Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And Our military Junta speaks on TV For the First time “It will not be the last”

Our armed forces council made a historical TV appearance last night ,for the time Egyptian army generals speak about politics in this way not to mention they are speaking now when they are technically ruling the country.
From the 19 field marshals and generals only 3 spoke from 10.30 PM to 2 AM Cairo Local time on Dream TV 2’s 10 PM Show for the first time directly somehow to the public. First of all our military junta or as officially being called “The armed forces council” is made of the minister of defense, the aides of the ministers of defense and the heads of the armed forces. Second of all this will not be the last interview with the generals on air in the talk shows.
The armed forces council members who appeared on air for the first time are :
  • General Mohamed El-Asaar “The aide of the minister , was not specified for what exactly"
General Al Asaar
  • General Mokhtar El-Mollah “ I do not know his position except that he is from the paratroopers based on the insignia on his suit.”
General El-Mollah
  • General Mamdouh Shahin “The aide of minister for legal and constitutional affairs”
General Shahin
You can watch the interview below after the break “in Arabic”
There is no doubt that the council chose the best and most charismatic to speak to the Egyptian people through one of the most watched and successful night talk shows in their first appearance on air like that. General El-Asaar and general El-Mollah are newly discovered politicians in the military suit.
The episode was divided in to 3 parts , the generals alone , then with two guests “journalist Wael Al Abrashi and Dr.Shady Harb” then the telephone calls of the viewers.
Now here is a summary for what came in this long episode :
  • During the early days of the revolution the army was torn between its loyalty to the commander of chief “former president Mubarak” and the people.
  • According to article no.188 from constitution of year 1971 that was active during the last weeks the army is owned by the people and thus the generals and the army chose our side.
  • The generals spoke about the corruption and the terrible Egypt suffered from during the Mubarak era yet they spoke about him with respect. “Sometimes the President and sometimes the former president”
  • The Egyptian judiciary is the official party we can talk with when it comes to the Mubaraks’ wealth. It is organized by law and constitution. According to our laws the Mubaraks’ wealth include his arrests , his wife’s assets , his sons’ assets and their wives’ assets “nothing about his grandchildren’s assets though”
  • The assets of the Mubaraks are frozen and according to the generals he has not presented his financial statement yet unlike what is claimed in the media.
  • Interrogating former President Mubarak is restricted by the constitution yet any member of his family can be interrogated freely according to the law.
  • The army is acting as if the constitution were a holy book in a very surprising way “seriously either this is huge maturity comparing what happened in 1952, of course we should not forget that with the exclusion of Mohamed Naguib the Free officers were in the age of these generals’ sons”
  • The army generals that they have only been in rule for 9 days and that they need time as slow justice is better than injustice.
  • The referendum will be with our national id “there is not a big surprise here”
  • The parliamentary and presidential elections will be with our national id to put an end for the long time electoral fraud.
  • There will be complete judiciary supervision on the elections.
  • The Egyptians abroad will not be able to participate in the coming referendum.
  • The obstacle with the voting right of the Egyptians abroad is that each Egyptian embassy and consulate will be considered as a voting station thus it will need a judge on every ballot box. The generals will search the matter with laws and constitutional experts “I think we should continue raising this issue so the council we know we are so serious about it.”
  • Former president Mubarak does not rule from Sharm, there is no spot in Sharm El-Sheikh.
  • Omar Soliman is not staying at Orooba Palace which is currently closed , he is staying at his home “I think his home is actually a palace at the ministers’ compound in New Cairo”
  • The council will investigate that photo of Mubarak hanged at the Republican guards HQ.
  • We have to trust Ahmed Shafik as PM , it is not about swearing in front of Mubarak as they have all become generals in time of Mubarak.
  • The new cabinet will not be the one that will supervise
  • The state security can’t be disbanded but it will be restructured.
  • More and more icons of corruptions will be arrested by time. The world was not made in 2 hours.
  • The political detainees will be released after carefully revising their cases taking in consideration people were used to be arrested for fake charges.
  • They do not and will rule Egypt and they will not have a presidential candidate.
  • The 6 months period is calculated by the time needed to have these amendments in the constitutions.
  • The Muslim brotherhood members are Egyptians like anyone Egyptian.
  • There will be no parties based on  religion.
  • The CEOs and Chief in editors of official newspapers and magazines should resign if they have dignity.
  • The army generals do not like what Heikal said about the air strike of Mubarak !!
Mona El-Shazly , Wael Al Abrashi and also Shady El-Ghazli Harb were not on the same levels of the important guest. El-Shazly and Al Abrashi kept interpreting the generals in a silly way. Harb said two remarks I believe deserve separate posts.
There were many positive remarks about the episodes and the generals on twitter despite there are demands that Shafik to step down and the state security to be disbanded.
Dr. ElBaradei commented on the interview specifically on the part about the right to vote of Egyptians abroad slamming the generals. 
“No Democracy without the right to vote” , our Nobel prize winner said as simple and direct as that. Already the right to vote of Egyptians aboard was among the 7 demands the NAC headed by ElBaradei were calling for.
The armed forces council met with 3 delegations from Youth , the journalists and editor in chiefs and op-ed writers in Egyptian press. I do not think they have met with the political parties yet.
Now to my personal opinion I trust these generals’ good intentions but the thing they must understand that our generation , my generation or at least me ,I  have a trust issue. I know that they have got a responsibility no one wishes for and I understand that these generals’ real job is not politics but … they seem to know what we suffer from and they seem to know how to solve it.
I am happy that these generals showed that they are not living in the army bases and they are not like these generals of 1960s or 1950s.
The army issued Msg No. 9 at the Facebook right after the show with the following:
  1. The council currently rules the country and it does not take order from anybody.
  2. The republican guards are from the units of the army and they are currently at their barracks.
  3. Sharm El-Sheikh is like any other Egyptian city , it has no privileges.
  4. The Presidential palace at Orooba is closed.
  5. The council is monitoring the matter


  1. Zeinobia you are brilliant, but you should not apologise for having a trust issue. Trust must be earned. Leaving Mubarak’s cronies in the interim cabinet is not a good sign at all. Your generation are doing great things precisely because you are not passively trusting in whatever the so-called experts tell you is the truth and the right way to do things.
    You are succeeding where older generations failed. You are smart, independent thinkers. You are accessing and distributing information. You are demanding a better, more just society. And you created a revolution. Do not let it be stolen from you and your children.

  2. "The army is acting as if the constitution were a holy book in a very surprising way"

    Just like Gaddafi yesterday?

    "There will be no parties based on religion"

    Is that why the MB decided to name their party "Freedom and Justice", absolutely silly name. Sounds like on of these "democratic" parties of Africa, which has nothing to do with democracy.

  3. The Egyptians abroad will not be able to participate in the coming referendum.
    -fuck them

    The state security can’t be disbanded but it will be restructured.
    -fuck them twice

    They do not and will rule Egypt and they will not have a presidential candidate.
    - I will believe it when I see it and just in case: fuck them thrice!

  4. How many Egyptian are living abroad? Must be millions. They absolutely should be allowed to vote.

  5. Anonymous, NYC2/23/2011 01:26:00 PM

    Zeinobia, your blog is an important resource for those of us in US who want information on what is happening on the ground in Egypt. I do not even get this type of detail through Al Jazeera. You are a national and international treasure - please keep doing your good work for all of us in the international community.

  6. Dear Zeinobia, the interim cabinet is marked with a blemish: It is part of the old structure but charged with the task to prepare the transition to a truly democratic civil government. In order to keep them on the right track they need constant feedback from the people. I hope so much that the young Egyptians who triggerd this amazing development will not relent to false compromises but to compromises which renew their country.

  7. I think there is a misunderstanding about the voting from overseas. They said that they are following the law and the procedures of logistics and time needed to get everything going. According to the law, the judges oversee each polling station. For oversees the suggestion was to get the ambassadors and consoles to take care of that. They agree but the law does not allow that. They said they will change that law.

    For general elections the oversees Egyptians will be able to vote. It was just the timing for the referendum that was in question about whether the law would be ready by then.

    I am cautiously optimistic.

  8. There can never be real democracy with State Security, this is like Germany uniting and keeping the East German Stasi.
    They are playing with us. NO democracy with State security , no democracy with emergency law.


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