The Egyptian revolution of 2011-2013 refers to a series of civil resistance, civil disobedience, both violent and non-violent protests, demonstrations, marches, and extreme riots. The revolution was one of the most organized political disturbance activities admitting the liberal, Islamic, nationalist, anti-capitalist and feminist components. According to Roll, this event of 2011-2013 entailed confrontations between the civilians and the security officers in the major capitals of Egypt such as Cairo and Alexandria.
The underlying reasons for the violent chaos and skirmishes mainly focused on the political and legal issues. The most notable issues included low wages, high inflation rates, police brutality, unemployment, corruption, limits to free and fair elections, and the limits to the freedom of speech. The policy-making revolution demanded the end of the Mubarak administration, interruption of the emergency law, the preservation of freedom of speech, as well as the association and formation of a non-military government. Furthermore, the protest called for the equal distribution of the country’s wealth to all the regions and participation of all people in the decision-making process. The persistence of violent demonstrations saw the removal from the power of two presidents: Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi. Throughout the revolution, the military was a key figure and either participated in the overhaul of directors or managing the state in the transition periods between the two presidents.
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Generally, besides the political revolution of the years 2011-2013, the Egyptian military has played a dominant role in the Egyptian politics. It has had an extensive animosity towards the Muslim Brotherhood, which is one of the most influential political parties in Egypt. The involvement of the army raises the question of importance of the Egyptian military during the political revolution of 2011-2013. This paper will aim at identifying in what particular ways it was significant during the political revolution through an extensive research on scholarly articles, the Internet, and credible books.
In determining the importance of the army in the political revolution of 2011-2013, this essay has relied entirely on the Internet research. This study has involved the use of Google search and Google Scholar to identify the best scholarly articles and credible books. The Google Scholar is an efficient platform for Internet research because it has a variety of credible articles and books. In addition, the site is friendly and straightforward to a user. Therefore, identifying the appropriate materials was without much hustle. In order to determine the adequate resources, the Internet research involved the use of search phrases such as “military involvement in Egyptian politics,” “Egyptian Revolution of 2011-2013”, and “the role of the military in Egyptian politics.”
Although the Internet study is one of the easiest methods of research, the search engine generated many search results. Consequently, the process of choosing the most suitable articles presented numerous challenges. Some of search results did not have supporting evidence or background data essential for a credibility of the report. In addition, some of them did not have authors or the date of publication, which influenced their credibility in a negative manner. In order, to identify the most suitable resources, it was important to filter the search results to gain the most recent and credible articles. In addition, filtering them with the year of publication was critical in ensuring that the articles satisfied the criteria of validity and reliability being essential for the scholarly research. After a thorough exercise and reading the selected materials, it was evident to notice the importance of the military involvement in the political demonstrations in the Egyptian major capitals. All the chosen articles were appropriate for a research purpose. The reason is that they had supporting evidence, background data, and were recent and most importantly the pieces lacked bias.
The Egyptian military was necessary for the political revolution of 2011-2013 in some ways. Firstly, it was significant in the removal from power of Hosni Mubarak on February 11. The Hosni Mubarak’s administration had spanned over 29 years following the assassination of his predecessor. After the death of President Anwar Sadat, Mubarak capitalized on the Sadat’s policies such as the liberalization of the Egyptian economy. His removal from the presidency by the military followed widespread criticism on the political censorship, limitations on the freedom of speech and association, detention, police brutality, and torture. In addition, his administration faced criticism due to its inability to deal with the economic issues such as unemployment, high inflation, and low wages. The critics of the emergency law was instrumental in the removal from power by the military. The law called for the extension of police powers, suspension of constitutional powers, and the legalization of censorship.
According to Roll, the Egyptians felt the regulation permitted the violation of the human rights. The reason is that it allowed the security forces to exercise lethal force, as well as arrest and keep the citizens in prisons for no concrete reasons. Precisely, the law permitted the security instruments to torture, use brutal force to coerce the citizens into admitting to crimes, and then hold them in prisons without a fair trial. Consequently, the enforcement of the emergency regulation led to the imprisonment of many Egyptians without free trial on minor grounds. It led to crowding and straining the correctional facilities for no solid reason. In addition, the limitation of freedom of expression made it particularly hard for people to join the Muslim Brotherhood political party, which was opposing the government or engaging in any other form of political association.
The civilians were on the receiving end due to the heightened discrimination based on the political affiliation. Albrecht and Bishara indicate that due to the rise in corruption, only the selected close relatives of the president had a privilege of accessing government services. Government tenders were only accessible to the political elites in his administration. The rise in the state corruption led to the animosity towards the government. This increase triggered the growth in food prices and poor economic policies that contributed to the collapse of many businesses leading to increased levels of unemployment. Of a great interest there was Mubarak’s keenness in perpetrating corruption and harboring the abuse of office in departments such as the internal security. It was hardy in prolonging the presidency. Consequently, the increase in corruption cases resulted in the decrease of wages of employees in other departments and ultimately caused the violent confrontations between citizens and state agencies. The military was, therefore, critical in ensuring that the voice of the Egyptians was heard by the presidency, in particular, on the need to reduce corruption cases. According to Albrecht and Bishara, the armed forces played a major role in ending the President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. They also helped allowing government bodies to deal with the political and legal issues as presented by the protesting youth. Conclusively, the military was important in stopping the police brutality, eliminating the restrictions to association and speech, and ceasing decades of economic recession in Egypt.
Secondly, the armed forces were critical in ruling the nation after the removal of Mubarak and before the inauguration of the President Morsi. According to Brooks, following the removal of Mubarak, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed the role of ruling the country and prepared the nation for the next democratic elections. The council, which comprised of the most senior military chiefs, was important to stop the streets protests and establish a constitution framework for dealing with major administrative issues in government departments. Moreover, this body was important in gaining the confidence of demonstrators on their ability to sanitize the state and eliminate any form of corruption. The council was also critical in allowing participation of the public in the major decision affecting the state. One of the important approaches to gaining the confidence of protestors included the temporary removal of the Constitution and the adoption of an interim structure. It would pave a way for a smooth transition from Mubarak’s regime to the next government.
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The interim Constitution has integrated excerpts from the old law, as well as new rules and regulations. It would enhance the participation of all groups of people in open and free elections. In addition, the regulation was a necessity in limiting the presidential privileges and the number of the terms the president was eligible. The approach would enhance democracy by allowing people choose the leaders of their choice after the specified period. Moreover, the criteria would reduce the instances of abuse of power and cap runway corruption perpetrated by the presidents and other public officials. The enactment of the interim Constitution would restrict the application of the emergency law on civilians. Being applicable during the state of emergency it purposed to hold the protesters in prisons without a trial. In most cases, the advance followed the use of excessive force on civilians by the security organs. Police brutality, detention, and torture were permissible within the emergency law. Nevertheless, the supreme council included essential elements on the presidential and legislative elections to pave the way for transparency and accountability in general voting. The supreme council was critical in the designation of a constitutional committee consisting of hundred members with the mandate of drafting a permanent Constitution. The lasting legal structure would ensure good leadership by outlining the major functions of various government departments. Besides, the new Constitution would highlight the responsibility of religion in unifying people and ensure the preservation of human liberties especially at the time of fierce confrontations between the Islamic and Christian religions. In addition, the armed force was important in overseeing a passive Constitution referendum aimed at implementing new measures of enhancing democracy and decimating restrictions to the liberties of expression elections and speech. As a result of solid leadership from the military personnel, Egypt was able to hold the referendum with a majority’s victory. Conclusively, the armed forces played an important role in introducing new sections into the Constitution. Such ones would preserve the integrity of the presidency while dealing with the issues presented by the Egyptians.
Finally, the armed services were important in the political revolution of 2011-2013. They helped to dismiss from power the first democratic president with many street protests in the major capitals of the Republic. The demonstrators called for the resignation of the President Morsi due to his power abuse. In particular, the protestors asked for the president’s dismissal following the unilateral enactment of the interim Constitution. The temporary structure accorded the president’s power to legislate. The approval of the interim Constitution would enhance animosity among people and widen a gap between the government acting and citizens. because the reason is that the new president would make bills without any consultation with other sectors of the government such as the judiciary one. The latter one is a vital organ in rendering significant oversight in any legislation.
Moreover, the submissions leveled by the media personalities on purported favoritism and selective prosecutions have become sound grounds for the armed services to exercise authority to overturn the government. The journalists experienced restrictions in practicing their liberty of information. The advance to selectively prosecute journalists fueled riots and marches that contributed to the ultimate end of the presidency of Morsi. According to Amar, the one-year authority by this president led to the infringement of basic rights. For instance, the utilization of brutal power to stop demonstrations and marches was a critical factor for the involvement of the armed services. Morsi’s presidency was picked apart for using extreme force on non-violent demonstrators. Furthermore, his government failed to restore the country’s economy.
In addition, the dismissal of top military generals and the advance to seize particular power from the military was a reminder to people of the Mubarak regime that they had been fighting hard to destroy. The was armed forces were important in synthesizing and responding to the fears of the Egyptians. Morsi’s administration jailed its opponents and subjected them to a harsh treatment. The committee was critical in attacking the civil rights and the freedom of expression. Besides, the administration was keen in furthering the Mubarak regime. Following the growing fears that the Morsi administration was not different from the Mubarak government, violent demonstrations erupted. They forced the military to take some actions and restore sanity in the country. Conclusively, the was armed forces were important in the dismissal of the President Morsi following the aggregation of powers that would decimate any form of oversight, encourage the violation of fundamental rights, and cap the media freedom. From the people’s perspective, the Morsi administration would not be different from that of his predecessor.
From the discussion above, it is clear that the military’s impact during the political revolution of 2011-2013 was important. For instance, the was armed forces were essential in bringing to an end the Mubarak regime. It was tainted with violation of human rights, police brutality, and detention without trial, state corruption, unemployment, low wages, and a high level of inflation. The breach of constitutional rights and the subsequent protests prompted the military to take some actions and use force for the president to refuse frompower. In addition, the was armed forces were important in governing the country during the transition from the Mubarak administration to his successor. During the period, the military had undertaken the responsibility of government functions. The most significant action was the suspension of the Constitution and the emergency law. These regulations legalized brutality during emergencies. In addition, the military was high in amending the Constitution to incorporate some measures of limiting the presidential powers. The was armed forces were important in the removal from power the President Morsi after growing concerns about his leadership style mirroring that of Mubarak. The administration was instrumental in violation of freedom of expression, which was the case with the Mubarak regime. In addition, this body enhanced the presidential powers to grant him the authority to legislate. There is a need to carry a further research on the military involvement in civilian affairs and identify the implications in the state. Furthermore, there is a need to conduct the extensive research on the participation of the army in order to come up with a solid explanation of political revolutions in other Arab countries such as Jordan and Tunisia. The outcome of the study would be essential in preventing the repetition of the political revolution in other nations.
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