So... the Egyptian military told President Morsi (democratically elected but with dictatorial tendencies) to share some of his power or they would hold a coup. He ignored them. They held a coup.
Thoughts? Where is Egypt headed? Who's in the right? Is there a 'right' side at all? Should the US do anything?
The military stepped in to save a system in crisis. If they didn't oust Morsi the people would have. With the US backed military playing the role of liberators the popular movement doesn't threaten the system. At least for now...
The army made itself unpopular really quickly last time. The generals were hailed (ignorantly) by many as national heroes when they gave Mubarak the boot, but they didn't take long before they were seriously on the nose themselves. They made a smart decision and allowed elections to happen. Morsi got elected and has proceeded to make the Brotherhood seriously unpopular. Indications are that the Salafists have also stayed in the same boat, so they suffered as well. Now the generals have stepped in again - and only a fool would believe that their popularity will last long. Their best chance is to follow through on their initial promise and organise prompt elections - so the winner can carry the can for unpopular decisions.
What's going on, then? Well, in the immortal words of Bill Clinton, "It's the economy, stupid".
Egyptian capitalism is in deep doo-doo. There is a massive budget deficit, military spending is untouchable and much public spending goes on inefficient things like subsidising petrol and other consumer items (petrol being a particularly poor choice, because the greatest benefits go to the small percentage rich enough to run cars). The IMF is imposing tough conditions on an important loan (surprise, surprise!). Given that the people of Egypt are fed up with neo-liberalism after a decade or two of it from Mubarak, whoever holds power can expect to cop serious unhappiness.
To ram through the unpopular program necessary to restore the health of Egyptian capitalism (or at least to give it a shot at returning to health, global financial crisis willing and the creeks don't rise), the capitalist class needs one of two things:
(a) A government with a strong popular mandate and credibility in the eyes of the electorate; or
(b) A military strongman who has a clear program and will brook no opposition, forcing the working class to pay the cost of the crisis.
Option A has been blown out of the water by Morsi's tenure in office. The Brotherhood was the only political party that had a credible chance of accumulating the necessary credibility to take difficult decisions, but Mursi has demonstrated that they are vicious, mendacious and bumbling. Having come to power with 52% of the vote on a 52% turnout, and facing an opponent who was effectively a Mubarak stooge from Central Casting, Morsi has done everything wrong.
Option B, however, is also in doubt. The only thing that is known to unite the generals is the desire to retain a political veto and an unlimited military budget. There is no evidence as yet that anyone in the military has an economic program that could possibly succeed, let alone that person being able to unite the military behind him. The fact that the military have immediately decreed early elections is a sign that, at least at this stage, they have no firm program to implement. They would rather have a civilian politician put up a program and take the heat.
The social crisis will intensify. A couple of days ago, after the generals laid down their ultimatum but before the coup, I decided that the slogan had to be "Morsi out! Generals stay out!" Now that the generals have stepped in and the liberals are backing them, it is up to the working class movement to take an independent position. We have to be in clear opposition to all wings of the capitalist class and stand forthrightly for workers' power. There is not the time to build an opposition to the new elections the military have announced and it is also not necessary to campaign against them. The new politicians will discredit themselves in short order. What is necessary is to build institutions of workers' power in the workplaces, so that when the new government, whatever its political persuasion, tries to make the working class pay for the crisis, they fail. And we, the workers, can put forward our own solution - libertarian communism.
Ablokeimet- Egyptian anarchist
Wow. Long post. Yikes. No, in simple words, the U.S. should stay out of it. Until such time the government is attacked, which I do believe we are in alliance with them.
All I know is that no matter what people said about the US supporting him when he was in power, Mubarak doesn't seem so bad now.