Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice. If you are a man, you take it. (Malik Shahbaz) Malcolm 'X It was not difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of the conflict in Egypt, as it depended on the dialectics of the two opposing wills. However, the stronger has already won. One represented the decades-old dictorial rule of Hosni Mubarak, supported by the US military and industrial groups that helped to develop a bloated Egyptian military business (Milbus), a 'big civil business mafia, while the Egyptian President amassed, reportedly, $75 billion as the richest man in the world. The second represented the masses led by Muslim Brotherhood, outlawed and ruthlessly suppressed by the military dictators for over five decades. After the uprising entered into its third week, the demolishing of the former Presidents power and prestige brick-by-brick, and forcing the change, was quite evident. That has now become a reality. The uprising was led by Muslim Brotherhood that was founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928. By 1930, it launched a movement, as a non-violent and anti-colonialist resistance against the Zionist expansionism. The objective was to establish a democratic Islamic state based on broadbased educational and socio-economic reforms. Hassan was assassinated by the British, in 1949, and Syed Qutub took over. He was also hanged by Nasser on August 29, 1966, which led to the creation of the 'jihadi wing and growth of militancy in the movement. Ayman al-Zawahri, now as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, remains a marginal figure because of his opposition to its policy of liberalism and peaceful participation in Egyptian politics. Anyhow, the mainstay of the popular movement was Muslim Brotherhood, which provided the leadership and organisational structure, sustaining the uprising and its growth, as more and more people joined it (the movement) with its multifaceted identity. It had a 'jihadi wing and a 'militant wing, as well as a large segment of youth, who valued the western traditions of democratic freedom, human rights, secularism and nationalism, deeply rooted into their psyche. Yet, there is no conflict within the movement led by Muslim Brotherhood, which considers itself a centrist religious mainstream political movement, consolidated by decades of confrontation and persecution. For definite, they do not want an Iranian model in Egypt. Mubarak-military-American nexus: Since 1952 Egypt has been ruled by its military, and with Mubarak in power, the Americans formed nexus with the military that enjoyed huge defence budgets, a 'Milbus Empire consisting of valuable properties, big businesses, defence industries and huge national development projects. It had strong links with the political leadership in Cairo and Washington, and with the defence industries cartel both retired and serving bureaucrats served with multinational business tycoons and the Jewish lobby. No wonder, Washington had posted to Cairo Frank Wisner, as its special envoy, for damage control, subcontracting crisis management, and to provide strategic global advice concerning business. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to bail out Mubarak, and also to protect the interest of the nexus. Thus, he blocked all the moves for reconciliation with the movement, promising to protect Mubarak and his huge stock of wealth by prolonging the confrontation, and trying to wear out the patience and stamina of the movement that unfortunately gained strength with each passing day. Mubarak, an air force officer himself, his Vice President, the Chief of the Defence Staff, and about 50 percent military, legislators in the House of Representatives and the military governors, were the last hope to the citadel of Mubaraks power, built over the decades. Possibilities: The movement led by Muslim Brotherhood was expected to win. Mubarak-military-Washington nexus yielded to its demands through a negotiated settlement. The first round of talks had failed. However, the process was restarted to find a way out before the situation got out of control. Ultimately, it was the military that maintained a neutral stance, came forward and finalised a negotiated settlement. Following issues were critical: ? Dictatorship and the dominant role of the military had been rejected. The military, therefore, had to accept a subordinating role for a future democratic set-up. ? The movement showed 'diverse vision together and the desire to be a partner in the process of change - a democratic state in the 'Turkish style despite, behind the unified, hierarchal faade, contradictory influences being at work ? The negotiations should have focused on the formation of a national government first, made responsible to frame a Constitution, formulate the election modalities and hold elections within a specified timeframe. ? The change should not have been taken as a setback to the ongoing process of the Arab-Israel rapprochement. In fact, a more realistic and popular approach would be possible now. ? It was essential to ensure Israels security concerns, checks on nuclear proliferation and militancy. ? Now a balanced US-Egypt relationship must emerge, to ensure flow of aid and assistance, as central to the negotiated settlement and for the sake of peace in the region. ? The fall of Mubarak must herald a new era of freedom and democracy to guarantee peace within the country and the region as a whole. ? The hoax of Islamic extremism should not blur the vision for the greater cause of the people of Egypt. This was a revolution in the real sense, which had galvanised the Egyptian nation that had demanded freedom from the decades-old oppressive rule of the despotic rulers, so there was no turning back. The government had lost the contest, though temporarily shielded by the military, which has shrewdly maintained its neutrality and retained the ability to mediate. Rightly the military mediated - not to protect its own Milbus, not to protect Mubaraks $75 billion fortune, and not to become a part of the American game to consolidate its hold and influence over Egypt - but to establish the supremacy of the democratic will of the people of Egypt. Change was inevitable and it came at the behest of the military, to achieve balance between various elements of national power, safeguarding the vital national security interests, as is the case in Pakistan now, enabling it to overcome successive waves of crises. Postscript: As I write these lines, the military under General Tantawi is reported to have taken over the control of the country, not in a coup, but through consensus reached with Mubarak and the Americans. The Brotherhood leadership has not been consulted, which creates doubts about the intentions of the military. Hence, the masses will remain on the streets, till the military accepts a subordinate role in the future democratic set-up, and Mubarak leaves the country. The writer is a former Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan Email: friendsfoundation@live.co.uk