Ed Driscoll

Egyptian Military Ousts Morsi, Suspends Constitution

“On Wednesday, Gen. Abdel Fatah Said Al-Sisi announced a military coup in Egypt,” Ben Shapiro writes at Big Peace:

He said that the Constitution had been suspended, that early elections would take place, and that there would be a “code of ethics” for the media. He stated that the chief of the Constitutional court would be taking charge during a transitional period before another election. He said the new government would be “diverse and include all the people,” and that the constitution would be revised to reverse changes made by ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Meanwhile, one Tweeter quips, “Tomorrow’s headline: U.S. Funded Egyptian Military Overthrows U.S. Supported Egyptian Government.” Or as Moe Lane writes, “…Well, that was an incredibly counter-productive use of American soft power in order to effect change in a foreign country.”

In the meantime though, while this story is developing, “Let’s not romanticize the Egyptian protests,” cautions Paul Mirengoff at Power Line:

The Egyptian protests that threaten the power of Mohammed Morsi, the nation’s Islamist president, are a very welcome development. But lest anyone conclude that all opposition to Morsi is benign, check out the photo accompanying yesterday’s New York Times article about the demonstrations, in which Morsi’s face appears inside the Star of David on the Israeli flag.

Given Egypt’s parlous economic situation and inherent instability, is it far-fetched to hypothesize that, if Egypt had elected a good democratic secularist a year ago, we’d be seeing the same kinds of demonstrations that are occurring now, with the Muslim Brotherhood filling in for the democratic secularist portion of the current foot soldiers?

Which dovetails nicely into our exit question from Lee Smith of Tablet magazine: “Will Egypt Save Itself From Total Collapse by Going to War With Israel?”

What is unfolding in Egypt is not about politics or the economy, it is simply a medieval carnival of grievance and rage, where every appetite, no matter how vicious, can be indulged, because no one feels a stake in preserving any larger, inclusive whole—however that whole is described. It is easier for Western commentators to get a fix on the chaos when it appears to be motivated by religious hatred. Last week, four members of Egypt’s minuscule Shia community were surrounded, beaten, and stabbed to death in their village outside Cairo. Since the mob was incited to murder by a Salafi sheikh, it was clear who was responsible for this bit of butchery, an Islamist fanatic.

The chain of accountability is a little more difficult for those same Western analysts to track when it’s the anti-Morsi forces who are drawing blood. All of the Muslim Brotherhood’s offices across Egypt have been stormed, and the national headquarters was torched. Sixteen people are dead, allegedly including Brotherhood supporters, whose apparent sin was backing a political party that won a free election—the last one that Egypt is likely to see for quite a while.

If foreign journalists and analysts have failed to be appropriately appalled by the demonstrations, it is because in their worldview, the Islamists are the bad guys and the secularists are the good guys. Now that Egyptians are mad at Morsi, the thinking goes, the Egyptians will get their liberal revolution back—along with that cool guy from Google. Reporters are told in man-on-the-street interviews that Morsi is the problem. The complaint should sound familiar because that’s exactly what the same protesters said about Mubarak. The one thing everyone is definitely agreed on is that the problem with Egyptian society isn’t the Egyptians themselves.

A competent leader, likely not Morsi, will soon come to see that he has no choice but to make a virtue of necessity and export the one commodity that Egypt has in abundance—violence. So, why not bind the warring, immature, and grandiose Egyptian factions together in a pact against Israel, the country’s sole transcendent object of loathing? Indeed, it’s not entirely clear why Egypt’s venomous strains of anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic sentiment have not yet hit fever pitch. Yes, Morsi doesn’t want to get the White House angry. And there’s also the obvious fact that Egyptians are too divided against themselves right now to be unified against anyone else. But that can’t last for long, or else Egypt will implode.

Read the whole thing.