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The Egyptian coup: a needed part of the Egyptian revolution.

2013-07-04

As we all know, there has been much unrest afoot in Egypt these days; President Morsi has been removed from office, arrested, and is being held incommunicado by the military.  There is jubilation on one side of Cairo, at Tahrir square, and on the other side, there is mourning at a square near the presidential palace.  On both sides, there are probably millions of fervent supporters.

What has been done is necessary to the progress of the Egyptian revolution for the following reason: the action that would have been taken in the United States, impeachment (which can occur if you lie and claim you never got a blow job from an intern) is impossible because the Egyptian Constitution is inadequate to the purpose.  There is no sitting Legislature to impeach him.

It was necessary to impeach President Morsi for the following reason: he campaigned on a platform of moderation, but, once elected, he embarked on a course that satisfied his most hard-line Salafist/Wahhabi supporters by depriving the rest of the Egyptian people a voice and the protection of Constitutional rights.  President Obama was shocked, but there was nothing he could do besides oral protestations of dismay through diplomatic channels.  There was no way to suspend the 1.3 billion dollar US subsidy because the economy was already collapsing and pulling the subsidy would probably have caused all the banks in Egypt to fail.

The Egyptian revolution is a curious thing.  It started about two years ago and has gone through a bumpy course.  The people, once again, have spoken in their disapproval of the sitting government, this time in a crowd estimated at 17 millions on Sunday.  The army has intervened to enforce their will because they disapprove of Morsi’s hard-line Islamist policies.

The Muslim Brotherhood has shown themselves to be playing false with the people.  At first, they claimed they wouldn’t put up a candidate for President.   Then they put up Morsi.  Then they fixed things so there was only one other well-funded and well-organized candidate on the ballot, and that one was tainted by connections to the deposed military dictator, Mubarak.  The result of the rigged election was that Morsi, being the only well-known candidate who had no obligations to Mubarak, naturally won a plurality of votes.

The Parliamentary elections were much easier to stage, and Islamist candidates got about 75% of the seats.  But for some funny reason that the news in the United States has not bothered to explain, the courts have ruled the election laws are invalid and must be changed so the election is null and void.  The reason always given, supplied by the Muslim Brotherhood, is that the courts are packed with Mubarak-era judges and are prejudiced against the current state of affairs in the body politic.  This is never supported with real evidence, such as direct quotes from the rulings of the court, for example.

However, the BBC has reported in some detail on the arguments involved, and it appears that, first, the amendment barring any former members of the Mubarak administration from running for office was invalidated, and second, the composition of the Assembly was unfairly tilted towards candidates affiliated with major parties like the Muslim Brotherhood, as opposed to independents–so the entire election was invalidated.

Most importantly, the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood has plummeted since the Dec 2011-Jan 2012 parliamentary elections and the May 2012 presidential election.  It is unlikely now that the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists would be able to sustain a simple majority in Parliament.  The court has indefinitely delayed the scheduled 2013 parliamentary elections pending revisions to the election law in the Constitution.

Therefore, for President Morsi, holding on to his seat as President is a matter of life and death.  Fortunately, it is unlikely that the military will kill him now.  In fact, only seven deaths on the street were reported overnight since the coup.

The best thing now, and a very likely thing, is that the military will declare a new constitutional committee and hold presidential elections in the next three months.  The principles of democracy in Egypt are being violently tested, and the military intervention by the Egyptian Armed Forces may actually avert further violence in the streets.  Ironically, the fact that there is universal conscription in Egypt may explain the democratic character of some of its top officers.

 

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