When people become blind to their future, they don’t die, they just get older.
Egypt is showing signs of this kind of senility. It has a senile regime that was born deformed half a century ago, a senile political elite that partakes in a corrupt opposition, and it has produced successive senile governments who reaped the benefits of selling the country. Some neither found anything to sell, nor empathized with the people’s problems, nor worked on solving them.
Egypt also has a senile people who do not find the preponderance of such senility worrying, and who, when occasionally angry, vent their anger through watching political TV shows or reading the newspaper.
The timing of Mohamed ElBaradei’s arrival–a period of public weakness–had turned him, within few days, into a kind of savior, as if the man brought a magician’s wand with him back from Vienna which would magically improve everything in Egypt.
The real catastrophe is exactly this: It is not only the common citizen who has fallen into the trap of political naivety, but the political elite as well. The opposition, with all its diverse trends, appears to be trying to make up for its failures and corruption by backing a man who is unable to induce change without the aid of a sweeping current led by intellectuals and civil society institutions.
Different media outlets, too, have entrapped the man in their torrent of talk and cliched questions. In the coming days, ElBaradei will become a staple guest on a series of boring and repetitive TV shows. That’s the way we ruin our outstanding figures, carrying out a huge favor for the ruling regime.
If events continue on their current track, ElBaradei will no longer be significant within a few weeks, thus joining other figures like Ayman Nour, who imagined that "opposition" is merely slamming the regime, forgetting that other things are more important–such as proposing a new political platform, preceded by the introduction of a new model of transparency and veracity. Just like Nour, other personages have lost their significance too, either in conflicts over fake political parties, or in their preference for a life of comfort and tranquility under the regime’s shadow.
The regime, maintaining its grip on this country, is far more sly than people think. Otherwise, it would not have managed to keep the nation in its out-of-order condition for a whole 30 years.
The regime is aware that it should treat each opponent or competitor in a different manner. The stick and the carrot will work with political parties; for those who reject the benefits of the carrot, the stick will eventually make him yield. As for Kefaya, it will eat itself away without the need for the regime to intervene. Ayman Nour will lose his winning cards one after the other. Former politicians will be engrossed in debates over what should be done and what should have been done. And the writings of political experts are only read by fellow experts and those who refuse to pay the price for change.
So, how will the regime overcome ElBaradei? Will it count on any of the means mentioned above? Or will it develop something new? That, we will discuss further. The man is worth studying.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.