Tahrir between a rock and a hard place
Tahrir was once the Arab revolution’s novel symbol. Since then, Tahrir has inspired a great many stories and wild symbolisms. A year after the revolution, however, Tahrir began to transform into something new. The power of the streets had by then become clear to everyone in Egyptian politics. All of a sudden, the square began to steal the spotlight from parliamentary politics. Many started to believe that the early bird at Tahrir Square would be entitled to shape the country. Similarly, the Egyptian tutelage regime did not ignore Tahrir’s potential. As such, the square evolved into a capable instrument that worked to conceal all forms of interference in political processes. On Wednesday evening, the world witnessed that Tahrir, the birthplace of the Jan. 25 revolution, was also capable of staging a military coup.
An unholy alliance of Baltagy (thugs), liberals and felool (regime remnants) paved the way for the military coup that took place on Wednesday evening amid the West’s silence and with open support from the Gulf. The liberals played a particularly significant role in spreading disinformation over the past few months. Crowds of liberals, secularists and thugs first initiated street protests and proceeded to set a June 30 deadline for Morsi’s resignation. Morsi’s resistance led the military to set a similar deadline followed by a full-blown coup d’état.
To be clear, this was not the first post-Mubarak military coup that Egypt had to endure. The first such instance was the judiciary’s suspension of the Constituent Assembly. The second blow took place when the Ikhwan’s (Muslim Brotherhood) striking leader, Khairat El-Shatter, was not allowed to participate in the presidential election. Soon after, on June 14, the Supreme Court dissolved the democratically elected Parliament. And finally, the military interfered to severely restrict the president’s authority prior to the presidential election. The military coup that took place on July 3, 2013, was therefore nothing but the military-judicial tutelage regime’s official announcement of the impending overthrow against the background of street demonstrations and a green light from the West and the Gulf.
The first democratically elected civilian president of Egypt, the successor to Hosni Mubarak, who ruled over the country for 29 years and 120 days, was forcibly removed from his office by a military coup after one year and nine days in power. Had Mubarak been able to leave his bed on the evening of July 3, his destination of choice would no doubt have been Tahrir Square. The military coup in Egypt not only cleared the path for disaster scenarios but will also lead the wave of Arab Spring revolutions toward regression – perhaps to come back with greater might than before. Quite possibly, the Arab Spring’s second wave will represent a stronger pro-democracy movement with the felool as its primary target. On July 3, those who cheerfully dream of Mubarakism without Mubarak have nothing to offer but military rule and bloodshed in the face of the Arab Spring’s inevitable second wave. Arab nationalists, secularists and liberals, too, have hereby become mundane parts of the old regime and as such, have deprived themselves of their authority to comment on the country’s future.