Egypt’s un-revolution

The Egyptian revolution has become a slow-motion train wreck, a cliff notes version of how not to win a revolution, a desperate disappointment, a nightmare. All is not lost, but things are not good.

Until recently, Egypt was a good news/bad news story:

•    Liberal democratic protest movement forces change/Can’t coalesce around one moderate candidate representing their values

•    Democratic parliament freely elected/Islamists and Salafists victorious

•    Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) committed to transfer of power/Supreme Council of the Armed Forces meddles in presidential election

•    Free presidential election/Lousy candidates and arbitrary courts

•    First round of election/Mubarak retread and Muslim Brotherhood candidates proceed to run off

Then, yesterday, the ominously-known SCAF restored arbitrary powers of arrest: authorizing the military, intelligence agencies, and police to arrest civilians for a wide variety of vague “crimes,” basically a restoration of the Mubarak era emergency laws. Today, the Egyptian court dissolved the elected parliament, arguing it had been seated based on an unconstitutional elections law.

I’ve left out a few other disasters (constitutional committee prime among them), but you get the gist. This is not going well. The SCAF clearly believes the Muslim Brotherhood is on the rise, and that it has the liberal revolutionaries cowed. They may be right, but theirs is not the way forward; rather, it is the way backwards. All that’s missing is to prop the almost dead Mubarak in a pharaoh’s throne and claim this is 2010.

The faults don’t all lie with the SCAF, or the Brotherhood, or the public that isn’t sure what it wants. It also lies with a liberal opposition that knows its values but can’t seem to find either a party or a candidate to express them; the international community, which has made clear that even though Mubarak is gone, gee, they kinda miss him (yes, I mean you Obama White House); and an entrenched Arab leadership in the Gulf that has viewed the changes in Egypt with horror and done everything possible to undermine them.

Still, Egypt must own its revolution. Things cannot go back, they must go forward. It’s up to the Egyptian people to choose how. No one elected the SCAF, and it’s time to get serious about planning the next phase of the post-Mubarak future. Much, much more serious.

 

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

What's new on AEI

Love people, not pleasure
image Oval Office lacks resolve on Ukraine
image Middle East Morass: A public opinion rundown of Iraq, Iran, and more
image Verizon's Inspire Her Mind ad and the facts they didn't tell you
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.