Not even the freakiest of novels would close its final chapter so abruptly.
Protesters gathered at the iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo on November 29 after learning of Mubarak's acquittal, the acquittal of his two sons, his ministers and at least 200 police officers charged with torture and murder of protesters in custody in 2011. One would expect the crowd at Tahrir Square to be much larger. But the people have run out of steam. Egypt is back to square one (not Tahrir Square any more). Freedom has been lynched again. Demonstrators are barred from demonstrating without police approval that could send them to prison for at least three years. A few hours later on Novemeber 29, police shut down Tahrir Square with tight security all over the capital. Other streets in Cairo remained deserted and silent.
With the exoneration of Hosni Mubarak and all criminals of his regime, sacrifices and achievements of eighteen days of protests in 2011 have been wiped off, plenty of spilt blood wasted and the old order restored. The Egyptians were emboldened and the culture of fear was overcome after the events in Tunisia in December 2010. They're now seeing the old walled boundaries propping up afresh with a stern message that it's again time to fear, regardless of the injustices.
Mubarak and his family reportedly amassed countless billions in three decades of massive corruption and embezzlement almost putting them at par with corporate giants like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim and similar others.
Some quick details in a nutshell on the world's richest and most unscrupulous thieves.
- Illegal sale of natural gas to Israel at reduced rates in exchange for luxury homes as payback.
- Killed at least 900 protesters in 2011 uprising. Was given a life sentence in prison in 2012 which was abruptly overturned in 2013.
- Murder of Khaled Sayeed, a young internet cafe owner, fatally beaten by Mubarak's secret police for which no one was ever tried.
- Until his acquittal, 86-year-old Mubarak was serving a short 3-year term for a bunch of corruption cases. Of course he will be released well before he completes that sentence.
- Mubarak's closest friend, Hussein Salem, (aka "father of Sharm el-Sheik for owning several plush hotels in the Sinai resort town) is reportedly back in Cairo. Quoting Foreign Policy "Salem made billions of dollars in the energy, arms, and hospitality industry in Mubarak's Egypt. He was so close to the former president that the two even invested together, according to documents obtained by Foreign Policy. It was a lucrative alliance for Salem. In the early 2000s, Mubarak granted him a monopoly over gas exports to Jordan, Israel, and Spain. Salem used this deal to sell gas at below-market rates for years, according to an Egyptian court ruling, costing the country more than $700 million."
Egyptians were quick and justified to perceive that Mohamad Morsi wasn't the change they wanted. They thronged the streets again in the summer of 2013, and consequently el-Sissi's disdainful snub to Anne Paterson (U.S. ambassador in Cairo) who tried to aggressively push him into ignoring the demonstrators and allowing Morsi to stay was an unusual and impressive gesture of political independence. But the rejection of Morsi by the people wasn't a request for Sissi to make himself his successor. That was his own idea. Neither was it a pointer to place the Mubaraks above accountability.
In every nation that lacks an effective leadership with an independent ideology and proper plans for its future implementation, revolts and revolutions are standalone actions sustained with nothing ahead of them. As soon as the bad guys are booted out and the platitudes have run their course, it's time to establish a new system. That's when trouble begins to stir up again as new bad guys start showing up. It's harder under the circumstances that include Egypt's proximity with Israel and its relations with Israel's allies. To be a bit more politically correct, "revolution overturned" is somewhat misleading. In the NWO a revolution in any country particularly within the pan-Islamic block would remain desperately incomplete without redefining its foreign policies that has a direct impact on the infrastructure at home ... something that never happened in post-Mubarak Egypt. From Tantawi to Morsi to Sissi, there was no change of regime. Just change of faces. The Egyptians have realized the odds stacked up against them. Their hands are pretty much bound.
Their quagmire ahead gets still more icky. The Egyptian society no more remains a monolith politically as it did prior to 2011. The low turnout in the polls electing el-Sissi, scant protests over Mubarak's acquittal and a meager crowd celebrating his exoneration are all evidences of how fragmented, deeply polarized and exhausted the society is at present. Brotherhood has been a blessing in disguise for Mubarak and his circle. Hatred of Brotherhood's one-year rule has turned several staunch opponents of Mubarak more sympathetic towards him.
Deepening the existing divisions, sectarian cesspools have sprung up in parts of post-Morsi Egypt after the grisly murders of Hassan Shehata and four of his friends in the city of Giza, June 2013, by Brotherhood activists following an attack on a Shiia mosque. The victims were beaten, stabbed and dragged on the streets. Their lifeless bodies were later stacked in a truck like garbage so disrespectfully that it left the Egyptian nation and the world aghast! It was the first time in modern history that such a gory sectarian incident happened in Egypt, sowing the seeds of distrust between the Sunni majority and 3 million Shiia minority of the country. The culture of sectarianism is like an obstinate p.u.p. or malware from the cyber world. Once it trolls its way inside a community, it's almost impossible to get rid of it.
Egyptians are also sharply divided over the Palestinian issue for the first time in the country's history. It sprouts from Hamas' past relations with Muslim Brotherhood to which president Sissi's government and the local media eventually over-reacted.
All of these are dispiriting factors that can only cause setbacks within a nation, thwarting positive ideas for future movements and turning the people into helpless subjects of autocratic regimes. That's precisely the predicament of the Egyptians once again, despite their best efforts earlier to remove those fetters.
Hosni Mubarak might regain some of his lost power on the grounds of his past status and influence within official and social circles. Other than the enormous injustice inflicted on the families of the victims killed, neither is it impossible that the Mubaraks won't consign their thugs to go on a vendetta campaign against many of those who were at the forefront in Tahrir Square in 2011. Probably many happy days await the former first family. Mr. Mubarak won't have to move around on a hospital bed with his eyes closed any longer; that wheeled bed can now be sent to the dump. No more stories of age related frailty to amass public sympathy. Don't be surprised if sons, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak (more notorious than Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) who were found "not guilty of corruption" return to politics in due course, though el-Sissi will make darn sure he remains the boss. Reportedly Gamal's marriage turned rocky after his status dropped from first son to a prisoner in jail clothes. After being groomed as the future first lady of Egypt for four years, the disappointment was too much for poor Khadija (referred as "Gamal's Queen of the Nile"). That marriage can now be removed from the respirator and salvaged, if she hasn't already called it quits.
It was the strangest "revolution" ever! But the story needn't have been this bad. It could have unraveled in a manner far more impactful. The trend of settling scores in the name of "reconciliation" with heavy sums of money mucked up the episode. It was the unusually vast wealth of the Mubaraks that eventually bailed them out. Most Egyptians wouldn't even know how to write those billions in figures. The final stamp of disgrace was the court decision discreetly endorsing that the former president's corruption wasn't his shame but his greatest asset that helped buy his freedom.
Square one brings the Egyptians back to the spot where they have no other choice but to make the best of Abdel Fatteh el-Sissi. They might as well. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!