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Morsi, more like Lessi.
July 1, 2013 2:27 PM   Subscribe

A sense of foreboding is rising across an increasingly troubled land.
One year after being democratically elected Egypt's President Morsi defies threat of military coup.
Some say the Egyptian Army Can’t Oust President Without ‘American Approval'
Al Jazeera - Egypt opposition to continue mass protests.
Background: Financial Times Egypt in transition.
posted by adamvasco (127 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks like Egypt is turning into Turkey, and Turkey is turning into- Turkey as well?
posted by Apocryphon at 2:30 PM on July 1, 2013


The Atlantic has some amazing photos, as well.
posted by absalom at 2:39 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Middle-Class Revolution: All over the world, argues Francis Fukuyama, today's political turmoil has a common theme: the failure of governments to meet the rising expectations of the newly prosperous and educated.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:40 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess you could call it a middle class revolution in the sense that there is ceasing to be one.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 2:55 PM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


All over the world, argues Francis Fukuyama, ...
In the rich world, the older generation also has failed the young by bequeathing them crushing debts.
I've seen beer ads make a better constructed logical argument.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is not just the inability to meet rising expectations. In fact, there is the huge demographic fact of young educated males without jobs.
More to the point: when you have a nation with 50-% wanting religious ruler in place and the other 50 percent wanting secular govt, you are bound to have trouble. Religious voters want the strictness and adherence to religious rule; secular (in Egypt) used to a nation where religious groups kept subdued (Brotherhood) and secular values allowed. In Iran, religious rule in place and secular folks kept down, despite voting--which seems rather fixed in any case.
In Turkey, religious segment more than 50% but allowed for secular state till recently when the prime minister, very popular, feeling his oats, has become much more autocratic..in fact wanting now to seek a 3rd term , not allowed under the constitution.

Good example: Israel. Democratic. But strong hold by religious groups and they impose by way of the vote their will in many areas of life, though secular people want less and less of such constraints. However, thus far that nation has not yet had any sort of uprising against the govt., and the only demonstrations have been for more equitable distribution of life: housing, taxes, pay, etc. indicate the same growing gap seen in other capitalist nations between the very wealthy and the middle class.

In both Israel and Muslim nations--Iran is Muslim but not Arab--the religious people are very fertile and so there is a growing large body of jobless,hopless, young males, hormonally a dangerous thing.
posted by Postroad at 3:02 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


The problem with "people power" is that, as Morsi points out himself, it becomes addictive. The people discover they have the power to force out a sitting president and that ends up being what they do whenever anyone does anything they don't like. That kind of pressure can render a country ungovernable, and it's not like Egypt was particularly easy to govern to begin with.

There are so many problems in Egypt, and many of them the government is powerless to stop. But in those cases the Brotherhood didn't do itself any favors, either. Suggesting that women are being harrassed and that rape is so widespread because women fail to dress modestly is one of the more blatantly stupid things I've heard come out of the new regime. Blaming Egypt's problems on the USA or Israel - as if either country spends all of its time trying to find devious ways to make the Egyptians sabotage themselves - is another.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:04 PM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'd like to underscore what Postroad said.

1) Revolutions are highly predictable based on income and age. When you have a lot of young people out of work you've got problems. Remember the "arab spring" started because a Tunisian guy set himself on fire to protest rising bread prices.

2) I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy simply doesn't work. At least when you've got no common ground where whenever one side gets in power they become a dictator. Highly likely in societies that are segmented by religion or ethnicity. I think democracy works only when each ethnic group is less than 20% of the country or so. Once you've got 33% or more it always seems to be about killing the people not in power. The idea that the west has of imposing democracy on countries that are ethnically or religiously polarized and with no history of it (like in Egypt for example) as a magic cure all to tribalistic politics is rather absurd.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:13 PM on July 1, 2013


Morsi has been an incompetent clown, viewed by most Egyptians as an embarrassment. His "alcohol and gas donti mix" statement [among other absurdities] has been widely mocked by practically everyone.

The problem with "people power" is that, as Morsi points out himself, it becomes addictive.

If Morsi were even semi-decent at running things he wouldn't have gotten to this point. People were so fed up with the old regime they would have easily forgiven a few missteps on the road to actual progress. But it's really just been more of the same. The lesson for the Muslim Brotherhood here is that the revolution's goal wasn't simply the ouster of Moubarak, but real change in a system inherently based on corruption. Replacing Moubarak with Morsi and trying to carry on with business as usual was not a viable strategy and they're paying the price for it.

Godspeed to them, maybe they can actually be the only Arab country not to have their protests silenced and/or co-opted.
posted by xqwzts at 3:22 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


The idea that the west has of imposing democracy on countries that are ethnically or religiously polarized and with no history of it (like in Egypt for example) as a magic cure all to tribalistic politics is rather absurd.

Yes. The West imposed the Arab Spring on the Arab world and the people protesting for democracy in Egypt only want it because they are shills of the CIA.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 3:23 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh and I loved this AFP photo of protesters directing laser pointers at a hovering helicopter.
posted by xqwzts at 3:23 PM on July 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


IIRC, it was Sandmonkey who said a few years ago that Egyptians needed to try Islamist government once just to get it out of their system.

I am pretty fracking pleased to see it took them only this long to put them in and take them out.

And by a popular rising to boot.
posted by ocschwar at 3:25 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hoookkkey. Lot of pushback, so maybe imposing is a strong word. And when I say "the west" I don't mean strictly the US but western values of democracy generally. But I really do think that democracy has an at-best so so track record (not comparatively to dictators) but simply due to people not being able to get past trying to kill the opposition. Will democracy in Iraq ever really work? I mean I doubt it. The shia and sunni simply want to kill each other too much, and everyone wants to kill the kurds. How can you have a "majority rules" situation in a country like that?


And uh...I don't think that Arabs are savages. That's kind of a gross thing to imply that I said dude. Not cool.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:30 PM on July 1, 2013


The CIA imposed the Arab spring? nonsense.Any proof of this? In fact we were taken off guard when this took place and had our personal dictator in place. So too in Turkey.
posted by Postroad at 3:35 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Don't do that "I'm going to make an overthetop racist statement like the racists might make" thing here]
posted by jessamyn at 3:36 PM on July 1, 2013


I never mentioned the CIA....
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 3:37 PM on July 1, 2013


The shia and sunni simply want to kill each other too much, and everyone wants to kill the kurds.

ishrinkmajeans, I'm going to go ahead and say that anyone who would use the adjective "simply" to describe any set of relations in the middle east is probably not competent to speak on the middle east.
posted by absalom at 3:51 PM on July 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Postroad was responding to You Guys Like 2 Party?'s comment.. which I believe was meant to be facetious..
posted by mbatch at 3:52 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


xqwzts: "Oh and I loved this AFP photo of protesters directing laser pointers at a hovering helicopter."

Here's video of that scene or a similar one. I've never seen anything like it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:00 PM on July 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


How Did We Get Here? by Egypt-based journalist Evan Hill is the best piece I've read so far on these demonstrations. People were willing to give the MB a chance, but then November 2012 happened.

Link
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:12 PM on July 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Will democracy in Iraq ever really work? I mean I doubt it. The shia and sunni simply want to kill each other too much

Yeah that's not cool to say either. Whether you can see it or not but that's one hell of a fucked up generalization.

The idea that the west has of imposing democracy on countries [..]

Maybe the problem isn't that ethnically diverse countries cannot handle democracy, but that imposing such a system takes out most of what makes it a democracy in the first place. Support Saddam and help him suppress democratic uprisings - check. Oppose Saddam and foster radical groups opposed to him - check. Starve and bankrupt a nation for a whole generation - check. Bomb the shit out of it and dismantle any and all infrastructure and government functionality - check. Feign surprise when there is no mature democratic opposition that can combat handsomely funded militias.

How can you have a "majority rules" situation in a country like that?

Well see, it's really patronizing and insulting to be told that you can't handle democracy, when from where you're sitting its the same people that tell you that propping up dictators to rule over you for the better part of the past century [see: Arab countries: 1940s - present]. It's the same people saying "oooh look all they'll do is kill each other" that go about handing out assault rifles, mortars and RPGs like they're candy [see: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon]. It's the same people that say the Sunni-Shia divide is irreconcilable that spend billions funding marginal radical clerics and allowing them to buy and nurture a following. [see: Qatar's involvement in the Levant]

You don't have millions of Arabs wanting to kill their neighbors because of their religion - but if you heavily arm radicals on either side you can have enough to make that seem like the reality. [see: Iraq]
You do have millions of Arabs willing to protest peacefully for democratic rule and if you don't quash them [see: Bahrain] maybe they just might be able to pull it off inspirationally [see: Egypt today]

IIRC, it was Sandmonkey who said a few years ago that Egyptians needed to try Islamist government once just to get it out of their system.

Makes you wonder if we could have had that done after the Palestinians elected Hamas. Let them flounder and saner heads will prevail.

I'm glad Egypt is at least being able to get through this [so far] without an imposed "democracy" or "revolution" in the vein of Libya and Syria - and I hope that that won't change based on who they elect to run the country next. Hell maybe the rest of the Arab dictators won't be able to buy themselves more throne time for way too long.
posted by xqwzts at 4:25 PM on July 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Two things I need to add:

1. the army has been given ownership of a number of industries...they will not relinquish these money making deals
2. social media is intimately involved in spreading the unrest, rallying the protesters, distributing plans, ideas, messages...
posted by Postroad at 4:38 PM on July 1, 2013


I'm right there with you in thinking that the shit America has pulled in the middle east is beyond fucked up. But my post wasn't about "Arabs not being able to handle democracy". More like "democracy as a concept is faulty". I think there may in fact be a sociological generalization that when there are opposing factions of a certain size democracy fails. I'm not taking a paternalistic stance in regards to the Arab people at all. I think people have more in common than they do different throughout the world, regardless of geography or ethnicity.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 4:41 PM on July 1, 2013


Isn't Fukuyama the guy who wrote The End of History? I think that theory has been pretty well debunked.
posted by mike_bling at 4:56 PM on July 1, 2013


Most of the Egyptian armory is US equipment and they can't service and upgrade without support. Egypt is captive to the US brand, and Egyptian military runs the show.
posted by stbalbach at 6:16 PM on July 1, 2013


I've read lots of talk along the lines that the country is showing its immaturity as a democracy by demonstrating like this, and it seems like BS for two main reasons: Firstly, they can't necessarily afford to wait 3 more years - the economy is going backwards, and the current president has spent his time attacking the nascent democratic institutions and attempting to concentrate power in the hands of the Islamists, and secondly because why should they have to wait? A term length of four years seems like a woeful fit for a people that are new to democracy and whose criteria for leadership are thus changing rapidly; surely the system could benefit from being more responsive to changes in public opinion.
posted by pixelrevolt at 6:19 PM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


A popular uprising against an administration that seems to favor Islamist political groups disproportionately is not a good sign of healthy fledgling democracy why again? Back when the revolution started, the same folks fretting now were just sure Islamic extremists would win out--so now the people of Egypt are saying they won't accept that and that's a problem somehow? I get that the economic situation there will only continue to deteriorate until the situation stabilizes, but isn't that all the more reason for the current leadership to step aside and accede to the popular will ASAP? Suppressing dissent hasn't been working out so well as a strategy for promoting stability lately. All the analysis-by-rote about intractable sectarianism being the issue seems to completely miss the point. The complaint seems to be that the new leadership is undermining the democratic spirit of the revolution that put them in power; in a functional democracy, that should spark mass protests.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:41 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think there may in fact be a sociological generalization that when there are opposing factions of a certain size democracy fails.

A sociologial generalization is just somebody's opinion. Egypt can have democracy just fine.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:42 PM on July 1, 2013


Ironmouth - I look at sociological generalization as a way of saying "a natural law of how people work". There are such things as natural laws based on how mass groups of people behave and we can determine these to a large extent by statistical analysis (although of course there will always be exceptions). To stay that this is impossible is to, in large part, give up on a scientific study of how culture and society works and how it can be predictive. Which I find philosophically empty. For example, the modern study of economics, ergonomics, and urban planning are based around how mass groups of people are. So no it's not just "my opinion" - it's a hypothesis on what could be a fatal flaw of democracy that is open to empirical study and either acceptable or rejectable based on evidence.

What I'd like to see Morsi do is to get the legislature to find a way of having a "call of no confidence" in the president. Like if a referendum of no confidence in an elected official is passed containing ~>35% of the electorate a year after a major election then elections are called again within 3 months. That would be a great way of defusing this situation and creating stability.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 7:23 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Morsi is refusing to step down.

Dude needs a reminder that civil wars are a real bitch.
posted by ocschwar at 8:31 PM on July 1, 2013


ocschwar: "Dude needs a reminder that civil wars are a real bitch."

Civil wars are a real bitch for rank-and-file, not so much so for the leaders.
posted by notsnot at 8:51 PM on July 1, 2013


OK. Let's try and salvage this trainwreck of a thread, shall we? This is probably the most important news story in the world today...

Looks like Egypt is turning into Turkey, and Turkey is turning into- Turkey as well?

Yeah, well, Turkey looks a lot like Egypt, frankly. And it will look even more like Egypt if Erdoğan gets his way and manages to turn the country into a Presidential Republic, with himself as head of government and head of state. The man is frighteningly astute when it comes to realpolitik.

I'm rather happy with the Egyptian army acting as the protector of the secular Egyptian state. No, it's not democratic. Neither is our Supreme Court.

Francis Fukuyama

And that's where this thread went South. Fuck Francis Fukuyama. I'm amazed the guy can get work, but I guess the WSJ editorial page isn't picky.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:00 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's no way I can take anything Fukuyama says seriously. I think of him as the neocon Alex Jones.
posted by telstar at 9:44 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mr_roboto wrote: Turkey looks a lot like Egypt, frankly.

Interesting comparison. Each of them replaced a monarchy with a relatively-secular authoritarian government dominated by the military; each of them has moved towards a more democratic government that appeals to religious elements. But Egypt really hasn't changed that much since ... I was going to say Nasser, but it goes a long way back. Maybe since the Ottomans. Turkey, on the other hand, was the heart of an Islamic empire and, after surgery, went through radical anti-clericalist reform. A decade ago it thought of itself as practically part of the West; that's no longer self-evident.

I think the differences are more illuminating: The Egyptian opposition is aspirational; the Turkish opposition is reactionary: they had relative freedom and they see it being taken away. Also, Turkey is subject to fragmentation in a way that Egypt is not; it's hard to split Egypt because it's more ethnically and geographically cohesive. This means that the Egyptians are fighting about what it means to be Egyptian; Turks are not yet fighting, but if they do some will be wondering whether they want to be Turkish at all.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:22 PM on July 1, 2013


I have no idea what this means, or indeed if it means anything at all. I'm just posting it for context in case the story develops:
Egyptian tanks said to mass on Gaza-Sinai border
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:57 AM on July 2, 2013


I laughed at this. That is all.
posted by the cydonian at 1:58 AM on July 2, 2013


Joe, it says thirty tanks. That's not exactly a threat considering the IDF has three thousand.

All over the world, argues Francis Fukuyama, today's political turmoil has a common theme: the failure of governments to meet the rising expectations of the newly prosperous and educated.

Wow. He actually figured that out? Millions of people saying "Hey $GOVERNMENT, you suck!" and out of that he teases the hypothesis that the governments may, in fact, suck. WSJ, you've got a real gem here. Don't let him get away!

Most of the Egyptian armory is US equipment and they can't service and upgrade without support. Egypt is captive to the US brand, and Egyptian military runs the show.

It would probably be more germane to say that Egypt is captive to the $3 billion in mostly military aid we send them annually, an elaborate bribe so that they don't invade Israel (see: Camp David Accords).
posted by dhartung at 2:11 AM on July 2, 2013


1) Revolutions are highly predictable based on income and age.

Yes, that's why everyone was predicting the Arab Spring! 🍔
posted by JHarris at 2:20 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dhartung, the tanks aren't on the border of Israel; they're on the border of Gaza. Which is ruled by an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Are they directed by the present government of Egypt? Are they directed by the army? Are they a show of force? A prelude to an attack? Meant to forestall an expected incursion from Gaza (as happened during the last revolt)? I have no idea, but it's significant because it is (a) pretty well unprecedented; and (b) something which is regulated by the Egypt-Israel peace accords. So I would think even though other tanks can be found in other locations there is probably a reason for these tanks being there.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:21 AM on July 2, 2013


Democracy in America was imposed by their forefathers. I'm pretty sure that today's Americans can't handle it, because they're so eager to throw it under the bus.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:06 AM on July 2, 2013


Thanks longdaysjourney; that is the kind of excellent background, analytic link that I wanted and couldn't find.
posted by adamvasco at 5:06 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't Fukuyama the guy who wrote The End of History? I think that theory has been pretty well debunked.

The number of people who both completely misunderstood the thesis of that book - or just don't know it at all - and are happy to deride his decades of subsequent work never ceases to amaze me. And I'm not even a fan of him or that argument at all, but at least criticise Fukuyama/End of History for its arguments, not for a half-remembered assumption.
posted by smoke at 5:51 AM on July 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


A new wave of sexual assaults by groups of men targeting women has been reported during anti-government protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square. 46 on Sunday.
posted by adamvasco at 6:16 AM on July 2, 2013


Morsi’s misrepresentation of Obama.
Over the whole scene looms the specter of Algeria 1992, when the military overturned the victory at the polls of the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and plunged the country into over a decade of civil war in which the Muslim religious forces were radicalized and 150,000 or more died.
I think this is a much more accurate scenario than the Turkey comparisons.
posted by adamvasco at 6:32 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is going to turn so ugly IF morrisy does not step down.

A sociologial generalization is just somebody's opinion. Egypt can have democracy just fine.

Is there a prize for having a generalization being overstated and misconstrued with another generalization which at this point is not really true. Can they have democracy sure, Burma can do it, the question rustmouth is if they can handle it which IMO they cannot.
posted by clavdivs at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2013


How Did We Get Here? by Egypt-based journalist Evan Hill is the best piece I've read so far on these demonstrations. People were willing to give the MB a chance, but then November 2012 happened.
Opposition politicians increasingly believed that Morsi did not even call his own shots; that decisions of national import were made in the Brotherhood's secretive Guidance Bureau. In Egypt's new constitution, human rights groups and other critics saw gaping loopholes, lax protections for minorities, women and children, and troubling roles for religious oversight from conservative Sunni institutions.
I've heard this before, and I think it is the biggest problem for Morsi. It seemed that some of his extreme maneuvers could be explained as pulling power away from the military, but there is the sense that that Morsi is answering to the brotherhood which has its own dubious agenda and is not responsive to the people.

Foreign Minister Quits as Egypt Braces for Further Protests
Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned on Tuesday, bringing to six the number of ministers to leave the cabinet since the outbreak of mass anti-Morsi protests on Sunday. The cabinet spokesman, Alaa al-Hadidi, also quit, state media reported.

Other state institutions also undermined Mr. Morsi’s grip on the state, with a court ruling ordering the removal of the Morsi-appointed prosecutor general, Talaat Abdallah, and moving to reinstate a prosecutor first appointed by President Hosni Mubarak before his ouster.

Also on Tuesday, Egypt’s largest ultraconservative Islamist group and its political arm, the Nour party, joined the call for early presidential elections and the formation of a caretaker cabinet. The group did not heed the original calls to protests against Mr. Morsi, but appears to have been influenced by the turnout.
I wonder if it is best to force Morsi to step down, or if the Judiciary and Army could just void the controversial portions of the rushed-through constitution and call for an early election.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:54 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Exclusive: Egypt army plan would scrap constitution, parliament - sources
The sources said the military intended to install an interim council, composed mainly of civilians from different political groups and experienced technocrats, to run the country until an amended constitution was drafted within months.

That would be followed by a new presidential election, but parliamentary polls would be delayed until strict conditions for selecting candidates were in force, they said.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:17 AM on July 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Good example: Israel. Democratic. But strong hold by religious groups and they impose by way of the vote their will in many areas of life, though secular people want less and less of such constraints. However, thus far that nation has not yet had any sort of uprising against the govt., and the only demonstrations have been for more equitable distribution of life: housing, taxes, pay, etc. indicate the same growing gap seen in other capitalist nations between the very wealthy and the middle class.

Well, under the Israeli parliamentary system, mass protests are literally uprisings against the government. It's just that those protests get a faster response, either by amending the agenda for the next Knesset session, causing a reshffling of the coalition running the government, or by triggering early elections.

And as a bonus, generally no mass rapes in the protest zones. Sweet gig, I'd say.
posted by ocschwar at 10:54 AM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is going to turn so ugly IF morrisy does not step down.

clavdivs, I know you clownin' us.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:06 AM on July 2, 2013


Isn't Fukuyama the guy who wrote The End of History? I think that theory has been pretty well debunked.

Do you know what his theory was?
To sum it up in five words, it was something like "Communism lost and Capitalism won."
He didn't mean that we would literally run out of history, you know. Also, what smoke said.

Also, I think you really have to give credit to his editor, or whoever came up with the title. I mean, how many political scientists are there where just by mentioning their name someone will invariably pipe up and go "Hey isn't he the guy who wrote..."?
posted by sour cream at 12:34 PM on July 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Gun battle at Cairo university.
posted by adamvasco at 2:45 PM on July 2, 2013


First saw that article referenced at the Arabist, which I also highly recommend as there are a lot of Egyptians posting there. Nour the Intern's posts are really good reading. I also recommend Egyptian journalist Sarah Carr's blog. A sample of her work:

On Sunday I went out with a colleague to get reactions to the Bassem Youssef investigation. In a taxi on the way to Imbaba we asked the driver his opinion and in a serendipitous convergence, the taxi driver declared that he had worked with B. Youssef last week. It was a moment that would have made Thomas Friedman self-combust: a taxi driver who is also a primary source.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:41 PM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dhartung, the tanks aren't on the border of Israel; they're on the border of Gaza. Which is ruled by an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

There's an interestingly explosive alternate universe where Egypt thinks running tanks through Gaza is a good idea. Happily, I suspect we'd agree that in this one it would be more likely to result in the army flatly refusing.
posted by jaduncan at 3:06 AM on July 3, 2013


Yes, I agree that Egypt is very, very unlikely to re-occupy Gaza. I would presume the tanks are there either (a) to "keep the peace" on the border; (b) to stop a sudden flow of weapons across the border for whatever reason (e.g., someone deciding to support a faction in the Sinai, or someone commandeering the contents of an armory); (c) to keep the tanks busy and away from somewhere else; or (d) because of a cockup. But who knows.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:45 AM on July 3, 2013


Game Over
posted by jeffburdges at 6:50 AM on July 3, 2013


Gang rape, the dark side of Egypt's protests
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:37 AM on July 3, 2013


jeffburdges: "Game Over"

Wow. Now make it scroll!
posted by Big_B at 8:52 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Latest Updates on Egypt’s Political Crisis

@Alastair_Beach Was Gehad el-Haddad correct? RT @kfahim: Military vehicles heading in direction of pro Morsi rally pic.twitter.com/7cy1KpDLOh

@gelhaddad There is a FULL MILITARY COUP under way now in #Egypt. Tanks hv started moving thru the streets. #Egypt #SaveEgypt
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:17 AM on July 3, 2013


So do we support a military coup here or not? I'm not being sarcastic, I really have very mixed feelings about this.
posted by Justinian at 9:21 AM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


So do we support a military coup here or not? I'm not being sarcastic, I really have very mixed feelings about this.

For me Morsi sacrificed a lot of his legitimacy when he didn't bother to listen to any other party when drafting the constitution then passed a law declaring himself and his cabinet above all judicial review.

I think if the army came out or did not, it still wasn't going to be a pluralistic democracy by the end of the Morsi term. The constitution killed that possibility, because it's essentially Shariah and very weak protections for minorities, religious minorities and women. There's a good case to say that this is the least worst option (and, to my surprise, I agree with that) - I'd hope that next time SCAF step down the civilian government might actually make an attempt at a pluralistic constitution with respect for all citizens.
posted by jaduncan at 11:28 AM on July 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


President Morsi overthrown in Egypt
Army suspends constitution, appoints head of constitutional court as interim leader and calls for early elections.
posted by adamvasco at 12:58 PM on July 3, 2013


I understand jaduncan, but what happens when an Islamist party wins the next election as well? Do they get overthrown? If the army simply overthrows the government until they get a result they do not seriously dislike don't you essentially have a stratocracy rather than a democracy?
posted by Justinian at 1:46 PM on July 3, 2013


Considering Morsi just spent the last year killing off support for the MB I'm a bit sanguine about that. It also wasn't winning the election that was the issue, it was attempting to set up an inequitable constitution (breaking promises on the makeup of the committee), messing with the upper house rules to benefit the majority (again breaking explicit promises), literally removing the rule of law over himself/cabinet and generally using the opportunity to attempt to remove all other power bases. I would support the removal of even people I agreed with on social issues for that.

It's not about the Islam, it's about recreating a dictatorship.
posted by jaduncan at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Morsi defies threat of military coup

Some people still blame him for breaking up The Smiths.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2013


Counter-examples: the ANC had a two thirds majority but wrote a constitution that was a good faith effort to protect the rights of all. Washington didn't want to be king. It's actually unusual to so blatantly attempt to rig writing the constitution.
posted by jaduncan at 2:02 PM on July 3, 2013


Al Jazeera Raided, Forcibly Taken Off Air In Egypt
posted by homunculus at 3:24 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I understand jaduncan, but what happens when an Islamist party wins the next election as well? Do they get overthrown? If the army simply overthrows the government until they get a result they do not seriously dislike don't you essentially have a stratocracy rather than a democracy?

My impression is that they are going to create a new constitution with better protections for rights and more limitations of powers to prevent whichever party is in charge from running rough-shod over the opposition.
posted by empath at 3:36 PM on July 3, 2013


They've now issued more than 300 arrest warrants for members of the Muslim Brotherhood. That sounds... bad.
posted by Justinian at 4:06 PM on July 3, 2013


So... not ideal, but between Morsi and the army, only one of these has actively undermined democracy in Egypt in the last year. The people fought for the right to remove leaders peacefully, and when that right is under attack it can be dangerous to wait for elections.

It's depressing, but not surprising, how accurate predictions of MB ineptitude turned out to be. The party's philosophy is flatly incompatible with governing a heterogeneous society. Also, this is the most absurd political decision I've heard of in a while. Are there political Razzies?
posted by pixelrevolt at 5:02 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Only one has undermined democracy unless you consider issuing mass arrest warrants for members of a political party for political crimes, anyway!
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on July 3, 2013


And other than that action, which is in response to a massive popular uprising and has fresh elections as its goal? I did say it was not ideal.
posted by pixelrevolt at 5:23 PM on July 3, 2013


How can elections be anything but a sham if you arrest all the leaders of the opposition?
posted by Justinian at 5:27 PM on July 3, 2013


Sorry, I don't mean to get into an argument here. Naturally you are right if the arrests are not just a temporary measure to minimize violence. I assumed they were, but I could easily be mistaken.
posted by pixelrevolt at 5:39 PM on July 3, 2013


I hope you're right. We'll see.
posted by Justinian at 6:33 PM on July 3, 2013


Egypt’s “Revocouption” and the future of Democracy on the Nile.
posted by adamvasco at 12:24 PM on July 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Economist: Egypt’s tragedy - Muhammad Morsi was incompetent, but his ouster should be cause for regret, not celebration
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:09 PM on July 4, 2013


I have no idea what this means, or indeed if it means anything at all. I'm just posting it for context in case the story develops:
Egyptian tanks said to mass on Gaza-Sinai border


Egyptian army demolishes tunnels with Gaza
Tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been the main life line to the 1.8million residents of Gaza since the Israeli siege was imposed in 2006.

[...]

The ministry of health in Gaza announced that fuel for electricity generators and ambulances will run out within days. "We are facing an unknown future with the closure of the tunnels," a statement said.

Israel does not allow enough fuel through its crossings with Gaza.
Islamist gunmen stage multiple attacks in Sinai
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:26 PM on July 4, 2013


I'm fine with the 300 arrest warrants, assuming the Muslim Brotherhood wasn't sharing power either. I'm worries about the raid on Al Jazeera obviously though.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:24 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


One has to hope the military's oversteps are temporary hiccups, and that the MB will be allowed to win or lose the election honestly.

It's a shame though that much of the talk lamenting the result of the protest seems to regard presidential term lengths as a trap designed to prevent the people from changing their minds too quickly, rather than as a limit designed to prevent presidents from entrenching their rule. I think the people probably have a right to decide that four years is too long, especially considering that it's a number that they didn't explicitly vote for anyway.
posted by pixelrevolt at 1:41 AM on July 5, 2013


I have no idea what this means, or indeed if it means anything at all.

I would strongly imagine it means they are aware that Hamas are going to be pissed and have lots of weapons.
posted by jaduncan at 2:10 AM on July 5, 2013


Oh, and that if they have people of interest who are likely to run they would have been very likely to make a break for Gaza.
posted by jaduncan at 3:04 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


David Brooks: Defending the Coup
Promoting elections is generally a good thing even when they produce victories for democratic forces we disagree with. But elections are not a good thing when they lead to the elevation of people whose substantive beliefs fall outside the democratic orbit. It’s necessary to investigate the core of a party’s beliefs, not just accept anybody who happens to emerge from a democratic process.
posted by BobbyVan at 5:58 AM on July 5, 2013


How can elections be anything but a sham if you arrest all the leaders of the opposition?
posted by Justinian

Easy. Just arrest them before elections. See, no sham.

...they get a result they do not seriously dislike don't you essentially have a stratocracy rather than a democracy?
posted by Justinian

Who is "they" in this equation, the Islamists?...How is that working out and not just in egypt.
posted by clavdivs at 6:58 AM on July 5, 2013


Stratocracy: rule by military forces. Sure they're going to hand over power like last time. But the military overthrowing two governments in two years is not a great track record.

BobbyVan: That's a great sentiment that most people can probably agree with. It, however, begs the question of who decides what party's substantive beliefs fall outside the democratic orbit. If you did a poll of the Republican Party in the USA what fraction would claim that of the Democrats? I'm going to go with 30%.
posted by Justinian at 8:23 AM on July 5, 2013


If you did a poll of the Republican Party in the USA what fraction would claim that of the Democrats? I'm going to go with 30%.

That's probably true. And when Republicans win elections in the USA you usually see a bunch of sophisticated articles and analyses about how American democracy is "broken" in some way. The difference is that I don't think most people behave as if they really believe American democracy is broken... they just pretend to subscribe to inflammatory ideas because it helps their team and hurts the other. The Occupy protesters had the courage of their convictions, but ironically seemed to hover somewhere around 1% in actual, active support.

I do agree with your point that the question "who decides" is ultimately answered by the institution with the power to enforce its decision. Yes, the Egyptian military has a relatively efficient organizational structure, funding, and the ability to use force, but it also has a kind of popular legitimacy that the elected MB government seems to have squandered.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:48 AM on July 5, 2013


The Egyptians were given an awful choice between Morsi and Shafik to begin with, and the constitution was created after Islamists had swept into office against unprepared opposition with many voters boycotting the elections. The MB then proceeded to create a somewhat Islamist constitution and solidify their place in power creating conflict with every other political organization in the country and Morsi even declaring himself above the law. Meanwhile, the MB seems to have been incredibly incompetent at actually running the country. So I can see why the Egyptian people felt they couldn't wait until the next election to save their country from sliding further downhill. Four years is a long time to give the MB to solidify their power and perhaps make it practically impossible to unseat them. Once Morsi won the election, it was his primary responsibility prevented many of these problems and create a solid footing for a functioning new government, but his allegiance to the MB prevented him from acting in the best interests of the country as a whole.

It's really disappointing to see the Egyptian military just arresting the entire leadership of the MB- charging Morsi with "insulting the judiciary" - and shutting down all opposition media. Maybe they are just doing everything they can to prevent a violent civil war, but it certainly doesn't seem like a sure thing that democracy will be restored. Even with the deaths reported, it seems to me the military has done a pretty amazing job of preventing violence.

I saw reports on Twitter earlier that MB protestors are marching towards Tahrir Square. I hope it doesn't get much uglier.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:17 AM on July 5, 2013


Am I the only one that wants to insert a 'i' in the middle of 'MB'?

More the to the point, however, I am really conflicted over whether the military is acting in good faith here. It seems credible to argue that the Muslim Brotherhood were taking things down the wrong track and to wait until the next election to try to sort things out may have been too late. It also seems credible to argue that the Mubarek situation would have turned out more like Syria if the military didn't have an identity outside of the civilian government. So I guess it comes down to whether anyone can trust the Egyptian military is beneficient or calculating. And I'm pretty sure I know where I land on that one.

We here in the US just celebrated the anniversary of our popular revolt. I think we often lose sight of the fact that it took roughly two generations of leadership with similar shared ideals to land us the relatively stable and civilian-controlled government we have. My observation is the lightly-considered view of my fellow countrypersons is: July 3, 1776, British subjects. July 4, 1776, war. July 5, 1776, instant federal republic with functional checks and balances and a civilian-controlled military. Expecting Egypt to get it right first time out is maybe a bit naive.

I hope they do get it right however. And sooner rather than later. For everyone's sake. Unfortunately I really feel the deck is stacked against this.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:20 AM on July 5, 2013


Stratocracy: rule by military forces. Sure they're going to hand over power like last time. But the military overthrowing two governments in two years is not a great track record.

Are you saying that this is what Eygpt basically is? Was it under Morrisey, was it under Mubarak? No, because the people voted the military out and elected something worse so no not a Stratocracy. I will conceed a coup but one that has not been mentioned. I liken it to a Pronunciamiento.

It's really disappointing to see the Egyptian military just arresting the entire leadership of the MB- charging Morsi with "insulting the judiciary".

And how many people were arrested under morsi for "Insulting the presidency"? And how about those extra circular powers Morsi sought for himself.

I saw reports on Twitter earlier that MB protestors are marching towards Tahrir Square. I hope it doesn't get much uglier.

Oh it will get real "Ugly", real messy, might not want to look, I know I won't.


of the fact that it took roughly two generations of leadership with similar shared ideals to land us the relatively stable and civilian-controlled government we have.


Interesting, lets see...I think John quincy Adams is a good example of this acertion of yours. So let us start in 1824.

"...he was the chief designer of the Monroe Doctrine. He had witnessed the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War against the Arab pirates of North Africa, and the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks. Adams accepted that the Greek fight for independence from the Turks was part of a long conflict between Islam and the West.[citation needed] Although he sympathized with the Greeks, and held a deep mistrust of the defeated Muslims, he was reluctant to support America's involvement in continuing wars far from home.

On July 4, 1821, he gave an address to Congress:


... But she [the United States of America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
posted by clavdivs at 7:45 AM on July 6, 2013



Egypt : The Next President

posted by Golden Eternity at 9:06 AM on July 6, 2013


Brotherhood, Army risk Civil War: 30 Dead, Hundreds Wounded.
Coptic priest killed in Sinai
Shooting could be first sectarian killing since Mohamed Morsi ousted.
posted by adamvasco at 10:51 AM on July 6, 2013


On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial entitled “After the Coup in Cairo”. Its final paragraph contained these words:
Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took over power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.
Advise from the right wing of the soft totalitarian state. They don't even pretend anymore.
posted by adamvasco at 12:38 PM on July 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Officers and Democrats, Michael J. Koplow, Foreign Affairs, 6 July 2013
Summary: It might be tempting to latch onto the idea that Turkey -- a democratic country with a history of military interventions against Islamist-leaning governments -- could be a good model for Egypt. But Egypt, which is already experiencing violence along ideological and factional lines, looks very little like Turkey. And Turkey did not get where it is today because of its military but, rather, in spite of it.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:43 PM on July 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


WP: El Baradei’s appointment as Egyptian prime minister rolled back amid dispute

Egypt....Explained!. This paints a very disturbing picture of the Egyptian military.

I get the sense that the liberals would rather have the military in power than the Islamists, given a choice between the two. The military at least provides a better chance for the economy to improve and to have a real government someday. Islamists would likewise rather see the military in power than share power with a truly "legitimate," secular, liberal government that would threaten their place in society. A liberal government is also a threat to the military's current position where it controls half of the economy and owns half of the country, and owes this existence at least in part to fear of Islamists gaining power. Perhaps this is a big reason why an alliance still exists between some Islamists like the Nour and the military, and in this environment it will be very difficult to pry the country away from a military-Islamist duopoly. It's starting to feel like the revolution is being hijacked again.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:11 PM on July 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


WSJ: "Egypt needs a Pinochet"
posted by dirigibleman at 8:06 PM on July 6, 2013


Do you think they sat around the editorial room pitching ideas for the most fucked up thing they could get away with saying about Egypt? I wonder why they didn't say Egypt needs a Mussolini?
posted by empath at 9:32 PM on July 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, what about an Atatürk?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:19 AM on July 7, 2013


This is a good article:

NYT - Morsi Spurned Deals, Seeing Military as Tamed
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and MAYY EL SHEIKH
CAIRO — As President Mohamed Morsi huddled in his guard’s quarters during his last hours as Egypt’s first elected leader, he received a call from an Arab foreign minister with a final offer to end a standoff with the country’s top generals, senior advisers with the president said.

The foreign minister said he was acting as an emissary of Washington, the advisers said, and he asked if Mr. Morsi would accept the appointment of a new prime minister and cabinet, one that would take over all legislative powers and replace his chosen provincial governors.

The aides said they already knew what Mr. Morsi’s answer would be. He had responded to a similar proposal by pointing at his neck. “This before that,” he had told his aides, repeating a vow to die before accepting what he considered a de facto coup and thus a crippling blow to Egyptian democracy.

His top foreign policy adviser, Essam el-Haddad, then left the room to call the United States ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, to say that Mr. Morsi refused. When he returned, he said he had spoken to Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser, and that the military takeover was about to begin, senior aides said.

“Mother just told us that we will stop playing in one hour,” an aide texted an associate, playing on a sarcastic Egyptian expression for the country’s Western patron, “Mother America.”

The State Department had no comment Saturday on the details of the American role in Mr. Morsi’s final days.

In Translation: Salafis vs Ikhwan

posted by Golden Eternity at 11:24 AM on July 7, 2013


"As they say, history is written by the victorious Wikipedia editors."

The Wikipedia War Over Egypt's 'Coup'
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:10 PM on July 7, 2013


Well, that was quick:

Ministry may dissolve "NGO" Muslim Brotherhood

and also

Prosecutor issues arrest warrant for Al Jazeera director

posted by Joe in Australia at 8:33 PM on July 7, 2013


Nothing wrong with that. If you can't beat 'em, arrest 'em, jail 'em, and dissolve their organization.
posted by Justinian at 11:09 PM on July 7, 2013


Egyptians Paying the Price for Reckless Leadership
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:39 AM on July 8, 2013


Al Jazeera: At least 42 dead after gunmen open fire at Muslim Brotherhood protest against military coup in Egyptian capital.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Gehad Haddad, a spokesman for Muslim Brotherhood, said that at around 3.30 in the morning, army and police forces started firing at sit-in protesters in front of the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo.

But the military said a "terrorist group" had tried to storm the Republican Guard facility, where Morsi is reportedly being held. It also said that two officer had also been killed.
I don't see how the Obama Administration can continue to justify $1.3 billion [pdf] in aid to the Egyptian military after today's events.
posted by BobbyVan at 6:11 AM on July 8, 2013


Based on the NYT article it seems the U.S. pretty much green-lighted the coup. I don't think the U.S. should cutoff aid right away when it shares a lot of responsibility for what has happened. Egypt is bankrupt and it seems like that they could be headed towards famine sooner or later if aid were cut-off completely, thought they may be receiving more aid from Saudi Arabia and other sources after the coup.

I think Fareed Zakaria's take is good. The U.S. should make continuing aid contingent on stopping the crackdown on the MB and media, writing a new constitution, and new elections.

What needs to happen next in Egypt
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Egyptian Soldiers Said to Kill Dozens

It looks really bad. The WP has video of Army snipers shooting into the crowds from rooftops. There really doesn't seem to be evidence that the crowd was shooting anyone. This is horrible.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:32 AM on July 8, 2013


I don't see how the Obama Administration can continue to justify $1.3 billion in aid to the Egyptian military after today's events.

Egypt is strategically significant because of the Suez Canal. The reason it receives aid is not because the USA loves it, or because it deserves it, but because it gives Egypt a good reason to keep the canal safe and navigable, and to not invite another war with Israel. That, again, is not because the USA loves Israel, but because the last war closed the Canal for eight years.

The military aid is actually more important than ever because keeping the Canal safe ultimately means keeping the Sinai under control, which is not the sort of thing Egypt would be interested in doing otherwise. That doesn't mean the aid can't be used to promote other policy concerns, but if Egypt's rulers say "without military aid we can protect our cities or we can protect umpteen thousand miles of desert" then something has to give.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:47 PM on July 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Qatar and the Brotherhood: Losing the Crown Jewel?
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:32 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Joe in Australia: good take on the aid and why it is given and let us not forget...

A further delay to the IMF loan would make Egypt more dependent on wealthy donors in the Gulf. The government of Qatar, which has provided $7.5 billion in grants and low-interest loans, has been close to the Muslim Brotherhood and may view Morsi's ouster as a diplomatic setback.

GEs' link is better though, more comprehensive.

I saw some demonstartors with weapons does anyone have some art on that?
posted by clavdivs at 8:31 AM on July 9, 2013


Does this help clavdivs ?
men on the motorcycles were all masked, and it was hard to see them through the dark and the tear-gas smoke, but they seemed to be shooting, they were coming from behind the protesters, so they were shooting toward the protesters and the Army.
posted by adamvasco at 11:05 AM on July 9, 2013


New Video Appears to Show How Predawn Raid Unfolded in Cairo
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:16 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Juan Cole OH BOY

No adam the picts i saw were of people unmasked but you never know.
posted by clavdivs at 7:23 AM on July 10, 2013


(A video circulating on the internet seeming to show an army sniper on a building is not actually relevant to the barracks killings, since it is in the daytime, and these events happened between 4 and 5 am. I don’t know what the context of that video is, and don’t doubt the military is capable of putting snipers on buildings to control mobs, but it is something else.)

Really? The WP has a number of snapshots of snipers on the roof. There is also the video from a photographer who was is reportedly one of the 51 killed at the barracks who apparently filmed his own killing by a rooftop sniper in daylight. Is anyone else disputing the legitimacy of the videos of rooftop snipers shooting into the crowds at the barracks? Weren't there like 400 people injured! I'm shocked at Juan Cole's dismissal of this.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:48 AM on July 10, 2013


Egypt unrest: Authorities order arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and postpone funerals of Cairo massacre victims
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:12 AM on July 10, 2013


Sudden Improvements in Egypt Suggest a Campaign to Undermine Morsi
posted by homunculus at 10:01 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


How Egypt's 'revolution' betrayed itself
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:58 PM on July 11, 2013


Mother of slain photo-journalist on her son's death.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:20 AM on July 12, 2013


Egypt announces criminal investigation against Morsi
Complaints of spying, inciting violence and ruining the economy are first step in criminal process, allowing prosecutors to begin investigation that can lead to charges.
posted by Golden Eternity at 9:44 AM on July 13, 2013


For god's sake. Can anyone defend that?
posted by Justinian at 10:37 AM on July 13, 2013


Egypt: The return of the King? Exiled royal proposes 'Spanish model' to restore balance in crisis-ridden country.

History of Egypt under the Muhammad Ali dynasty
posted by homunculus at 4:55 PM on July 13, 2013


Egypt crisis: police and protestors clash again in Cairo
...after a week of relative calm, scenes of running street battles close to the Egyptian Museum, one of the country's main tourist attractions, may raise further concerns about stability in the Arab world's most populous country.

"I've had enough of this chaos," said Ashraf Mohamed, who watched the clashes from a distance. "Egypt is just rubbish."
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:00 PM on July 15, 2013


No Jasmine Tea for the Square

Egyptian Liberals Embrace the Military, Brooking No Dissent

It is not 1954

Whither Egypt's Democracy?

Egypt: Liberal Hypocrisy No Laughing Matter

all via The Arabist
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:28 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


#June30: A rebellion without rebels (Tarek Shalaby)
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:09 AM on July 18, 2013


New chilling FPP
Killing in Cairo: the full story of the Republican Guards' club shootings.
posted by adamvasco at 7:05 AM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


More than 130 Morsi supporters killed in Egypt clashes.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman says security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Cairo after day of rival mass rallies.
Morsi being investigated over claims of 'colluding with Hamas' in uprising.
posted by adamvasco at 8:11 AM on July 27, 2013


The Algemeiner isn't much of a paper, but here you go for what it's worth: Israel Security Officials: Weapons Smuggled Into Gaza to Attack Israel, Now Used Against Egypt
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:33 AM on July 27, 2013


In other news: Tunisia Plunged into Crisis by Second Political Assassination

Tunisia: Demos, Parliament Resignations and the Republic of Sidi Bouzid Secedes
posted by homunculus at 9:56 AM on July 27, 2013


Things in Egypt seem to be degenerating. That's sometimes what happens when you launch a military coup against a democratically elected government, unfortunately. I don't have any good answers given the democratically elected government was anti-democratic itself. Maybe there weren't any good answers.
posted by Justinian at 3:00 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was pretty sure the revolution was doomed when I saw that each side was alleging that the other was led by Jews. This wasn't just self-evidently false (I think there are about twenty Jews left in Egypt, mostly elderly widows) but showed that they lacked the necessary political consciousness to rise above mob rule. The fact that it was also racist was saddening but not surprising: it's par for the course in the Middle East.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:01 PM on July 28, 2013


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