Wishful Thinking on the Arab Street

The crowd that rebelled against Mursi is the same one that supported him. Hoping for a democratic “happy ending” is a useless exercise

Tags: Egypt
Fiamma Nirenstein, Former Italian MP

Arutz 7

Sent by the author in translation from Il Giorno 

So, the Army has extracted Morsi from the palace, placed the other important members of the Muslim Brotherhood “under protection”, occupied the broadcast media and installed ElBaradei.

With its great Nile, Egypt is the cradle of a fundamental part of human civilization. We carry its stereotype deep within us. It is terrible to see Egypt fall apart. This is exactly what is happening right now, however, right before our eyes.

And let's make no mistake. For the time being, no democratic solution is in sight.

Leopardi’s “magnificent and progressive fate” of humanity is on hold. The Army will back up the interim technocrat Cabinet that it has announced, but it is clear that the Generals, more than the revolutionary crowd, have ousted the Morsi government, recognizing the urgent need to avoid further bloodshed as much as possible.

And while the mayadin (the squares) filled with waves of hate and confrontations, while the Army tried to control the situation, we invented a happy ending to the story, with the good guys -- the seculars – taking power and chasing out the bad guys -- Morsi and his Islamists.
The real story, however, is one of failure, of the popular rejection of a mediocre man, who, once in power, predominantly worked for his own organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, systematically placing his friends in key posts and shutting out everybody else. It is the story of an incompetent leader who never uttered the word “technology” or gave hope for some work for the youngsters in a bankrupt country because he was afraid that it would be taken as an endorsement of modernity and incur the disapproval of his Sunni sheikhs.

Morsi has stirred up the lava of hate simmering under the lack of a democratic outlet and a free press, as well as an extreme economic crisis.

There was the illusion of democracy. But this word is dysfunctional for Egypt.
In 1952, a military coup d’état tried to put an end to a sovereign order permeated with nepotism and left a legacy of dictatorship. Its ruling class was, and remained, selfish and duplicitous, like Nasser, nationalist and proud, but incapable of combatting corruption and poverty. Under Nasser, and later Sadat, killed by his own, then with Mubarak, deprived of authority by the crowd and the Army, and now with Morsi, inarticulate and podgy, Egypt’s opposition has always been composed of a crowd that lacks the privilege of power.

In one year, Mursi became the bogeyman of half the country. He had a moment of glory when General Tantawi left the post-Mubarak interregnum to Morsi and the power that came from having been elected. For the people, there was the illusion of democracy. But this word is dysfunctional for Egypt.
Professor Bernard Lewis has said that the elections are a point of arrival, not a point of departure. Now, it has been written that the Islamists are democratic but not liberal, and that the liberals are not democratic.

Actually, they are overturning an elected government. The same crowd that overturned Mubarak and sang the praises of Morsi throughout the various incarnations of Tahrir Square (from the blogger in blue jeans, to Al Qaradawi, the Sunni cleric who called on one million Islamist revolutionaries to throw the bloggers out, to the sexual violence against a female journalist in the middle of the Square itself) is there again, now enraged against Morsi… He behaved like a Brotherhood lackey, says the crowd, with no concern for Egypt.

But the same two factions – the Nationalists (ex-Mubarak) and the Islamists – are ready to confront each other , and also to merge with other groups. There are other groups in the Square against Morsi like the ultra-religious Al Nour. Six Ministers in his government, including the Foreign Affairs Minister, resigned; the police,  violent and corrupt, helped the revolutionaries remove the concrete blocks protecting the presidential palace.
The situation is a reflection of the impossible Middle Eastern mosaic that constantly takes shape before it dissolves. The two parties are united only by their hate of Obama and the Mossad, "root of all Egypt’s ills".

While the crowd raged through the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, it was eloquent to hear those interviewed at the event in Jerusalem profess, in perfect Hebrew, a desire to live in a normal country.

Meanwhile, the Army again stands on the side of a new Pharaoh who must contend with the great Country of the Nile, hoping the gods will be favorable.