Thursday, August 15, 2013

Losing Egypt

I wrote earlier this year during the early stages of the Morsi ouster that no one - not the U.S., not NATO, not the Middle East, not the Egyptian general, not the Egyptian politicians, not the Muslim Brotherhood, not the Egyptian people - was "winning" Egypt.  Winning in terms of Egypt becoming a stable, self-sustaining republic/democracy.

Yesterday, sh-t got worse:

Egypt's military-installed government crossed a Rubicon on Wednesday by sending in the security forces to clear the camps of demonstrators demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi. Within hours, the contours of the landscape the country had entered became brutally clear: 235 confirmed deaths and the possibility of many more; running battles breaking out in cities around the country; a state of emergency; night-time curfews imposed on 10 provinces. The bloodshed caused by interior ministry troops opening fire with shotguns, machine guns and rooftop snipers on largely peaceful sit-ins took its first major political casualty on Wednesday evening. The leading liberal who had supported the military coup, Mohamed ElBaradei, resigned as acting vice-president. The streets around Rabaah al-Adawiya became Egypt's Tienanmen Square.
The Rubicon being crossed is clear: before Wednesday, there had been the possibility, however faint, that cooler counsel would prevail in the Egyptian military mind – that, with the release of Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested on phony charges, a way could be found to announce a national unity government pending fresh parliamentary and presidential elections. Formidable obstacles remained, not least the undoubted unpopularity of Mr Morsi's rule among a large section of the population and his non-negotiable demand to put the constitutional clock back to the eve of the coup that toppled him. The prospect of an early reconciliation between the two camps has now disappeared...

Egypt is now coping with a full-on coup, with the generals on their own.  They own this, including the damn bloodshed.  And they're now losing Egypt: they may hold on through brute force, but that is all they will have, fear bordering on hatred.  And you can't rule a people that hate you.

And the United States and the Western powers are going to be losing this too, real quick, if they don't go public to denounce the violence and above all cut off military aid to Egypt.  If we don't, we'll be back to the days of the Cold War when the U.S. owned every conservative military coup across South America, Africa and the Middle East, and was (still are) hated for it decades later.  All the anti-American hyperbole floating out there?  That's our payment due for all the sh-t we allowed in Iran (1953) Chile (1973), Guatemala (1954), Vietnam, Panama...

We own the Egyptian generals.  The Egyptian generals own this current (and ongoing) massacre.  We're losing Egypt.  We're losing the Middle East.  We ought to be looking at taking care of, you know, the ACTUAL PEOPLE in these Middle Eastern countries struggling for open societies rather than playing with puppets wielding guns...

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