Excellent analysis by Steve Negus of Morsi’s Year over at The Arabist. I briefly met Negus when teaching at Skidmore. Behind his calm objective tone, however, the real possibility of a horrendous civil conflict and/or coup stares out at you.
And if you look at the other recent posts there, an overall sense of confusion, despair, and worry among pro-democracy Egyptians and friends of Egypt emerges. Some of these types reluctantly voted for Morsi because they felt the only viable alternative was a Muburak guy, and they were relying on the Constitution and reputedly reformist elements in the Muslim Brotherhood to restrain Morsi. In any case, sanity now seems stuck between the options of 1) return, via a coup, to the autocratic rule of an army-backed strongman, hoping for a ruler who will seriously bind himself to a constitution, 2) let Morsi continue to entrench various Islamist elements in the institutional structure, hoping that he has better angels in his nature that will cause him to prevent a future Islamist coup, even amidst increasingly violent challenges to his rule, or 3) side with the street-fighting liberals (who are after all more your type, and likely your kin, if you are sane and pro-democracy) who now appear ready to scrap much of the constitutional framework set up by the Revolution, and who are now essentially calling for violent revolutionary overthrow of Morsi, in a way that will somehow simultaneously keep the army at bay. That’s probably an ignorant laying out of the choices, as I’m a mere bystander and part-time reader about Egyptian affairs, as likely is my regrettable conclusion: at this point, were I an Egyptian, I’d go for 1).
In any case, massive street rumbles, er… “protests,” are planned for the one-year anniversary of President Morsi’s victory, June 30th. For the flavor of them in the recent past, see this April Arabist-linking post of mine. And of course, many are jumping the gun.
The Arabist even reports that lately among Egyptians, saying “God save us on June 30,” or things to that effect, has all but replaced goodbyes.
So say a prayer for Egypt today, especially for the Christians there, whom I’m afraid will be killed by the tens-of-thousands if civil war/anarchy does break out.
Another piece of evidence, anyhow, for the quietly growing ranks of liberal-democracy-has-failed scholars and analysts.