My aunt’s husband sent me this article by Steven A. Cook, below the link was my email response to him:
The article, while well written, is fundamentally flawed. It assigns zero value to the power of street demonstrations in both Tahrir and other places that the author neglects to even mention (labor strikes etc.). One thing that is absolute fact is that as few as 50,000 idealistic determined protestors is enough to shake even the most mighty of rulers/governments. They cannot be put down by raw violence no matter how much public support they have ‘lost’, and they will not simply ‘go away’. Thus the only answer is a political solution that will calm this alleged minority. The other option is continued unrest at the heart of both Cairo and Alexandria that will ensure that not only will tourists not return, but also that desperately needed FDI will remain on the sidelines and factories will remain paralyzed. Too many talking heads/writers such as the author of this article fail to see or understand this.
Another foolish flaw in this authors approach is implying that MB started their political machinations after Mubarak’s fall while activists stayed in the streets. That is arguably the dumbest thing I’ve heard since Colin Powell told us he had proof that Iraq had chemical weapons. The MB’s success is a result of 80 years of political/social work and it should come as no surprise to anyone that they do well in elections. Given 80 years, I guarantee you that the revolutionary elements would b politically mighty too.
If street protests do not continue, Egypt will end up closer to Algeria or Pakistan than Turkey. The only reasons we are even having parliamentary elections now and (in theory) presidential elections in June is that despite their supposed unpopularity, revolutionaries refused to stay home. The apathetic approach of staying home and playing politics against a formidable force such as SCAF is both foolish and counterproductive. History has proven this time and time again. If a tyrant is allowed to be above the law, those who are bound by the law will have no chance at competing for power.
I believe that no matter how politically unpopular demonstrations may be, they are the only safeguard to our future. I do not believe in the existing political process/plan before us and I do not believe that the intentions of the Supreme Council are in any way noble. They already promised to leave power after 6 months and we are no closer today 10 months later than we were on Feb. 11. Even under apartheid S. Africa, most blacks did not believe in insurgency against their white masters. But some did, including a young Nelson Mandela. This insurgency planted the seeds that one day led to the fall of white rule. The same will be true of Egypt.