Egyptian Military Regime Is Here to Stay

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From the beginning, the council sent signals that it didn’t intend to go away for the sake of democracy. Since the spring, there have been intermittent protests against the military’s clampdown, sometimes drawing tens of thousands. It has kept the Mubarak-era emergency powers in place and has prosecuted over 12,000 people in military tribunals. Those arrested including bloggers who criticize the military, activists putting up posters about rallies and journalists breaking embarrassing stories about the council. Three journalists were released after they agreed not to publish anymore reports about the military without its clearance. There is now outrage over the arrest of Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a prominent blogger, for allegedly inciting violence.

On foreign policy, the military council is not nearly as bad for the West as the Muslim Brotherhood would be, but it isn’t as friendly as Mubarak was either. It has opened the border crossing with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and is reaching out to Iran. The military has also declined to protest the Coptic Christian minority and has even taken part in the persecution.

Tantawi has reacted to the people’s negative reaction to the military council’s power grabs by saying the measures are only short-term. He claims that “the armed forces have no interest in staying in power for a long time” but it “will not leave Egypt until we have fulfilled all we promised and do our duty towards the people.”

The military council has promised that it will not have a candidate run in the presidential race. Tantawi says it is sticking by that pledge and he will not run. Mysteriously, posters promoting Tantawi as a presidential candidate are appearing up in public places. Declared presidential candidates are demanding that the election take place as early as April, while the military council is scheduling it for late 2012 or early 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists will perform well in the elections for the lower house of parliament on November 28 and may even take a majority. But their victory will mean almost nothing if it doesn’t result in real legislative power. And if the military council has its way, that’s exactly what will happen. For Egypt, the Arab Spring has brought just more of the same.

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  • Amused

    Of course it is . Our yearly billions to Egypt , insures that it will stay that way ,and the US will maintain some leverage .

  • StephenD

    We play the fool to continue with aid until it is a fact that they share our values. Individual Freedom and Personal Responsibility maintained within a Constitutional Government with equality under the law. Unless this happens they are anathema to us and it is like supporting your enemy. If they come our way, fine; Support them. If they don't, at least we would not have wasted our treasure on a potential enemy.

  • effemall

    A corrupt military is always preferable to lunatic religionists because one can deal with the former while the latter represents loose cannons with no value placed on their own lives or those of others.

  • crypticguise

    Hmmm… let me think here? Islamists versus the Military? There is no way there is going to be a secular government in a Nation filled with ignorant IslamoFascist citizens. These folks actually wanted Sharia Law?

    US largesse should be absolutely dependent on the military reining in the IslamoNazi Muslim Brotherhood. However, our present INCOMPETENTS in the White House and State Department haven't a clue how to use this leverage.

  • joy52

    Silly Westerners. The military has run the country for decades and won't give that up now. Mubarak did not do the leg work, it was Barzini..I mean, the military all along. They cleaned out a few people when the public rose up, but they know muslims need an iron hand to keep them in line. Remember, Islam is not compatible with democracy. So, pick your poisen–the military which will impose structure or extreme islam clamping down harder. If they are lucky, Christians will survive. Never listen to what a muslim says, watch what they do.

  • Ben

    Democracy at any price haven`t gone with the neo-cons. Egyptian military are not only more democrats the the Brotherhood but can be more easily ruled by foreign money and military power.

  • 080

    The problem with Egypt is avoiding mass starvation. The Muslim Brotherhood has no more economic promise that what was delivered in Iran. The military should be required to protect the Coptic Christians before any kind of aid is provided by the United States. Who can provide that protection other than the military?

  • sabo

    egypt election is empty propaganda. one croock is gone another crook is coming, what a waste,,,Revolution nil / Army gange 1…

  • WilliamJamesWard

    A new Pharaoh is in order, now Obama will be looking for a job next year
    and it could be a nice fit, Tut Nut Obama, has a nice ring…..Barney Frank
    as a Mummy, Harry Reid as a land speculative anthropologist, Nancy Pelosi
    as a slave girl, it may be a good thing if we could get rid of the entire list
    of leftist characters in new life roles. Flipside as the evil high priest, yeah
    I could see this………………………………………………………William