–After the election, if it is held, the parliament would be given six months to write a new constitution. That puts us into mid-2013.
–If there is a lot of violence and conflict, the military might at some point suspend elections, and here we are back in 1952 with a “new” military regime in power for many years. I don’t see the Islamists defeating the army in a battle.
–Might there be a deal in which the Brotherhood gets limited governing power in return for doing what the army wants on key issues? Maybe.
Of course, everything here is unprecedented and unpredictable.
Where is the U.S. government in all of this? Insisting that the Egyptian military turn power over to a civilian government, which until last week would have been a Brotherhood government. Washington is merely a distant observer, and one continuing to insist on Muslim Brotherhood moderation despite that group’s extremist history and actions. The policy choice taken by Obama is to issue statements supporting democracy and to view the Brotherhood as a force that can be co-opted and moderated. The mass media generally follows this lead in setting the narrative.
A different president would understand that the Islamists are the enemy of America, and would support the military in trying to limit their power. This distinction matters, big time. It helps determine not only the fate of U.S. interests, but also the future of 80 million Egyptians, Israel’s security, and the likelihood of further upheavals and wars in the Middle East.