None Dare Call It Tyranny

Jacob Hornberger
The Future of Freedom Foundation
July 10, 2013


Egypt ArmyWhile the Obama administration dithers over whether the Egyptian regime-change operation constitutes a coup or not, one thing is certain: The Egyptian people are suffering under tyranny. After all, that’s what military rule is: tyranny.

Our American ancestors understood this. That’s why they steadfastly opposed standing armies. They understood that standing armies constituted a grave threat to the freedom and well-being of a society. That’s why the American people lived without standing armies for more than a century of our nation’s existence.

President Eisenhower alluded to this phenomenon in his Farewell Address to the American people in 1960. He told them that the vast military-industrial complex, which was then new to American life, constituted a serious danger to America’s democratic processes.

The principles that underlay the deep antipathy that our Founding Fathers had toward standing armies didn’t apply, of course, only to the United States. Neither did Eisenhower’s warnings. They apply to every nation on earth, including Egypt.

In their Arab Spring the Egyptian people chose to ignore these admonitions and warnings. For some 30 years, they had been living under a brutal and tyrannical military regime, one headed by a military general, Hosni Mubarak. This military tyranny was characterized by totalitarian powers, such as the power to arbitrarily arrest people, cart them away to a torture chamber or prison cell, hold them indefinitely without trial, torture them, and execute them.

The tyranny was all justified under Egypt’s “war on terrorism,” a war that originated with the assassination of the country’s president some three decades before. Those totalitarian powers were supposed to be “temporary” but as Americans have learned, as a practical matter such “temporary” powers are never relinquished by those who wield them. Like here in the United States, the “war on terrorism” that gave rise to such tyrannical powers in Egypt just keeps going and going and going.

What the Egyptian people failed to realize was that the fundamental problem was never Mubarak himself. He was just the guy at the top of the system. The fundamental problem was the system itself — i.e., the vast military-intelligence establishment that forms the foundation of Egypt’s governmental system. While the military seemed to recede from the scene and “return to barracks,” even permitting Morsi to fire and replace a general or two, it was all an illusion. The foundation of Egypt’s government continued to be its national-security state — i.e., its enormous military-intelligence establishment.

Throughout the Arab Spring, the Egyptian military made it clear that it wasn’t going anywhere — that it wasn’t about to relinquish its privileged, permanent, and omnipotent position in Egyptian society. Just as here in the United States, the military and intelligence forces of Egypt consider themselves absolutely essential to Egypt’s “freedom” and well-being. That’s why they’re killing people who are resisting their tyranny — to ensure the “order and stability” that such “freedom” requires.

Read the full article—None Dare Call It Tyranny