During an interview given last February 19 2011, by Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, an intellectual, historian and the greatest Egyptian writer to the program “Misr El-nahr da”, in the midst of the conflicting reports about the health and wealth of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Heikal surprised the listeners by exploding a heavy bomb during his dialogue which was heard by millions of Egyptians. What Heikal said has spread yesterday and today in the Egyptian public opinion, in speech between various political parties and the revolutionary youth of January 25.
Heikal spoke about the structure of the puzzle and the insistence of former President Mubarak to stay in Sharm el-Sheikh and his rejection to all invitations to travel abroad. He revealed ten scenes with regard to the revolution of youth of January 25, some cause of optimism such as “the youth, nation, the army, the admiration of the Arab and International world for Egyptians, and the surprise about what happened to the elements of the ruling government”. The other side of his talk was about the deep concern and the suspicion related to the “rapid shift in attitudes, the new protest demo in support of Mubarak, the legalization of corruption and the mystery his stay in Sharm El-Sheik”.
Heikal stated that the structure of the “protection plan” of the police state that existed in the Mubarak era was based on moving their assets into open spaces which are far away of the urban chaos and which are not easily reached by ordinary people, what decreases their ability to damage these assets, hence the focus on Sharm el-Sheikh was the plan of Mubarak. Heikal states : “Sharm el-Sheikh is out of sight and far from the presence of the people, it is close to the sea and to the airport, and MORE importantly, it is close to Israel and next to US forces stationed in the Sinai”.
Heikal stated that Mubarak is still receiving calls from everywhere, that the phone lines between Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh have not stopped, and that we are confronted with a center of danger in Sharm el-Sheikh which should be removed to ensure the success of the revolution. He added that the survival of Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh would create a center opposite to the revolution, what would lead to problems in Egypt. A source from the temporary presidency confirmed that the crews of Mubarak’s assistants are still moving back and forth between Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh, referring to the movements which took place on the morning of Wednesday, 16 February to switch guards and so on.
He said: “We have to stop saying that Mubarak is an old man, that we must be generous with him because he played a role in the October war. We are talking about the responsibilities of the head of state, and Sharm el-Sheikh is being exploited by many people who refuse to depose Mubarak, and we should not forget the Israeli officials talk about Mubarak in a way which describes him as a strategic partner of Israel”. (Click once on the picture to see it bigger).
Heikal said that the survival of Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh is the most encouraging sign for the proponents of a “counter-revolution”, saying that “we are in front of a sudden status which dropped the old regime of Mubarak, but when the regime once again grabbed power and has a balance, he will try to scramble to survive and maintain its gains”.
The October War
Visibly disappointed and angry, Heikal said: “This country is not indebted to anyone, everybody is indebted to the country, there are people more worthy of the legitimacy of the October victory than Mubarak, like Saad el-Din Al-Shazly and Abed el-Moneim Riad, and others, and in general, we can not arrange a legitimacy of Mubark for his participation in the October War”.
Muhammad Hassanein Heikal continued, adding a new surprise by saying that the Egyptian air strike was not a decisive October victory. The air strike was confined only to hit two small places in the Sinai in response to the setback and to raise the morale of the soldiers, and I together with Ms. Jehan el-Sadat were eyewitnesses on what happened between the late President Anwar el-Sadat and officer Ahmed Ismail, in this regard. It was like a tennis match, the airplanes go to the east of the Egyptian Suez Canal and return in order to raise the morale of the soldiers before crossing”.
Heikal warned of the need for an investigating ito the the corruption in order to isolate it from the future. He said” “with the change of conditions, the new greed of some people will appear, and others will seek revenge from others, and here lies the danger. There must be investigation and punishment but not exploitation and revenge, because the Mubarak regime raised in accordance to the law, this was a precedent in history”.
He added: “In the absence of vigilance, the heads of the former regime will justify the corruption saying that it was in accordance with the laws, and state that the allocation of lands given to them were also accordance to the law”.
According to my knowledge, a clique of cronies around the Mubarak regime received or allotted itself massive gifts of land either for free or at basement bargain prices. These lands were then resold or rented to “international investors” at very favorable conditions. Of course, few if any taxes have ever been paid by these groups and their “international” friends from Israel.
Heikal surprised the audience saying that the huge sums were put at the disposal of the Presidency of the Republic according to “the law”. He added: “Even the profit of the Suez Canal went directly to the presidency, the budget of the presidency ranged annually between 600 to 800 million dollars, and this fantastic amount was not be audited. We need an independent inquiry and a strong government able to face with the mess and the heinous corruption of the Mubarak regime”.