Egyptians Deliver ‘Last Ultimatum’

Rick Moran is blog editor of The American Thinker, and Chicago editor of PJ Media.His personal blog is Right Wing Nuthouse.


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Another tent city is blossoming in Tahrir square in downtown Cairo this week as thousands of Egyptians ready themselves for a massive protest on Friday, which has been dubbed (variously translated) “Friday of the Last Ultimatum,” or simply, the “Final Call.” The demonstrators have been in the square for nearly a week, urging a faster pace for reforms, an end to military tribunals for civilians, and a speedy exit for the military government as was promised following the ouster of President Mubarak five months ago. Protesters have pitted themselves directly against Egypt’s ruling armed forces, and despite significant concessions in the last week, the intensity on both sides has led to speculation that another confrontation could be in the offing.

The demonstrators are not protesting for freedom this time around, but for accountability. They seek justice for the more than 800 Egyptians who were killed by police during the 18-day revolt last February that led to the deposition of former President Hosni Mubarak. They also want the trials of Mubarak and other high level government officials, who are charged with murder, corruption and human rights violations, to proceed at a faster pace.

The demonstrators are chafing at the length of time it has taken the military to bring about the promised reforms and hold elections so that the soldiers can step aside as promised. On Wednesday, the military granted the request of a broad based coalition of political parties — including the Muslim Brotherhood’s front operation, the Freedom and Justice Party — and will delay elections from September to perhaps December.

In another sop to the demonstrators, the military government announced the firing of 650 police officers who have been accused of participating in the murders. That hasn’t assuaged the anger of the demonstrators. Indeed, the army — once almost universally admired in Egypt for maintaining public order during the chaos of the revolution — has lost most of the good will it garnered for those efforts as the pace of change has slowed to a crawl. Trials for many Mubarak cronies have not been scheduled, although Mubarak himself is set to go on trial August 3 on murder and corruption charges.

In anticipation of the Friday protests, the military issued an ominous sounding statement on Tuesday that said, in part, “The armed forces . . . call upon the noble citizens to stand against all the protests that impede the return of normal life to the sons of our great people,” and that “necessary measures will be taken to confront threats that surround the homeland and affect the citizens and national security.”

This angered many of the activists in the square who took the statement to mean that the military would oppose their right to protest. “The demonstrations are also called to protest a statement made by the [ruling] Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [on Tuesday] in which it implicitly warned against continuing protests,” said the Union of the Revolution’s Youth. “They’re saying we’re thugs so they have an excuse to attack the square,” said one protester.

The firing of the police officers was an implicit concession to the protesters, who have been demanding wholesale changes to not only the police, but the judiciary and the entire internal security apparatus as well. It didn’t appear to satisfy many of them. One protestor said, “This police shake-up came too late and is not enough. This was one of our main demands three or four months ago.”

The Interior Minister, Mansour Al Essawy, claimed that under rules governing the police, he did not have the authority to fire the hundreds of other police who were implicated in the murders. Only high-ranking officers could be fired before their cases were tried, he said. The officers let go were comprised of 505 brigadier generals, 82 colonels and 37 other officers. Others implicated or charged in the crimes would be “transferred to places where they won’t deal with people,” Essawyo said.

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  • skulldiggerin

    Wanna destroy Israel, Egyptian Islamic Arabs ?
    Destroy yurself first .
    koz that's all u`ll ever `chieve !
    U'll die in yur hundreds of thousands by yur own hands koz that`s the
    only thing Islam ever wants u to do, for u`re too stupid to understand that Islam is the devil.

    • Larry G Booth

      Mr.President: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING ?
      DO YOU NOT REMEMBER JAPAN AND THE FRIENDSHIP METALS JUST BEFORE
      PERL HARBOR ?
      DO YOU NOT REMEMBER 9/11 ?
      HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THE OLD SAYING, A TIGER DOESN'T CHANGE HIS
      STRIPES ?
      I AS A VOTER HAVE TRIED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR POSSESSION AND IT'S DIFFICULTY'S BUT NOW I'M REALIZING YOU ARE JUST PLANE STOOPED!!!!
      THE WORD IMPEACH HAS NEVER ENTERED MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT
      UNTIL NOW.
      STOP THE MADNESS, (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW)

    • Larry G Booth

      Please allow me to translate: Mr OBAMA They are the bad guys! You know! The ones who fly airplanes into buildings and kill thousands. WAKE THE F UP AND STOP SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL OR THOUSANDS MORE WILL SURELY DIE BECAUSE YOU HAVE INVITED THEM IN.

  • Larry G Booth

    Mr.President: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING ?
    DO YOU NOT REMEMBER JAPAN AND THE FRIENDSHIP METALS JUST BEFORE
    PERL HARBOR ?
    DO YOU NOT REMEMBER 9/11 ?
    HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THE OLD SAYING, A TIGER DOESN'T CHANGE HIS
    STRIPES ?
    I AS A VOTER HAVE TRIED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR POSITION AND IT'S DIFFICULTY'S BUT NOW I'M REALIZING YOU ARE JUST PLAIN STUPID !!
    THE WORD IMPEACH HAS NEVER ENTERED MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT
    UNTIL NOW.
    STOP THE MADNESS, (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW) (IMPEACH OBAMA NOW)

  • aspacia

    Oh, please, stick to the topic and stop with the rants.

    This article is about Egypt and another round of chaos in the land of the pharaohs.

  • UCSPanther

    Egypt's Nasserite Strongman era has been over for several months, but it appears increasingly likely that it is going to degenerate into anarchy, and perhaps to the point where the inmates run the asylum.

    Ever since all hell broke loose in the Middle East, it appears that there is no clear path for which direction that the power vacuum will flow, nor what may manifest itself within the vacuum.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I remember Boris Karloff in "The Mummy" circa. 1932 how he disintegrated in
    the end, looks like all of Egypt is setting up to have a similar conclusion,
    Horiffic at best………….some nations just go from bad to worse, it is a miracle
    for Israel to exist with neighbors who attack them to cover up their own
    failings, or scapegoat for ideological lunacy not even Hollywood could come
    up with……………………………………………………………………..William

  • waterwillows

    There is no path at all in Islam, let alone a clear one. There are doomed to chaos, destruction and futile vanity.
    There will never be a time of peace for Islam. For Islam, there is only horror and despair.

  • tanstaafl

    "Last Ultimatum" – what are they going to do? Finish destroying the Sphinx?

  • cowfy

    well you'll have to keep waiting,and waiting,and waiting,and w…………………………………………………………………..