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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

When time runs out

I warned you all that if you didn't feed enough money into my kitty, I would have to find work.... I found work... And that's why the posting was so sparse on Tuesday.

Wednesday is going to be a huge day in Egypt. The ultimatum issued by the Egyptian army expires in the afternoon, and so far, Egypt's Islamist President, Mohamed Morsy, has shown no signs of giving any ground. So the army went ahead and released the road map that they plan to present to Morsy if he cannot solve the crisis by Wednesday afternoon.
In essence the military’s plan is for Morsi to accept the opposition’s demands in their entirety: the dissolving of parliament, freezing the passage of the new constitution, establishing an interim government to be headed by Supreme Constitutional Court chairman Adly Mansour (Morsi’s rival), and calling presidential elections.
The leak may have been partly a test balloon, meant to push Morsi and the brotherhood deeper into the corner, but it’s safe to assume that the “Road Map” the army will present on Wednesday will not be much different.
The army’s ultimatum expires on Wednesday afternoon. Al-Sisi and his men hope Morsi will agree to early elections before then. Even if the president refuses to do so, the chances that the army will order its forces to take over government installations are very low, at least for now.
The army is, however, expected to give a “green light” for protesters to take action against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. And it is doubtful that the security forces watching over Morsi in his safehouse will continue to do so loyally if he refuses to do what the military expects of him — essentially, to obey orders. If such a scenario unfolds, the protests we have seen so far, which have already led to the death of seven people and the injuring of 144 others, may become more violent.
Someone in the comments on this blog suggested that this is like the situation in Syria, where we're left with an unpalatable choice between Islamists and anti-Israel secularists. I'm not sure that analysis is correct.

Syria is a choice between a dictator and an Islamist government. I don't believe that if Egypt's liberal opposition attains power that they will be a dictatorship. Moreover, I don't believe that they necessarily will look for a war with Israel. One of the more prominent Egyptian liberals - at least in the blogosphere - is a blogger known as Sandmonkey. Consider this from his blog (the link to his blog no longer works), written a number of years ago.
But then I rememebrd that we- the majority of us anyway- don't want peace with Israel, and are not interested in any real dialogue with them. We weren't then and we are not now. The Entire peace process has always been about getting the land back, not establishing better relations. Even when we do get the land back, it's not enough. People in Egypt lament daily the Camp David treaty that prevents us from fighting.
In Gaza they never stopped trying to attack Israel. In Lebanon Hezbollah continued attacking even after the Israeli withdrawel. And the people- the majority of the arab population- support it. Very few of us are really interested in having any lasting Peace or co-existance. I mean, if our left is asking for war, what do you think the rest of the population is thinking?
I think that the Israeli want peace with us because they don't want their lives disrupted. They don't want to have the IDF soldiers fighting in Gaza, rockets coming into their towns from Hamas or having to go to wars against Hezbollah to get their soldiers back. I think they want peace because they want their peace of mind. They view us as if we were a headache. We view them as if they are a cancer.
I don't think that much of Egypt's Left has the appetite for going to war with us, nor do I believe that the Egyptian army wants to be handed their heads in defeat again. They don't love us, but people like Sandmonkey are not obsessed with us either. In fact, he seems to be lamenting the fact that so much of the Arab world is obsessed with destroying Israel.

The Muslim Brotherhood is obsessed with us, and the only thing that's held them back is the knowledge that they will lose all that American cash every year if they fight us. And the fact that they know that they would get their butts kicked.

Sure, there are Egyptians who consider themselves liberals who hate us (think Mona Eltahaway). But I don't think they're willing to go to war over it.

In sum, I think we might be better off with a liberal government in Egypt. I'm not suggesting that we interfere, and for that matter I'm not suggesting that the Americans interfere either (although they interfered in 2011 on Morsy's behalf and they are clearly still backing Morsy now). But the weaker the Islamists are, the better off Israel is.

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