Mubarak and senior military ordered protesters killed. Low level army refused

Robert Fisk on The Independent

Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters.

Many of the senior tank commanders could be seen tearing off their headsets – over which they had received the fatal orders – to use their mobile phones. They were, it now transpires, calling their own military families for advice. Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.

Clay Claiborne on DailyKos. (I know Clay from antiwar organizing in L.A. He’s one of the good guys.)

It was the low level officers in the tanks, the ones that got their orders over headsets, that refused to carry out the mass murder in Tahrir Square. Had the top brass refused Mubarak, those orders never would have been heard over headsets.

We can compare what apparently happened in Egypt to what happened in Tunisia. In Tunisia, when embattled President Ben Ali ordered the army to fire on protesters those orders were never heard over headsets because it was the General Rashid Ammar, the chief of staff, later named hero of the revolution, that refused Den Ali’s orders.

Yet the same top brass who gave the order to slaughter their own people are now in charge of Egypt.

Don’t let your guard down! The Rebellion is still in danger.

For soldiers en masse to refuse to follow orders is an extraordinary event. They literally risked their lives and futures to do what they knew was right. Heroes is the only word that applies. Clay is quite correct. If the thug faction of the military prevails, those soldiers will be tortured and killed. Somehow, however we can, we need to support them and the revolution they were willing to die for.

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