February 26, 2011 - 1100 DST
The Egyptian Military High Council apologised on February 26 about attacking civilians in Tahrir Square on Friday night. The protesters were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.
The Egyptian Military High Council apologised on February 26 about attacking civilians in Tahrir Square on Friday night. The protesters were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force general and close confidante of the ousted President Hosni Mubarak, as well as other remnants of the Mubarak regime.
The protesters are adamant that Mubarak's appointees must be removed from government. They also want the military to hand over power to an interim civilian government to prepare for elections. They want the new elected assembly to approve the constitution. Their other demands include the lifting of emergency that has been in place for 30 years under which thousands of people--30,000 according to one estimate--are imprisoned without charge or trial, and the release of all political prisoners, past as well as those arrested during the 18-day uprising against Mubarak.
The military's true intentions, as an instrument of oppression and status quo, are beginning to emerge. Among the protesters, there are people that understand this clearly and are not prepared to give the military time to reimpose the status quo.
The people have a long way to go before they can achieve their aspirations. The US also continues to interfere behind the scenes by keeping in close contact with the Egyptian military high command. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been doing the rounds of the Middle East visiting Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait etc to assure allies that the US would back them up.
There is much unease and fear among the ruling circles of all Middle Eastern tyrannies that the US will abandon them just as it abandoned Mubarak. This fear is most palable in Saudi Arabia whose aged and ailing monarch returned to the kingdom last week after undergoing multiple surgeries in the US three months ago. He then spent time in Morocco to recuperate.
Upon King Abdullah's return to the kingdom, he immediately announced a $37 billion package to bribe people. He urged them to buy homes, cars, and get married (some presumably multiple times) and the government would pay for it. The message was, Be Happy, Enjoy yourselves and do not worry about staging an uprising.
Given the tight relationship between the monarchy and the religious establishment that has been completely co-opted, the chances of a major upheaval in Saudi Arabia are slim but then this was also said about Egypt. Events are moving at a very fast pace in the Middle East and nothing can be said with certainty about what occur next.
It is, however, heartening to note that the people of Egypt are aware of the distance they still have to travel before they gain true freedom and dignity from the US-zionist-backed imposed order in their country.
The people of Egypt have to be in the streets for a lot longer before they can say that they have secured their rights.