William Boykin
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I was cautiously hopeful when Morsi was elected to be the new head of Egypt. True, he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but after years of repression by the ostensibly 'secular' Hosni Mubarak, a secular government coming to power was going to be out of the question in anything remotely like a free election.

And, Morsi has been cautious in his dealings with Israel. Knowing full well that to openly side with Hamas with more than rhetoric would result in his losing billions of aid from the West, Morsi has been at least trying to get Hamas and Netanyehu to the table.

So I was deeply disturbed to read that on Thursday,

Quote:
Morsi unilaterally issued amendments to the interim constitution that made all his decisions immune to judicial review or court orders. He gave similar protection to the constitutional panel and the upper house of parliament, which is dominated by the Brotherhood and also faced possible disbanding by the courts....

....Morsi, who holds legislative as well as executive powers, also declared his power to take any steps necessary to prevent "threats to the revolution," public safety or the workings of state institutions. Rights activists warned that the vague — and unexplained — wording could give him even greater power than those Mubarak held under emergency laws throughout his rule.

The decree would be in effect until a new constitution is approved and parliamentary elections are held, not expected until the Spring.

The state media described Morsi's decree as a "corrective revolution," and supporters presented the move as the only way to break through the political deadlock preventing the adoption of a new constitution.


"Clashes erupt across Egypt over Morsi's new powers", by AYA BATRAWY and MAGGIE MICHAEL , AP Newswire. 11.23.12

http://news.yahoo.com/clashes-erupt-across-egypt-over-morsis...

This is disturbing because it looks like Morsi is going to try and lock out all opposition to his rule now, at a time when the final form of the new constitution is being drawn up. If he is able to 'stack the deck' as it were, and freeze out non-Muslim Brotherhood representatives, Morsi will be able turn himself into the Islamist version of Hosni Mubarak.

I had hoped that Morsi would be able to demonstrate that his own self-interest would help him to try and take a 'higher road' of representative democracy. But it looks like the desire to try and 'win it all' with Strongman Democracy is too tempting to resist.

The open question at hand is still- how far of a revolution does Morsi want to push Egypt through, and can he be continue to be engaged by the West?

Darilian
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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One man, one vote, one time...

I think this was well predicted by many.
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William Boykin
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Yes, I know-
The cynical part of my brain knew that the odds were great that this was going to happen. But I sincerely WANTED the incentives offered by the West to work. I think that Pres. Obama has managed this just about as well as he could- he had to offer the carrot in order for Morsi to decide to act in a way that we are then justified in very publicly pulling it away from him.

Now this will just turn into Melodrama. The only question is the extent to which it might turn into either farce, or tragedy.

The play's the thing, and all of us merely players.

Darilian
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Xander Fulton
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Darilian wrote:
Yes, I know-
The cynical part of my brain knew that the odds were great that this was going to happen. But I sincerely WANTED the incentives offered by the West to work. I think that Pres. Obama has managed this just about as well as he could- he had to offer the carrot in order for Morsi to decide to act in a way that we are then justified in very publicly pulling it away from him.


You assume we will pull it away.

Egypt didn't seem to be taking too much action on the recent Hamas-Israel conflict until the US SoS paid a visit...at which point, we immediately find a very helpful Morsi that puts a stop to the conflict post-haste...and also announces these new measures.

Maybe these events are unrelated. But the pessimist in me thinks that perhaps we made a trade...
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William Boykin
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XanderF wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Yes, I know-
The cynical part of my brain knew that the odds were great that this was going to happen. But I sincerely WANTED the incentives offered by the West to work. I think that Pres. Obama has managed this just about as well as he could- he had to offer the carrot in order for Morsi to decide to act in a way that we are then justified in very publicly pulling it away from him.


You assume we will pull it away.

Egypt didn't seem to be taking too much action on the recent Hamas-Israel conflict until the US SoS paid a visit...at which point, we immediately find a very helpful Morsi that puts a stop to the conflict post-haste...and also announces these new measures.

Maybe these events are unrelated. But the pessimist in me thinks that perhaps we made a trade...


Are his actions on Thursday enough to justify us pulling out all of aid just yet?

In my opinion, probably not- YET.

It's going to depend on what he does next. At an extremely crass level, our aid to Egypt is going to be dependent on whether or not Morsi is a benefit to US interests or not, and not the interests of the Egyptian people themselves.

If Morsi is more of a benefit than not, then I'd support maintaining the aid. The question is what Morsi wants to do once he consolidates his position.

That's the $40 billion odd question.

Darilian
 
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Leo Zappa
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I just hope we remembered to put those remote 'kill switches' in all of those M-1 Abrams tanks and F-15 fighter jets we sold Egypt over the years...

...probably not. shake
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Rich Shipley
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It doesn't look great, but it could be what he believes is required to get the new constitution done. I wouldn't bet on everything turning out well, but it is still possible.
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Pretty much what Bojan said, but I'll add that the road to free government is always bloody and messy and too often strewn with the likes of Cromwell. The fact that Egypt had a revolution though gives me hope for the future, even if the present promises to be dismal.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley
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William Boykin
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Let's just hope this won't affect precious commerce. If it does, there really was no point in allowing Mubarak to be toppled.

desertfox2004 wrote:
those M-1 Abrams tanks and F-15 fighter jets we sold Egypt over the years...
You did what? You're supposed to only sell outclassed weaponry!


The M1's have 105mm guns, not the 120mm smoothbores, and lack the advanced targeting systems.

The F-15's are older knock-offs as well, and didn't come with the latest missile systems. And they are NOT F-15E Strike Eagles.

Good stuff, still. But Egyptian M1s are not match for IDF Merkava's. The Egyptian F-15's are not nearly as good as the Israeli F-15's.

Darilian
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Isaac Citrom
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No worries. Even though the Muslim Brotherhood has made its politics crystal clear, no doubt now they will see the light of liberal democracy and morph accordingly. History is very clear on the matter.

When I first heard of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt and the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood, I mentioned to a hardcore liberal acquiantance, "it'll be worse than before." Of course, he disagreed.

You can create a country with very strong religious laws. But, you cannot simultaneously be a liberal democracy and a totalitarian regime. That is, the religiousness can be enabling but not universally enforced.

I say this not based on a lot of geopolitical knowledge, rather using lay common sense and reasoning.
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lotus dweller
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to over simplify but add perspective - the recent crop of repressive regimes through-out the middle east have been the product, in part, of the local christian's political manoueverings. these regime's, like Tito's, have enforced social peacefulness. remove the regime and both local and extra national regional forces come strongly into play - being historically based religious and ethnic conflicts and various competing flavours of Islam. and then there is geopolitics.

you've heard it here first folks -balkanisation to extend throughout the middle east.

suck on that crnanky
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lotus dweller
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isaacc wrote:

That is, the religiousness can be enabling but not universally enforced.

.
Isaac, could you expand on this sentence, I'm not clear what you meant.
 
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Mark F
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It's nothing new or surprising, dictators are always being replaced by other dictators...
 
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I am willing to await the final version of the constitution before passing judgment. It is in no way a good sign, though.

Dar, I have too ask, if Morsi becomes Mubarak v2 BUT well disposed towards American interests would you still support maintaining American aid (which will doubtlessly benefit him more than the people he rules)? Because to me that seems a rather terrible idea. Better in the long run to side with the people for a change.

 
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Boaty McBoatface
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bramadan wrote:
One man, one vote, one time...

I think this was well predicted by many.
Yes it was. Many of us said this would happen. I wanted this to happen, I also want to become the richest man in the world (I don't think it will happen),
 
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Isaac Citrom
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Pinook wrote:
isaacc wrote:

That is, the religiousness can be enabling but not universally enforced.

.
Isaac, could you expand on this sentence, I'm not clear what you meant.


I can see a country that takes a lot of its laws from religion. But, for the country not to be a police state, still be a liberal democracy, citizens must be able to opt out to one degree or another.

Examples: Italy, Turkey, Israel. In each of these countries it is really easy to be Christian, Muslim or Jewish. But, for example, you can still get a really good pork chop dinner in Israel.

Contra-examples are Iran and Saudi Arabia.

I don't think that a liberal democracy necessarily has to be secular; it can be quite religious.

The point being, there can be a Muslim Egypt that is still a liberal democracy. But, based on the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, I doubt that will be the case.
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Neon Joe, Werewolf He-yump
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I'm surprised no one's mentioned the widespread protests and attacks on Muslim Brotherhood offices throughout the country - Egyptians aren't going to take this lying down
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lotus dweller
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It would have been very pro-active to have high-lighted the history of Pakistan to the Egyptian populace over the last year.

A nation planned at its inception to be democratic and secular was forced into a downward spiral of religious fundamentalism by early politicians playing the religion card.

Did this education or anything similar happen in Egypt?
If not what the hell do those who control US tax dollars think they are up to?
And don't come crying that the US gov has no leverage over mass media in the region.
If they don't have leverage then that's just another disgrace.
 
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