December 20, 2011

The dissipating prestige of the Egyptian military

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011   No comments

Despite evidence to the contrary, the Egyptian military continues to deny using violence against protesters and continue to argue that it is the legitimate power broker. On Tuesday, Gen. Adel Emara, spokesperson for the ruling military junta contended that the military had never used violence against protesters:
“The armed forces and the police pledged not to use violence against protesters actively or even verbally.”
When a journalist tried to display a newspaper image of a woman brutally beaten by military police he interrupted:
“Before you open the newspaper, fold it. I know what I’m talking about. Yes, this scene took place and we’re investigating it. But let’s look at the whole picture and see the circumstances the picture was taken in and we will announce the complete truth. Don’t take only this shot, you or any other, and cite it to prove that violence was used.”
Another Egyptian general said that the protesters are "delinquents who deserve to be thrown into Hitler's ovens." Gen. Abdel Moneim Kato, who serves as an adviser to the military's public relations department, made the remarks in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper al-Shuruq on Monday.
The military rulers think that they are the legitimate authorities despite the existence of the newly elected body. In fact, the military junta wanted to circumvent the work of the newly elected members of the assembly when it appointed a “civilian advisory council,” which in turn suspended its activities until the military stopped the violence and apologized. One-third of its roughly 30 members have quit already.
Egypt and the military are both better served by recognizing the fact that the junta’s ascent to power was ordered by an ousted dictator and that only an elected authority can claim legitimacy. The military rulers should transfer power to the newly elected body, which should adopt the Tunisian model and establish an interim constitution and an interim government until a permanent constitution is adopted and general elections are held.

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