Egypt is not having a second revolution. We’re still wrapping up our first one. To the end Morsi continued to fatally miscalculate the extent of the people’s fed-up-ness (enough was too much two years ago) and squander the goodwill extended him a year ago. With his defiant speech on Tuesday, Morsi effectively sealed his political death, echoing Mubarak’s contemptuous last effusions by way of Qaddafi’s hallucinations. As with fools past and toppled, Morsi appeared oblivious of the vox populi, record millions who took to the streets, many of whom had voted for him and were now calling for his ouster at his one year anniversary. The concessions he offered were appalling, another case of Mubarak’s far too little, far too late, and were delivered in a similar tone: patronizing, delusional, full of denials, and blaming everyone but himself for the mess. The masses were incredulous and crest-fallen afterwards and, as with Mubarak’s disastrous last address, rumors immediately began circulating that things were going to turn vicious the following day.
Pity the Egyptians that they must turn, once again, to their abusers and rapists, the army which gave Morsi a 48-hour ultimatum to sort things out. But this is not a case of Stockholm Syndrome. We’ve not quite yet forgotten, or forgiven, the Maspero Massacre, the so-called “virginity tests” and the army’s ghastly abuses of power and intimidation. We just need a breather, to figure out what we don’t want. We rushed into “choosing” Morsi, as an act of defiance and desperation, finding ourselves between a rock (old regime) and a hard place (military rule). At last, the Muslim Brotherhood illusion is exploded and we finally see them for what they are, more bullies and bad politicians–which is to say, more corrupt hypocrites, only this time hiding behind a holy beard. And if we hadn’t fully realized it, Morsi’s response to the historic (and remarkably bloodless) June 30th protests, spelled it out for us: a leader who pushes his people to the brink of a civil war cares more for himself than for the welfare of the country or its citizens. Despite his ludicrous repetition of his legitimacy, his legitimacy, his legitimacy throughout his unfortunate speech, the graffito on the presidential palace walls says it all, “The legitimacy of your ballot box / Is cancelled by our martyrs’ coffins”. What’s next remains a mystery. But there’s no doubt that–despite the tremendous economic deprivations, divisive politics and spiritual provocations Egyptians endure on a regular basis–two years later we still dare to care about our dreams of justice and freedom, enough to risk life (and to do so in a largely peaceful manner). There’s little chance of us repeating the same mistakes, and it appears that the army doesn’t want the job/headache this time round, as talks are underway with opposition spokesman (and Nobel Prize winner) Mohammed ElBaradei. “Hope is the last thing that dies…” // Yahia Lababidi