As for the reformers, forget it. The alleged Facebook kids are turning into Brotherhood satellites, supporting al-Mursi and campaigning against the army limiting his power in any way. In Tahrir Square, some of those demonstrating against the military explained that they expect the Brotherhood will reward them for their support.
And in what should be a very important lesson and a huge media story, a Brotherhood leader has spilled the beans about Wael Ghonim. The Google executive was portrayed as the very model of a moderate liberal Egyptian during the “revolution.” Ghonim publicly announced that he voted for al-Mursi in the presidential election.
Now, veteran Egypt-watcher Raymond Stock points out that Essam el-Erian said Ghonim has been a Brotherhood member for a while. Equally significant, el-Erian added that Abdel-Rahman Mansour is still a Brotherhood member. As Stock explains:
These are reputedly the two most important figures behind the famous social media side of the revolt.
The Brotherhood has frequently praised both men, though it has made clear they should not be given any real authority or influence. Stock added:
This information completely destroys the fiction that there is a clear separation between the “secular-liberal youth” cadre and the Islamists. Essentially, El-Erian is bragging none too subtly that the Muslim Brotherhood played a key role in launching the uprising.
They did, however, leave the initial leadership and planning to others for the first few days.
Meanwhile, the third leading “secular” activist who led the revolution, Asma Mahfouz, in her latest interview — though the reporter and viewers are given no hint of this — stands in front of a poster that has a scorpion on it. The head is that of Ahmad Shafiq, the presidential candidate who opposed al-Mursi. Overthrown President Hosni Mubarak is the stinger. An Israeli Star of David is imposed on Shafiq to present him as the puppet of the evil Zionists.
There are certainly dissenters, truly anti-Islamist, anti-totalitarian liberals, but they have little power. The Wafd Party, largest of the non-Islamist groups, is directionless and often ready to sell out. The democratic liberal Free Egyptians’ Party is limited by the fact that it draws most of its backing from the Christian minority.