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June 2nd
5:07 PM
Patrick Kingsley  |  Guardian »

The television satirist seen as the barometer for free speech in post-revolutionary Egypt, Bassem Youssef, has ended his show because he feels it is no longer safe to satirise Egyptian politics.
"The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program," the former surgeon told reporters in a press conference at his studio on Monday afternoon. "I’m tired of struggling and worrying about my safety and that of my family."
Youssef’s announcement followed a decision by his host channel, MBC-Misr, to suspend his show during Egypt’s recent presidential election campaign – in what was perceived as an attempt to stop him mocking Egypt’s incoming head of state, field marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. >continue<

Patrick Kingsley  |  Guardian »

The television satirist seen as the barometer for free speech in post-revolutionary Egypt, Bassem Youssef, has ended his show because he feels it is no longer safe to satirise Egyptian politics.

"The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program," the former surgeon told reporters in a press conference at his studio on Monday afternoon. "I’m tired of struggling and worrying about my safety and that of my family."

Youssef’s announcement followed a decision by his host channel, MBC-Misr, to suspend his show during Egypt’s recent presidential election campaign – in what was perceived as an attempt to stop him mocking Egypt’s incoming head of state, field marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. >continue<

January 2nd
10:57 AM
Via
theatlantic:

Egypt: A Tinderbox Waiting for a Spark

Nearly six months after the mass uprising-cum-coup that toppled Mohammed Morsi, the key cleavages of Egypt’s domestic political conflict are not only unresolved, but unresolvable. The generals who removed Morsi are engaged in an existential struggle with the Muslim Brotherhood: They believe they must destroy the Brotherhood—by, for instance, designating it a terrorist organization—or else the Brotherhood will return to power and destroy them. Meanwhile, Sinai-based jihadists have used Morsi’s removal as a pretext for intensifying their violence, and have increasingly hit targets west of the Suez Canal. Even the Brotherhood’s fiercest opponents are fighting among themselves: the coalition of entrenched state institutions and leftist political parties that rebelled against Morsi is fraying, and the youth activists who backed Morsi’s ouster in July are now protesting against the military-backed government, which has responded by arresting their leaders.
So despite the fact that Egypt’s post-Morsi transition is technically moving forward, with a new draft constitution expected to pass via referendum in mid-January and elections to follow shortly thereafter, the country is a tinderbox that could ignite with any spark, entirely derailing the political process and converting Egypt’s episodic tumult into severe instability. What might that spark be?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

Egypt: A Tinderbox Waiting for a Spark

Nearly six months after the mass uprising-cum-coup that toppled Mohammed Morsi, the key cleavages of Egypt’s domestic political conflict are not only unresolved, but unresolvable. The generals who removed Morsi are engaged in an existential struggle with the Muslim Brotherhood: They believe they must destroy the Brotherhood—by, for instance, designating it a terrorist organization—or else the Brotherhood will return to power and destroy them. Meanwhile, Sinai-based jihadists have used Morsi’s removal as a pretext for intensifying their violence, and have increasingly hit targets west of the Suez Canal. Even the Brotherhood’s fiercest opponents are fighting among themselves: the coalition of entrenched state institutions and leftist political parties that rebelled against Morsi is fraying, and the youth activists who backed Morsi’s ouster in July are now protesting against the military-backed government, which has responded by arresting their leaders.

So despite the fact that Egypt’s post-Morsi transition is technically moving forward, with a new draft constitution expected to pass via referendum in mid-January and elections to follow shortly thereafter, the country is a tinderbox that could ignite with any spark, entirely derailing the political process and converting Egypt’s episodic tumult into severe instability. What might that spark be?

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

December 8th
6:12 PM
"If you are reading this then it means you have access to the internet, you probably own a computer and you can speak English. Which means you are harder—politically—to kill. Mohamed Ibrahim and his police can kill fifty Islamists and working-class kids before breakfast and the country does not seem to care. But they would care if he killed you. And he knows it. It is a filthy system. It stinks. But if we do not use our privilege to try and change it, then we are part of the problem."
—  Omar Robert Hamilton, Devastation is Upon Us
3:53 PM
Via
"For the first time since I got on a plane for Egypt on January 29, 2011, I am at a loss."
—  Omar Robert Hamilton. A moving attempt of someone deeply involved in the Egyptian Arab Spring and what followed to come to grips with the disaster that is now his country.
3:44 PM
From Citizen to Problem: The New Coptic Tokenism
Paul Sedra  |  Jadaliyya reprint&#160;&#187;

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement this past Thursday that was entirely without precedent, and yet it received practically no media attention amidst the political turmoil the country is currently experiencing. According to the statement, “Beyond overlooking the violent and dangerous reality of the Rabea and Nahda sit-ins, a number of foreign governments and international media outlets have also chosen to overlook the recent increase in killings and attacks that are once again targeting Egypt’s Christian community.”
Observers of Egypt’s Coptic community could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes in disbelief upon reading this pronouncement by the Egyptian government. What is so remarkable and, indeed, bewildering about the statement, is that the Egyptian government has repeatedly and forcefully denied the existence of sectarianism on Egyptian soil for decades. For an arm of the government to reference Copts as a target of violence—much less reference the Copts as a distinct community at all—is a stark departure from a long-standing policy of refusing the acknowledgment of sectarian divisions within Egyptian society.
This refusal of sectarianism has long remained a practically unquestioned pillar of Egyptian national identity. That the Foreign Ministry should so blithely disregard the once-firm taboo on sectarian discourse surely means that the Egyptian polity has crossed a Rubicon of sorts. But can one count this as a step towards the greater frankness and transparency that Egypt’s revolutionaries demanded back in 2011?
To the contrary: The ministry’s statement represents the sort of reflex support for the government in power for which Egyptian state television has become particularly notorious. By criticizing foreigners for ignoring the plight of Egypt’s Copts, the Foreign Ministry sought merely to further the indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood as a criminal, terrorist organization—an indictment that Egypt’s military government has vigorously advanced for the six weeks’ of its existence.
The Brotherhood has denied involvement in the widespread attacks on churches that followed the dispersal of the Cairo sit-ins, despite repeated instances of sectarian incitement and hate speech against Copts in the speeches of Brotherhood leaders. Whatever the nature of Brotherhood involvement in these attacks, the government must answer for how they could have taken place at all: Where were the police at a time when one could have expected sectarian tensions to flare?  &gt;continue&lt;

related: Coptic Churches Attacked  |   2011: Copts bear brunt

From Citizen to Problem: The New Coptic Tokenism

Paul Sedra  |  Jadaliyya reprint »

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry released a statement this past Thursday that was entirely without precedent, and yet it received practically no media attention amidst the political turmoil the country is currently experiencing. According to the statement, “Beyond overlooking the violent and dangerous reality of the Rabea and Nahda sit-ins, a number of foreign governments and international media outlets have also chosen to overlook the recent increase in killings and attacks that are once again targeting Egypt’s Christian community.”

Observers of Egypt’s Coptic community could be forgiven for rubbing their eyes in disbelief upon reading this pronouncement by the Egyptian government. What is so remarkable and, indeed, bewildering about the statement, is that the Egyptian government has repeatedly and forcefully denied the existence of sectarianism on Egyptian soil for decades. For an arm of the government to reference Copts as a target of violence—much less reference the Copts as a distinct community at all—is a stark departure from a long-standing policy of refusing the acknowledgment of sectarian divisions within Egyptian society.

This refusal of sectarianism has long remained a practically unquestioned pillar of Egyptian national identity. That the Foreign Ministry should so blithely disregard the once-firm taboo on sectarian discourse surely means that the Egyptian polity has crossed a Rubicon of sorts. But can one count this as a step towards the greater frankness and transparency that Egypt’s revolutionaries demanded back in 2011?

To the contrary: The ministry’s statement represents the sort of reflex support for the government in power for which Egyptian state television has become particularly notorious. By criticizing foreigners for ignoring the plight of Egypt’s Copts, the Foreign Ministry sought merely to further the indictment of the Muslim Brotherhood as a criminal, terrorist organization—an indictment that Egypt’s military government has vigorously advanced for the six weeks’ of its existence.

The Brotherhood has denied involvement in the widespread attacks on churches that followed the dispersal of the Cairo sit-ins, despite repeated instances of sectarian incitement and hate speech against Copts in the speeches of Brotherhood leaders. Whatever the nature of Brotherhood involvement in these attacks, the government must answer for how they could have taken place at all: Where were the police at a time when one could have expected sectarian tensions to flare?  >continue<

related: Coptic Churches Attacked  |   2011: Copts bear brunt

July 29th
9:57 AM
Via
crisisgroup:

Egypt’s Perfect Storm | Sophia Jones
As the sun rose over Rabaa al-Adaweya Mosque early Friday morning, the thousands of residents of the pro-Morsy tent city there prepared for their most direct confrontation yet with Egypt’s military rulers. As mothers combed the hair of their young daughters and men read the morning newspaper, teenage boys lined up in military-like formation, chanting in unison that they would defy army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the new political order.
In Sisi’s televised address on Wednesday, July 24, following another deadly bombing that targeted police, the general who orchestrated the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsy urged the Egyptian masses to “prove their will&#8221; and give security forces a “mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism.&#8221; His remarks — and the subsequent popular mobilization by both pro- and anti-Morsy groups — have led to fears that Egypt is on the cusp of further bloodshed.
FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy) 
Photo: AK Rockefeller/Flickr

crisisgroup:

Egypt’s Perfect Storm | Sophia Jones

As the sun rose over Rabaa al-Adaweya Mosque early Friday morning, the thousands of residents of the pro-Morsy tent city there prepared for their most direct confrontation yet with Egypt’s military rulers. As mothers combed the hair of their young daughters and men read the morning newspaper, teenage boys lined up in military-like formation, chanting in unison that they would defy army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the new political order.

In Sisi’s televised address on Wednesday, July 24, following another deadly bombing that targeted police, the general who orchestrated the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsy urged the Egyptian masses to “prove their will” and give security forces a “mandate to confront possible violence and terrorism.” His remarks — and the subsequent popular mobilization by both pro- and anti-Morsy groups — have led to fears that Egypt is on the cusp of further bloodshed.

FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy

Photo: AK Rockefeller/Flickr

July 24th
6:09 PM
71% of Egyptians Unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests
Ahram Online  |  Jadaliyya&#160;&#187;

Egyptians are by and large unsympathetic to protests calling for the reinstatement of Egypt’s toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Sevety-one percent of Egyptians voiced their disapproval of the Brotherhood-led protests which have been taking place for three weeks, according to a poll conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera).

Baseera&#8217;s July opinion poll found that twenty percent of those polled were in support of the pro-Morsi demonstrations, while nine percent remained uncertain about how to view the matter.  &gt;continue&lt;

71% of Egyptians Unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests

Ahram Online  |  Jadaliyya »

Egyptians are by and large unsympathetic to protests calling for the reinstatement of Egypt’s toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Sevety-one percent of Egyptians voiced their disapproval of the Brotherhood-led protests which have been taking place for three weeks, according to a poll conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera).

Baseera’s July opinion poll found that twenty percent of those polled were in support of the pro-Morsi demonstrations, while nine percent remained uncertain about how to view the matter.  >continue<

July 21st
7:48 PM
Is it more democratic to elect a dictator, or to topple one?
Omar Robert Hamilton, &#8220;Totalitarian Democracy&#8221;  |  Jadaliyya&#160;&#187;

The cover of the current issue of Time Magazine calls Egyptians “the world’s best protestors” and “the world’s worst democrats.” The startling ignorance of this cover highlights a fundamental question that — in the current climate of frenzied analyses of Egypt — is not being asked:
 Is it more democratic to elect a dictator, or to topple one?
Democracy alone was never a fundamental demand of the Egyptian revolution. Bread, freedom and social justice: These are the demands of the revolution. Freedom. Not representative democracy.
 &#8230;The elite domestic and international regimes have created a matrix of corruption, control and inequality that cuts through every aspect of Egyptian life. The ballot box would not have given any new president the authority or the power to seriously tackle any one of these issues. 
So, Time Magazine, and all you other fading giants of yesterday’s media, being a “democrat” was never a choice for Egyptians. You do not just wake up and choose whether or not you live in a democracy.
&#8230;Egyptians took to the streets in the millions—a revolutionary act that also, since it keeps coming up, happened to be profoundly democratic. The Tamarod (Rebel) movement was, in essence, a recall vote — something that might have been worked into the new constitution if Egyptians had been truly involved in the writing of it.  &gt;continue&lt;

Seriously worth a read, this.  The author digs into some salient infrastructural details in mounting a nascent argument against a fixation with inert labels and pointless abstractions.
 

Is it more democratic to elect a dictator, or to topple one?

Omar Robert Hamilton, “Totalitarian Democracy”  |  Jadaliyya »

The cover of the current issue of Time Magazine calls Egyptians “the world’s best protestors” and “the world’s worst democrats.” The startling ignorance of this cover highlights a fundamental question that — in the current climate of frenzied analyses of Egypt — is not being asked:

 Is it more democratic to elect a dictator, or to topple one?

Democracy alone was never a fundamental demand of the Egyptian revolution. Bread, freedom and social justice: These are the demands of the revolution. Freedom. Not representative democracy.

 …The elite domestic and international regimes have created a matrix of corruption, control and inequality that cuts through every aspect of Egyptian life. The ballot box would not have given any new president the authority or the power to seriously tackle any one of these issues. 

So, Time Magazine, and all you other fading giants of yesterday’s media, being a “democrat” was never a choice for Egyptians. You do not just wake up and choose whether or not you live in a democracy.

…Egyptians took to the streets in the millions—a revolutionary act that also, since it keeps coming up, happened to be profoundly democratic. The Tamarod (Rebel) movement was, in essence, a recall vote — something that might have been worked into the new constitution if Egyptians had been truly involved in the writing of it.  >continue<

Seriously worth a read, this.  The author digs into some salient infrastructural details in mounting a nascent argument against a fixation with inert labels and pointless abstractions.

 

6:40 PM
Asef Bayat  |  Jadaliyya&#160;»

A coup happens when one segment of the ruling elite (such as the military) forcefully takes over power from the other segment with or without minimal involvement of the populace. What happened in Egypt on 30 June was much more than that. It was more “revolutionary coercion&#8221; than simply a coup. The army’s intervention was the endgame of a monumental uprising in a long revolution when some seventeen million people from all walks of life (Muslim, Christian, men, women, religious, secular), from upper Egyptian towns to the cities of the Delta, displayed a collective contention unrecorded in any nation’s memory. And they did so to depose an Islamist government they deemed was busy building an electoral theocracy rather than fulfilling the promise of the revolution—bread, freedom, justice—for which so much sacrifice had been made and so much blood shed.  &gt;continue&lt;

Asef Bayat  |  Jadaliyya »

A coup happens when one segment of the ruling elite (such as the military) forcefully takes over power from the other segment with or without minimal involvement of the populace. What happened in Egypt on 30 June was much more than that. It was more “revolutionary coercion” than simply a coup. The army’s intervention was the endgame of a monumental uprising in a long revolution when some seventeen million people from all walks of life (Muslim, Christian, men, women, religious, secular), from upper Egyptian towns to the cities of the Delta, displayed a collective contention unrecorded in any nation’s memory. And they did so to depose an Islamist government they deemed was busy building an electoral theocracy rather than fulfilling the promise of the revolution—bread, freedom, justice—for which so much sacrifice had been made and so much blood shed.  >continue<

July 18th
8:02 PM
Via

Who’s in Charge in Egypt? Short Answer: We don’t know. Pulitzer Center grantee Lauren Bohn, who is based in Istanbul, offers her take below.
Transitions to democracy have never been easy. It’s hard to tell if the last few weeks in Egypt are a rewrite of the past two years, a new chapter, or a separate book entirely. While millions convulsed in celebration over the military’s removal of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi, many concede the road ahead will be uphill.
Navigating Egypt’s political turmoil can be headache inducing. My social media feeds and networks on the ground are often split feverishly between two myopic and exclusionary camps. But the country is deeply polarized across political and cultural fault lines that are more complicated than the familiar binary tropes of Islamist vs. secular, or rich vs. poor.
Most of the youth and “secular/liberal” (a label that’s surely reductionist) forces that backed the military’s removal of Morsi haven’t submitted to convenient amnesia: they vividly recall a less-than-sunny military rule and a host of abuses under the military’s 17-month-leadership following Mubarak’s ouster. The same advocates who protested the direct rule of shadowy generals now face a difficult reality of making sure the military heeds their calls for reform. Many constantly tell me they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, between a power-hungry Muslim Brotherhood and a military better suited for staying in barracks than mediating democracy. What’s more, the new interim civilian cabinet has been disputed from the get-go. (To help one navigate the intense carousel of analyses and counter-analyses on the military’s removal of Morsi, here’s a cohesive reading list put together by Guardian journalist Jack Shenker.)
The forces behind Morsi’s ouster, a disparate cornucopia of leftist and secular movements, face the same difficult task they did following Mubarak’s ouster two and half years ago: translating the discontent and momentum that make for riveting street protests into effective and durable political movements. It’s a lot easier to stand together in a square against one figure, be it Mubarak or Morsi, than it is to unite after he’s gone. The question of what one stands for, rather than merely against, is much harder to answer.
Keep reading here.

Who’s in Charge in Egypt? Short Answer: We don’t know. Pulitzer Center grantee Lauren Bohn, who is based in Istanbul, offers her take below.

Transitions to democracy have never been easy. It’s hard to tell if the last few weeks in Egypt are a rewrite of the past two years, a new chapter, or a separate book entirely. While millions convulsed in celebration over the military’s removal of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi, many concede the road ahead will be uphill.

Navigating Egypt’s political turmoil can be headache inducing. My social media feeds and networks on the ground are often split feverishly between two myopic and exclusionary camps. But the country is deeply polarized across political and cultural fault lines that are more complicated than the familiar binary tropes of Islamist vs. secular, or rich vs. poor.

Most of the youth and “secular/liberal” (a label that’s surely reductionist) forces that backed the military’s removal of Morsi haven’t submitted to convenient amnesia: they vividly recall a less-than-sunny military rule and a host of abuses under the military’s 17-month-leadership following Mubarak’s ouster. The same advocates who protested the direct rule of shadowy generals now face a difficult reality of making sure the military heeds their calls for reform. Many constantly tell me they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, between a power-hungry Muslim Brotherhood and a military better suited for staying in barracks than mediating democracy. What’s more, the new interim civilian cabinet has been disputed from the get-go. (To help one navigate the intense carousel of analyses and counter-analyses on the military’s removal of Morsi, here’s a cohesive reading list put together by Guardian journalist Jack Shenker.)

The forces behind Morsi’s ouster, a disparate cornucopia of leftist and secular movements, face the same difficult task they did following Mubarak’s ouster two and half years ago: translating the discontent and momentum that make for riveting street protests into effective and durable political movements. It’s a lot easier to stand together in a square against one figure, be it Mubarak or Morsi, than it is to unite after he’s gone. The question of what one stands for, rather than merely against, is much harder to answer.

Keep reading here.

July 6th
5:52 PM
"At least part of the power of the Muslim Brotherhood lies in the fact that it has offered young men (men only, of course) a chance to grow and develop and build their skills for social leadership. The Muslim Brotherhood has thus served as a kind of civil society organization, albeit one whose ends are not those of creating a functioning democracy."
—  

politicalprof, 2/4/2011

This hits at something one suspects is of massive importance; and yet, at the same time potentially occludes even more. Nowadays, its easy to buy into the notion that the Brotherhood and/or Salfasts, “jihadis”, wahhabists  or whatnot are an essential reflection of Islam and its capacity for politics. But if we see an echo of the essential here, it may be in the relatively indeterminate notion of a “civil society organisation”.  

Karen Armstrong's fascinating reflections on Islam in The History of God focus on a critical and fundamental embrace of social justice and compassion in response to the cultural, economic and political contours of Mecca prior to Muhammad’s recitation. It may be the case that this element of social justice and just politics resounds more strongly in Islam than in the other great monotheistic faiths. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that Aristotelian scholarship - with a related ethics shining even in texts apparently far removed - was preserved, augmented and passed on through Maimonides to Aquinas via al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Avicenna and Averroes. 

And yet many of us stare at Islam with an enmity or casual disgust which is hard to square with its contribution to the very notion of a rational political science, not to mention the notion of any special science whatsoever. And these modern “exemplars” of Islam, though they claim orthodoxy in various modes, appear to suffice for a categorical rejection vis a vis “functioning democracy” - even though in one sense this view buys a central thesis of our would be “fundamentalists” (that they essentially represent Islam and its telos), begs the question in assuming we know the real meaning of functional democracy, and conveniently ignores that these modern, “fundamentalist” faces are long conditioned by ugly encounters with Western imperialism.

Nonetheless, it appears that in regarding any form of Islam we must appreciate a face of a civil society organization. Perhaps it speaks of freedom in a way that can’t be fathomed up against a frame where freedom and determinism are contraposed as a problem, where, rather, rite and immersion in a fabric woven with the eyes of others ironically rebounds with the breeding of spontaneity and grace. But regardless of whether we focus on the reflections of an essential idea or dig into the varieties of the empirical manifold Islam presents, it would never follow that its ends are necessarily contrary to the ergon of a polity.

July 3rd
4:34 PM
Via
smdxn:

"Egypt’s military on Wednesday ousted Mohamed Morsi, the nation’s first freely elected president, suspending the constitution, installing an interim government and insisting it was responding to the millions of Egyptians who had opposed the Islamist agenda of Mr. Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood."

smdxn:

"Egypt’s military on Wednesday ousted Mohamed Morsi, the nation’s first freely elected president, suspending the constitution, installing an interim government and insisting it was responding to the millions of Egyptians who had opposed the Islamist agenda of Mr. Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood."

2:34 PM
Awaiting the resolution of the drama in Egypt, we should recollect the sheer historical force of what has played itself out since January 2011. Juan Cole&#8217;s comment then on New Years Day that Egypt may pose a &#8220;foreign policy challenge of some magnitude" appears to have been an epic understatement, even as he ranked the decaying Mubarak regime as #1 in his survey going into 2011, and suggested Washington should consider "culturally informed contingency plans if its politics abruptly opens up." 
When the unrest in Tunisia congealed via social networking around the spirit of Mohamed Bouzizi&#8217;s self-immolation, and we saw the freakish advent of a hacker attack on the Tunisian government, it looked more like a circus side show blip on the radar than the herald of some ominous global transform. Now it&#8217;s hard to think of a nation that doesn&#8217;t confront this spectre with some manner of vague foreboding.  But back in 2011, only the dry kindling of economic insecurity and systemic corruption in Egypt hinted at catching fire in the heat of this new tipping point of tech assisted virulence.
In it&#8217;s nascent and unfolding immediacy, the new spirit of mass protest has jumped to Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Southern Europe, made a disorganized and benign showing in the States, shocked Turkey and Brazil, and rent the fabric of Syria asunder. And as we see in Egypt today, at no point is there any quick satisfaction or reward for the flesh and blood that both heroically and naively threw itself into the line of fire.
What happens in Egypt now may give a clue as to how the wake of this movement might mature into something less harrowing and desperate. President Morsi appears unfit for the staging of this kind of drama, his mind and that of the Brotherhood more caught up in and conditioned by past repressions to have had a clue to the art of a new constitution - and a ken for compromise in the digital agon of the new immediacy. Is there any other outcome that doesn&#8217;t involve the army sweeping Moris aside? It may be, as Juan Cole suggests, a route to a repeat of Algeria in &#8216;92, but exigency appears to necessitate gambling with fate.
Though I&#8217;ve long suspected that Mohamed El Baradei would be a name to watch, he&#8217;s heretofore yet to gather real traction. Now, however, the army will need someone to place in power in order to set the stage for a constitutional redraft and new elections. No doubt, he doesn&#8217;t want to suffer the illegitimacy of a mere lackey under the aegis of a coup. However, given the depth of the crisis in Egypt, he too may be willing to gamble with fate.
The army, otherwise known in Egypt as the SCAF, is an artifact of a defacto American Empire. It&#8217;s status and wealth revolves around Egypt&#8217;s receipt of the second largest dollop of U.S. foreign aid - and, of course, it&#8217;s role vis a vis the number one recipient. Preserving their opulent status in the larger space of crumbling of economic decay means preserving Egypt as a functional state. Neither Obama nor any legion of American national security apparatchiks can do much but attempt to deal with the aftermath, letting go in many respects in order to allow a new leader some space of legitimacy while in others urging the kind of forward thinking compromise which might make Egypt real again.
We are left with the mere hope that in Egypt chaos awakens the need to anneal variant, antagonistic threads into a state where modernity, religion and heritage can find the legs to run the hurdles of the future. A cradle of civilization rocked there once before. To all Egyptians then, abandon the idea of punishing enemies and breathe in the fecund air of the Nile. In the labor ahead, you alone must dig into the promise of your deepest ground.

Awaiting the resolution of the drama in Egypt, we should recollect the sheer historical force of what has played itself out since January 2011. Juan Cole’s comment then on New Years Day that Egypt may pose a “foreign policy challenge of some magnitude" appears to have been an epic understatement, even as he ranked the decaying Mubarak regime as #1 in his survey going into 2011, and suggested Washington should consider "culturally informed contingency plans if its politics abruptly opens up." 

When the unrest in Tunisia congealed via social networking around the spirit of Mohamed Bouzizi’s self-immolation, and we saw the freakish advent of a hacker attack on the Tunisian government, it looked more like a circus side show blip on the radar than the herald of some ominous global transform. Now it’s hard to think of a nation that doesn’t confront this spectre with some manner of vague foreboding.  But back in 2011, only the dry kindling of economic insecurity and systemic corruption in Egypt hinted at catching fire in the heat of this new tipping point of tech assisted virulence.

In it’s nascent and unfolding immediacy, the new spirit of mass protest has jumped to Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Southern Europe, made a disorganized and benign showing in the States, shocked Turkey and Brazil, and rent the fabric of Syria asunder. And as we see in Egypt today, at no point is there any quick satisfaction or reward for the flesh and blood that both heroically and naively threw itself into the line of fire.

What happens in Egypt now may give a clue as to how the wake of this movement might mature into something less harrowing and desperate. President Morsi appears unfit for the staging of this kind of drama, his mind and that of the Brotherhood more caught up in and conditioned by past repressions to have had a clue to the art of a new constitution - and a ken for compromise in the digital agon of the new immediacy. Is there any other outcome that doesn’t involve the army sweeping Moris aside? It may be, as Juan Cole suggests, a route to a repeat of Algeria in ‘92, but exigency appears to necessitate gambling with fate.

Though I’ve long suspected that Mohamed El Baradei would be a name to watch, he’s heretofore yet to gather real traction. Now, however, the army will need someone to place in power in order to set the stage for a constitutional redraft and new elections. No doubt, he doesn’t want to suffer the illegitimacy of a mere lackey under the aegis of a coup. However, given the depth of the crisis in Egypt, he too may be willing to gamble with fate.

The army, otherwise known in Egypt as the SCAF, is an artifact of a defacto American Empire. It’s status and wealth revolves around Egypt’s receipt of the second largest dollop of U.S. foreign aid - and, of course, it’s role vis a vis the number one recipient. Preserving their opulent status in the larger space of crumbling of economic decay means preserving Egypt as a functional state. Neither Obama nor any legion of American national security apparatchiks can do much but attempt to deal with the aftermath, letting go in many respects in order to allow a new leader some space of legitimacy while in others urging the kind of forward thinking compromise which might make Egypt real again.

We are left with the mere hope that in Egypt chaos awakens the need to anneal variant, antagonistic threads into a state where modernity, religion and heritage can find the legs to run the hurdles of the future. A cradle of civilization rocked there once before. To all Egyptians then, abandon the idea of punishing enemies and breathe in the fecund air of the Nile. In the labor ahead, you alone must dig into the promise of your deepest ground.

July 1st
6:42 PM
Army delivers ultimatum to end Egypt crisis
President Mohamed Morsi and opposition groups told they have 48 hours to calm protests, or face intervention
Aljazeera&#160;&#187;

"The national security of the state is in severe danger", it said, adding that if there was no resolution the army, "will be obliged by its patriotic and historic responsibilities &#8230; to announce a road map for the future and the steps for overseeing its implementation, with participation of all patriotic and sincere parties and movements."


Hours after the army&#8217;s statement, helicopters flew over Cairo&#8217;s Tahrir Square, the cradle of the 2011 revolution, trailing Egyptian flags to cheers of the crowd below. A loudspeaker blared: &#8220;The army and the people are one hand&#8221;.  &gt;continue&lt;

 Egypt to Morsi: &#8220;Go&#8221;  |  Army to suspend constitution
Spectre of Algeria?  |  Live Update
7/7: Egypt Protests Unabated  |  ElBaradei Doubletake
Fundamentalists Object to ElBaradei  |  Zugzwang 
7:16: Coup or Revolution?
7:20: Kerry: &#8220;Pull back from brink&#8221;  |  

Army delivers ultimatum to end Egypt crisis

President Mohamed Morsi and opposition groups told they have 48 hours to calm protests, or face intervention

Aljazeera »

"The national security of the state is in severe danger", it said, adding that if there was no resolution the army, "will be obliged by its patriotic and historic responsibilities … to announce a road map for the future and the steps for overseeing its implementation, with participation of all patriotic and sincere parties and movements."

Hours after the army’s statement, helicopters flew over Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the cradle of the 2011 revolution, trailing Egyptian flags to cheers of the crowd below. A loudspeaker blared: “The army and the people are one hand”.  >continue<

 Egypt to Morsi: “Go”  |  Army to suspend constitution

Spectre of Algeria?  |  Live Update

7/7: Egypt Protests Unabated  |  ElBaradei Doubletake

Fundamentalists Object to ElBaradei  |  Zugzwang 

7:16: Coup or Revolution?

7:20: Kerry: “Pull back from brink”  |