Sunday, February 13, 2011

More thoughts on Egypt

So the latest is the ruling Egyptian military has suspended the constitution and dissolved the largely pro-Mubarak parliament as the first steps towards democracy.

That's the good news. The slightly worrisome news is that they plan to rule the country for six months. It worries me, because that's plenty of time for them to become entrenched in their power, and after that long they just might be a little reticent about turning over the government to any democratically-elected party.

But then again, (from CNN):
Egypt's military dissolved the country's Parliament and suspended its Constitution Sunday following the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, telling Egyptians it would be in charge for six months or until elections can be held.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it would appoint a committee to propose changes to the Constitution, which would then be submitted to voters. The council will have the power to issue new laws during the transition period, according to a communique read on state television.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's ambassador to the United States, said Sunday that the generals have made restoring security and reviving the economy its top priorities.
That last bit is encouraging. Rather than the wholesale anarchy that we allowed in Iraq after we "liberated" them ("They're free now, so that means they're free to loot!"), the Egyptian military seems to want to take care of the citizens and prevent that sort of chaos.

It'll probably be several weeks before we see sure signs of democracy. They'll need to adopt a new temporary constitution that's more tolerant of opposition political parties, and they'll have to create a blueprint for fair and legal elections.

All things considered, this may be the very best thing that happened in the region in more than ten years.


vagabondblogger said...

The military is already heavily entrenched in the Egyptian government. We just have to wait and see if they run someone for president or if they will go with more of a Turkish style military run democracy.

As for chaos, that's what Mubarak tried to create by letting the police disappear from the streets January 29. He thought all hell would break loose, he would quash it and prove to the Egyptian people that he was the only person who could maintain order. The citizens and expats formed neighborhood watches, and kept law & order themselves proving him wrong.

CT Bob said...

That was the great thing about the entire situation. It was probably one of the quietest and most orderly revolution I've ever seen. The great majority worked together to maintain order and not give Mubarak any excuses like you said.

This could have been Tienanmen Square all over again. In fact, I was quite worried when they shut down the internet. The first thing to go before a gov't crackdown is the flow of information.

They banned all media coverage in China right before the tanks rolled in. This could have been just as bad.

tessa said...

Don't ya just *love it* when constitutions are suspended? Not so much.

The Egyptian military appears to be a mercenary arm of the US government, and we have repeatedly proven that we are not to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

A small, controversial effort launched under President George W. Bush to fund and train election monitors in Egypt played a key role in the movement to topple President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

When Obama took office, his administration halved the amount of money available for democracy funding in Egypt, to $20 million in 2008, and allowed Egypt to have a veto again over some funds.

Read the whole thing.

CT Bob said...

Shhhh...they'll hear you!