Now That the Generals Are in Charge . . .
Communiqué Number Five is out in Cairo, as the new military junta gets going. The generals are in charge, and it so happens that they are lifelong colleagues and cronies of ex-president Mubarak. They have suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament. Military police have been using the usual strong-arm methods to clear protesters out of Tahrir Square, the main scene of protest. Road blocks have gone up here and there in the country, and the soldiers or police manning them are finding fault with identification papers if they can. It is not clear whether Mubarak really has landed up in Sharm el-Sheikh, or how safe he would be there. There seems to be trouble in the Sinai Peninsula where soldiers have been sent to stop the Bedouin from burning down police stations. The military junta assure all and sundry that they plan to introduce democracy but meanwhile are governing by decree and explaining the need to keep anarchy at bay, just like Mubarak before them. The more things change, as the famous French bon mot has it, the more they stay the same. Now why does that suddenly come to mind?