Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
Publisher: WL Central
Date Written: 13/02/2011
Year Published: 2011
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX12453
On the overthrow of Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Mubarak.
Robert Fisk writes: "The critical moment came on the evening of 30 January when, it is now clear, Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.
Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets over which they had received the fatal orders to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people."
So soldiers with cell phones stopped the massacre. This is yet another way that new technology has played a surprising role in this new wave of revolutions. A lot of armies, including the U.S. army, allow their people to carry cell phones. Now an army in the field has used cell phones to organize a mutiny. Will they be re-thinking that?
Please note also something else that can be deduced from Robert Fisk's description of these events. Namely that it was the low level officers in the tanks, the ones that got their orders over headsets, that refused to carry out the mass murder in Tahrir Square. Had the top brass refused Mubarak, those orders never would have been heard over headsets.
This should give all some insight into the true character of the supreme military council, show that this revolution is not safe in their hands, indicate the importance of the people building strong ties with the lower ranks of the army and most importantly, not letting down their guard or abandoning Liberation Square.