Bring on the goons

Omar Suleiman (Arabic: ??? ???????; born July 2, 1936) is an Egyptian politician and military figure who was appointed Vice President of Egypt on January 29, 2011. Previously, he was Minister without Portfolio and Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (EGID), the national intelligence agency, from 1993 to 2011. In his role as Director of EGID, the British Daily Telegraph dubbed him as “one of the world’s most powerful spy chiefs”. Foreign Policy magazine ranked him the Middle East’s most powerful intelligence chief, ahead of Mossad chief Meir Dagan.

Dr. Marouf Suleiman al-Bakhit (Arabic: ????? ???????, born 1947) is the current Prime Minister of Jordan. He first served as Prime Minister from November 27, 2005 until November 25, 2007. He was previously the Jordanian ambassador to Israel and the national security chief. Appointed as Prime Minister by King Abdullah II less than three weeks after the 2005 Amman bombings, Bakhit’s main priorities were to maintain security and stability in Jordan. He was reappointed as Prime Minister by the King on February 1, 2011, following weeks of protests.

When an opaque “security state” (name for military and police backed oligarchy) is falling apart, it is much more important to observe what people do, than what they say.  Only a fly on the wall would really know what is happening inside the regime… quick bring me a fly on the wall! In  a military dictatorship even the flies, especially  the flies work for the regime.

If you look at the biographical snippets of the two prime ministers above, one Egyptian the other Jordanian, you will see that the two men have more in common than the name “Suleiman”: they are both military intelligence chiefs. This is because the real danger the ruling oligarchy is facing in both countries at this moment is not so much the street, but the young officers in their armies who when they shave in the morning these days, look in the mirror and think how pretty that face would look on a postage stamp.

As I write this, in Cairo the regime has called out its “demonstrators” (read goon squads and agents provocateur) and the Egyptian army command is asking the people to “return to normal life”, which of course they won’t. There will be “clashes”… Fights will break out, shots will be fired, blood will flow… some poor army conscript will stop a mysterious bullet (fired by an agent provocateur) and the army will be sent in to restore “order”…. and how do you say, “Tienanmen” in Arabic?

This is why you have the military intelligence working overtime, because this is the moment that a young officer who refuses to fire on the people and leads his soldiers to overthrow the tyrant can in an instant become a hero, sung in song and story for generations, with avenues named after him, or be shot down like a dog and his widow and orphans starve without a pension… or lose his nerve and spend the rest of his life regretting it. Knowing who that young officer might be, even before he knows it himself, is what military intelligence in a “security state” specializes in.

So we watch as the tragedy unfolds… they have even turned the Internet back on so everybody gets a good look.

Cross posted from:

David Seaton

David Seaton