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Egypt : The Officers' War of Terror

#Egypt: The Officers’ War of Terror

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/13226/the-officers%E2%80%99-war-of-terror

This initiative began as an attempt to gather popular support for early presidential elections after Morsi’s failure to deliver on the demands of the January 25 Revolution. That effort is now ceding ground to actors that are even more hostile to the aspirations that the Tamarod petition articulated. It is true that those who took to the streets may have succeeded in overturning one the largest hurdles to revolutionary change in Egypt, namely the uneasy alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the entrenched centers of powers known as the “deep state.” The popular mobilization that culminated on 30 June made it impossible for the officers and the security establishment to hide their anti-democratic privileges behind the façade of democratic institutions and civilian punching bags. Yet the fact remains: the murderers of Khaled Said, Sayed Bilal, Mina Danial, and Gaber Salah “Jika” are emerging triumphant in the aftermath of Morsi’s ouster. They are actively exploiting popular disdain for Muslim Brotherhood rule to carve out an equally, if not more, regressive political order than the one that preceded it.

Similar to what they have done after 11 February 2011, the officers today are promoting a narrative in which they have (once again) intervened heroically to save the day and “protect the revolution.” Accordingly, after they helped oust Morsi out of power, the officers are now asking Egyptians for pay back. The people are now to offer a blind, if not supportive, eye to the military practices as it employs deadly force, repression, and xenophobia to force its challengers into submission. The fear mongering discourse that the military has used as part of its “war on terror” initiative has clearly turned into more than just “words,” after security forces killed dozens of Muslim Brotherhood protesters Friday night, and dozens others in previous attacks. Yesterday’s brutal attacks came right after millions of Egyptians rallied in nationwide public gatherings in support of Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s request for a popular mandate to deal with imminent “terrorist” threats. Many media outlets and opinion shapers in Egypt have uncritically expressed support for this alarming development. This pattern only highlights the extent to which advocates of dignity and justice in the country face an uphill battle in countering the attempts of the military and their allies to liquidate political dissent and dictate the terms of the new political order.

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