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MUBARAK ON TRIAL August 4, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Middle East.

The promise of the Arab Spring and the democratic revolution in Egypt has not been fulfilled. In fact, the Military Regime has cleared out the occupation of Tahrir Square. Then, former President Mubarak is on trial broadcast on television.

Ian Black in The Guardian writes:

t is a commonplace to say that Egypt’s revolution cut off the head of the snake but that the body remains. The generals who ensured a relatively peaceful outcome in February are still in charge, their commitment to democracy and a multi-party system untested — and clouded by the instinct of repression seen in the clearing of demonstrators from Tahrir Square.

Parliamentary elections have been put back until November, beyond the original six-month deadline. A new constitution limiting the powers of the president remains unwritten. Many believe that the Mubarak trial, judicial bread and circuses for the masses, could serve as a distraction from the enormous challenges facing the Arab world’s most populous country.

Its symbolism, however, should not be under-estimated. Tunisia’s deposed president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, had to be tried and sentenced in absentia thanks to the gold-plated asylum granted him by Saudi Arabia, still enjoying western support as it pays off its own people and leads a counter-offensive against democratic change elsewhere in the region.

So it seems that this may simply be a show trial, especially so since Mubarak is apparently ill and confined to a bed yet still presented to the court. The constitution has not so far being rewritten or amended, nor endorsed by referendum. Progress on these matters would have expected to take time, perhaps years. It is significant that the military government remains in place, and they may well be seeking with external help, be seeking to permanently stall any substantive change.

The Egyptian protesters have apparently established the template for effective demonstrations. They have be copied in other places, including Israel. Democracy Now reports:

In Israel, tens of thousands have joined nationwide protests against high costs of living and growing income inequality. Protesters have set up more than 40 tent encampments scattered across Israel, with as many as 120,000 people turning out to demand lower taxes and increased access to education and housing. In Jerusalem, some 15,000 gathered outside the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Who knew that Israelis would follow the lead of the Egyptians, or that inequality was an issue?



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