Neck of the woods
“The message sent by the military council that rules Egypt was simple: “Don’t mess with Egypt’s armed forces.” The message received by the activists who flooded Tahrir Square 18 months ago: “Egypt’s revolution, which began with a bang, is ending with a whimper.” With several decrees, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces — a body of 20 generals – moved to neuter civilian authority and give itself unprecedented powers. It got some help from the Supreme Constitutional Court. The timing was hardly coincidental. The candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood was running strongly in the final round of the presidential election against a former Egyptian Air Force general. [Read more about the candidates]. What many observers are calling a “constitutional coup” has serious implications not only for the prospect of democracy in Egypt, but also for the future of the Arab world and for the close relationship between Washington and Cairo……….”
That is not the true message: it is that democracy is never given. It is taken. Egypt’s SCAF military junta (aka the Zombies) is following a soft version of the Algerian model. It closed the elected parliament (just like the Algerian regime did in 1991) but MAY allow an opposition president to be elected to a weakened office. Maybe.
the pretended surprise about the SCAF coup? We have known that since last year: the coup has been happening since Mubarak was deposed. A gradual coup that was designed to keep Tahrir Square empty even as it aborted the revolution, gutted it of any meaning. And it was allowed to happen because the Egyptian people did not want to anger the military enough to have it abort the “revolution”. Even though everybody knew that was exactly what the military was doing.
Delaying publishing the election results is also part of this coup. The military may surprise us all and announce the victory of Mohammed Morsi against their own favorite candidate, General Ahmad Shafiq. A Pyrrhic victory they hope will keep Egypt effectively under military rule for another generation or two. That may explain why Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s chief spook and only vice president, and his family have departed for the United Arab Emirates this week.
way, the military may win its victory for a while. The next revolution, whenever it comes, may be a real one, not a remake of the old regime.