June 19, 2013
Dispatches From Cairo: Blood, Money and Revolution
Posted on Feb 23, 2012
Egypt’s de facto ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and the SCAF are obliged to play the game through, to try to keep the support of the nation’s silent majority, but more so to satisfy their U.S. ally—and not for the petty $1.3 billion alone. Military-owned public and semipublic companies, which lie in almost every sector of the economy, include partnerships and joint ventures with U.S. and foreign energy corporations and industrial consortiums: Shell, GAP, Calvin Klein, Thales, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, to name a few. How many countries have a military capable of bailing out its civil government with $1 billion, as Egypt’s military did just months ago? The fact is, the Egyptian military is no less than an economic giant whose motivation is to safeguard the feudal-like powers and privileges of its social cast, its tax exemptions, its position on the market, its free access to land and, above all, its absolute unaccountability on all levels, at the people’s cost in blood and continued ignorance and deprivation.
If the people had access to the real information, would that change the direction this country will take? Political persuasions are unpredictable. The presidential candidates will begin to declare on March 10. The Egyptian people do not know how to keep their eye on the money. They are preoccupied by so many other issues—spies, fuel shortages, violence and wondering whether they want their religion to be enforced by law. The ticking pendulum swings.
A brilliant friend has made videos showing the true nature of the SCAF economic holdings. I had posted them on three of my pseudonymous blogs and on Facebook. They were all deleted, and one of the blogs has been completely erased. (The videos have been reposted under new names.) My friend participated in the artistic explosion of revolutionary creativity under a pseudonym but recently began to use his real name. I won’t mention it here. I haven’t heard from him in a few days.
One of the videos ends with a view of people standing along a trail of blood soaking into the ground. The blood belonged to Mohamed Mostafa, 19, an engineering student who was shot with a high-velocity rifle at dawn in Tahrir Square by an Egyptian storm trooper. He was a former member of Egypt’s national tennis team and national swimming team and was a member of El Ahly Ultras. The ground was later covered with sand.
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