El Baradei Condemns Massacre So Why Doesn’t He Resign?

Having seen the results, we can now say for sure that the military coup that ousted the elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and his government has led to the deterioration of the situation in Egypt, rather than achieving stability, security and correcting the path of the revolution as its theorists have claimed in their political statements and press releases.

The massacre committed by Egyptian security forces in Rabaa el-Adawiya on Saturday, where hundreds of peaceful protestors were killed or wounded, is the most dangerous outcome of this unjustified and ill-considered coup. This massacre has sown the seeds of the first civil war, creating grievances that will be difficult to quash or prevent developing into acts of revenge, given the current atmosphere of polarization which prevents any efforts to contain the crisis or reach a settlement acceptable to all parties.

I don’t understand the reasons that prompted the security forces and their supporters to commit this massacre. The protesters had not engaged in any acts of violence, always remaining true to the peaceful nature of their sit-in. What harm would come to Egypt’s new non-elected rulers, if these protesters stayed for weeks or even months, as happened and is still happening in Tahrir Square?

Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the leading Egyptian liberal – who surprised many, including myself, by siding with the military coup and giving it legitimacy by accepting the post of vice president – denounced the excessive use of force against the Islamist protesters, and their allies who back the legitimacy of the former president, forgetting that, as a pillar of the new ruling establishment, he is among those responsible for the massacre. If he really meant what he said, he would do better to resign.

The same is also true of the Interim President Adly Mansour. This man became president because he was the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court and was appointed directly by the leader of the military coup, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Being from a legal background, he should therefore be the first to condemn the bloodshed of Egyptian citizens guilty of nothing but expressing their political views using peaceful, legitimate means. This leads us to ask many questions about the integrity of Mansour and the Constitutional Court he used to lead.

One would expect the Interim President, who used to be a judge, to object and to submit his resignation in protest and out of respect for the constitutional institution that he led – not only because of the massacre, but also because he has been totally absent from the events and developments happening in the country. He has become, as president, no more than an employee of the Defence Minister, the real ruler of the country.

The situation in Egypt is at risk of escalating, and more massacres could be on the way, especially given the statement by Egyptian Interior Minister General Mohamed Ibrahim in which he threatened to break up the sit-in by Morsi supporters using what he called “legal means”. If these legal means are similar to those of the security forces who fired on protesters, killing and wounding hundreds and possibly thousands, then we should expect the worst, or even worse than the worst.

Ironically, some of National Salvation Front (NSF) leaders who supported the military coup – and paved the way for it by working with the Tamarod movement and calling for popular rallies – denounced the Rabaa el-Adawiya massacre, calling for an investigation and for those responsible to be brought to justice. A seemingly good position, but they should have shown greater awareness, insight and long-sightedness from the outset, accepted coexistence and respected the laws of democratic process.

I have criticized the Muslim Brotherhood and their mistakes on more than once occasion, and will continue to do so. But the NSF and its leaders have made catastrophic mistakes. Its alliance with the military coup is just one black spot in the history of a group that used to be the loudest voice calling for the end of military rule.

It is true that the Islamists, and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, are the biggest losers from the fall of their government, the detention of their leaders and the killing of hundreds of their supporters. But liberals and leftists are have also lost out. They committed a huge miscalculation when, out of hostility towards the Islamists, they gambled on using the military coup as a way of getting to power.

The military coup, however many weapons and tanks it has at its disposal, and even if it gains the popular support it craves, is unlikely to lead Egypt to safety and stability, given the worsening state of division facing the country. Stubbornness and rigidity in attitudes will only lead to a greater catastrophe. What will lead Egypt to safety is the recognition of mistakes by all parties, wisdom, prudence and faith in the principles of co-existence and inclusion of others.

Egypt is in distress. It needs all its citizens, regardless of political or ideological affiliation, to restore and respect the legitimacy of the ballot box. Allowing the military to become opponent or ruler is a road that leads only to the abyss of destruction