That boy Hosni Mubarak, is a right fucking idiot, eh no? His latest speech, once again refusing to step down until September (sure, of course), is both insanely inflammatory and inanely transparent. This is the first time that I’ve commented on the issue (see this post for an explanation why), but now the guy has right pissed me off. Here’s a brief irreverent breakdown of some of the lowlights of his speech.
First off it is quite clear that this spiel, while only incidentally (and epically ineffectively) trying to appease the protesters, is in fact an attempt to get the military back on side, as without their support he knows fine well that he cannot survive. The Army currently supports the ‘legitimate demands’ (their words) of the people. In a shocking display of how little he seems to understand what is occurring, HosRak starts off with this fine pitch,
People and women of Egypt, I am addressing you today. I am addressing the youth of Egypt in Tahrir Square. And throughout Egypt… A speech of a father to his sons and daughters.
Jesus H. Fuck, how patronising (literally) can you get? Hate to break it to you pal, but in case you hadn’t noticed (which you haven’t), your ‘sons and daughters’ seem to have wholly disowned you. Throughout the delivery of the speech he compounds his lack of comprehension with statements like, “The current time is not about me. The situation is not about Hosni Mubarak.” Ehm, yes it is, unquestionably. In general, he spends most of the speech ironically expressing how much he truly understands and believes in the protesters demands, practically giving himself credit for coming up with the idea; “We have, in fact, started a very constructive national dialogue that includes Egypt’s youth, which have led for a call for change of all the political forces”. He also devotes a significant portion to explaining how great he really is. *Sigh*
He makes his telling appeal to the military with this brief statement,
“I put it forward to implement [the transition of power], and these plans would be implemented within reason by our armed forces.”
The brevity and positioning of this statement (it’s right in the middle of the speech) demonstrates a common tactic in autocratic addresses – that is, attempting to hide the overt reasons for the speech in a sea of irrelevancies. If only he can get the army on side, he might just survive this. There is literally no limit to the man’s condescension, constantly referring to those who have died as “martyrs”. Yes, you cretin, but they were martyred by your regime for opposing you. He goes further, stating that he is,
“…eager that the formation of both commissions should be made from Egyptian personalities worthy of … who have experience and trust.
Composed of leaders and experts.”
Read: “I’d really rather have my buddies on the commission. God forbid that the proles should be involved”. HosRak makes a somewhat ambiguous statement regarding certain constitutional reforms, particularly the emergency laws, without really expressing what he intends to do about them. HosRak had, in fact, already been considering repealing the emergency laws, but intended to replace them with even more draconian and discredited anti-terrorism laws. By the way, HosRak has kept Egypt in a state of emergency for around two decades!
I desperately hope that, for the people of Egypt, the revolution comes – and swiftly. Revolutions do not always turn out well domestically, regionally or globally. It is far too easy in the potential subsequent anarchy, for despots and oligarchies to wrest control away from those directing the upheaval. Even if that is not the case, often those revolutionaries are themselves corrupt (see the Russian Revolution, and numerous others. But mutinies of the people such as this must be allowed and their demands dealt with, even if the outcome is far from clear. Often, we may not like the result (see Iran’s Islamic Revolution). Often, that is our fault (again, Iran) – in this case, it has been The West, Israel and others who have helped to keep Mubarak entrenched in power.
An indication of this to us ordinary folk can be seen by the fact that almost everybody I have spoken to has expressed how surprised they have been by the scale and length of the protest, showing how little we have been exposed to Mubarak’s corruption (he is estimated to have a personal wealth of between US$40-60bn, almost entirely embezzled). Even those of us who make a point of trying to stay informed have been shocked. Ultimately, there is a lesson here for us in the west; Examine your allies with careful scrutiny – short term stability may not be worth the price paid by the citizenry.