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As Egypt Continues its hard slide to Despotism

2014 April 10
by Ian Welsh

Here are the numbers:

Since Mr Morsi’s overthrow his Muslim Brotherhood group has been the target of a fierce crackdown by the military-backed authorities. More than a thousand Brotherhood members have been killed and more than 16,000 people, many of them Islamists, have been arrested.

Then, of course, there was the death sentence for 529 protestors for the death of one policeman.

Al-sis, the General who overthrow Morsi in a coup is now “running for President.”  He has also kept the Gaza crossing closed more often than not.

Meanwhile, the resistance has, actually, gone out of its way to attack targets like police stations, which are, frankly, legitimate targets.

The Muslim Brotherhood, and anyone else, in my view, has an entirely legitimate right, in this case, to violent revolution.  A democratically elected government was overthrown in a military coup.  The Brotherhood claims not to be behind the violence, but whoever is, is not in the wrong, unless you believe that political violence is never justified.  (In which case, Americans, please start paying your taxes to the Crown.)

More to the point, the Brotherhood was legitimately the most popular party in Egypt. They did win the election fairly, after having their preferred candidates disqualified by judges appointed by the old government. They did run the clinics, distribute food and so on in much of the country.  The outlawing of the Brotherhood and seizure of all their property was a huge blow for ordinary people, even as it enriched the government.  Note that, as in Iran, the Egyptian military is a huge economic power in Egypt, owning many businesses.

The entire situation stinks to high heaven, suggesting that the original demonstrations were allowed to succeed by the military so that they might later undertake a coup.  The deep state also, clearly, deliberately sabotaged Morsi at every step, in particular power supplies suddenly became unreliable right after he was elected.  Contrary to the army’s propaganda, that’s not something Morsi could have caused, and that it was so is indicated by the fact that right after the coup, the power suddenly became much more reliable again.

The original demonstrations succeeded when the army decided they wouldn’t support the government, remember.  Let this be a reminder to you that if you do not have control, physical or ideological, over those who have the ability to inflict violence in your society, you do not actually rule: you are only in charge as long as they want you to be.

Meanwhile, with the largest and most popular party in the country outlawed and 16,000 of its supporters in jail (imagine 16,000 Democrats or Republicans in jail for protesting), I’m sure al-Sisi will cruise to victory and become “President”.

9 Responses
  1. Anon y Mouse permalink
    April 10, 2014

    Informative article, but I think you have a type. You quoted:

    > more than 16,000 people, many of them Islamists, have been arrested.

    But then concluded:

    > 160,000 of its supporters in jail (imagine 160,000 Democrats or Republicans in jail for protesting)

  2. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 10, 2014

    @ Anon y Mouse
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Indeed, who says a zero = nothing? ;)

  3. Ian Welsh permalink*
    April 10, 2014

    Woops! Thanks.

  4. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 10, 2014

    On another note; the events of the last year highlight the sheer mendacity of all governments towards their citizens.
    And yet, we still have documented liars, like Kerry and Obama claiming the moral high ground.
    All of this belongs in the Theater of the Absurd.
    Moral high ground from a cesspool?
    Next they’ll be telling us shit smells like roses…

  5. bobs permalink
    April 10, 2014

    You’ve got me all confused now. Wasn’t it John Kerry himself who said recently that al Sisi was “restoring democracy” to Egypt? Are you insinuating that John Kerry was wrong?

  6. April 11, 2014

    “And yet, we still have documented liars, like Kerry and Obama claiming the moral high ground.”

    Not that there isn’t room to be skeptical but I find it amazing how all of sudden some see a lying government under Obama when those who feel the need to man the barricades didn’t seem to think the same threat was there under Bush/Cheney.

    Government isn’t the problem per se. It’s the monied influence which infects it that you need to keep an eye, IMHO

  7. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 11, 2014

    @ Larry
    Government isn’t the problem per se. It’s the monied influence which infects it that you need to keep an eye, IMHO
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    But that makes no sense whatsoever.
    The government is the enforcement arm of those very moneyed influences.
    What the hell do you think they spend their money for?

  8. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 11, 2014

    Further:
    Not that there isn’t room to be skeptical but I find it amazing how all of sudden some see a lying government under Obama when those who feel the need to man the barricades didn’t seem to think the same threat was there under Bush/Cheney.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Huh???? WTF????
    Are you bloody serious???
    While I agree, there was little response to Bush/Cheney; there were those of us who were adamant they were lying, fascist tools.
    Obama’s the president now and some are waking up to his duplicity.
    I’d be curious where you were then; I took my stand against and little to nothing has changed since.
    I’ll not take responsibility for the quislings…

  9. stirling permalink
    April 11, 2014

    you must be pretty bad to have Muslim brotherhood look good, but they have managed to do that

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