Egypt’s coup appears to be surrounded by protest sit-ins. Just as the military is suppressing civil unrest, with the backing of a compliant media, so too are the coup authorities facing a barrage of ethical and humanitarian questions over its actions. This has led to them seeking help from regional and international intermediaries to find a way out of the impasse. The world’s conscience is uneasy about the rising number of victims of the coup, to the extent that more and more states are actually describing it as such.
Signs of tension have manifested themselves in diplomacy and media interviews. Washington is currently trying to figure out how to deal with military rule on one hand and the people the coup leaders threw in prison on charges of murder and espionage on the other. It is one of the biggest ironies that a coup-backed government has to ask for help in negotiating with the opposition which stands accused of treason and murder and whose leaders are in detention.
The military leadership responsible for the coup is using the media as a way to deceive the masses by expressing its resentment that external forces are attempting to interfere in Egyptian affairs. The senior officers are hiding the fact that they actually requested this themselves. This situation works to the advantage of charismatic speakers, who are programmed to provide these false stories and comedy sketches about national sovereignty and honour. The same phrases are repeated time after time. They are the same generic terms used by the US Navy, which abuses our territorial waters, claiming that it is there in the interest of “national security”.
The coup’s intimidation, security harassment and attempts to distort reality have run out of steam in the face of the incredible steadfastness exhibited by the protesters. Those who have turned a blind eye to what is happening and those who are brainwashed refuse to see that the coup’s “roadmap” is expanding and is open to numerous paths. The coup forces see this as a rigid and sacred text that they refuse to discuss with anyone, or change.
The fact is, though, that the marvelous rallies we are witnessing in the squares do not focus on the Muslim Brotherhood or political Islam; they are a public outcry. It’s a good thing that the Brotherhood refuses to compromise with the military so that this dispute cannot be pigeon-holed as a conflict between the Islamic movement and the military. The issue at stake is that the people’s newborn dream for a free, democratic and civilised country has been hijacked by the coup.
The author is editor of Al Shoroukh Newspaper in Egypt. This article is a translation of the text which appeared in Al Shoroukh on 7 August, 2013
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.