While the Arab world is notorious for conspiracy theories that would put the “grassy knoll” to shame, evidence here in Cairo more than suggests that the government of Egypt, at the highest levels, is guilty of inciting violence in an effort to push the country into anarchy. As illogical as this may sound, history is full of illogical actions by illogical leaders, from Cambodia to Rwanda. But trying to understand Middle Eastern logic is a no-win proposition. And if the leader in question suffers from a Pharoanic complex, it’s all the more impossible.
First, the government lets loose its undercover thugs, a.k.a. State Security, to incite looting and then blames the otherwise peaceful protesters. This gives the government a public excuse to crack down on the peaceful protesters without international recriminations. The State is guilty of starting the mayhem that intimidated local neighborhoods and has led to the burning of the city center. But the plan backfired. To the surprise of most all observers, the Egyptian people rose to the occasion, organizing “neighborhood watches” to protect their homes, apartment buildings, compounds and streets. Young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian, educated and illiterate were all the “man on the street,” “everyman” in Egypt as the people came together as one. It was a demonstration of humanity at its best, bringing people together, solidifying the desire for the removal of the government.
So the government resorted to Plan B, which was to starve all the prisoners (murderers, thieves, drug dealers, and political detainees) for 48 hours, while keeping them in the cold and dark, without access to news about unfolding events. Then they opened up all the prison gates, setting them free in the hopes they would create the havoc and fear that would make the people plead for the dictatorial stability of the regime. It is noteworthy that none of the women’s prisons had their gates opened. We wonder why.
Shutting down the net was open warfare on the People’s Republic of Facebook, and it didn’t work. Closing the banks and disrupting the food distribution system is a clear attempt to drive society into anarchy. So far, the people have risen above it all, with sharing and caring. But for how long?
The army has yet to protect the people. America, who has given the Mubarak regime over $50 billion during his “reign,” including all the military hardware that keeps him in power and allows him to oppress his people, now pleads helplessness to influence the situation. Perhaps cutting off the flow of spare parts to the Egyptian army, thereby rendering their multi-billion weapons systems useless, might be a start.