Wednesday, July 10

The Downfall of President Morsi of Egypt.

Egypt is in a state of total chaos with the overthrow of the Morsi regime and the Muslim Brotherhood after only a year in power. While pundits for Egypt's fledgling democracy feel that it was wrong to overthrow Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, as they were elected in democratic elections by the majority of the Egyptian People.

This is true but before I continue let us examine another parallel in history that occurred in 1933 when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party was elected by the German People. Germany was one of the most democratic powers in Europe. The inflation and economic situation, prior to Hitler coming into power, was catastrophic and the Germans viewed Hitler as their salvation. What he did to Jews, gypsies and all those peoples is well documented and I shall not enlarge on that here. Suffice it to say that the moment candidates are elected by the majority of the people and abuse democracy to achieve their own agenda of autocracy, censorship of the press, clamping down on the opposition, then the state is no more democratic as was the case in Nazi Germany and Egypt despite democratic elections.

Morsi had made many mistakes after he and the Muslim Brotherhood were elected. He clamped down on press freedom as starters showing the people that he has his own agenda. He rescinded that afterwards with an apology, but early in his regime he proved himself to be an autocratic leader.

When one examines the election results, Morsi did not have a landslide victory. He received only 51% of the votes cast. This means that there is a sizable opposition of 49%. He should have invited the opposition to negotiate solving Egypt's severe economic crisis which is common ground for both opposition and ruling party to cooperate in finding a solution. This should have been top priority. Morsi had other things on his mind - turning Egypt into an Islamic state following sharia law. This is hardly a solution for Egypt's massive problems. He was the wrong man for the massive rehabilitation challenges that Egypt faces. He was oblivious to the large opposition and to criticism. This resulted in dissatisfaction very early in his tenure as president.

The people became impatient with Morsi and expected some signs of improvement in Egypt's economy. A year is a short time to expect positive results, but Morsi did very little to improve the situation, or at least explain his plans to the people. There were no long term plans apart from making Egypt more Islamic. Opposition and ruling party could have united and negotiated in solving the severe economic crisis, but this never occurred and the people became even more dissatisfied with the lack of basic foodstuffs, jobs, fuel shortages and a lot more. Could one expect the Egyptian People to tolerate a deteriorating situation under Morsi despite the fact that he was democratically elected? I think the answer is obvious - no!

Egypt should have total religious freedom and separation of religion and state. This would have prevented religious, bureaucratic despots having power they do not deserve. This is also one of Israel's problems - no true separation of religion and state as I mentioned in my last post.

As the situation exists now with all the uncertainties of Egypt's future with the pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi supporters fighting each other. The Egyptian Army, who orchestrated Morsi's downfall did this with the will of a sizable and vociferous section of Egypt's people. It is not really a coup with the Army taking over power. Many people say that democracy is endangered, but is it really? Under Morsi, was democracy not in danger of collapsing?

The army invited all the various religious groups in Egypt to form a transitional government. The transitional government under the judge-president Mansour is not part of the army that has stated plainly that it does not wish to rule Egypt. Democracy in Egypt is no more endangered than it was under Morsi was insensitive to a large section of the Egyptian People.

While Army coups are not democratic, in Egypt it was the people that were catalysts in the overthrow of the Morsi - Muslim Brotherhood regime. It was not orchestrated by a despotic army leader wishing to seize power. This is a very important point when we jump to hasty conclusions saying that an army coup took place. There is no military leader that has replaced Morsi.

There does not seem to be any danger to democratic rule more now than under Morsi. He still has a lot of support and this must be addressed by the new leadership so that Egypt can move in the direction of an improved economy. This was far from being the case under Morsi. The economy which was bad enough under Mubarak became worse under Morsi. Fundamental Islamism is no cure for Egypt's woes.
The fighting between the pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi groups is escalating and there have already been a lot of casualties and some deaths. Egypt is now ripping itself apart. The army now has to prevent a civil war which is no easy feat. It will take a long time for the situation in Egypt to stabilize. It is a tragedy!

Hamas that rules Gaza has been weakened. They are an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt without the latter's pragmatism. At this stage it may not be all that relevant as far as Israel is concerned.
Egyptian Defense Minister, General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi
As the momentum for a civil war in Egypt increases, the Egyptian Army, seen as the people's army had shot 50 demonstrators of the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood. This has sent vibrations even towards many in the anti-Morsi camp who are not happy with the loss of restraint that was so apparent during the fall of Mubarak. The result is bloody mayhem with injuries on both sides rising and also increased mortality rates. The interim government seems to be losing control and the carnage is on the rise.

The situation in Egypt is becoming increasingly complex with total division between the pro and anti-Morsi factions. Morsi is held "in a safe place". What will happen after the short lived Muslim Brotherhood era of one year remains anybody's guess. Either way, the Egyptian People are in for a rough ride with hardly a light at the end of the dark tunnel of uncertainty.

Interim Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Elbaradei
The army that had the support of the Egyptian People seems to be losing that support and that can play into the hands of Muslim extremists including those who are more extreme than the Muslim Brotherhood such as the Salafis.  This can also open Egypt and Israel to Islamist terror infiltrating into these two countries as the army could easily be viewed as allied with remnants of the Mubarak regime. It seems as if people who opposed Morsi and were active in promoting his downfall are having second thoughts. This will weaken the liberal and democratic movements who will be viewed as allies of the army whose popularity is declining.

Chief Justice Adly Mansour - Interim President
What will happen with the Interim Government's control of Egypt is anybody's guess. There are many questions that remain unanswered: Will there be peace until the date of new elections is declared? There are many Morsi supporters who will not recognize the interim government as they they maintain that Morsi was elected in a democratic election. Apart from that the Egyptian Army is losing popularity because of the shooting of close to 55 Morsi supporters. It seems like a "Catch 22" situation in Egypt which will linger on for a long time.