attitudes to preserving the Unity of the Turkish state. Its hard to see the continued oppression of the Ethnic Armenian's and Kurds not being dictated by the Chiefs of staff.

And of course the main problem with the Turkish system other then the nagging thought that this was not what the people on the streets and in the squares wanted is that once established there is very little to keep the New Arabian Turkey from becoming the New Arabian Pakistan or Myanmar. Afterall that is how those nations became Stratocracies the military stepped in in times of crisis and then argued that they should keep power as they were the only ones strong enough to maintain stability. Who else but the Generals can effectively mediate between all those ethnic tribes spread out in Burmese valley's? who but the military can effectively maintain the order of Islamabad and expand it around the Federally Administered Tribal Areasfrom religious radicals? What is to stop SCAF from using Islamic terrorism or perhaps red revivals to justify there maintenance of there privilege? After all America and by extension the rest of the West where perfectly happy to support and fund the Security states of Ben Ali's Tunisia and Mubarak's Egypt (after his predecessor Sadat shifted Egypt to a Western alignment) why not rebuild the relationship with the Generals. Old habits do die hard remember.

And I have to say so far SCAF have not exactly embraced the Democratic spirit, they've agreed to look at reforms in the future but so far seems more preoccupied with some good old fashion strike breaking. Aside from the obvious need to protect production and profits to appease the moneyed classes both at home and abroad the moves to restrict and then no doubt crush Labour activism in Egypt represents a pretty much standard procedure for Dictatorships, but especially so in Egypt. Those who read the Morning Star will probably know this but the protests and revolts in Egypt where not simply copy and pasting from Tunisia, they had been going on for a long time, the most common of which was Strike actions. Striking under Mubarak was more then just highlighting a wage grievance it was also a declaration of discontent with the regime. Thanks to Mubarak's crony capitalism all major manufacturing and finance assets where either owned outright by the state or snapped up by key entrepreneurs who where close supporters of the NDP, a big player in this scheme was the very same military-heads who are now running the show, hence why no Labour organisations of any kind where tolerated. Most strikes that couldn't be just threatened back in line where routinely tear gassed and beaten, a practice which looks set to continue if the Military gets its way.

Fortunately though there are some encouraging signs that the people are not about to letup the pressure on there government no matter what hat it wears until this revolution is finished.

* The Justice and Development Party has recently shifted away from its religious base however due to its strong social conservatism can still be associated with the social trends in much the same way other European and American Conservatives draw their social code from their dominant variant of Christianity.

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