Egypt’s coup crisis
“What is being experienced are the political tensions Egypt needed to live through during the revolution that was in the end realized by apolitical discourse. What those who experience these tensions, the Ikhwan and some liberals, have in common is their inexperience. And the most determining characteristic of the old regime remnants are their decades-long political experience. Unless the two inexperienced parties soon realize that they are playing with fire, we may suddenly find Egypt in the middle of a de facto coup.”
“If Egypt has to choose between the ‘growing pains of democratization’ or the ‘military-judiciary tutelage,’ it should not hesitate to pick the first option. There is, in fact, a strong possibility that the first option offers an exit out of what we may call ‘political turbulence.’ The second option, on the other hand, which we may call ‘bureaucratic oligarchy,’ may clear the path to a Mubarakism that Egypt would be sentenced to for years to come.”
The above lines were not written last week. Since the revolution in Egypt, you have read similar lines in this column. The above paragraph is from my article titled “New Egypt Versus the Felool: Struggle for Democracy” from last year, in which I offered an analysis of tensions in Egypt. For me, the dissolution of the Parliament on June 14 was the first coup during the post-revolution period. The liberals’ and the secularists’ response to this coup was, in fact, a clear indication of how Egypt’s political landscape would be shaping up in the days to come. What the events of June 14 signaled was actualized with an actual coup on July 3. The junta administration has gone to great lengths to convey the pretense that they are the legitimate voice of Egypt. The Sheikh of sl-Azhar, the Coptic Pope and a Salafi stood behind the nationalist General Sisi. The well designed façade of the coup collapsed only a few days later. The Sheikh of sl-Azhar could not even walk around on his own campus. And all Copts saw the impasse the Coptic Pope – consecrated after one of the wiser men of Egypt Pope Shenouda had passed away – dragged the country into. The Nour Party, which represents only one strand of the Salafi movement in Egypt, was turned upside down with the news of some members supporting the coup. And the liberals, who proved to be the epitome of moral bankruptcy and who worked with all their might to make the coup happen, have disappeared. Indeed, Tahrir is calm and empty once again.
Sisi, to save the fake façade of his coup from collapsing and the army from feeling a politically alone, relied on his old trusted friend as usual – his arms. The junta administration cruelly massacred civilians. The arrests are still going on. The Egyptian army has sentenced itself to a quagmire it cannot get out of. The army does not possess the necessary political and sociological skills to endure a long term standoff with the public like the Mubarak administration. The biggest problem the army is facing right now is how it will get out after Jan. 25 without turning Egypt into Algeria. The only person who can really answer this question is the president they ousted, Morsi.