"We will not allow any individual or any party to put pressure on the armed forces.": This historic sentence was pronounced Sunday by Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Soliman, Grand Mamamouchi, * who, on February 11, "temporarily" took the place of the Pharaoh deposed as head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the SCAF, whose name rings like an insulting slap on the ears of the angry Egyptian people. The people had just launched phase 2.0 of its revolution on Saturday, November 19, and it has already cost the lives of dozens of unsung heroes.
The Mushir just celebrated his 76th birthday on October 31, making him a youngster in the gerontocracy laced group that commands the banks of the Nile. A veteran of every war lost by the Egyptian army (1956, 1967, 1973) and the first Gulf War (along with the valiant U.S. Army), defense minister (of the cash boxes) for Mubarak for 20 years, he is the emerging tip of the pyramid of power. The generals of the Egyptian army, who like those of the Mexican army, only know the gunfire of dollars, are holding power in the land of pharaohs and above all the economic power (30 percent according to experts). In short, as the Algerians say, it's a true military-financial mafia.
The multitudes who occupy Tahrir Square and those of other Egyptian cities are fed up and can no longer see the Field Marshall in the picture. He doesn't want to become Pharaoh: his cronies simply insist that he ensure that democratic change will leave their power intact and they won't be jailed for their crimes, and to do this he must be able to decide who will become Pharaoh. And for that reason SCAF made a deal with the Muslim Kid-Brotherhood: "We keep our cashboxes and we outsource to you the management of society, counting on you to channel the populace." And this deal was made on the back of the independent revolutionary movement, which has gone back to the streets. While the game of musical chairs continues concerning who gets to be interim Pharaoh and we count the votes in the parliamentary elections that just took place, business continues, comme d'habitude.
The Mushir without his moustache but with a beard
* The Arabic word for Marshal, mushir, reminds irresistibly of Monsieur Jourdain's "mamamouchi" in Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme of Molière.
Pictures: revolutionary murales in Cairo, November 2011