Egypt's Presidential Election: Moderate Establishment vs. Totalitarian Revolutionaries
--Don’t be bloodthirsty. He accepted the life sentence for Mubarak and a former interior minister (not a death sentence) and six security officials being found innocent. Egypt should not be eager to throw people into prison but move toward democracy: “The days of political imprisonment are gone. Rest assured your sons and daughters are safe enough to express their opinions, even if their's oppose mine.”
--Real Muslim-Christian peace in Egypt. “The Brotherhood accuses our Coptic brothers of treason and tries to stop them from practicing their given right to vote. How do you expect them to believe you when you speak kindly to them in press conferences and threaten them in their homes and stores?”
--Economic stability. “I am sure that as soon as I am elected all international investments that are halted now will return. Housing investments, agricultural investments, industrial investments and tourism will return to as they were, and better,” An Egypt run by the Brotherhood is not likely to attract foreign investment or put the emphasis on economic progress.
The idea that total control of the government by the Brotherhood will moderate that group could not be more foolish. We have already seen over the last year how successes make the Islamists more extreme and intolerant.
Meanwhile, the liberal reformers become even more irrelevant as they condemn both sides or, in some cases, might even prefer the “pro-revolution” Brotherhood against the hated “military and establishment-backed” Shafiq. That seems to be the view of Western governments, media, and "experts," too, even though they are gradually becoming more frightened of the Islamists.
Now, as cracked as this seems, the left-wing party, al-Nour, has endorsed the Brotherhood candidate for president! [Here's the tweet in Arabic.] Why? Because they agree on hating America, Israel, the army, and the old regime. By the way, al-Nour's leadership was among the "Facebook kids" who began the revolution in January 2011. They were allied with the Brotherhood then, too.
Of course, even if Shafiq wins, the Islamist-dominated parliament will really rule the country. Moreover, as we saw with violent attacks and arson at four of Shafiq’s election offices, there will be lots of violence from Salafists and possibly Brotherhood people. Christians, women who exercise certain rights and secularists will be attacked and at times killed.
The only way out would be a Shafiq-army alliance, giving the president -- who has no political party and no organized base of support in parliament -- some muscle. Following a period of massive violence, chaos, and economic catastrophe, that might eventually lead Egypt back to the kind of military regime that governed between 1952 and 2011, albeit with far more personal freedom and (possibly fixed) elections. Like it or not, that may well be the best possible option.
But first we have to see who is going to be Egypt’s president.