Just to Prove a Point: Mubarak was Cold War Dinosaur

Posted on 12/02/2011 by


When I wrote that Mubarak (see here and here) was a Cold War dinosaur, I meant it. This just came over the Twitter feed, via Anonymous Quebec:

But the critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.

Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets – over which they had received the fatal orders – to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.

Thus when General Hassan al-Rawani told the massive crowds yesterday evening that “everything you want will be realised – all your demands will be met”, the people cried back: “The army and the people stand together – the army and the people are united. The army and the people belong to one hand.”

Mubarak was trying to pull Tiananmen Square v2.0, and failed. His Army rebelled right on the ground, which gives an interesting flavour to the tank commander who nearly committed suicide in front of Tahrir Square protesters. It would also suggest that the overflight of jets above Tahrir Square were the — ignored, thankfully — signal to begin the massacre.

Just in case this isn’t completely clear: Hosni Mubarak is guilty of crimes against humanity, and everyone in the chain of command — those officers who did not question the order to slaughter the demonstrators — are likewise criminals as well. They must be pursued and brought to justice; the military government of Egypt must be dismantled like the Mubarak regime before it.

This attempt at a hard crack-down with the Army is a technique which would have only worked in the old days of the Cold War. Note that tank commanders pulled out their cellphones and called their families: the Army and the people are no longer separate. Technology has removed the splendid isolation in which the Army of dictatorships once existed. Mubarak showed his incompetence and antiquity by handing out that order.

As a not-so-light-hearted aside, Mubarak is just a mirror for other world figures. These people must be judged in their relationship with a person guilty of crimes against humanity. I’m thinking here of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vice-President Joe Biden, former VP Dick Cheney, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the entire rest of the odious lot who came to the fore. These people used their offices and public standing to support a man who is guilty of crimes against humanity.

Little more about the character of any of these people need be said. More about their own crimes — and I have no doubt they are vast — must be found, published, and pursued.

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Posted in: Analysis