Sunday, May 1, 2011

General power

As often as democratic elections, the military coup has been in the modern world a method to change the government rescued. Bolivia, for example, suffered his first pronouncements 189 168 years of independence. But the world has changed, and the military coup, as the energy becomes. In the middle of last March, after the popular revolt of Egypt, Khaled Saad Zaghlul, a journalist with Al Ahram, described the fall of Hosni Mubarak as a "smart coup" army.

The Egyptian Army's decision not to fire on protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square was the coup de grace to Mubarak, Supreme Commander and Chairman since 1981. He was never seen. Or almost, since before the Tunisian army also said contrary to suppress the revolt. The example of the Egyptian military was surprised in the West, but has not done school in the Arab world.

In Bahrain, Yemen, Oman and Syria, the military are now doing the work for which he charged the king, sultan or the president. In Libya, the army has been divided along tribal lines in the country, but Muammar Gaddafi, ever fearful of the loyalty of the military, has used the militia founded in 1980-the-Pan-African Legion, composed of mercenaries from Sudan Egypt, Ghana and Chad, among others.

Has assumed power in Egypt's army, which annually receives 1,300 million U.S. dollars. And the power of the Egyptian generals not only due to the tanks: support, explains Robert Springborg, an expert on military affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, "a flourishing business empire that produces a vast range of goods and services , both military and civilian, not listed in the national budget "(Vanguardia Dossier, April 2011).

All Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Naser since been military. And not only that: the backbone of the army is a native of Menufiya, the hometown of Mubarak, which excludes, among others, Coptic and Bedouins of the distribution of privileges. Military companies produce without paying taxes, from televisions to automobiles, to the pumping of oil, which is run by the Misr Petroleum.

And under the pretext of national security, the army controls the coast-land of tourism, and the desert areas, where it supports agricultural and industrial operations. The economic power of the Egyptian military is not an exception among companies seeking to shake off dictatorship and demanding more democracy.

In Cuba, for example, power is the government's integrated parallel to the military elite, which, according to the Institute for Cuba and Cuban-American Studies, controls over 60% of the economy through the Business Management Group SA (Gaes .) And the main business of Gaes turns out to be Gaviota, the tourism company operating.

The Egyptian case is closer, however, to Pakistan, where, as the joke says, is the army who has a country and not vice versa. The Pakistani army, with plenty of U.S. aid, left vote between blows, but whether it took the political leadership or not, is leading a consortium that Ayesha Siddiqa, author of Military Inc: Inside Pakistan's military economy, estimated at around 20,000 million dollars.

A similar story is repeated in Algeria. A different case, as in Indonesia, Turkey, where the army, the guarantor of secularism, 600 companies controlled by Oyak, a group founded a year after the 1960 coup. Rose Oyak another coup, in 1980, but the privatizations carried out by the Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power since 2002, are eroding its economy.

Is it then the Turkish model exportable to Egypt? It can be. Turkey and Egypt are similar because the main actors are the military and the Islamists, and in both cases the military fear losing their privileges. But there are big differences. First, because Turkey has changed because of pressure from the EU, which presses on the promise (unfulfilled) of integration, which will not make Egypt.

And second, because Turkey has no oil or gas, which has forced the hustler. The Turkish military, which are supported by liberal parties fear the emerging Islamist elite. And Egyptian officials fear the same thing, but not rule, says Marc Lavergne, director of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, a commitment to the Muslim Brotherhood, which in March and voted for the limited constitutional reforms dictated by the military.

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