Back to Tahrir Square one: Egyptians rally again

Over 50,000 Egyptians are back on Tahrir Square to demand that the military hand over power to a civilian government.

The rally, which has united Islamists and secular protesters, was organized by the Muslim Brotherhood after the government floated a controversial document bolstering the powers of the armed forces.

The document declares the military the guardian of "constitutional legitimacy," suggesting the armed forces could have the final word on major policies even after the presidential election. It also introduces clauses that would shield the military from civilian oversight.

The Brotherhood had avoided confrontation with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. However, now it warns of escalating protest campaign if plans to give permanent political powers to the military are not scrapped.

Protesters at Friday's rally argue that the generals are recreating the Mubarak regime by cracking down on opposition, refusing to order a thorough reform of the security services and by monopolizing decision making.

Mark Almond, professor of international relations at Bilkent University in Turkey, says the Muslim Brotherhood has personal scores to settle with the military.

“There is this strange situation where the military and the Muslim Brotherhood seemed to cooperate at the beginning of the year to get rid of Mubarak,”

he said.

“But now Muslim Brothers fear that perhaps they have been used, as they were used back in 1952 against King Farouk, only then to be dropped by the generals and to find themselves made illegal. There is a legacy of deep suspicion between Muslim Brothers and the military.”

­Stephen Lendman, radio host and author who joined RT live from Chicago, notes that while Egypt one of the too many hotspots in the region, the Middle East is just playing with trouble.

“There will be parliamentary election at the end of November. It looks like the military junta will postpone the presidential election until sometime in 2013.”

According to Lendman, the junta will maintain supreme power.

“It will have veto power over what goes on in Parliament – in other words, there may be elected officials, I do not know who will be nominated or allowed to run, but whoever gets into the Parliament will have no say if the military vetoes them. It is called tyranny.”