We Have Overthrown the Dictator

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Written by Dr. Ashraf Mansour on February 13th and translated by Lizz Huntley. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

Ashraf Mansour, Ph.D., Professor, University of Alexandria

For the first time in their history the Egyptian people have succeeded in overthrowing a repressive dictatorial regime. This was a regime that literally waged war on its people, more heinous than all other previous dictatorial regimes in history. For if the Nazi regime had used concentration camps and torture, Mubarak’s regime used methods more heinous and brutal with the Egyptian people, not to mention that the Nazis used repressive tactics against the Jews and political opponents whereas Mubarak’s regime repressed all Egyptians.

Mubarak’s prisons were filled with political detainees to an unprecedented degree in the history of repression. The regime mastered the methods and tools of persecution. Police stations throughout the country served as torture chambers for honorable citizens, starting with beatings by hands and sticks and hoses to extinguishing cigarettes on detainees’ skin, sodomy, or hanging them by their legs, and finally ending with killing them.

Since the 25th of January the Mubarak regime waged an open war on all Egyptians as if it were fighting against Israel This was done through the following actions:

  1. Mobilizing all of the central security forces, numbering 1,200,000 soldiers armed with sticks, tasers, tear gas, and rubber bullets. When these methods failed they used live ammunition.
  2. Developing a security plan to break up the demonstrations using thugs armed with knifes, switchblades, metal sticks, and bricks.
  3. Using live ammunition against demonstrators starting on January 26th.
  4. After exhausting the supply of tear gas and rubber bullets Mubarak’s regime asked America to supply them with more weapons and ammunition to fight the demonstrators. When the United States refused, the regime turned to Israel, who did indeed supply them with a loaded plane that landed at the Cairo airport before January 28th.
  5. On January 28th the Mubarak regime, with the aid of Israel, cut internet service and all of the mobile phone networks.
  6. At the same time police throughout the country disappeared, prisoners were let out of jails, and thugs were unleashed in all of Egypt to vandalize the country and strike fear in the people.
  7. Egyptian state-sponsored television embarked on a campaign of lies and falsifications to delude and brainwash the Egyptian people.
  8. The Mubarak regime cut the transmission of the Al Jazeera channel, assaulted Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya workers, and jailed journalists and human rights reporters.
  9. Called upon the thug squads to break up the protesters in Tahrir Square under the watch of the entire world.
  10. Resorted to using camel and horses riders supplied with swords and wooden sticks to face the crowds in Tahrir, a scene which stunned the world and sent us back to the Middle Ages.
  11. The National Democratic Party (which is neither democratic nor stands for the nation) and its corrupt businessmen shared in all of these events, for it was the NDP that spent money on the thug squads and the paltry pro-Mubarak demonstrations.

Mubarak came out to the people in three speeches, each one worse and more provocative than the previous, and through which he revealed his stupidity and tyranny as a dictator. These speeches did nothing apart from further flaming the people’s anger against him and exposing the corruption and underhandedness of his manipulative regime.

None of the above methods successfully thwarted the popular revolution. The people overcame each criminal act one, after the other, as follows:

1) Millions gathered on the 25th of January, overwhelming the police cordons, security barriers, and tear gas as they demonstrated peacefully.
2) The size and quality of these gatherings of millions was able to be maintained all throughout Egypt on the 26th and 27th of January amidst unprecedented state-sponsored terrorism.
3) There was an open confrontation between the millions of protesters and the central security forces immediately after Friday prayers on January 28th, following the security force’s use of tear gas, armored vehicles, rubber bullets, and live ammunition. The central security forces fell in all of Egypt within five hours, from 1 pm to 6 pm.
4) The cutting of the internet and mobile phone services not only failed to weaken the revolution, but actually strengthened it as the Egyptian people realized that the regime was waging war against them.
5) The crowd in Tahrir Square succeeded in staying put as millions gathered elsewhere all throughout Egypt.
6) The army finally entered and forced Mubarak to step down. Thus, they proved to Egyptians that they are the people’s army and not Mubarak’s.

It was the Egyptian people who summoned the army during those first moments of the revolution before they came out into the cities on the 25th of January. We were crying out, “1, 2, Egyptian Army where are you?”. After the army came, we cheered, “The army and the people are one hand!”. The former cry of “1, 2, Egyptian Army where are you?” came back during those final days before Mubarak stepped down. Thus, it was the people who called for the army to come and rid them of Mubarak and indeed it happened.

It is true that it was the army who forced Mubarak to step down after threatening to try him in military court for high treason, for it is the army of the people. The national army, who stood up to the mightiest imperial army in history, and recently stood side by side the people in overthrowing one of the strongest dictatorial regimes in history.

Long live the Egyptian Revolution.

Ashraf Hasan Mansour

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