For many Egyptian citizens, revolutionary political movements and representatives in both houses of parliament, the court ruling to dissolve the Muslim-Brotherhood dominated parliament and reject the so-called isolation law on former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, should cease to catch them off-guard.
This simply represents another phase of hijacking and killing a revolutionary movement capable of turning the region over its head. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in charge of the country since Mubarak’s Feb.11 step down, exemplifies a powerful foreign-backed entity capable of engendering deep political rifts in a country already experiencing political and economic instability. Its decision to dissolve the parliament and validate Shafik comes at an interesting time.
The expected runoff between Shafik and Muslim-brotherhood candidate Mohammad Morsi is set to take place on Saturday and Sunday. Dissolving the parliament essentially entails complete control of the next president (most likely Shafik) over constitutional issues without a parliament to oppose his decision. Additionally and most importantly, the SCAF are set to meet on Friday to appoint a Constituent Assembly that will govern the formation of a constitutional declaration and ultimately the Egyptian constitution.
SCAF possess the necessary power to establish an Egyptian Constitution on their own terms, a significant tool utilized by the Mubarak regime.
Considering the chain of events since Mubarak’s ouster, this is just a further step to legitimately strangle the revolutionary fervor of Egyptians with the aid of the United States. Just 11 days ago, Judge Ahmed Rifaat sentenced Mubarak and his Minister of Interior, Habib Al Adly, to life in prison. However, Rafaat acquitted Mubarak’s sons (Gamal and Alaa) and six security officials, including top Cairo police official Ismail Al Shaar. All six officials were released shortly after the ruling. In fact, the six officials who represented the backbone of Mubarak’s 30-year police state, have the capacity to resume their ordinary work lives and careers, with minimal interruption.
As Egyptian columnist Wael Qandeel said to an Aljazeera broadcast hours after the ruling on Mubarak on June 3: “The SCAF and the U.S. administration have sacrificed the regime head (Mubarak) to give life and extend the regime itself.”
Several defendants believed to have been involved in the killings of protestors during the 18-day uprisings were pronounced innocent in the past few months. This afternoon, according to Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al Youm, the Mansoura Criminal Court (northeast of Cairo), acquitted former Mansoura security chief, and three other officers charged with murder of demonstrators during the January uprisings.
Given the current circumstances and past rulings, the current ruling to allow Shafik to run for president and dissolve parliament, should cease to surprise anyone. In fact, it’s entirely predictable.
Shafik is the SCAF’s presidential candidate that would ensure a prolonged military state, similar to Mubarak’s state. Most importantly, however, Shafik is the United States’ candidate. The U.S. Department of State has made it abundantly clear that it expects the Egyptian military to “carry out a democratic transition.” Despite the grave human violations during the transition period, the U.S. administration has continually supported SCAF.
The U.S. has a deep stake in Egyptian political and economic affairs. To protect its biggest ally on the globe, Israel, the U.S. has to guarantee a military takeover. For 30 years, the Mubarak regime served as subservient to U.S. orders, rarely objecting to the often questionable acts of the U.S. government. Not to mention, Mubarak himself is a loyal military figure. If the military cooperated with the unjust rules set forth by the U.S. and its allies, why change the political pathway now? Simply put, the U.S. seeks to remold a ruthless Egyptian regime that will suppress any kind of opposition to further guarantee “stability” rather than freedom. U.S. Foreign Policy makers do not wish to witness that $1.3 billion in military aid go to waste.
Many Egyptian political activists noted that the current court ruling to allow Shafik to resume his presidential runoff against Morsi stands a clear and “smooth” military coup, as Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said, the NY Times reported. This, however, is an inaccurate characterization. Since Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule in 1954, Egypt has failed to witness any other ruling regime. Even after the Jan.25 revolution, the Egyptian army took over. There has never been any other entity in charge of the political and economic affairs of the Egyptian republic. It’s not a coup, but a continuation of past practices. The Egyptian military never ended its rule and it surely will not end anytime soon as long as the U.S. provides its unyielding support.