As I listened to the new Egyptian president's first address, I felt more hopeful. But there is still a struggle ahead
guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 June 2012
"....We still have a major struggle ahead. The military leadership, Scaf, wants a degree of political control and economic independence that would make a democratic, transparent, accountable state impossible. The figures and power-brokers of the old regime are still there – and now we know that 4.5 million people voted for them, persuaded by love, interests or ready cash. And near and far there are foreign powers aligned with the old regime who believe their interests would be ill served by our renaissance.
But none of that's new. What's new is that Scaf has revealed its hand in its latest round of legalised power-grabbing; that we know the size of the support the old regime can muster; and that maybe, maybe, we have voted in a president whom we can support, or oppose with honour – without being shot.
A document in circulation lists the tasks people want the president to get on with immediately. People have been adding to it for days, but the first priority item has remained: an amnesty for the 12,000 young people the military has court-martialled – or have them retried by civil judges. Another: set up a real organisation to help the people injured and disabled by the police and military. A third: open the Rafah border and allow people and goods to move between Egypt and Gaza as between two friendly neighbouring countries.
Egyptians have been witnessing the punishing of Gaza throughout the last week, and we don't take it kindly that so many foreign statements about the new president reference Camp David or "peace" as their priority. They need to pack away their Israeli prism when looking at us 84 million Egyptians....."