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Government of Egypt Overthrown by Military

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/07/06/obama-egypt-comments/2495631/

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Saturday reiterated that the U.S. is not aligned with and is not supporting any particular Egyptian political party or group and again condemned the ongoing violence across Egypt.

Obama made those points during a telephone conference with the National Security Council about developments in Egypt, according to a statement issued by the White House. He was spending the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

"The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt's transition should proceed," the White House statement said. "We remain committed to the Egyptian people and their aspirations for democracy, economy opportunity and dignity. But the future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people."

Okay, Obama is being actually savvy here by not touching this with a ten foot pole. I can only imagine both sides are demanding his support, however.

I think he has the right idea; democracy has to work very differently in less developed countries. Whereas diverse Americans or Europeans can afford to let majorities rule everything without delay, in young democracies the various groups need to make some sort of power-sharing agreement to remain stable. In fact, this was how the United States began: we had to give power to both big and small states to remain whole and not tear ourselves apart. It also has worked well for Lebanon and Belgium, and it's why we're trying to get the Taliban to be part of the government in Afghanistan. Pure democracy that's not responsible to any particular cultural, political or economic interests is easier said than done.

Hopefully remaining neutral will at least not earn the ire of whoever emerges victorious from this power struggle.

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Our democratic principles have been shaped and matured in the course of 200 years or so. How can we ever expect that a country who has never had any form of democratic goverment can get it right within months. Let alone the Arab/muslim countries where the population is even more divided along racial, religious and clan/family lines then the west ever was. Corruption, violence and political unreast will plague those countries for many years to come.

 

Strong leaders have always oppressed the political aspirations of the many factions and groups in such countries. Irak under Sadam was dominated by a single clan. The US came with the great idea of spreading democracy and we all know what happend next. Irak political instability, religious violence, bombings and that will only become more extreme when the US leaves. Same for Afghanistan, it's western installed goverment will crumble when the US pulled out and all the warlords and clans will fight for control over the country.

 

What do you think that the fate is of those countries who kicked their dictators out? Now that the Muslim Brotherhood has called for a revolution against the army Egypt is one step closer to civil war.

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Expecting countries which have become accustomed over the centuries to home made dictatorships and colonial dictatorships, to just up and embrace a U.S.-style democratic system and imbue it with all manner of nifty checks and balances to prevent tyranny from taking root, is expecting the impossible.

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Expecting countries which have become accustomed over the centuries to home made dictatorships and colonial dictatorships, to just up and embrace a U.S.-style democratic system and imbue it with all manner of nifty checks and balances to prevent tyranny from taking root, is expecting the impossible.

India had this problem and it's a fairly strong democracy.

Ultimately it is the people's spirit that determines what happens. India has all the problems mentioned and then some; as a land of so many cultural divisions (and economic problems out the backside) it's amazing it hasn't fractured or become a dictatorship.

Of course, there are unique situations: India's groups simply cannot hope to oppress each other so they have no choice but to cooperate. This is not so in most countries.

Then again, we are fallaciously assuming Egypt had any democracy to begin with. The military is a government unto itself with all the parts of the economy it has a finger in. They don't care whether it's democracy or dictatorship Egypt functions under, so long as they make money. Elections are just the newest bread and circus in countries like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5suNtLwbBw

I believe this helps explain a lot about the situation. Sounds like the democracy there was incredibly flawed, with how stupid the runoff system was. This is why IRV is superior as a means of choosing a head of state. Or any official really. They had to choose between the Islamic Brotherhood or a Mubarak crony. And we think GOP versus Democrat is bad.

Egypt's democracy will not last no matter how real it is. The military is too strong. What is clear is Morsi tried to rein in the army's power (whether for his own gain or the people's is a matter of debate), and he paid the piper for it. It sounds like Mubarak also wanted to rein it in, and the Arab Spring was the perfect cover for getting rid of him.

Democracy can only last in a country that has a market economy where resources are available to the common man, and where society's lower and middle classes can pool their manpower and wealth together to make a difference. Never mind market economies (we've yet to have a syndicalist market economy though I wouldn't rule out the possibility it could work as well as a capitalist one) are traditionally conductive because it makes it hard for politicians to keep power for themselves. Money is power; whoever has it shall control the government ultimately, and in Egypt, the military has the money.

Morsi... Mubarak... no matter their reputation, they all answer to the same group at the end of the day. And it's not the people of Egypt.

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Alright, let's catch up on recent events, shall we?

 

Pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been protesting in the streets, and the most major and recent controversy is that police actually fired on the crowd. Roughly a hundred casualties have been reported, and it's been confirmed by third-party witnesses that the police were shooting to kill. It's even been claimed that there were snipers on the rooftops.

 

Naturally, the military is denying everything, trying to claim that it was protesters who attacked first. Of course, everyone else thinks that they're full of shit.

 

Really, who actually though this was a good idea? Shooting protesters is the worst possible PR move, short of shooting kids involved in protests.

Edited by Shirou Emiya

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Egypt's cultural heritage is so precious that I don't think I could deal with a repeat there of the horrendous cultural devastation going on in Syria thanks to its civil war. Historical sites across Egypt have already suffered from the Arab Spring, I don't want to see them and other sites further ruined. If Egypt's people are to rise up, let it be with the support of the west to such a degree that the Egyptian military will have no choice but to back down peacefully.

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We could cross our fingers for air strikes, I think. They are easy for western populations to swallow as they have minimal casualties (western countries don't comprehend the meaning of war anymore; 4,000 is a lot? Try 20 million, like what Russia suffered in World War II), but extremely effective in that they effectively allow you to rain hell on an enemy and remain untouchable in the process. Air power is perhaps the next best thing to nuclear armaments in its ability to decimate an enemy army. It melted Saddam's forces, Gadhaffi's, and any Egyptian force would follow.

However, as memory serves, Libya's rebels have pretty much turned on each other in the wake of their victory. Once the target that unifies you falls... you quickly find new enemies. Who's to say the destruction of the military would benefit Egypt in the long run? Say what you will of tyrants; they are an unfortunate necessity in many countries, as many countries are so greatly divided that without an authoritarian ruler they quickly degrade into violence. Many populations don't seem as keen to settle their differences diplomatically as we do in western democracies. Saddam's removal caused Iraq to implode, Tito's death began the long downward spiral of Yugoslavia, Gorbachev's liberalisation of the Soviet government caused a rapid deterioration that destroyed the second most powerful country on Earth in a matter of months, etc. This trend is as ancient as history itself - Alexander the Great's empire was held together by his firm rule and nothing else, and we all know what happened as soon as he croaked.

There's also the fact if our intervention would be wanted. In some cases it hurts the cause; Obama's lukewarm reaction to democratic protests in Iran is due to this as support from the United States in numerous places makes you an automatic Devil.

Finally there's the fact we would not be there to support democracy. We'd be there purely to increase the grip of western business interests and of course make sure the Suez Canal remains functional. The good news is that since the fall of the Soviet Union, western policy has become slightly more favorable towards democracies, rather than the "dictators are fine if they're capitalist" policy that pervaded the Cold War.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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http://uk.news.yahoo.com/egypt-state-emergency-protests-crushed-070754463.html

 

Security or Military Forces if you prefer have apparently killed up to 525 people in clashes with protesters which includes 43 police officers.

 

Apparently 84 people including members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been referred to military prosecutors accused of murder and burning churches.

 

If this keeps up it might lead to a Civil War. sleep.png  

Edited by BW199148

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Fucking hell, and oftentimes I think we have it bad over here...

I can scarcely imagine how the average Egyptian person (the normal men and women who just want to get on with their lives) must be feeling right now, on what looks like the eve of civil war.

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This really just highlights why coups and such are a bad thing. What keeps democracies together is the idea that, no matter how much we hate our leader, we must respect the democratic process. We did not try and hang Bush, Carter or Harding, and the British did not try and overthrow Tony Blair or Brown. These leaders and/or their parties were all thrown out by electoral processes... More contemporary, while Obama has a great deal of opposition, most still respect that he is our legal President and that if he is to be removed, it should be through the established impeachment procedure or voting in the GOP in 2014 and 2016.

In a country that is not as stable as a western democracy, this respect for the electoral process is even more important. The only thing unifying these divided factions together is the idea they share power, so if one side becomes favored, it quickly leads to a disaster. Look at Lebanon - its civil war period aside, the model they have has worked very well to keep the peace, as all the important players are guaranteed a voice. Most people aren't violent by nature; they prefer to try and settle their issues peacefully. Any good democracy guarantees the ability to do this.

When the government was cast out in Egypt recently, it didn't just undermine democratic values, it sent a message to the supporters of the government that peace would not work to get their viewpoints across. Democracy and market economies keep the peace because they give us a sense of empowerment and an ability to improve our lives... take these away, and the systems lose their appeal.

It sounds crazy, but imagine it. If the GOP or Democrats systematically began to oust their opponents illegally, you can bet this country would go downhill as well; both sides put up with the system because they know they can benefit from the status quo and usually hold a good chunk of power. A democracy will only last if the bulk of the people involved are mature enough to realise they can't always win and have to make concessions, and sometimes, their opinion won't be the one with the keys of power.

So, I fear for the people of Egypt. This overthrow may have been well-intentioned, but in the long run I don't see any good coming of it. They just told a sizable chunk of the population that their views are not important in government. If that same chunk can't hope to gain power peacefully... what other option does that leave?

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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Ever since this all started it's been terrible..  Couple of the guys at my work (military) are wondering if we're going to be there next..  I agree with you though, that the people of Egypt will most likely suffer in the long run, I mean they have no long term plans..  But like you said what other options did they and do they have now..

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Involvement in Egypt is practically guaranteed. They are a major non-NATO ally (not to mention a leading purchaser of American weapons) and if they show serious signs of overthrow, we're going to back them up. Reputation is as much at play here as strategic usefulness; one need only look at Taiwan for how important our reputation of upholding alliances is (otherwise we would have surely done the convenient thing and thrown Taiwan to the Chinese by now).

That's not even touching the fact they have oil reserves, and more importantly, control of the Suez Canal. As the world's leading economy, America naturally has a vested interest that places such as Panama, Suez, and Malacca remain open to shipping; if the government doesn't keep those areas secure you can bet American troops will come a-knocking. European probably as well, given that Europe already demonstrated interventionism in Libya and economically actually has more clout than the United States; the proximity to Suez gives European nations even more of an interest.

Seeing the hundreds of deaths combined with the serious hardware some non-government folks are packing makes me very fearful this is going to become like Syria and Libya. The reason the Arab Spring died off, I think, was precisely because people saw Syria and Libya and suddenly weren't so keen on protesting anymore. In Egypt's case though, there is literally no other choice but to fight for those who supported the ousted President.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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http://news.yahoo.com/court-sentences-egypts-ousted-president-death-092410985.html

And as happens with courts, we have an update 2 years later.

The former President has been sentenced to death for a prison break that happened just before being brought to power. 120 other people have likewise been sentenced to death.

Egypt had its chance to be a democracy, but it looks like all it's going to be is a bloodbath. It looks like a lot of his Muslim Brotherhood backers have been radicalized by this decision and are tired of playing nice with the general public.

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Has there been even one success to come of the Arab Spring? Libya's a complete mess of militias of one sort or another vying for control, Egypt's heading quickly toward an Islamic Military Junta that's already kind of there, Tunisia is a basketcase but probably in better shape than the others, Syria is still imploding, and Bahrain's back to business as normal.

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So, I fear for the people of Egypt. This overthrow may have been well-intentioned, but in the long run I don't see any good coming of it. They just told a sizable chunk of the population that their views are not important in government. If that same chunk can't hope to gain power peacefully... what other option does that leave?

 

Honestly, I'm not entirely sure that military dictatorships ousting each other every 15 years or so isn't about the best type of government we can hope for in the Middle East. So long as Egypt's government doesn't turn into some sort of Saddam thing, which hasn't really been a threat since the 1960s (and so long as Western Countries stay the fuck out of it, so another Iran doesn't happen); it's about the closest to stability and outward benevolence any of the countries in the region can seemingly achieve short of the dynastic rule a handful of them still have.

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The west achieved its secular, liberal democracies only after centuries of blatant corruption, oppression and religious warring. I'm not sure that it's right that we should expect the east to reach the same state in a matter of decades or years, on their own or staring down the barrel of an American rifle. Although, Iran is heading in a liberal direction today - there is hope yet! So yes, I think that the best thing we can hope for in that region might be military dictatorships and theocracies with occasional coups and such.

 

It's just so sad.

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Change will ultimately follow economic development. Iran, the example used, has a growing middle class as I recall. People with more money ultimately can command more clout in the state.

This is why socialist regimes are so terrible in the long run, because the government has almost all the money. At least under the usual capitalist model, the government and business are technically separate and do in fact go against each other from time to time.

Back to the Middle East, a lot of these countries will ultimately just need to continue developing economically. The main problem is that for many, economic development is hinged on oil, so all hell will break loose as soon as that's either in low supply or low demand. If I'm not mistaken, though, the most successful Middle Eastern countries are coincidentally the ones that used oil wealth to diversify their economy so that when the oil dries up, they won't be that affected.

However, as useful as strong - but not brutal - dictators would be for the continuing development of the region, I don't know if that model is possible. Most countries have gotten a taste of democracy due to European imperialism and the ideas it spread, so even countries that can't really hope to sustain it still want it.

And therein lies our problem. In Egypt in particular, the Muslim Brotherhood were able to win the election, and the fact they were thrown out of power by the military and are being brutally suppressed right now is just going to radicalize them against democracy.

The part about democracy that you need to accept is you won't always win. Americans quickly learned to loathe G.W. Bush in his second term, but he was still our legally elected President and very few of us would have wanted him overthrown by the military. The moment you say it's okay for the Army to just throw leaders out willy nilly is the moment your democracy dies.

Consider the foundation of the American republic. We owe a lot of our success (most Presidential systems and democracies in general have collapsed into dictatorship early on in their development) to the fact that Washington, as often as he grew impatient with Congress, respected their authority because they were chosen (at least in theory) by the People. When the War was over, he could have easily seized power, but he instead called an audience with Congress to turn over his command. This isn't American exceptionalism - this is how a military should treat its government in any democratic system.

Now, there is the case of tyrannical regimes. The German military operatives who tried to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi Party had every reason in the world to do so. But as far as I know, Morsi wasn't an obvious tyrant. While he wanted to increase his office's power, you'll note that the reason he wanted to do is split down the middle. Had he turned into an Egyptian Saddam, then yes, the military might have had good reason to can him.

But as far as I know, he didn't. His overthrow was uncalled for. And now they're going to murder him on top of it.

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