Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our only hope: The Army

First thing that pops up in every Egyptian's mind when hearing this word is the 6 of October (Yum Kippur) war and the Egyptian army's heroics in 1973.But ever since that date we haven't really seen the army that much except for building a bridge or stadium every now and then here or there or helping helpless governments over the course of the last 38 years in some bread distribution problems.

But where was the army when we needed them most? On Thursday 10th of February, they held an urgent session of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and announced the council will be in continuous session.What was different this time that the council was in session without the country's president who by law is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, this was a sign that a minor coup was taking places or they were trying to pressure Mubarak to the hilts to step aside.On that particular day rumors were very wide spread across the nation that a coup was on its way, these rumors were fed by some claims that foreign embassies called for their nationals to leave immediately for fear of a coup and what instability that may follow.

However, next day Omar Suleiman-then VP- announced Mubarak's resignation and handing his powers to the supreme council, to this date no one is sure if he has done so by his on will or under pressure.My main point is not why or how it happened as this matter will be the subject of lots of debate for years to come and only history will tell one day.

What and how the army has been ruling and dealing with things ever since is a subject to lots of questions.Why is the army slow in decisions, why are they always some steps behind just like the old regime?why were they slow in the decisions of freezing the accounts of notoriously corrupt officials after most of the assets were already transferred?why are they keeping most of the public media administration still in its place?
Do they want people to still be fed lies? Why did they play a spectator's role at the storming of the State Security (SS) buildings and left people to leave with valuable and top secret and confidential documents and then demanded people to hand them over to them after they've already been leaked to the internet?

Most of the army's highest echelons were part of the toppled regime, maybe not literally part of it but at least they benefited from that regime's corruption and policies.So a guess is that they wanted these SS documents burnt and shredded and vanished forever lest they too get exposed.

I'm not saying there is a collusion here between the army and the regime, but the army too are looking for their best interest-and the country's best interest at the same time, people can not lose the faith and trust they gave the army, it is their last hope.And in my humble opinion, we can not make it to democracy or any other system without the army in our side.


  1. the big questions are :
    1- Do u think they are a part of the counter revolution (if there is such a thing) ?
    2- Do u believe they`re buying time trying to secure the presidential candidates , afraid that who will follow might not give the same powers or authority like they used to have (unquestionable funds for ex, .... etc)?

  2. and the big answers are :
    2-this is a likely scenario

  3. The bottom line:
    No one has the answers or can tell a single fact; what we hear is just assumptions and opinions coming from everyone's personal tendencies.
    Just let's focus on the future and re-building and recovering what we've lost in the last 50 days and forget about assumptions, consipracy theories, personal opinions and digging into details which will not be of a benifit for the coming period. Later when we settle we can talk about such things and the different scenarios.
    The real power is people not the army or SS,..etc
    و الله ولي التوفيق
    Ahmed Al Olaby

  4. You're right in saying that we need the army on our side if we want to achieve democracy. But we also need to eliminate the top officials you mention that are part of the old regime. I suspect it is because of these top officials that we are experiencing doubts about the army's support. Army is always hesitant and slow in its reactions and I feel it's probably due to the top leaders who are holding on to Mubarak era politics.

  5. Nahed:
    I believe it is not easy for the rank and officers in the army to overthrow their superiors,in 52 it was the higher officers that initiated the movement.
    Plus, it won't be the right thing to remove all the veterans and highest officers,the country needs them because I don't think an army could function without all its highest officials assuming they are all part of the regime, and indeed they are!!

  6. Olaby:
    Yes we've lost a lot and we need to rebuild but what's mentioned here is part of the obstacles that are hindering the process.
    والله الموفق و المستعان

  7. Mabrook 3al blog ya akh amr . wana fe entezar al mazeed menak 3ashan ara2ak betkhalena neshof 7agat makonash shayfena
    Congrats on the blog Brother Amr . Im waiting for more because your opinions widen my view on things

  8. Totally agree, however seeking to know the answers right now is not the best idea... As you said, we can't make it without the army from one side and them looking for the country's best interest as well as theirs from the other. So nobody can have it all and even if we don't give them the benefit of the doubt, however deep the corruption is within the army, i don't think that it is comparable to that of the previous regime's. So we're on a better track anyway and that's enough for now.
    Deep thoughts, keep it up