An externally financed military taking a revolutionary role would proudly announce how it shrunk itself to become less of a burden on the sovereignty of the country than it has been. Yet there were not even hypocritical gestures pretending such a course, let off actual achievements. Instead how the military presented itself to the public left the impression that in the imagination of these who staged it, it seems to be an army which has a country rather than a country that has an army. And if the Egyptian military is what its superiors want it to be, changing that would be the logical precondition for a revolutionary role, it would have to fully submit to the will of the people rather than attempt to arrange things the other way round.
It is not just the crass contrast between the militarist effort and the practical needs of the community that makes the counter-revolutionary role of the army obvious. Not just that it could have exerted all the power it wasted in the streets of Cairo over the traffic in the Suez canal in a way the people of that city would have to determine to prove their superiority over the regime, and by doing so win over its entire apparatus as a collective renegade. And that it did not even consider such ways, but instead acted like a hostile invader interested to conquer the country like enemy territory. The hostile takeover by the military and its symptomatic switch-over from the hidden to the obvious stage is a phenomenon which in only slightly different implementations has affected other African countries before.
And it did not begin with the obvious stage but much earlier, in the case of Egypt with the decision of the Muslim Brotherhood to collaborate with the notorious spy of the Mubarak regime, al-Sisi. Like the medieval European empress rather marrying into the rotten dynasties surrounding the realm than inheriting to the people in it, its unlikely Egyptian namesake is a traitor in a lead role which shields him against the self-evident accusation, and until the completion of the revolution even against the law of cause and consequence. A year ago, Mursi made the fundamental mistake to collaborate with al-Sisi, presumably because he had been under the influence of disinformation proliferated by the very forces he should immediately have restrained. Maybe the latter had suggested to him that there was no alternative, that planetary threats were very different from what they really are, that foreign disinformation played a much smaller role than it really does, and so on.
In any case, the Ikhwan will have to explain its motivations, because if at the time Mursi had boycotted the spy, Egypt would be better off now. Mursi could argue that he did not have the information on the threat posed by the NSA, or could not get it officially confirmed, but if that is so then it is not a matter of what is better but of what is worse, local spies disinformed by their foreign counterparts, or local spies proliferating disinformation on them as part of deliberate collaboration. With instant terrorism fear being pulled out of the hat for distraction from the forest fires in the Northern hemisphere, it has already become obvious that the NSA is a rip-off scam for spoiled blue-bloods to duel ordinary people who avoid them, that cannot be justified with any reasonable concept of political legitimacy.
For some chance of success, the constitutional procedure in Egypt would have to be aware that there are institutional threats such as the existence of a totalitarian spying apparatus against which a constitution might not be able to provide sufficient protection. In the American case, the constitution was not even a suitable protection against slavery. When that was abolished in the civil war nearly a century later, this only was the case as a result of the power rivalries induced by its economic side-effects, the will of the people never mattered at any point. If the possible existence of such an institution that virtually asserts property rights over the lives of people is not the criterion to render null and void the so-called emancipation proclamation, then that paperwork did not have any value in the first place.
This has been building up over a long time, at least since the absorption of the German Nazis by the American regime in the great leap backwards at the transition from the second world war into the cold war, although the switch-over from hidden to obvious only occurred with the Manning case. A lot has been said about the absurdity of the charge of espionage without a patron. Even Dreyfus was accused of spying for a specific nation state. Either the show tribunal has produced a whimsy and abusive charge, because there is no spying apparatus behind Manning, or it has charged him for the spying he did for his American superiors who remain unpunished, which means that the tribunal has desecrated the principle of equality before the law – either way it is obvious that the regime does not respect emancipation, and any proclaimed is as fragile as it was in the American civil war.
In fact having fallen back behind emancipation, the American empire is trying to export its failure to the places from which it once imported the slavery. The propagation of a technocratic totalitarianism attempting to circumscribe all aspects of human life in form of the NSA is the visible symptom of the collective enslavement. The career of al-Sisi is nothing else but the gateway for that oppression to come through the channels of the existing power structure in Egypt. Behind the smokescreen of military uniforms and imperialist business suits, the most powerful man of Egypt is a totally powerless follower of the evil cult of spying whose centre has just been identified. Of course, such a contradictory role at some point was too much even for Mubarak which is why he did not die in office.
Countering this does require a deepened Anti-Americanism which does not only turn against this specific incarnation of evil, but against its entire expression, not only against NSA but against all national spying apparatuses, not only against America but against any other attempt to take its role as a self-appointed penetrator of the world. While it remains necessary to deconstruct the empire, to get rid of every pattern of it, it must always be remembered that this empire can only exist as the last link in a chain of many empires that came before it and are now mostly forgotten, so that their existence can only be derived from the destructions they left on the planet, and that all efforts to get rid of it would be self-defeating if its end was not the end of the entire chain but only an opportunity for the next one to take over. As little as this risk can be a reason to stick with the current, it can be allowed to be the link to the next one, because that legacy is the reason why it is so undesirable.
Nothing could be more stupid than the statements of the American politicians that the military coup had restored democracy. So apparently democracy is what existed before the revolution against which the coup was directed, and the American policy went full circle from the idea that Mubarak represented the ideal of “true democracy” to the current assurances that this was the case with al-Sisi. Of course there is a grain of truth to be picked out of the big lie, and it can be found when the focus is being put on the linguistics of the concept. Since the word is being used in reference to a continuity in the regime, it is that reference, not the ubiquitous referrer, which requires deeper analysis. Mubarak´s democracy consisted of the alignment of his repression machine, in the form of the Egyptian nation state, with other regimes operating under the same pretext. That is what the Americans indeed now again have personified by al-Sisi and the corrupt clerics backing him.
It should be considered that the concept is based on the duality between the rule over the people and the rule by the people. The often fundamentally flawed mechanisms in between the two are then marketed as the centrepiece of the best of all possible worlds without alternative. Since any rule over the people is evil and the rule by the people is the lesser evil, what is in between should be as good as possible, hence the widespread misunderstandings of the concept of democracy. Actually, to serve the purpose to reduce the evil as much as possible, these mechanisms in between need to eliminate any instance of rule they can. The ideal is to have as little democracy, and therefore as much self-determination of the people, as anyhow possible, fewer troops, fewer laws and so forth.
Actually there are quite few decisions to be made which affect large numbers of people, and almost everything in life can be decided by the respective people themselves without any rule. All it takes to reign in the corporations is a levelled playing field. No rule over the people is always better than any rule by the people. Of course that truth is in a direct conflict of interests with the repression apparatus, which intends to oppress, terrorise and harass and does not want to recognise itself as obsolete, abusive and futile. As mentioned above, Egypt was not the first country to be affected by the described kind of hostile takeover.
The most significant such case is Mali, and since there is a fundamental difference in the financing of the military with all the other parameters being the same, is is worth a comparison. In the case of Mali, first there was the military coup and then the hostile takeover of the country, whose people had moved away from any form of rule in a less visible way than the Egyptian protesters. While Egypt remained dependent from the Mubarak era, and the al-Sisi coup resulted from that, Mali was externally taken over once the military coup was expected to fail by these who had committed it. In the case of Mali, the trigger for the military coup seems to have been the change of presidency in Germany where a bigot religious conservative made way for a spoiled militarist in a corruption row that provided the smokescreen for a pillage of the human rights of dissidents. The regime in Mali saw this and thought it could do so as well, and when it did the silent approval of its foreign accomplices meant that they would take it over when it failed, as the people in Mali now regret.
For the Egyptian coup the trigger seems to have been the instant “no-fly-zone” mounted against Bolivia in Europe, that must be interpreted as a symptom of military rule, because under civilian protocols it would not have been possible the way it was, which prompted al-Sisi to take the step from hidden to obvious, maybe without orders from his external superiors, spontaneously exploiting the opportunity that came along with erratic circumstances, just like it is to be expected from any “intelligence” employee when an observation becomes an assassination. The never entirely excludable possibility of opportunist exploit is inherent to the false system, and the last reason why it is false that follows on top of all ethical arguments.