Controlling the Dictatorship
Controlling the Dictatorship
Sunday, July 29,2007 10:57
By Yvonne Ridley

While Israel holds the Palestinian people under military occupation and Americans under political occupation it seems they also have also seized occupation of the legal system in neighbouring Egypt.

There can be no other reasonable explanation for the latest insane actions of Egypt"s leader Hosni Mubarak whose long distance relationship with democracy is only matched by his record on human rights and justice.

If evidence is needed then look no further at the 226 members of the Muslim Brotherhood who are awaiting military trial as I write this column, or the 792 who have been detained without charge by the security forces since last spring.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a non-violent organisation which promotes peaceful politics and, in addition, expresses solidarity with the Palestinian people including Hamas. And that is the problem; it is the Muslim Brotherhood"s attitude to Israel which has induced the US to order Mubarak to eliminate "the problem".

Hamas, as we know, is regarded as a terrorist organisation by the Bush Administration and the hugely powerful Zionist lobby in Washington. Therefore in the simplistic, black and white world of the Busheys, anyone who shows solidarity with Hamas must be a terrorist.

As a direct result of the nursery school politics of the neo-cons, last Sunday, hidden away in the Egyptian desert, a black comedy was being played out in a military court which saw some of Egypt"s finest academics and business elite in the dock.

Facing trumped up charges and a judicial system so warped and twisted by Mubarak, scores of senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood were crowded into courtroom cages. I was denied access as a British journalist to witness the unfolding farce but as I stood outside in the burning desert sun I was not alone - the former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and several other leading human rights campaigners had also been refused access ... may be in the daft belief if we couldn"t see the injustice we might go away quietly.

Mubarak is a desperate man, clinging on to the last vestiges of power in a white knuckle drama we have seen played out so many across the globe by American-controlled dictators who have oppressed their own people without mercy. This latest disgraceful chapter in the ruling life of Mubarak opened on January 28 in the Cairo Criminal Court when the judges ruled all charges brought by the Egyptian Government against the detained members of the Muslim Brotherhood were groundless and politically motivated.

Eager to please his US masters (America gives more dollar aid to Egypt than to any other country in the world apart from Israel) Mubarak had the whole lot re-arrested to be tried in a military court ... on exactly the same charges they had been cleared in the civilian court.

Rulings of military justice are final and can"t be challenged. Well that"s one way of silencing your political opponents and knocking out vocal critics of the Zionist State, isn"t it?

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other concerned groups have condemned the actions, but what does Mubarak care? Well actually he should care. I can smell revolution in the air on the streets of Cairo, and not just from the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ordinary Egyptians are fed up with the tinpot dictator who has restricted their freedoms and liberties in a bid to smother any dissenting voices. By any peaceful means necessary, there is a growing resistance to bring down Mubarak and his brutal regime. The youth are turning to the internet using blogs to fuel the dissent – some have even joined the Brotherhood behind bars for their work.

Others are campaigning, petitioning, marching and protesting. I turned up at one such event in central Cairo the other night and as I stared into the eyes of the military who returned the gaze from behind their crash helmets, I could see their hearts were no longer in the job of oppressing and bullying fellow citizens.

The iron-like grip Mubarak once had on his people is fast disappearing. The fear has been replaced by anger towards the injustices against every dissenting voice. But it is Mubarak"s attempt to use and abuse the courts to stop the Brotherhood advancing further into Egypt"s mainstream politics which has irreparably damaged him.

The country"s strongest opposition group operates openly despite being officially banned. The Brotherhood won nearly one fifth of the seats in the lower house of parliament in 2005, its members running as independents to bypass the 53-year-old ban on the group. Mubarak"s latest actions to settle political scores and stifle freedom will be his undoing. He has called the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood a threat to national security, but it is the President himself who is the greatest liability.

As far as dictator"s go Mubarak has much in common with America"s other tyrants - he is not too bright, has psycho tendencies and is unable to tolerate any criticism. I believe he has the shelf life of many US puppets ... in other words his days are numbered. Who remembers the Shah, and of course we will not forget Saddam in a hurry either?

But when Mubarak does fall, and fall he will, then the Egyptian people must be allowed to take control of their own future and carve out their own style of democracy without outside interference. And then, and only then, will the days of the Pharoahs be truly consigned to history.