Military Killing Morsi Supporters

The Egyptian military is dealing harshly with pro-Morsi demonstrators, with at least five killed so far and many more wounded.

I’m no fan of the Islamists and would like to see more secular elements in charge (just as I would in our own extremist-filled House of Representatives and state houses!), but they did win an election, and it seems to me the military should deal as gently with them as possible, since protester deaths only create more fury and bitterness.

Morsi Out, Military In

The military has taken over Egypt again, as they did in the transition between Mubarak’s overthrow and Morsi’s election.  By the time they left, they were extremely unpopular, as Morsi is now.

Morsi is in an “undisclosed location.”  I hope the military is protecting him, since the last thing they want to do is make a martyr of him.

The military has suspended the new constitution and installed  the chief justice of the Egyptian Supreme Court as acting president.  They say “technocrats” will run the government until new elections are held, but obviously they are pulling the strings.

Egyptian Military Plan

Egypt’s military plans to suspend the new constitution and dissolve the Islamist parliament.

If new elections are held soon, as President Obama is urging, there still aren’t strong secular, democratic parties waiting in the wings.

The better-off, educated Egyptians who are protesting Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamism are joined by poorer, less educated Egyptians, who are far, far more numerous.  But they are protesting more about the lack of jobs and economic progress than about a lack of pluralism and religious tolerance.  There’s unity against Morsi, but not unity for anything or anyone.

Deja Vu All Over Again?

There are reports that President Obama is moving closer to arming the Syrian rebels.  Thus far we have provided only non-lethal aid.  The problem is that there aren’t really any secular rebels who have a shot at replacing Assad.  The most successful and powerful rebel groups are all Islamist, with some now pledging loyalty to Al Qaeda.

We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t in Syria.  Awful as Assad is, the viable alternatives seem as bad or worse.

Remember how we helped the Taliban fight the Russians in Afghanistan?  That didn’t turn out too well for us.

The GOP is setting up the Prez to fail whatever he does.  They are all over him for not taking immediate action in response to reports of use of sarin.  But if Syria falls into the hands of radical Islamists, they’ll curse him for that too, as they regularly do for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  And some of the potential leaders in Syria would make Mohammed Morsi look like Thomas Jefferson.

Quote of the Day

“Also, ‘we’ did not unleash the Arab Spring, and ‘we’ could not have stopped it.  These uprisings began with fearless, authentic quests for dignity by Arab youths, seeking the tools and freedom to realize their full potential in a world where they could see how everyone else was living.  But no sooner did they blow the lids off their societies, seeking governments grounded in real citizenship, than they found themselves competing with other aspirations let loose — aspirations to be more Islamist, more sectarian or to restore the status quo ante.”

Thomas Friedman, “The Arab Quarter Century,” NYT