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John Sargeant Headshot

People Power Must Save Egypt

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Space is one of the most precious things to call our own, to share with others as friends or to join together as a community. Free assembly is a right that goes with both freedom of religion and the pursuit of happiness.

So whether you are a Christian or not, the sight of a burnt out church, and the murder of people on a religious site adds to the horror and violation of life and liberty. It is nothing less than the hollowing out of a free society.



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Further pictures of ice being carried into a mosque to stop the hundreds dead decomposing in the heat of the Egyptian sun.



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As I wrote Sisi asked the people to give him a mandate "to confront terrorism and violence."

People were more than willing to give Sisi absolute power for "cleansing traitors out of Egypt" as Tamarud put it on Facebook, in stark contrast to when Morsi demanded them. Expediency does that during times of tribulation. The Muslim Brotherhood has splintered, emboldening the Islamists who were never on the inside of power. They knew that the transition to democracy would not allow a theocratic state to emerge - their response gives the answer to a second attempt. Now jihad is the only way.

Which makes the situation ripe for an authoritative military regime to act once again. The Egyptian people understand democracy and the lack of popular sovereignty Morsi had. My fear is whether they will be able to demand democracy again, or willing with what is happening, in the same numbers or more of June 30.

The opposition thought bringing the people on mass to the streets June 30 to call for Morsi to resign would be the coup de grace. For if he failed to resign the army would be intervening to safeguard the people - allowing cover for a new transition to take place. The resignation of ElBaradei as Vice President is an indication that the use of force to disperse sit ins on August 14 was a step too far. Instead of the army acting for the opposition this really was an army looking after its own investments in the failing economy. Coup de grace became a coup they never really should have hoped to control.

So the army tanks rolled down the streets because of a tanking economy they have a 40% stake in. The people cheered the flyby and the military presence as hopes for the rebirth of democracy died to the sound of applause before it even had a second chance to be born.

In this chaos see the legal situation where Mubarak will be free to leave jail and a lawsuit issued for ElBaradei resigning.

Welcome to the slaughter mad house that has become Egypt.

I have no words of comfort. Freedom always has a price, and often the generation that pays it never gets to reap what they sow. Patriots hope to live to see such freedom, but know their actions and those of their fellow countrymen and women can bring such an end that they may never see. In history, it is the only thing that ever has.



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The people must on mass join together - protecting the churches and the mosques as above. They must stop seeing the army as guardians but hold them to the restoration of a free constitutional assembly and free elections to a parliament. The jihadists need the oxygen of authoritarianism removed, and just as terrorists need to be brought to justice so do military acts that constitute crimes against humanity.

The only currency worth having is people power. Do not spend it all on Sisi. Hold him to account.

Demands for blood are never sated. The people must realise they are the power - en mass they must use it for themselves in solidarity with each other.

Before this on June 30 I quoted Byron, and it is what I think of when it comes to Egypt.

They never fail who die
In a great cause: the block may soak their gore:
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls--
But still their Spirit walks abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others, and conduct
The world at last to Freedom.

Lord Byron, Marino Faliero

Only together as one nation can civil strife, let alone civil war, be avoided.