Washington’s “orderly transition” road map – fully supported by Tel Aviv and European capitals – is a facelift. Mubarak stepping down has become an afterthought; the already anointed successor is Vice President Omar Suleiman, the former head of the Mukhabarat, whom the protesters call “Sheik al-Torture”.
Sheik al-Torture already behaves as a president – while the actual president is still inhabiting his palace, but as a ghost. The regime, a brutal military dictatorship, remains an immovable subject – even while being denounced by the protesters as illegitimate from A to Z, from the executive to the legislative. The key point is that acting president Suleiman is the regime. If French philosopher Jean Baudrillard was alive, he would say this revolution never took place – except on the world’s television screens.
Some among the fragmented opposition want the head of the constitutional court to be appointed as interim president, and then preside over the election of a constituent assembly. Others – including the youth movement – want a national committee to supervise the Washington-sanctioned “orderly transition”.
Gilbert Achcar, professor of international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, goes straight to the point, “In order to impose such a thorough change, the mass movement would need to break or destabilize the regime’s backbone, that is, the Egyptian army.”