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Published in Scottish Sun on Sunday 30th March 2014

In 2011 a revolution took place in Egypt that inspired the whole world, changing the political map of the Middle East it led to uprisings in Tunisia, Syria, Libya and Bahrain.

Dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled after millions took to the streets for 18 days. Nicknamed Pharaoh by his own people, for 30 years his brutal state apparatus had imposed order through terror and tyranny.

Yet Mubarak had been the West’s poster boy, counting the likes of Bush and Blair as close personal friends.

After Israel, Mubarak’s Egypt was the world’s largest recipient of military aid from the USA- $1.3 Billion a year. Meanwhile half of Egypt’s 80 million population lived on less than £1.40 a day as the Mubaraks built up a fortune of $71 billion dollars.

Three years ago, night after night I was glued to Al-Jazeera, watching in amazement the bravery of Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, young and old who refused to move until Mubarak was gone.

There was real hope that the spark they had lit would start a firestorm and burn to the ground the neighbouring corrupt regimes.

Days after Mubarak was kicked out, David Cameron on an arms selling trip to Dubai popped into Cairo claiming that a genuine transition needed to take place from military rule to civilian law.

“Our message is that the response to the aspirations that people are showing on the streets of these countries must be one of reform and not repression. It is people who want to have basic freedoms that we take for granted in the UK.”

The millions who flocked to Cairo’s Tahrir Square gave hope because it wasn’t the blood of Westerners that they desired but bread, peace and social justice.

Al-Qaeda and the fundamentalists had nothing to offer to young people who drove this movement. They inspired millions across the Middle East that there was an alternative to the bomb, that if Mubarak could be overthrown then so could their own Pharaohs.

In 2012 Egyptians took part in their first free election and the Muslim Brotherhood won 51% of the vote.

Egypt’s Counter Revolution

But Millions who did not see their lives improve rose up again and the result was a military coup last July. President Morsi was imprisoned, his party outlawed and Mubarak released from custody.

Dictator General Sisi has just announced he is putting away his uniform to stand in the Presidential elections i.e. he will rig them to win.

Only this week 529 protestors who allegedly stormed a police station in which an officer died were put on military trial. It lasted some 45 minutes without the defence even being heard. The death sentence was passed on all 529; the trial of another 683 is due to start along with the President.

With the West busy with Ukraine, there has been no international outcry, the United States said “we are currently evaluating our aid policy” i.e. nothing.

Since last July’s coup, 21,000 have been detained and tortured whilst 2665 killed by the security services. Activists, students, trade union leaders and members of the Brotherhood are being rounded up in their thousands to be tortured, imprisoned or killed. The old regime is back with Western support.

The tragedy is the vacuum they leave behind will be filled by the Jihadists whose message will be that democracy is a failed experiment and terror is the only solution.

That suits the military as it will allow them to remain the West’s poster boys, as they rush to ‘crush terrorism’.

But once again ordinary people will suffer, whether they be starving or tortured Egyptians or innocent Western tourists massacred.