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Old 06-21-2012   #321
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Default Egypt is not Pakistan

Londonstani who has experience of both Egypt and Pakistan comments:
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..the main difference between Pakistan and Egypt right now is that Egyptians have found a public voice and a confidence to say what it is they expect from their leaders. And, this new-found expression is being tentatively exercised on a daily basis. Pakistanis, on the other hand, have little faith in the political system or their collective ability to change things for the better through the systems that presently exist. Despite talk of the lawyers marches a few years ago, in Pakistan there really is no such thing as "popular" dissent. Public protest in Pakistan only reaches significant levels when it is backed by an established political force.

In Egypt, political actors have learnt to fear "the people". In Pakistan they fear particular political parties, the military, families that run madrassa networks or media bosses.
Link:http://www.londonstani.com/blog/2012...ni-future.html

He also points to Juan Cole's commentary:http://www.juancole.com/2012/06/egyp...ent-junta.html

One passage as a taster:
Quote:
What the Egyptian officer corps seems not to know is that the legitimacy and authority deriving from the ballot box will over time trump the military, no matter how positive people’s feeling are toward the officers.
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Old 06-21-2012   #322
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Completely agree, but don't think for a minute that the generals will hand over power just because we move our money elsewhere, even if we do. First they'll take the line that we need them to contain Islamic extremism. If that doesn't work, they'll make their money elsewhere. Not that hard to do when you're running a country.

The US pays Egypt to not fight Israel, not to move toward democracy. We may choose to renegotiate that deal, but the other party has choices too.
Oh, I agree that the Egyptian military will not relent - I do not see any reason why we need to subsidize them while they crush the democracy movement, however. The money has many better purposes and makes the U.S. look terrible for paying it.

I see no reason why we should subsidize an Israeli-Egyptian peace any longer, either. The generals will not fight Israel because it is in their best interests to maintain the cold peace, not because we pay them.
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Old 06-21-2012   #323
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Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Oh, I agree that the Egyptian military will not relent - I do not see any reason why we need to subsidize them while they crush the democracy movement, however. The money has many better purposes and makes the U.S. look terrible for paying it.

I see no reason why we should subsidize an Israeli-Egyptian peace any longer, either. The generals will not fight Israel because it is in their best interests to maintain the cold peace, not because we pay them.
Agree on all counts, and IMO both the aid to Egypt and the annual $3 billion+ FMF to Israel should well have been moved elsewhere a long time ago (though of course the FMF to Israel is as much aid to the US defense industry as it is aid to Israel).

It will be interesting to see how the US approaches the issue. There will be those who proclaim that we have to support the generals because they are the only ones keeping the Islamists out of power. My guess is that supporting the generals is the best way to bring a really radical Islamist presence into absolute power, but we shall see...
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Old 06-21-2012   #324
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
There will be those who proclaim that we have to support the generals because they are the only ones keeping the Islamists out of power.
At times, it's thoroughly confusing that the United States are still allied with Turkey...
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Old 06-22-2012   #325
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Default Harder to assess the results of Egyptian security

Ganulv,

That was a good catch:
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Excellent job they’ve done on that score thus far.
Lawrence Wright author of 'The Looming Tower' is always worth reading.

I fully accept that the Egyptian internal security methods have been brutal, so acting as a catalyst for the conversion from Islamist to Jihadist. This must be balanced by the complicated discussion and eventual negotiation between the state - via the internal security agencies - and the GIA, which led to them renouncing the Jihad.

It was quite bizarre to listen to a former GIA activist explain he'd been released on strict conditions before 'The Arab Spring', one condition being not to play an active role in politics. So when the protests began he could not be involved and had to wait till a new agreement was reached (a researcher plans a book on this intriguing aspect).

Secondly, Ayman al-Zawahiri when he left Egypt was only able to take maybe two dozen supporters from the tens of thousands of militants. The rest stayed at home, many of them in the full knowledge that Egyptian internal security would be watching one day.


As an aside now - the impact of imprisonment, whether following a trial, is an important issue that often is neglected for years and then officialdom has to catch up - an issue IIRC we have touched upon elsewhere.
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Old 11-28-2012   #326
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Default Quillam Insight: The Nature of Power in Eygpt

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Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi moves to grant himself broad powers over the judiciary, sparking mass rallies across Egypt....Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, propelled to power by the Muslim Brotherhood in June has survived 150 days as the most powerful man in Egypt and now seems to be breaking his promise to be a president for all Egyptians.....In fact, with this opportunistic move to claim vast executive powers he has pitted himself against the people of his country and is, more accurately, the Guardian of the Evolution.
Link:http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/pr...ower-in-egypt/
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Old 11-30-2012   #327
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Default Morsi and the military

A rare article looking at this relationship by Robert Springborg, a NPS professor:http://www.egyptindependent.com/opin...-officers-club

Taster:
Quote:
In sum, Morsy and his colleagues in the Brotherhood are putting their newly established relationship with the military to a real test. Presumably, their assumption is that they can count on the loyalty of senior military personnel out of shared Islamist thinking, combined with solicitousness of the military’s institutional interests.

But this assumption could be incorrect. Four months may not be long enough for the new military leadership to have cohered into a like-minded group dedicated to the preservation of the Morsy government, to say nothing of establishing the networks of loyalty and control down into the army.

And while that government has demonstrated extreme sensitivity to the military’s institutional interests, its grab for power threatens the very nation and its unity that the military sees as its primary role in defending.
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Old 12-01-2012   #328
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Default Morsi plays a zero-sum game

A good article by a London-based Syrian journalist and this passage is all you need to know, if economical with your time:
Quote:
Amidst these claims and counter-claims, in Egypt what appears to matter is not so much changing the rules of power than the affiliations of those who have it—and who therefore enjoys its spoils. It is a zero-sum game where enemies must be crushed and power sought and accumulated for its own sake.
Link:http://syriaintransition.com/2012/11...g-renaissance/

From my very limited perspective it is interesting that the MB in Tunisia is acting in a different manner; their leaders spent decades abroad, notably in the UK and those in Egypt were at home, under the dictatorship and often in jail. Becoming a democrat in power appears to be harder in Egypt.

Yes I acknowledge there is an argument that the MB is not a true believer in democracy.
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Old 12-04-2012   #329
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Default Only the security sector is a winner

Omar Ashour weighs in with a commentary:
Quote:
The new Constitutional Declaration, the Revolution Protection Law, and the new presidential decrees have several aims:
To remove the public prosecutor, a Mubarak-era holdover who failed to convict dozens of that regime’s officials who had been charged with corruption and/or abuse of power;
To protect the remaining elected and indirectly elected institutions (all of which have an Islamist majority) from dissolution by Constitutional Court judges (mostly Mubarak-era holdovers);
To bring about retrials of Mubarak’s security generals;
To compensate and provide pensions for the victims of repression during and after the revolution.

While most Egyptians may support Morsi’s aims, a dramatic expansion of presidential power in order to attain them was, for many, a step too far.
He concludes:
Quote:
he security sector may, it seems, emerge from this crisis as the only winner. It will enforce the rule of law, but only for a price. That price will be reflected in the constitution, as well as in the unwritten rules of Egypt’s new politics. This constitutes a much more serious and lasting threat to Egypt’s democratization than do Morsi’s temporary decrees.
Link:http://www.project-syndicate.org/com...rYkGVARAKXr.99
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Old 12-29-2012   #330
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Default Sons of Beaches: How Alexandria's Ideological Battles Shape Egypt

The last two paragraphs from an article on Alexandria, Egypt's second city, which is well worth reading for its depth and insight:
Quote:
One of several concerns for me over the past two years has been the appropriation of religion and thrusting it onto a dangerous identity based politics trajectory in the city of Alexandria. I cannot help but make a personal contrast. As a child, my uncle, a Muslim Imam at a local mosque, would often take me with him on routine runs, in the Alexandrian suburb of Camb Shezar (Camp Caesar), to assist an old widowed Christian lady, and in contrast with the conventional discourse adopted by “TV celebrity sheikhs,” I had never heard him use the word infidel, demonize others, or even raise his voice. To me, what he humbly did and does until this day is a revolutionary act in the face of an encroaching reactionary Islamist conservatism that continues to inflame the toxic mixture of religion and politics. Not only is this trend severely harming the social fabric of the coastal city, but also it is sending disturbing signals throughout the country.

It is often said the one who controls Tahrir, controls Cairo, and controls Egypt. Yet it can also be said the one who wins the ongoing “Battle of Alexandria” is handed the baton, like a Maestro, to wave and direct the tempo, rhythm, nuances, and dynamics of Egypt’s political orchestra that plays to an 83-million strong theatre—all yearning for a happier ending.
Link:http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index...logical-battle
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Old 02-20-2013   #331
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Default Egypt: a country on edge

An IISS Strategic Comment on Egypt's precarious position; it ends:
Quote:
Despite recent unrest and disillusion with the new order, a second revolution remains unlikely. There is a risk, however, of a continued erosion of the state's authority as a result of ineffective governance and sporadic violence.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...untry-on-edge/
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Old 05-08-2013   #332
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Default Egypt: a country going downhill?

Hat tip to Red Rat for this pessimistic report:http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/201...igilantes.html
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