The Egyptian Crisis: Demands of History

Monday, 07 February 2011 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random

“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of his country but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” - Tom Paine, The American Crisis.

That which we knew would happen has happened, is happening and will continue to happen until the tyrant is removed from power and a new government is securely in place.

The crackdown has begun in earnest. The dictator has responded as dictators do when confronted with the defiance of the people. His behavior is as predictable as the laws of physics: Challenge his authority and he will strike back with every weapon and all the force at his disposal.

He has sent his goons, his hit squads, his criminals and hoods into Liberation Square under the thinnest veil of cover with orders to disrupt, destroy and wreak havoc by all means. He has fresh blood on his hands. By so doing the dictator has secured his place in history. It is no longer a story of nuance and complexity, balancing the good that some say he has done in the past against the bad that he has done and is doing now. He is a villain and a criminal that will face justice at the hands of his people or before a tribunal of the International Criminal Court.

The immediate future of those brave Egyptian souls, who continue to march in the streets as the great repression proceeds, now lies in the hands of the Egyptian military. It is no longer sufficient to maintain neutrality in the streets of Cairo, in the streets of Alexandria, Suez and everyplace else where the cry of freedom has found its voice. If the military leaders do not rise up now to defend the people against their brutal leader they become partners in a crime against humanity. They join the dictator as traitors to their own nation.

In the words of the late historian Howard Zinn: You cannot be neutral on a moving train.

The Egyptian military cannot escape culpability for what happens now and neither can the American president. He has been slow in responding to this crisis. Just as the Mubarak thugs hid behind American-made tanks as they hurled stones, bricks and Molotov cocktails at peaceful protesters, the president has hidden behind diplomatic protocol.

He can hide no longer.

Now is the time to stand up and join the rising tide of freedom and justice.

We demand that the dictator and his collaborators step down now.

We demand that all military forces in Egypt defend the people against the hired thugs perpetrating violence in Cairo and throughout the nation.

We demand the protection of all journalists in Egypt.

We demand that all perpetrators of crimes on the streets of protest face the certain prospect of an impartial, vigorous investigation and prosecution before an international tribunal.

We demand that a citizens committee under the protection of the army be appointed to draft and administer a plan of transition to civilian governance.

We demand free, fair and transparent elections as soon as humanly possible.

We make these demands knowing they are not ours to make for it is only the people of Egypt that can pave the way forward. We can only lend a hand in whatever ways we know how. We can only serve as witnesses to these events. We can only inform the dictator that he is not fooling anyone. We know he is behind these criminal acts. We know he is centrally responsible for the blood now flowing in Liberation Square.

We know that he has ordered an attack on the press, a shutdown of communications, and a propaganda campaign to cover his trail. There can be no other explanation than this: when a dictator shuts out the press his intention is nefarious.

The dictator has gone too far to step back now. His crimes are too great to be forgiven. He is backed into a corner. He can see no way out. His vision is clouded and his heart is dark. He desires revenge. He wants blood and destruction at any cost.

Only the soldiers of the Egyptian army stand in the way of oppression, murder, terror and genocide.

We implore you: Now is the time to answer the cry of the people, the needs of the nation and the demands of history.

Stop the dictator now.

Image Courtesy of DayLife - Placards of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are held by protesters during a rally denouncing Mubarak's rule near the Egypt embassy in Seoul on February 7, 2011. The protestors, Egyptians living in South Korea and South Koreans, supported demonstrations calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down. - Getty Images

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