Mostly Harmless

Because therapy is expensive

Mr. Consensus and the coming deep state

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“There’s one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it’s one word long … People. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It’s people that kill every revolution.” – Spider Jerusalem

Mansour Hassan, head of the Advisory Council that the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces formed last December, has announced his intention to run in the upcoming presidential elections in May.

Hassan, 75 and sporting a severe heart condition, has declared that Sameh Seif El Yazal, a former military man and current “strategic expert,” will be his running mate. Hassan’s daughter is married to Mubarak’s Transport Minister, Mohamed Mansour, by the way.

(Edit: Seif El Yazal has since resigned from Hassan’s campaign, although that doesn’t mean he still can’t be named vice president. Or maybe someone else could be VP, a certain Crown Prince Lieutenant General Chief of Staff, perhaps?)

Within hours of his announcement, the Wafd party said it would endorse Hassan in the elections, only five hours after it had announced it would support Amr Moussa.

Rumors of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party’s impeding announcement of support for Hassan also made the rounds, but the Brotherhood and the FJP have since issued a denial.

State-owned daily Al Ahram has since published a feature on Hassan, revealing what some already knew.

Hassan was simultaneously both the Information and Culture Minister in the Sadat era, and in Sadat’s final days Hassan was also Minister of State for Presidential Affairs while keeping both the Information and Culture portfolios.

He was considered for the vice presidency but Mubarak was ultimately preferred for his military background and there was talk that Sadat had again considered him for the post to replace Mubarak right before his assassination.

Conspiracy theories aside (Mubarak/the military killed Sadat for wanting to replace an officer with a civilian, i.e. name him as successor, etc.) we know Mubarak did not like Hassan. One of the first things he did was de facto banishing him from the political scene.

Let us review here: head of SCAF’s Advisory Council, military man as vice president, trial balloons of major parties endorsing him making the rounds, state newspapers covering him favorably.

Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you the consensus president.

Factor in military prosecution “investigating” 12 prominent activists, media personalities, lawmakers and a best-selling novelist, all considered symbols of the January 25 uprising by some; the flood of courts declaring police officers accused of shooting protestors last January innocent; and finally today’s court ruling acquitting the military doctor accused of performing virginity tests and this is what you get: a revolution drawing its final breaths.

Imagine with me, if you will, the following sequence of events. Like that scene from V for Vendetta where the detective says he can feel what’s going to happen. Imagine.

Things stay seemingly calm until the presidential elections. Seemingly being the key word here. Activists and revolutionaries slowly get arrested, put on sham trials (not necessary military ones, the civilian judicial system has shown itself capable of being equally disgusting), the revolution is demonized in the media, with the state (read: SCAF) exerting increasing control over said media, economic problems worsen.

Then it’s May. Several parties and political forces choose to back Hassan. The elections move into runoff; Hassan is one of the top two candidates; the other probably Moussa, possibly Ahmed Shafik (Mubarak’s former Prime Minister, Civil Aviation Minister, Air Force Commander, “I’ve killed and been killed,” etc.)

June 2: Hosni Mubarak is found not guilty. Or receives very little time in prison. Massive protests erupt. It gets violent. SCAF says it can’t protect the runoff; more time is necessary, transfer of power to civilians needs to be postponed, six months only, we promise, the people and the army are one hand, we are no substitute for legitimacy.

And the kicker: both candidates left standing say they agree.

Not happy with that? Too unrealistic, you say? Maybe, but it’s not impossible. That alone is scary.

How about this: SCAF backs Hassan, Mr. Consensus. Wafd and other such small-time lackeys provide their blessings. He wins (see clause 28 of the presidential elections law.)

We get an Islamist parliament. Islamist weak parliament. Figurehead president, military pretty much in control of all affairs, deep state. Read up on contemporary Pakistani politics.

You don’t want that.


Written by Ahmed Aboulenein

March 12, 2012 at 2:24 am

Posted in Analysis, Egypt, Opinion

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