France in 1789-99 was a revolution. Russia in 1917 was a revolution. So was Cuba in 1959, as Che Guevara famously remarked that a revolution without guns is impossible. Yes Mahatma Gandhi heroically got rid of the British Empire from his homeland without guns and instead used the act of non-violence, but India’s independence, just like the end of Apartheid in South Africa, was not considered as a revolution.
The end of the Soviet Union, despite rooted in revolutions in the member states, was only done after Mikhail Gorbachev had no other option than to dissolve the country, not through the ousting of Gorbachev by the people.
Therefore, as much as I hugely admire the 14 million non-violent revolutioners marching for the ousting of Morsi, what happened in Egypt on 3rd of July 2013 was not a revolution but a military coup, in a similar fashion like what happened in Turkey in 1971. This is an important distinction, because it would lead us to ask the right question: what’s behind the military’s agenda?
The #Jan25 movement that brought brave Egyptian sons and daughters to the street had finally succeeded only after the military stepped up and overthrew Hosni Mubarak in a similar military coup. To their credit, the so-called Supreme Court of the Armed Forces (SCAF) did not cling to power like Musharraf did in Pakistan 1999, but instead proceeded with a presidential election, just like what Thailand’s military did in 2006.
Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood then rose to power, which governed Egypt into a deep economic problems with youth unemployment at 25% and job creation almost non-existent. Inflation soared and there are constant shortages of fuel, with frequent power cuts. Meanwhile, murder rate up by 130%, robberies by 350% and kidnapping by 145%. And on top of that women rights and freedom for press were in danger. Hence, massive protests inevitably exploded on the 1 year anniversary of Morsi’s presidency. Thus, the question becomes: by ousting Morsi is SCAF acting on behalf of the people and for the better of the country?
Let’s not forget that Egypt still receives $1.5bn from the US in a form of “military and economic aid.” And it is not a secret that the Muslim Brotherhood have made the US, Israel, Saudi and some EU countries nervous, especially Egypt’s immediate neighbour Israel, where Morsi have said that the country’s peace treaty with Israel will be “reviewed.” By contrast Mubarak was a sure ally for the US for 30 years to be the bodyguard for Israel in the region, who rose to power by being installed by the CIA after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
With Mubarak ousted and replaced by someone from the Muslim Brotherhood, the US and Israel went into panic mode! But do you seriously think a country who gives $1.5bn annually to Egypt doesn’t have any say? After all there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and the US have got rid of democratically-elected leaders that didn’t comply to US Interest in many occasions, such as Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, Salvador Allende in Chile and Jocobo Arbenz in Guatemala, to name a few.
So let me repeat the question again: by ousting Morsi is SCAF really acting on behalf of the people, or just piggy backing the power of the people but more acting on behalf of the interest and agendas of the US and its allies? The answer to this question, I believe, is the vital key to understand where Egypt is heading to.