Dancing with the Devil in Egypt
It’s been inspiring to see millions upon millions of Egyptians take to the streets to change their government.
But put me down in the skeptic’s column.
Because I don’t care for coups, and face it, that’s what this one was.
The U.S. government doesn’t want to call it a coup, because under U.S. law, we’d have to withdraw the $1.5 billion in aid we give to Egypt—the lion’s share of it in military aid. And Washington doesn’t want to do that, because the Pentagon is hand in glove with Egypt’s military.
The Obama Administration played a similar Orwellian game after the coup in Honduras in 2009. While Obama himself called it a coup immediately, the State Department never said it was a coup, thereby avoiding the sanctions.
Still, it needs to be said that what we just saw in Egypt wasn’t any old coup, with the military taking over, against the wishes of the people, which is often what happens in a coup.
See Iran, 1953.
See Guatemala, 1954.
See Chile, 1973.
See Honduras, 2009.
No, this was a coup fomented by the vast majority of Egyptians, who arose in historic numbers.
But now I’m afraid they’re dancing with the devil. The Egyptian military was, in essence, the Mubarak dictatorship. And the Egyptian military ran the country in the interregnum before Mohammed Morsi’s election, and it did so by clamping down on freedoms and arresting dissidents. And the elite members of the Egyptian military constitute a powerful economic clique, on top of their armed advantages.
Vesting hope in the Egyptian military is a very risky proposition. So is deposing a democratically elected government.
The actions of the Egyptian military in the days since it deposed Morsi are not encouraging. Arresting Morsi and his leadership and clamping down on freedom of the press are not positive signs, to say the least.
While I’m reluctant, in Madison, Wisconsin, to tell the 82 million people of Egypt how to run their revolution, it seems to me that the Egyptian military won’t be their friend for long.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story A Shameful Supreme Court Ruling on Voting Rights.
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter
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