Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear SCAF Change your PR Policies ASAP For the Sake of Egypt

I think I have been clear in my criticism to the SCAF , they are not helping us to help them , in fact they made every mistake in the book to make suspect their intentions when it come to the future of this country. Part of the SCAF’s problem is their media policies , the army PR during the Mubarak days.
The man who operates the media policies of the SCAF , the man who operates its PR is none other than major general Ismail Etman. Etman is now considered by a considerable number of politicians and activists in the country now as the defecto minister of information despite officially this position does not exist anymore. In fact some even has got a little further and considered him from the counter revolution due to his statements about certain incidents “virginity tests and faculty of mass communication sit in
Every time we try not to worry from his statements and start to focus in rebuilding our nation again , we find again more statements that make us not only worry but angry from the SCAF.
Last week Egyptian TV host/political activist/presidential candidate Bouthina Kamel was summoned to meet Etman at the morale affairs HQ in order to clear some of the facts there. Kamel told him about the virginity tests and his answer was as follows :
The girls were sleeping with the boys  in Tahrir square
and that
 Some human rights organizations and NGOs are agents for foreign parties and get paid by US dollar in Tahrir  !!!
This is so Mubarak security language in a disgusting way , the same terrible ugly language. Of course I will not be shocked or surprised if he said this because in the end Etman is a military PR man not politics PR , he was taught and trained politics during the Mubarak era. Bouthina Kamel is the wife of our current minister of culture Emad Abu El-Ghazi by the way, she has no reason to lie.
Now I demand that Etman goes live on air face to face with Kamel and to say this with an evidence , oh yes we want to see the documents that show that human rights activists are getting paid by US dollars and how the boys used to sleep with girls in Tahrir square. We had enough already from this accusation during the Mubarak era. The Mubarak orphans are already using these old accusations to defame the revolution and the revolutionaries not to mention to discredit any human rights reports regarding the crimes of the Mubarak era. They only need this statement so they would say to the rest of the Egyptian people “ hey even your beloved trusted army says the same thing !!”
This mindset , this Mubarak military mindset can not continue with these responsibilities not only in the new Egypt but in the current time. This media policies are harming the Egyptian army in Post revolution Egypt. This parenthood language has to be changed ASAP , this policies of producing tasteless songs about Egypt , the army and the people should be changed ASAP. We are not children anymore.
What I really fear from is that we do not know how many members in the SCAF think in the same way and this is the other part of the SCAF’s problem : communication. Talking with selected political groups that only represent a small percentage from the Egyptian people. “ We are 85 million people for God sake” . The SCAF is acting in a military way , they do not want anyone civilian or anyone they do not know and trust very well in the operations room !!
These short statements on Facebook are good for the military world but not for the political civilian world , we need more than these short statements. Already having a Facebook page for the SCAF to communicate shows part of this communication problem !! Why do not you have a whole proper multi language website for God sake with sections for official statements and for contact. For God you are the SCAF of the Egyptian army , the Egyptian army deserves the best !!!The Egyptian youth is not the Facebook youth and the Egyptian revolution is not a Facebook revolution , this is so silly.
Back to Etman , well the statements of Major general are not only what make us worry , we got his other policies in the media. 
El Manawy in that TV appearance where Etman
praised him live for his patriotic role 
Example 1:  When Yahia El Gamal says that we could change him “before stating that he is like a standing unmovable mount” but could not change El Manawy meant that. We all know that the SFAC did not forget how El Manawy saved the day in the last 48 hours before Omar Soliman’s final announcement but we did not forget his constant lies during the Mubarak era and early days of the revolution. Of course the army had to sacrifice him and at last Abdel Latif El Manawy left the Maespero building and probably will live the country to head to London again.
Example 2: Insisting on Sami El Sherif , many ERTVU employees do not want him and they are not few still according to some El Sherif is backed by Etman. According to some rumor Sami El Sherif is the cousin of Etman. I do not know if it is true or not but it is then we have returned back to the people of trustworthy  instead of the people of expertise theory that brought us backwards.
Example 3: The editor in chief of MENA press agency was allegedly the agency’s military correspondent and had an office at the morale department HQ. Trustworthy people again !!
Example 4: Some journalists and reporters say that Etman is intervening in the freedom of information and what to be published and what not to be published. There was  letter circulating in the media allegedly from the Morale department signed by Etman. I got a scan from this letter from an anonymous source and I have read it , here is its translation :
The Morale Affairs Department expresses its sincere greetings and its appreciation of your fruitful and constructive co-operation with your Armed Forces. In light of this co-operation, we kindly request that you notify the different departments at your estimable institution of the necessity to refrain from publishing any items –stories, news, announcements, complaints, advertisement, pictures—about the Armed Forces or to Commanders of the Armed Forces without first referring to the Morale Affairs Department and the Department of Military Intelligence and Information Gathering, as these are the authorities specialized in reviewing such matters, and that is to ensure the homeland safety and security.
With my best wishes for your continued success.
Major-General Ismail Muhammad Etman

It is normal that we can’t publish everything we want about the army affairs in the media , there are rules and regulations even in the greatest democracies around the world . You can not write in an obituary a rank from the army or the intelligence except  after the approval of the military intelligence , this something  anyone familiar with obituaries policies in Egyptian press you know it.“ I know why and when this policy was applied” Still I do not get the part about the army commanders whom logically are the members of the SCAF or the part concerning complains, again a short important vague statement. The complains we see now about the army are actually the pleas of civilians prosecuted in military tribunals and unfortunately this is the only way they can make their voice reach to the SCAF as in several cases “Already I am amazed that these civilians were prosecuted in matter of days while they have been released yet or cases have been revised !!”
Now to the SCAF or the army commanders , well we do not care about their news in the army but we care now about their policies in the SCAF , they are our army junta now , it is natural and healthy to keep an eye on them. We will not repeat the mistakes of 1952 and we will not make from the SCAF a false idol again. Already for those who know the history of this era well, will tell you how the Egyptian press began to lose its freedom in the 1950s day after day. Only in 2011 we began to liberate the Egyptian media not only press and we know it will be one hell of job after more than 60 years of regime censorship.
When this letter found its way outside the editing and desk rooms of newspapers and TV channels , we found the SCAF issuing its 42 statement on the Facebook assuring the following that :
  • Since the January 25th revolution the SCAF does not interfere in the policies of any type of media
  • The media in Egypt has the absolute freedom to cover and publish any issue in the country and to accept the consequences of this coverage in front of the society according to its integrity. “Means a lot”
  • All the decrees taken by the council are published
  • The ultimate aim of the SCAF is to make the Egyptian media restore its leading role in the Arab and Islamic world.
Reactive policy !!? Another problem.
It is worth to mention that Abdel Halim Kandeel , the renewed political activist and the Sawt El Oma editor in chief was summoned from couple of weeks to the morale department HQ because of his criticism and accusation to the SCAF of standing between the people and the prosecution of the Mubaraks. “ He also attacked Major general Mamdouh Shahin when the later lost his temper on air and reminded us that we could be like Yemen and Libya !!”Nothing happened to Kandeel though as far as I know.
Last week we found El Fagr newspaper’s journalist Rasha Azab being summoned to the military prosecutor as well , she will go there this week as far as I know . Azab has been very vocal and outspoken critic about the Egyptian army. She had a first hand experience for what happened at the Egyptian museum.
Back to Etman again , he can be an excellent in military PR and morale department inside the army but again this era demands a new policy , it will not harm the SCAF to use media experts from Egypt "If the council is good in its intentions but feels that there is communication problem with the civilian world" 
Some army generals came in the past few days and said that we are not grateful and I will dare to say that we are grateful to the Egyptian army and are not grateful yet to the SCAF as revolution has not ended yet. The revolution has not succeeded , we will be grateful to the SCAF when we have a real civilian democratic life. We will not be grateful to anyone who will stand against our quest for better Egypt whether intentionally or unintentionally from radical powers using religion or SCAF or even the revolutionaries themselves.


  1. SCAF members were selected, raised and promoted with Mubark commander-in-cheif. They provided un-devided loyalty to their commander for 30 years. It is true they sided with revolution to avoid a bloodshed, but this is not a radical heart and mind transformation. They will not foster radical change, but hopefully will protect democracy until they handover power to a new president/assembly etc who will carry the change. Many groups realize that and exercise pressure to keep SCAF on the right side. They are not revolutionary virgins in any way.

    Another point has to do with corruption. They are timid since they may have skeletons in their closets. The US yearly annual of 2B since signing of camp david has subsidized huge lavish military spending, commissions etc. Well positioned Mubark gang are aware of their secrets and can use it as blackmail.

    The best option is to maintain pressure on SCAF and set realistic expectations of what they can deliver. Be patient and plan for the next phase.

  2. @Z: It's Kamel not Kamal...
    great post btw !

  3. The revolution was a popular uprising by Egyptians to transform Egypt into a state that respects the right of Egyptian citizens to live in freedom and dignity and economic justice in their own country and to choose their own government and hold that government accountable.

    The Army acknowledged the legitimacy of the revolution and its goals, and vowed to defend them. Funny, the Muslim Brotherhood did the same.

    Now both are doing everything possible to subvert and ride the revolution to power while their actions reveal how much contempt they really feel for the Egyptian citizens and the revolutionary principles that they violate so shamelessly.

    The Egyptian revolution had no leadership, no ideology, no sectarian identity, only a set of principles that were non-negotiable. Any person or authority or organization that violates these principles is a successor to Mubarak. Anybody who supports the revolution supports these principles and will fight to defend them against ANYBODY who does not.

  4. Alice, please go read a book, you really are in need of a good dose of realism.Just try to think
    of the worst scenario that your revolution could lead to, then, and only then can you trace its REAL starting point.

  5. Yes! farther into the forest, the more wood! "Stay with her ​​stupidity! Who are you, why you tell the army what to do! " That you and I had to check on virginity, perhaps the hormones melted your brains! you like in europe, sex, alcohol "And for all the necessary paymentnt " Think of your marriage is better ....Incidentally, the largest percentage of operations to restore virginity is in the Arab world .... Talk to her aunt on the subject.


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