EMAD MEKAY, emekay at stanford.edu
Mekay is a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University and has covered much of the Egyptian uprising. He said today: “The Egyptian military junta managed to fool many Egyptians when they took over after the fall of Mubarak by convincing them that they will be true to their word and hand over power to civilian rule in six months. That hasn’t happened. Instead, over the past ten months the military refused to hand over power, refused to hold Mubarak regime members to task, allowed many of them to go back to control positions they held in the past, mismanaged the economy and eventually made their true intentions clear. The military want to act as a caretaker of the entire Egyptian state by promoting a supra-constitutional document that gives them a special and untouchable position in drafting the future of the country. The military are very close to the Pentagon and it is hard to imagine that they were taking these steps without consulting their buddies in Washington, D.C. The military junta may be trying to protect its economic empire in the country which they built under Mubarak’s 30-year rule.”
SEIF DA’NA, dana at uwp.edu
Seif Da’Na is an associate professor of sociology and international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside specializing in the Mideast and North Africa. He said today: “The constitutional reform and the so-called ‘Ultra Constitutional Principles’ proposed by Egypt’s ‘Higher Military Council’ are only a heading for a rather more acute conflict. Not only Egypt, but the whole region has been experiencing a political re-grouping and a fierce counter revolution. Due to the potential regional and global political and economic consequences of the ongoing Arab revolts, various local, regional, and global forces are leading the fierce counter-revolution. So, the people of the region are not currently facing their despotic regimes only, or what’s left of it, but regional and global powers as well. One regional power is the Saudi regime: Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Bahrain, hosting Ben Ali, the ousted dictator of Tunisia, and conspiring against the Yemeni revolution, as the chants in the streets indicate.
“Egypt’s Higher Military Council’s policies (holding military tribunals for activists, undemocratically dictating the formation and the composition of the ‘Constituent Assembly’ etc.) has been increasingly seen by Egyptians and the people of the region as a tool of counter-revolution.
“While the counter-revolutionary forces might not give up easily and might continue to fight fiercely in the days and months to come, and while the regimes, whose heads were overthrown, were not entirely dismantled, thus providing vital tools for counter-revolution, the new political culture in the region and the collapse of the image of the despotic oppressor, makes it extremely difficult and very unlikely to maintain the status quo. This might just be another round of a long historical process that seems irreversible.”
On Jan. 25 of this year, the day the Egyptian uprising began, Da’Na was featured on an Institute for Public Accuracy news release stating that the protests represented the “beginning of a new era.“