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11 February 2011


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And what have the USA military advised?

Adam L Silverman


I think this description is correct. When Egyptians woke up this morning they were ruled by a military officer backed by the military with a suspended constitution. When they wake up tomorrow they will be ruled by a military officer backed by the military with a suspended constitution. Not much has changed but the names.

Charles I

Who would you call? What would you say?

Charles I

ps let us hope they are benevolent, those able, pray so.


The Generals will call Obama asking if the check is in the mail yet.

Patrick Lang

Cloned poster

The US military does not advise foreign armies about politics, nor would we want them to. All the nonsense in the media about good military to military relations is just fatuous fantasy. pl

Patrick Lang


No law at all. That is a difference. pl


"The Generals" might find themselves overthrown if they try and order an Army to kill it's own people when that army refused such an order not many days ago.


Col, maybe sarcastic advice then

William R. Cumming

PL! Curious but how many ARAB countries are now de facto or de jure rules by their military? And is the key documentation of that rule the fact that they have deep tentacles in the economy of that particular country or some other factor? In other words what other rulers are potentially examples for the Egyptian military or do they just look back to Nasser, SADAT, and Mubarack? Do you think Ambassadors will be recalled? Selectively?


Thank you,

Anderson Cooper was egregious last night in his denounciations of Suleiman. Apparently nobody informed him that Mubarek's resignation and Sulieman's ouster would set in motion a chain of events that would lead to direct military rule. That would be the best case scenario.

As far as political tacticians, the military played this about as well as could be played. The protestors overshot the landing by demanding an outcome that would guarantee military rule, and the military stood by and let them do the work.

As long as the people's focus was Mubarek, the military could take the high road. Should the military's rule not meet the people's expectations, they will have to protest the military directly.

That might not go as well, especially as the generals will be looking to solidify loyalty within the ranks, and remove from sensitive position those who might be "trouble" if the populace bristles.

Clifford Kiracofe

Indeed, this is what juntas are about. This may have escaped the notice of "liberals" and others, Egyptian and foreign, wanting "change" in Egypt.

The Egyptian opposition specifically demanded the army intervene. Which is to say the Egyptian opposition demanded a junta.

Precisely what did people expect when calling for the president to resign and leave?

As Gen. Suleiman pointed out, there were two tracks: a "constitutional (dialogue) track" and a "coup" track. He was castigated for being "undemocratic" when he merely stated the truth of the situation. His comments on the "coup" track and lack of a culture of democracy are worth remembering.

It also may have escaped the notice of some who are unconcerned about "constitutional niceties" and admire the revolutionary process in the "street" and so on.

There are 80 million Egyptians and this was a middle class and working class revolt. What about the fellahin...60 percent maybe of the population?

"Revolutionary legitimacy" is now in the hands of the junta/SCM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_junta

So all world leaders are now going to call Field Marshall Tantawi to congratulate?

It is wait and see now with respect to any "transitional government" appointed by the junta. And then, on to "democracy"?

Adam L Silverman


In terms of formal law I think you're correct, but I would suspect that the military will extend the emergency provisions and de facto martial law to maintain order. I think, in many ways, we'll see a continuation of the status qou with some new(ish) faces and names.


Victory of the people? When the Englih executed the autocrat Charles Stewart in 1649, they got Oliver Cromwell. After Louis XVI came Robespierre and Bonaparte. Czar Nicholas II's power was siezesd by the Bolsheviks and Stalin. After the overthrow of the Shah cmae the Taleban. In 1968, de Gaulle was pushed out but the system endured. After Tianenman Square - freedom? Tahrir Square? While all the sweaty nightcaps are thrown in the air, realists should be reading Animal Farm.

Patrick Lang


"formal law?" I am not being patronising, but for everyone here, imagine a situation in which there is no legal basis for the continuation of the laws you mention. Indeed they are no longer law since the constitution under which they were enacted no longer exists. pl

Patrick Lang

Yyou are still banned but I wish to comment on this. The army did not fire on the mob because thir officers told them not to do so. Their officers are not conscripts. This was part of thr complex game being played out. Do you think the "soviets" of conscript privates decided not to shoot? pl


Col., I believe things are as you state them. As I suspected, there will be martial law, at least to some degree, that may only extend to government operations, but less so to civil society.

This is likely to be in the best interest of stability, and possibly in the transition to the next election. If Sulemain , the Cabinet or Parliament remained and were in governance, the demonstrators ire and grievance would soon have settled on them - and it is not clear that they would have reacted with the same restraint or consistency as Mubarak had. The NDP's response might well have been to tighten public restrictions and unleash the police security forces and gangs.

I hope that the Army decides that the people are sufficiently developed to be entrusted with an honest election. It is clear that the Army cherishes its reputation for safeguarding the people and the nation.

It is unfortunate that Mubarak postponed his departure by twelve hours, and laid no groundwork for his succession. He has forfeited what could have been as historic a role as Nasser's or Sadat's. It is possible that the military could reinstate him or find some ceremonial role for Mubarak, but he may not fare well.

The demonstrators have won a great victory, but democracy is not assured yet. They may need to gather weekly in Tahrir Square to keep the pot bubbling, and to make sure that old habits and expediency don't reverse their gains. They also need to continue organizing, but to develop parties and candidates able to be elected and govern.


How much "legal continuity" was there in Romania when the Communist regime fell? Isn't this sort of a (relatively) bloodless revolution on the Romanian model, sans Hosni and spouse being put up against a wall and shot? In such cases of course there will be an absence of law until a new regime (not "government") is formed.

So, Col. Lang, I guess I'm somewhat surprised by your emphasis on the "no law" point and the Egyptian military. Of course, I must defer to your vastly greater knowledge of the culture, the region, and the country, but "What's the big deal?" I take it as a given that there's a Die Revolution frisst ihre Kinder risk in any revolution, but that doesn't mean that this dictator should have been allowed to leave "with dignity."

The beaver

@ Mike

After the overthrow of the Shah cmae the Taleban.


Patrick Lang


I have news for you, friend. Any comparison of the level of oppression in Romania snd Mubarak's Egypt is just silly. The hysteria in the streets and the media is getting to you. This level of dissolution of government is unwarranted by the situation. As Kirakofe wrote below, this did not have to happen. These egenerals in the junta are all creatures of the last 30 years. What do you think they are going to do when faced with opportunity like this? They have children whose nests need to be lined with greenbacks. pl

Patrick Lang


"It is clear that the Army cherishes its reputation for safeguarding the people and the nation."

Rubbish. I know the Egyptian Army well. They one of the most incompetent armies in the Middle East. Most Egyptian officers cherish their bank accounts above all else. pl

Martin J


one thing that is missed is the similarities between the Egyptian army and the Chinese.

I had first hand experience of this as a market research professional on a visit to research bottled water in Egypt in 2000. One bottled water company gave a phone number. I called and arranged an interview for the following day. A taxi took me to the address they gave me: a military base just outside of Cairo.

There was no mistake. The marketing manager (I kid you not) was a colonel in uniform. Not only did he sell bottled mineral water but olives and olive oil. The Egyptian army had the perfect distribution infrastructure around the country with trucks, warehouses, land and access across checkpoints.



"Revolutionary legitimacy"

Contracts? Oh that has HM's signature, our government never promised to pay that much, or to you.... I can imagine a hundreds variations of the same conversation being played out over the coming months. Some cash registers will be ringing while others' will be having their cash drawers being emptied. Congratulations all around to the change 'now' folks. Hopefully they will at least get a decent victory parade and photo op to remember this by.


The Egyptian military - and the Egyptian people - are going to do whatever they will do. I don't particularly think that anything said by anyone in the US or in the EU had a huge impact on what has happened so far, and I don't expect that they will have any significant effect on events still to come.

The various groups involved in this are going to negotiate a social contract that is mostly agreeable to all of them on the important points...that will either happen peacefully (as I hope) or not - but that will be a discussion among THEM, and they will come to whatever solution they do.

Once that happens, there will be a new Constitution or whatever controlling document gets generated, and only then will we (that is, the US and the rest of the world) get to have input - and our input will be limited to deciding how we will deal with whatever emerges from this process.

As regards the future, all I can say is that I have no idea how all this will turn out, but so far there have been a number of decision points that could have been a good deal worse in outcome that has been the case so far...

John Minnerath

*What do you think they are going to do when faced with opportunity like this? They have children whose nests need to be lined with greenbacks. pl*

I had wondered.
Will they willingly give back all they've been handed on a golden platter?

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