I’m too depressed at the moment to write anything serious. All I can say is that like during the January 25, 2011 revolution and subsequently after the election of Morsi and appointment of Sisi, I got lost in the moment. Until February 2011, I didn’t really think about the 1952 Revolution; only when a friend mentioned removing the eagle from the flag did I really started to consider that dimension.
And then progressively, with a great many ‘hiccups,’ (did el-Baradei call the most recent spate of arrests?) it seemed the military might really be allowing a civil state to take hold in return for the military maintaining extensive economic privileges. Morsi’s presidency was a failure on political and constitutional grounds in part because he is not a skilled politician or diplomat. It would have been genuinely difficult for Egypt to maintain civility or international standing over what would have been three more years.
However, my inclination is both that most people were not protesting for that so much as economic reasons, ideological opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, and lastly (by a good deal) political reasons. And the final issue is problematic because it highlights a segment of the population who demonstrated yesterday but is still ultimately unhappy with the military coup – and will likely increase in unhappiness as the military shoots more unarmed protesters. It also highlights the diverse agenda of protesters, like before Mubarak’s ouster. And once the symbol’s gone, which is now, that unity is no longer cohesive. This is more or less indicative in the already retributive nature of post-coup military actions – and they have so far targeted only the FJP (as far as I am aware). It took substantially longer for the military to move or allow state institutions to move against Mubarak and his family, and top members of the NDP not widely publicly reviled.
There is a senseless rapidity to the informal coalition-building that is slowly eroding everyone’s legitimacy other than the army’s, which seems to be fully cyclical. But even if the army does exactly what it did last time (…), it will still have the vast majority of weapons. It is an autonomous political entity not subordinated to civilian, and under clandestine, control. And in that respect, I’m pretty sure Sisi is not in charge – at least not fully. Why suspect that the hierarchy has changed simply because Morsi altered the facade? Keep in mind who just corrected the alteration.
I had read that Sisi informed Morsi on Monday that he would step down or be deposed; and I am relatively sure this was before Morsi’s speech. I suspect the manic dualism in Morsi’s speech was the result of a more diplomatic pre-planned speech, although one probably not compromising enough, and an extemporaneous element under severe duress from having just been threatened by the guy he thought was his chief military ally.
I cannot believe people aren’t really discussing Sami Anan’s resignation and Morsi’s Republican Guard sort of just all simultaneously walking away from their posts. And unlike after January 25, 2011, arrests occurred almost immediately. The military is not known for its brashness – not since 1948. And the appointment and immediate resignation of former Chief Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud is more or less the most obvious symbolic bollocking the military could offer to Morsi’s crashing legacy.
A former acquaintance – a semi-senior Morsi adviser – is presumably detained, I guess without charge but it is possible there was a warrant. His family hasn’t gotten any information on the matter as far as I know. Bassem Youssef spent part of the afternoon tweeting about how Morsi was really just about to shut down all the liberal media before the coup. I don’t necessarily doubt the veracity of what he’s saying; but I don’t understand how that justifies reprisal shut downs and arrests.
— Michael Sheflin (@MichaelSheflin) July 5, 2013
Egypt’s partisanship really threatens to tear it apart, and the military has not helped in its own incompetent political maneuvering that has led to this point – albeit with impressively unrefined and accidental Brotherhood assistance.
Now Revolutionaries like Ahmed Maher of 6 April, el-Baradei, and socialist Hamdeen Sabbahi have attempted to justify the coup. But a large minority having protested, like a large minority is doing on the other side today, is an invalid criterion – because the ballot box is the proper mechanism for measuring support. And the second criterion is Morsi’s constitutional autocracy. I agree with the latter criticism, and empathize with their consternation.
But I believe this is a demand of the intelligentsia; and while very important, in and of itself does not actually address the ‘people’s demands.’ One can argue as to whether a similar scenario existed after January 2011; and it may have then been a fluke that things appeared to be moving toward pluralistic democracy. I really hope that with these first-day of #not_a_coup arrests and shootings and shut downs, that Mansour is somehow able to create this idyllic rights-haven that I can’t believe he will… And the logic of de-institutionalizing political behaviors by employing those behaviors is somewhat twisted; though perhaps no more so than Morsi’s own. But the direct implications for a truly liberal political culture are not promising.
Their is a possible silver lining for supporters of a civil state, although it may take significant bloodshed or internal shuffling to materialize, is that sustained and large scale mobilization on both sides may eventually force the military to accept subordination under a civilian leadership. That was just one other argument these protests should have addressed; but instead they borrowed an easy if undemocratic method. And now they’re trying desperately, and somewhat inarticulately justify the necessity of plurality-rule based on the ‘disappointing outcome’ hypothesis. And because the protests did succeed in being huge on June 30, the military seized on the opportunity to elevate calls for Morsi’s ouster – particularly after his manic speech.