In the New Labour Party, we were silent about the endless initiatives and negotiations, discussed during the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy meetings, because we were sure they would fail and the conditions we agreed upon ensured such failure. However, with the disturbing calls for negotiations increasing, we thought we should make our position clear.
The contact between the Islamists and the coup organisers (which we have not participated in) are useless, as the Brotherhood’s minimum demand is the restoration of legitimacy, meaning the coup would need to be overthrown. The military’s proposal is to agree a road map which will lead to the Brotherhood being overthrown and therefore, an agreement would be impossible.
We are not afraid of communication (with the military) as long as our principles are clear and firmly adhered to. However, too much hopeless contact could discourage the revolutionaries who have been sacrificed, martyred, imprisoned and injured on a daily basis. The coup will certainly succeed if they are able to drive a wedge between the people and the revolution’s leaders, and therefore, we believe that our position must be clear during this critical moment in our nation’s history.
The positive impact of our plans
By emphasising our plans and negotiations locally and abroad the people’s revolution has been able to pressure the coup and assert its influence on the ground. If the coup had achieved their aims, then they would not have needed to make concessions, such as the opening of prisons to Western and African officials to meet President Morsi and Brotherhood Leaders and Dr Kamal Abu Al-Magd’s initiative.
The revolution cannot be negotiated
A revolution is the movement of an enraged people, aiming to overthrow the regime that lost its legitimacy, and a revolution does not negotiate with the targeted regime unless it wants to commit suicide or is being led by opportunist or clueless leaders. Anything that applies to the original revolution also applies to the second wave of the revolution that was sparked after the counter-revolution (the military) returned to power, as their return to power meant the return of the tyrannical regime, which is what we are witnessing at the moment.
Negotiating with the counter-revolution that has come to power, regained its former position and become even more dangerous and brutal, legitimises the killings. During the military’s prior rule, they claimed they were prosecuting the killers of the protestors.
Negotiations with the former regime would mean abandoning the revolution because reaching a compromise with the illegal regime means the birth of a new illegitimate regime, and would be a repetition of President Morsi’s reign. Let’s be honest; there was an understanding between the Brotherhood and the military under American auspices during the first year of the revolution, but the military was planning to overthrow the Brotherhood even before the parliamentary elections and were preparing a dissolution order for parliament unless the Brotherhood agreed to voluntarily step down. The Brotherhood crawled into legislative power, then executive, though an endless process of bargains for every step they took and these miserable negotiations led to the constitutional court, internal affairs, the judiciary, the military and the media staying the same. The two and a half year period following the revolution has been nothing but a period of extensive bargaining with the new regime, resurrecting the spirits of Mubarak by appointing Kamal Ganzouri as Prime Minister, which was initially widely welcomed by the Brotherhood and even keeping Mubarak’s defence minister. Then, Mubarak’s head of military intelligence was appointed minister of defence and the leaders of the ministry of agriculture were followers of Youssef Wali. Mubarak’s businessmen became President Morsi’s businessmen, but they betrayed them, not appreciating the fact that he gave them a new start even though they did not deserve it because they are a group of corrupt thieves, not businessmen.
To the Brotherhood, I say: I agree with you that the elite who were opposed, or pretended to be opposed, to Mubarak are mostly immoral and disloyal, but the Brotherhood treated them with the utmost kindness, even better than they treated their loyal Islamist and nationalist allies. The Brotherhood accepted this elite to please America, in some cases, and to please the military in others. We do not want to return to the circumstances that we witnessed during the parliamentary and Shura council elections.
The coup revealed who is loyal to the country, democracy and the people, and who is not. Those who are loyal should establish a broad national front centred around the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy. This group should aim to completely end Mubarak’s regime and continue their peaceful revolution. The question is how can this be achieved? By turning the protests into a public strike, paralysing the country’s movement and production, which is how Russia’s tsar, Iran’s shah and all other tyrants have fallen.
To negotiate with the coup would mean negotiating a return to conditions similar to those prevalent from February 11, 2011; once bitten, twice shy.
We have compromised for 33 months, and the result is that “we (have) lost the country easily”. It is normal to hear that Egypt now has the lowest quality of education and happiness indicators, is the country with highest debt in Africa and the Middle East and the only country ruled by a military coup in the entire world! The human rights violations being committed now never occurred during Mubarak’s reign.
Either the revolution must succeed or we will continue to be ruled as slaves. Of course, if, God-forbid, the revolution fails, there will be a few who will not accept the rule even if they risk being hung, but that is another story, we are talking about the nation as a whole. We want to be a free nation that chooses its own ideology, beliefs and rulers through elections; an independent sovereign nation free of Zio-American influence that can achieve social justice through elected representatives. The army is a human invention used to defend the nation and should not be allowed to interfere in political affairs except in matters that affect their fighting duty or matters concerning national security. Final decisions should be made by the elected political leader and parliament. The constitution should be amended to put an end to the absurd economic lawlessness committed by corrupt senior officials in the army and relieving the army from all duties other than protection. Otherwise, these duties should be assigned to the police, the National Guard, or even the cadets.
Negotiating with the coup organisers in their current condition is like negotiating with a gang of thieves. This would be acceptable if the problem was a personal matter, such as a kidnapped child, and the gang had demanded a ransom. However, in the case of the gang of coup organisers, the only negotiation should be about returning the reins of power to President Morsi, through the armed forces, and in accordance with the new defence policy of the revolutionaries until new parliamentary elections are held and a legitimate independent government is formed.
There is no need to negotiate or ask permission for a safe exit for the revolutionaries, the coup organisers can arrange it immediately, and the revolutionaries will reach an understanding with the military.
No to recognition; no to reconciliation; no to negotiations.
The author is editor in chief of El Shaab newspaper in Egypt. This is a translation of the text published on 24 October, 2013
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.