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Cry, Beloved Country

By       Message Uri Avnery     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H3 8/24/13

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Source: Gush Shalom



I DIDN'T want to write this article, but I had to.

I love Egypt. I love the Egyptian people. I have spent some of the happiest days of my life there.

My heart bleeds when I think of Egypt. And these days I think about Egypt all the time.  I cannot remain silent when I see what is happening there, an hour's flight from my home.

LET'S PUT on the table right from the beginning what's happening there now.

Egypt has fallen into the hands of a brutal, merciless military dictatorship, pure and simple.  Not on the way to democracy. Not a temporary transition regime. Not anything like it.  Like the locusts of old, the military officers have fallen upon the land. They are not likely ever to give it up voluntarily.

Even before, the Egyptian military had enormous assets and privileges. They control vast corporations, are free of any oversight and live off the fat of a skinny land.

Now they control everything. Why should they give it up?

Those who believe that they will do so, of their own free will, should have their heads examined.

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IT IS enough to look at the pictures. What do they remind us of?

This row of over-decorated, beribboned, well-fed generals who have never fought a war, with their gold-braided, ostentatious peaked hats -- where have we seen them before?

In the Greece of the colonels? The Chile of Pinochet? The Argentina of the torturers? Any of a dozen other South-American states? The Congo of Mobutu?

All these generals look the same. The frozen faces. The self-confidence. The total belief that they are the only guardians of the nation. The total belief that all their opponents are traitors who must be caught, imprisoned, tortured, killed.

Poor Egypt.

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HOW DID this come about? How did a glorious revolution turn into this disgusting spectacle?

How did the millions of happy people, who had liberated themselves from a brutal dictatorship, who had breathed the first heady whiffs of liberty, who had turned Liberation Square (that's what Tahrir means) into a beacon of hope for all mankind, slide into this dismal situation?

In the beginning, it seemed that they did all the right things. It was easy to embrace the Arab Spring. They reached out to each other, secular and religious stood together and dared the forces of the aging dictator. The army seemed to support and protect them.

But the fatal faults were already obvious, as we pointed out at the time. Faults that were not particularly Egyptian. They were common to all the recent popular movements for democracy, liberty and social justice throughout the world, including Israel.

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