EGYPT BLOG: Revolution 2.0

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CPTnet
27 July 2013
EGYPT
BLOG: Revolution 2.0

by Kathy Kamphoefner

[CPTers
Kathy Kamphoefner and Paul Pierce are living in Cairo, Egypt, within walking
distance of Tahrir Square. 
Kamphoefner’s blog entry has been edited for length.  The original is available here.]

  25
July 2013

 
  Tahrir Square 2011

Media
of recent events in Egypt could lead one into thinking that violence is
everywhere.  Egypt is not currently
sinking into a “quagmire of violence.”  It could happen, but that is not inevitable.  Unfortunately, whenever I see U.S.
media report, the story is almost completely about violence.  Today there is music playing in Tahrir
Square, and it’s like one big street party.

The
30 June events were most definitely a popular uprising.  The army then stepped in to prevent
things into deteriorating into civil war and for reasons of its own.  … But the governing coalition put into
place isn’t bad–it includes a lot of technocrats, from a broad spectrum of
political groups.  It doesn’t
include the Islamicists.  They
refuse to participate, not being very happy about being ousted.  The cabinet includes four economists,
and I hope they implement change on the economy quickly, as its collapse would
make blood run in the streets.   Eating regularly has become more
difficult for so many people since 2011. 

The
Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters are taking their cause to the streets,
insisting they are the legitimate government, and the current situation
undermines democracy.  No need to
go into all the problems of their administration, but they left human rights in
Egypt worse off then before, and became increasingly more repressive, so their
claims to be democratic are pretty hollow.

 The
secularists and liberals in Egypt blame the U.S. for supporting the Muslim
Brotherhood (MB).  They were blamed
for supporting Mubarak’s regime for thirty years before that.  Now the MB is blaming the US for
supporting the military in ousting Morsi’s government.  There is no question that U.S. foreign
policy has been problematic.  The
US propped up Mubarak’s 30-year rule with the same funding formula as it
continued under Morsi’s presidency: $1.3 billion in military assistance, the
remainder of the 1.5 billion total in other forms of assistance, mostly
delivered through the largest US AID program in the world…

The
military is like the repairman with only one tool, violence, and it is their
main response to everything—they think they can restore order by using more repression.
… I think the forcible removaI of the MB demonstrators will take massive
violence.  It will mean very bloody
street battles, probably between the pro- and anti-Morsi peoples, with the army
watching.  Then perhaps we will
sink into that “quagmire.”  The
army will perhaps then clamp down, and pretend they had no alternative for the
“sake of Egypt.”  And,
given time, the people will turn against them again.

The
30 June was Revolution 2.0, or Step Two, and there are many more steps to come,
in order to achieve the goals of the 25 January Revolution of Bread, Social
Justice, and Democracy.  Many steps
are still needed, in part because the revolution has been mostly nonviolent; it
has not included the mass murder of old regime persons or a purge of
counterrevolutionaries.  Egyptians
don’t want a violent revolution. 
So there will likely be many more cycles of change to go through—very
little has improved so far.

So
stay tuned–it isn’t over. The best thing Washington can do is shut up.  Its words are not believed and its
actions are usually taken badly.

Look
for news on al-Jazeera International, al-Arabiya English, read al-Ahram
English Online
, coverage in the Guardian or
the daily news summary from POMED (Project on Middle East Democracy) for more
diverse and informed views than are available in the U.S. mainstream media.

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