by Tom Devanney
The Middle-East has recently seen an eruption of protest and revolt. Though peaceful at first, they have turned insistent and violent. Tunisia was the first with a suicidal street vendor who could not take the repression of his government any more. This one act started an outbreak of violent protest that forced the ‘President’ of Tunisia into immediate exile on January 14th, and the formation of a new democratic Tunisian government.
This eruption of instant and enormous protest was long overdue. Prior to January 15th, there was only one democratic state in the Islamic Middle-East, Iraq. Every other Islamic country was a repressive military dictatorship.
The Egyptian Eruption is now 26 days old with a loss of over $4 billion. Now, everyone is getting on board the democratic bandwagon, including Jordan.
On January 28th, 100,000 people began a revolt against President Hosni Mubarak in Tahir Square in Cairo. By February 3rd, it grew to over 2 million people and quickly spread throughout the country. For over twelve days now, the people have stopped the Egyptian economy and government dead in its tracks. Nothing is moving in Egypt, nothing. The demonstrators have brought the country to a halt until their demands are met. The protesters have focused on Tahir Square in downtown Cairo; a battleground and a focus for the protest.
The following are a few suggested objectives for the Egyptians for an unarmed revolt:
- A list of arguments with ethical and popular right on your side.
- Clearly defined physical goals and objectives – presidential residence, parliament, political party headquarters, removal of political authority.
- A comprehensive plan with a timeline based on the above with subordinates to carry it out.
- Reliable chain of command and communications.
- A committed band of supporters.
The Egyptians are already doing some of this right, but there are corrections to be made to their effort. The Presidential Palace should be the focus of their anger, not a public square with no political value. The Presidential Palace is four miles away. They should move the revolt to the palace.
They need to plan the revolt. Expended manpower with no cohesive effort is wasted energy. The police will spot this immediately, and divide and conquer. Planning also implies a clear chain of command and responsible leadership. Egyptians should make the necessary adjustments to their unarmed revolt. They have little time to correct their mistakes.
The revolt in Egypt has been successful. On the night of Feb. 10th, after Mubarak refused to resign, the revolt moved their focus to the Presidential Palace, and within 4 hours, the Egyptian Army forced President Hosni Mubarak to abdicate and flee. The people of the US congratulate a freedom loving people who would not be denied.