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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Egypt: A Muslim Brotherhood President Does Not Prove That We Are All ‘Chimps’

Supporters of Mohammad Morsi

Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90

Will, as seems less likely, the Brotherhood embark on a campaign of armed resistance or, more probably, just continue demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo? Here we can see the difference between all of the nonsense spoken in 2011 and reality. If the army wants a “revolution,” there will be a “revolution”; if the army wants to resist, then it will remain in power. It is important to note, however, that the Salafist groups will not take this lying down. There will be a lot of violence.

But what should we make specifically of this most recent event, the certification of al-Mursi’s victory? Certainly, it is another step forward for the Brotherhood toward capturing the most important Arab country.  A confident Hamas (which has now officially  joined the Muslim Brotherhood’s international network) has launched a war against Israel by firing dozens of cross-border rockets from the Gaza Strip and other means which the “international community” and democratic West are ignoring, to set one more terrible precedent in the war—one-sided as far as they’re concerned—with revolutionary Islamism.

Even now the “chimps” refuse to acknowledge the extremism of the Brotherhood, the most significant anti-American, antisemitic group in the entire world today. They ignore the fully documented fact that al-Mursi campaigned on a basis of hatred for America, fundamentally transforming Egypt into a Sharia state, going to war with Israel, and spreading revolution throughout the region. At this very moment, for example, the U.S. government is supporting a Brotherhood-led puppet group as the leadership of the Syrian uprising and arming its forces.

Yet within Egypt itself the outcome is not clear at all. There are as many options as there are rumors in Cairo. Remember that there is no Egyptian constitution, no parliament, and no timetable for electing a new parliament. The powers of the president are not defined.

So al-Mursi is going to govern the country or, which seems more likely, the rulers will continue to be the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and al-Mursi will be a figurehead.  It seems likely that this situation will prevail for at least one year. Will the military make some deal with al-Mursi and the Brotherhood which trades limited power for accepting limits on their power?

Will, as seems less likely, the Brotherhood embarks on a campaign of armed resistance or, more probably, just continue demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo? Here we can see the difference between all of the nonsense spoken in 2011 and reality. If the army wants a “revolution,” there will be a “revolution”; if the army wants to resist, then it will remain in power. It is important to note, however, that the Salafist groups will not take this lying down. There will be a lot of violence.

Finally, there is a question of Western policy toward Egypt. What should happen is realpolitik, survival response. The military is saving Egypt from catastrophe. That doesn’t mean its rule is wonderful, democratic, or terribly competent.  The army is not going to solve Egypt’s problems, but neither is anyone else.

Yet probably what will happen is that the U.S. government will condemn on some level the military, stamp its foot ineffectively, and spout words like “turnover of power,” “transparency,” “rapid action,” and so on. In effect, of course, they are insisting that Egypt be turned into a totalitarian state, the sooner the better.

Of course, the Brotherhood did win the election—three elections in fact, upper and lower house of parliament as well as the presidency—and so if that is one’s sole criterion then they should take power, just as Hamas and Hizballah won elections. It is time, though, to start thinking of U.S. interests.

It is also worth noting that what one could call the Islamist vote sank from almost 75 percent in the parliamentary elections to 52 percent in the presidential ones.  Perhaps the military calculates that in a year the support for revolutionary Islamism might be still high but not a majority.  We will have to follow the events in Egypt closely. It is advisable to start listening to the non-chimps and their analysis.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


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