Some Thoughts on Egypt

from David Zlutnick

Fireworks over Tahrir Square

My two cents on Egypt right now (for whatever its worth…)

A military in charge of any government is not good and like many I’m concerned about what will come next. But the military coup took place after massive massive mobilization by the people of Egypt, and — despite their intentions and their hopes of where this will lead — the military was forced to act by the demonstrations because it was clear the Morsi government had lost control. Whether it’s good or bad, the people spoke and the military acted.

I just heard an interesting interview with a young Egyptian where he made an excellent point: He responded to a comment about democratically-elected governments ideally being removed only through elections. He said that in the US — and many other “democratic” states — presidents can be removed without elections through impeachment. In Egypt the Brotherhood wrote no impeachment provisions into the constitution as one mechanism to assist their hold on power, so what took place in Egypt yesterday was a “de facto impeachment.” I like that. The people of Egypt took it upon themselves to impeach Morsi because their was no legal mechanism to do so.

People are rightfully concerned about the Egyptian military being in charge, at least for the moment. When the SCAF led Egypt there were a lot of abuses of power, persecution of activists, etc., not to mention little-to-no democratic mechanisms of rule. But when Mubarak was overthrown in 2011 and the military took power, many said that while there was much anxiety over who would assume power in Egypt and what that would look like, the Egyptian people — and whatever group would lead the government — knew that if the leadership did not demonstrate the popular will, whoever came to power could be removed. They had demonstrated that to themselves. And so that proved to be right, and that spirit of rebellion and the revolution itself continues as Egyptians tirelessly work toward their new society.

Goodbye, Morsi. Hello future.


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