The definition of stupidity is repeating the same action several times and expecting a different outcome every time. This is the attitude we have been facing since the new rulers of Egypt came to power. They are not, however, the only ones to be blamed, for the same was done by other political factions that claimed to have the upper hand in the street at the time when the street, or most of it, had gone out of the control of any party, be it official or opposition.
The ruling clique has since the first moment been following one single technique that has proven to achieve its goals: totally ignoring the opposition and not paying any attention to public opinion. During that time, their top priority was gaining more ground at every stage and creating one crisis after the other to distract other political factions while they make more gains. This was shown in the constitutional declaration and before it, there was the hasty drafting of the constitution and contrary to what I said in the beginning, this tactic was repeated every time and worked. The question is for how long? I guess the answer would be not for long, because the people at this stage are no longer following one political power or another and are starting to become fed up with the way they have been manipulated.
Another tactic the ruling group has been using whenever faced with a crisis is self-victimization accompanied by constant reference to some conspiracy to topple the state. This conspiracy, which thanks to their diligence and dedication is always aborted, is only known to them and they keep threatening to expose the people behind. An example of that was when President Mohammed Mursi said he had documents and confessions following the presidential palace protests. However, none of his attempts worked and all the suspects were later released to prove the president’s statements to be groundless. Yet the government’s website insisted and published a long report about a conspiracy in which members of the opposition decided in a meeting over dinner to topple Mursi. Everyone laughed about this lack of creativity but it was laughter that resembled crying. I wish they could have resorted to a detective novel writer like Nabil Farouk who could have saved them with a story in which his protagonist Wonder Man lives in one of the presidential palaces.
They have not learned from their mistakes and now they are coming up with another story about a conspiracy to topple the regime and destroy the state with foreign funding. One more time they invent a lie and try to deceive the simple-minded but they seem to forget what had happened a few weeks ago and assume this time they would not be exposed especially with the considerable influence they now wield over the judiciary.
Romantic invitations for dialogue
A third tactic the group has been using is those romantic invitations extended to political factions to engage in a dialogue with the regime with the aim of saving the nation. This dialogue is, however, to be held under conditions for its parties do not have the right to tackle issues that might in any way undermine the group’s plan to monopolize power. But they can discuss other things like whether the president should use his right or left finger in his speeches and if he needs to wear ties with certain colors and which is better for the people: to die of hypertension or of despair and frustration?
Abdel Latif al-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of "Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak," a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy