Saturday, July 06, 2013

Tell President Obama to stand up for what is good for America -- not for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood!

From Secure America Now, 6 July 2013:

A year ago, President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton abandoned Egyptian democrats by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's national elections. This lead to the election of Mohamed Morsi, a rabid opponent of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and the West. In addition, Morsi called Jews the descendants of Apes and Pigs.
President Obama applauded Morsi's election as President of Egypt.
Obama showered Morsi's Egypt with American financial aid and recently awarded the Morsi regime advanced military equipment.
Anti-Morsi Protests
The Obama Administration closed its eyes to Morsi's corruption and incompetence. The Administration took no action when Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood physically brutalized Egypt's Coptic Christians -- leading to the deaths of many innocents.
While Obama's Administration supported Morsi as he moved toward silencing his opponents, the Egyptian people rose up against the dictatorial Morsi rule.
Millions of Egyptians marched against and brought down the Morsi government. Morsi has been disposed of, but President Obama is still defending him and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Yesterday, President Obama demanded that Morsi be reinstated as President of Egypt.
This is incredible. The United States should be on the side of defending the oppressed and not supporting their oppressors.
When Christians were being assaulted by Morsi's thugs, President Obama was silent. For some reason our President insists on supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
We do not know what will happen in Egypt, but we know that an Egypt without the Muslim Brotherhood in control is a friendlier one, to both the United States and Israel.
Tell President Obama to stand up for what is good for America -- not for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood!


USA: take your great experiment in democracy somewhere else.

From Spengler, 4 July 2013, by David Goldman:
Why can’t we get 14 million people into the streets to proclaim that Obama is an idiot like the Egyptians did?
Over at ZeroHedge, Jim Quinn posts pictures of the banners in the mass demonstrations. They are inspiring.
One read: “Obama you jerk, Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians, so how come they can guarantee you the security of Israel. Hey Obama, your deal with the Muslim Brotherhood is unsuccessful. Obama you idiot, Keep in mind that Egypt is not Muslim brotherhoods and if you don’t believe that go and see what’s happening in Tahrir Square now.”
Another reads, “Obama, your bitch is our dictator.”
A picture of Hillary Clinton read, “Hayzaboon [ogre] go home.”
Many banners simply read, “Obama supports terrorism.”
Others were too harsh to mention in a family site.
Happy 4th of July!
...Starvation is the unstated subject of this week’s military coup.
For the past several months, the bottom half of Egypt’s population has had little to eat besides government-subsidized bread, and now the bread supply is threatened by a shortage of imported wheat. Despite $8 billion of aid from Qatar and smidgens from Libya, Turkey, and others, Egypt is struggling to meet a financing gap of perhaps $20 billion a year, made worse by the collapse of its major cash earner — the tourist industry. Malnutrition is epidemic in the form of extreme protein deficiency in a country where 40% of the adult population is already “stunted” by poor diet, according to the World Food Program. It is not that hard to get 14 million people into the streets if there is nothing to eat at home.
Nearly half of Egyptians are illiterate. Seventy percent of them live on the land, yet the country imports half its food. Its only cash-earning industry, namely tourism, is in ruins. Sixty years of military dictatorship have left it with college graduates unfit for the world market, and a few t-shirt factories turning Asian polyester into cut-rate exports. It cannot feed itself and it cannot earn enough to feed itself, as I have explained in a series of recent articles. Someone has to subsidize them, or a lot of them will starve. Unlike Mexico, Egypt can’t ship its rural poor to industrial nations in the north.
Egypt’s people embraced the military because they remember that the military used to feed them. In fact, the military probably can alleviate the food crisis, because — unlike the Muslim Brotherhood– Egypt’s generals should be able to count on the support of Saudi Arabia. Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz congratulated Egypt’s military-appointed interim president on Wednesday night, while the United Arab Emirates expressed “satisfaction” at the course of events. Only the crazy emir of Qatar, the patron of al-Jazeera television and an assortment of Islamist ideologues, had backed the Brotherhood — and his son replaced him last week. The Saudi monarchy hates the Brotherhood the way Captain Hook hated the crocodile: it is the only political force capable of overthrowing the monarchy and replacing it.
Former President Morsi seized power from the military in August 2012, the day that the visiting emir of Qatar appeared in Cairo with a $2 billion pledge to the regime. At the time I warned (in a note for the Gatestone Institute) that “Qatar’s check to the Muslim Brotherhood makes Egyptian stability less likely.” I argued at the time:
Qatar’s $2 billion is a drop in the bucket; it just replaces the reserves that Egypt lost last month. So is a $3.5 billion IMF loan, under discussion for a year. The Obama administration has been telling people quietly that the Saudis will step in to bail out Egypt, but the Qatari intervention makes this less likely. The eccentric and labile Emir is the Muslim Brotherhood’s biggest supporter; its spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (who supports suicide bombings against Israel) lived in exile during the Mubarak regime. Qatar funds al-Jazeera television, the modern face of Islamism. The Saudis hate and fear the Brotherhood, which wants to overthrow the Saudi Monarchy and replace it with a modern Islamist totalitarian political party. Qatar has only about $30 billion in reserves and can’t sustain Egypt for long.
Qatar is something of a wild card: it is ruled by an Emir without even the checks and balances that arise from having a large family behind a monarchy, as in Saudi Arabia. The whimsical Emir just bought the Italian firm of Valentino as a gift for his fashion-conscious second wife — not a dress, but the entire company. His support evidently emboldened the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to take on the military in the aftermath of the Sinai crisis. But that makes stability in Egypt less rather than more likely, because it gives the Saudis, the only funder capable of bailing out Egypt, reason to stand aside.
Qatar has spent nearly a third of its foreign exchange reserves in a Quixotic effort to project power in Egypt, which might explain why the old emir abdicated in favor of his son. With the Muslim Brotherhood out of the way in Egypt, the Saudis have uncontested influence with the military. Presumably the military will suppress the Brotherhood unless it chooses to dissolve spontaneously. No one should mourn the Brotherhood, a totalitarian organization with a Nazi past and an extreme anti-Semitic ideology.
The notion that this band of Jew-hating jihadi thugs might become the vehicle for a transition to a functioning Muslim democracy was perhaps the stupidest notion to circulate in Washington in living memory.
The Saudis have another reason to get involved in Egypt, and that is the situation in Syria. Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war, now guided by Prince Bandar, the new chief of Saudi Intelligence, has a double problem. The KSA wants to prevent Iran from turning Syria into a satrapy and fire base, but fears that the Sunni jihadists to whom it is sending anti-aircraft missiles eventually might turn against the monarchy. The same sort of blowback afflicted the kingdom after the 1980s Afghan war, in the person of Osama bin Laden. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been fighting for influence among Syria’s Sunni rebels (as David Ottaway reported earlier this week at National Interest). Cutting off the Muslim Brotherhood at the knees in Egypt will help the KSA limit potential blowback in Syria.
Egypt probably can be kept on life support for about $10 billion a year in foreign subsidies, especially if the military regime can restore calm and bring the tourists back (although that is a big “if” — one of President Morsi’s last acts was to appoint as governor of Luxor province an associate of the Islamist terrorists who massacred 62 tourists in Luxor in 1997). With about $630 billion in foreign exchange reserves, Saudi Arabia can carry Egypt for a couple of years while the Syrian crisis plays out. Saudi Arabia also has covered a good part of Turkey’s huge payments deficit during the past couple of years, which means that Ankara will dance to Riyadh’s tune.
This is the background to the Saudi monarch’s enthusiastic statement of congratulations to the Egyptian military, released almost immediately after the takeover was announced:
In my own name and on behalf of the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I congratulate you on assuming the leadership of Egypt at this critical point of its history,” said the king in a cable carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA). “By doing so, I appeal to Allah Almighty to help you to shoulder the responsibility laid on your shoulder to achieve the hopes of our sisterly people of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
At the same time, we strongly shake hands with the men of all the armed forces, represented by General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who managed to save Egypt at this critical moment from a dark tunnel God only could apprehend its dimensions and repercussions, but the wisdom and moderation came out of those men to preserve the rights of all parties in the political process.
Please accept our greetings to you and deep respect to our brothers in Egypt and its people, wishing Egypt steady stability and security.
I expect Saudi Arabia to offer Egypt subsidized oil as well as cash for urgent food purchases, allowing the military to appear as national saviors — at least for the time being. It is not clear what the Muslim Brotherhood will do, but apart from seeking martyrdom, there is not much that it can do.
In the Beltway, to be sure, the same folk on left and right who thought the “Arab Spring” would usher in a golden era of Muslim democracy are wringing their hands over the tragic fate of Egypt’s first democratically elected government. These include Republicans as well as Democrats, whom I qualified as “Dumb and Dumber” in a May 20 essay for Tablet. The sequel — call it “Dumb and Dumberer” — is still playing on CNN and Fox News. No matter: the important matters are now in the competent hands of Prince Bandar, whose judgment I prefer to that of John Kerry or Susan Rice or John McCain any day of the week. The best-case scenario would be for the grown-ups in the region to ignore the blandishments of the Obama administration as well as the advice of the Republican establishment, and to do what they have to do regardless.
Americans who want to conduct a great experiment in democracy will have to take their laboratory somewhere else.

Friday, July 05, 2013

One round of free elections does not constitute democracy

 
Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, center, flanked by military and civilian leaders in including reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, far left, Tamarod leader Mahmoud Badr, second left and Pope Tawadros II, second from right, as he addresses the nation on Egyptian State Television Wednesday, July 3 (photo credit: AP/Egyptian State Television) 
 
The statement issued Wednesday evening by Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi confirmed the expectations of the last few days: the army, backed by the masses, had carried out a coup.
Yes, tens of millions had taken to the streets in recent days, illustrating just how badly the majority of the population wanted to see president Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood out of office. But Morsi was installed just a year ago, having been democratically elected. And he was overthrown by the military.  
Several major figures in Egypt’s political system sat next to al-Sisi when he delivered his statement — among them
  • former International Atomic Energy Agency head (and would-be president) Mohamed ElBaradei,
  • Coptic Pope Tawadros II, and
  • Al-Azhar University President Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb.
But to the left of al-Sisi, slightly behind him, sat a young, bespectacled, long-haired man to whom the defense minister owes the takeover. This man,
  • Mahmoud al-Aziz, was the representative of Tamarod (the revolution) a group that began operating only two months ago.
Tamarod succeeded where opposition politicians had long failed and led protests unprecedented in size that eventually resulted in Morsi’s ouster.
For al-Sisi, it was the speech of a lifetime. He started off by explaining that the military’s High Command had tried several times, to no avail, to reason with the presidency to accept the “people’s” terms. And therefore, he explained, it had been decided to present the “road map” to get Egypt out of its crisis.
The Egyptian general, who has yet to turn 60 and was appointed by Morsi to the job just 11 months ago, has been transformed into Egypt’s strongman. He is the one who appointed Supreme Constitutional Court chairman Adli Mansour as interim president. And he is also the one who will dictate the spirit of the new constitution and set the date for new elections. Mansour is expected to be sworn in and take on presidential authorities, alongside al-Sisi and the army, on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the army has isolated Morsi and banned senior Muslim Brotherhood officials from leaving the country. Wednesday evening also saw the closure of some of the television networks associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears that al-Sisi, like a good military man, does not dally but, rather, charges with full force in order to eliminate the enemy.
Yet the enemy, as far as al-Sisi and much of Egypt are concerned, is impossible to eliminate. At best it can be temporarily reduced in scale. In order to ensure the defense minister’s move is a success, he needs the cooperation of the Muslim Brotherhood, or at least some of the Islamists.
For now the ball is in “al-Ahwan’s” (the Brotherhood’s) court. If it consents to Morsi’s ouster, it may even win the next presidential elections with a more effective candidate. If it refuses and orders its followers to battle the new regime, Egypt may spiral into a bloody cycle of violence.
Morsi, minutes before he was removed by the army to a secure place, was able to smuggle out his reaction speech, in which he made clear that he refused to accept the military’s takeover. “I will not accept this attempt to take us backwards,” he said. Morsi called on the army to resume its traditional role of protecting the people. “I am the elected president of Egypt,” the Islamist politician said. “It is now demanded of the people to defend this legitimacy and … for legitimacy to be constitutional,” he added, saying that he was willing to call for new elections, but only for the parliament.
It was too little, too late. Five people were quickly reported killed Wednesday evening in clashes between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood, and they are not likely to be the last casualties.
Morsi’s ouster and the success of the secular protest in its clash with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt may presage the fall from power of other Islamist movements in the region, like Tunisia and Gaza.
In Tunisia, a protest against the Islamist constitution has already gotten underway.
But for Hamas, the news out of Cairo Wednesday night was especially grim. The Palestinian organization is losing its most substantial ally, one that gave it vital political support. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent organization and in many ways its “Godfather,” lost its power to a military establishment that is hostile to the Palestinian group’s goals.
Hamas, which has clashed with Syria and Iran over the course of the last year, now finds itself nearly isolated in the Arab sphere. Perhaps the new reality in which it finds itself will lead the weakened Hamas to conclude its reunification with Fatah.
Time will tell. As of Wednesday night, all eyes were focused on Egypt, where the short-lived presidency of Mohammed Morsi underlined, in case anyone was still in doubt, that the holding of one round of free elections does not constitute a transition to democracy.
 

A forgotten refugee

From Israel Today, 24 May 2013:

Dina Ovadia, today a soldier in the IDF Spokesperson Unit, was born in Egypt not knowing she was Jewish until the age of 15. In an emotional interview published on the IDF website, Ovadia spoke about her childhood in Alexandria, the earthshaking event that changed her life, the discovery of her Jewish identity, and her immigration to Israel and integration into local society.

Follow the link for the whole story.

A Jewish Family's Emotional and Harrowing Exodus from Egypt
Dina Ovadia, today a soldier in the IDF Spokesperson Unit – Photo courtesy: IDF Spokesperson Unit

Morsi Is Taken Into Military Custody

From the New York Times, 3 July 2013, by *:

CAIRO — Egypt’s military officers removed the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, on Wednesday, suspended the Constitution and installed an interim government presided over by a senior jurist.
Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of opponents of the government had gathered each night since Sunday to demand Mr. Morsi’s removal, erupted in fireworks and jubilation at news of the ouster. At a square near the presidential palace where Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters had gathered, men broke into tears and vowed to stay until he was reinstated or they were forcibly removed. “The dogs have done it and made a coup against us,” they chanted. “Dying for the sake of God is more sublime than anything,” a speaker declared.
Mr. Morsi rejected the generals’ actions as a “complete military coup.”
Military vehicles and soldiers in riot gear had surrounded the rally in the hours before the takeover, and tensions escalated through the night. Within hours, at least seven people had died and more than 300 were injured in clashes in 17 provinces between Mr. Morsi’s supporters and either civilian opponents or security forces.
By the end of the night, Mr. Morsi was in military custody and blocked from all communications, one of his advisers said, and many of his senior aides were under house arrest. Egyptian security forces had arrested at least 38 senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Saad el-Katatni, the chief of the group’s political party, and others were being rounded up as well, security officials said. No immediate reasons were given for the detentions.
For Mr. Morsi, it was a bitter and ignominious end to a tumultuous year of bruising political battles that ultimately alienated millions of Egyptians. Having won a narrow victory, his critics say, he broke his promises of an inclusive government and repeatedly demonized his opposition as traitors. With the economy crumbling, and with shortages of electricity and fuel, anger at the government mounted.
The generals built their case for intervention in a carefully orchestrated series of maneuvers, calling their actions an effort at a “national reconciliation” and refusing to call their takeover a coup. At a televised news conference late on Wednesday night, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi said that the military had no interest in politics and was ousting Mr. Morsi because he had failed to fulfill “the hope for a national consensus.”
The general stood on a broad stage, flanked by Egypt’s top Muslim and Christian clerics as well as a spectrum of political leaders including Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize-winning diplomat and liberal icon, and Galal Morra, a prominent Islamist ultraconservative, or Salafi, all of whom endorsed the takeover.
Despite their protestations, the move plunged the generals back to the center of political power for the second time in less than three years, following their ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Their return threatened to cast a long shadow over future efforts to fulfill that revolution’s promise of a credible, civilian democracy. But General Sisi sought to present a very different image from the anonymous, numbered communiqu├ęs from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that were solemnly read over state television to announce Mr. Mubarak’s exit, and the general emphasized that the military had no desire to rule.
“The armed forces was the one to first announce that it is out of politics,” General Sisi said at the start. “It still is, and it will remain away from politics.”
Under a “road map” for a post-Morsi government devised by a meeting of civilian, political and religious leaders, the general said, the Constitution would be suspended, the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, would become acting president, and plans would be expedited for new parliamentary and presidential elections under an interim government.
At the White House, President Obama urged the military to move quickly to return Egypt to a democratically elected government, saying, “We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian Constitution.” The president notably did not refer to the military’s takeover as a coup — a phrase that would have implications for the $1.3 billion a year in American military aid to Egypt.
Still, there was no mistaking the threat of force and signs of a crackdown. Armored military vehicles rolled through the streets of the capital, surrounded the presidential palace and ringed in the Islamists. The intelligence services put travel bans on Mr. Morsi and other top Brotherhood leaders. The Brotherhood’s satellite television network was removed from the air along with two other popular Islamist channels. The police arrested at least two prominent Islamist television hosts and many others who worked at those channels, as well as people who worked at a branch of the Al Jazeera network considered sympathetic to Mr. Morsi, security officials said. And state television resumed denouncing the Brotherhood as it once did under Mr. Mubarak.
Moments after the General Sisi spoke late Wednesday, Mr. Morsi released a short video over a presidential Web site delivering a final, fiery speech denouncing the ouster. “I am the elected president of Egypt,” he declared. “I am ready to sit down and for everybody to sit with me and to negotiate with everybody.”
“The revolution is being stolen from us,” he repeated.
Minutes later, the Web site was shut down, the video disappeared and he e-mailed journalists a statement “as the president of the Republic and the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces” urging all to follow the rules of the recently approved Constitution. Then he called the takeover “a complete military coup which is categorically rejected by all the free people of the country who have struggled so that Egypt turns into a civil democratic society.”
And in a sign of how little Mr. Morsi ever managed to control the Mubarak bureaucracy he took over, the officers of the Presidential Guard who had been assigned to protect him also burst into celebration, waving flags from the roof of the palace.
Although the tacit control of the generals over Egyptian politics is now unmistakable, General Sisi laid out a more detailed and faster plan for a return to civilian governance than the now-retired generals who deposed Mr. Mubarak did two years ago. General Sisi made no mention of any period of military rule and granted the acting president, Mr. Mansour, the power to issue “constitutional decrees” during the transition.
Mr. Mansour was named to the bench by Mr. Mubarak two decades ago, before Mr. Mubarak sought to pack the court with more overtly political loyalists or anti-Islamists. Mr. Mansour ascended to the post of chief only a few days ago and, while he is said to be highly regarded, not much is known of his views or how much authority he will truly wield.
General Sisi called for the formation of a “technocratic government” to administer affairs during the transition and also of a politically diverse committee of experts to draft constitutional amendments. It was not clear who would form the government or the committee. The general said that the constitutional court would set the rules for the parliamentary and presidential elections, and the court would also “put forward a code of ethics to guarantee freedom of the press and achieve professionalism and credibility” in the news media.
The general’s plan bore a close resemblance to one proposed in recent days by the ultraconservative Islamist Nour Party, and suggested that he was seeking to bring in at least some Islamists as well as liberals and leftists to support the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Nour Party, which quickly endorsed the plan, had joined other political groups in accusing Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood of monopolizing power at the price of a dangerous political polarization.
But unlike liberals, the ultraconservative Islamists were keen to avoid the installation of a liberal like Mr. ElBaradei as a transitional prime minister, or to see the current Constitution — with its prominent recognition of Islamic law — scrapped instead of revised. It was unclear if the generals planned to allow the Brotherhood to compete in parliamentary elections and potentially retake its dominant role in the legislature, which could give it the ability to name a new prime minister.
Brotherhood leaders urged Islamists to resist. “The people will not surrender,” Essam el-Erian, a senior Brotherhood political leader, declared on the group’s satellite channel before it disappeared from the air. “The military will reach the point when the conflict is no longer between political opponents. Instead the military will be in confrontation with a large sector of the people — I daresay the bigger part.”

*Reporting was contributed by Kareem Fahim, Mayy El Sheikh and Ben Hubbard from Cairo; Mark Landler from Washington; Alan Cowell from London; and Mona El-Naggar from New York.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Obama apprently supports the Muslim Brotherhood

From Commentary, 3 July 2013, by :

Late Wednesday afternoon, the silence from the White House about events in Egypt finally ended. In a statement, President Obama claimed that he is neutral on the question of who controls Egypt but wishes to uphold certain principles. The text contains anodyne proclamations about democracy and the participation of all groups in the government of Egypt that are unexceptionable. But it also clearly states that the president is “deeply concerned” about the ouster of Morsi and the suspension of the Egyptian constitution that brought him to power, calls upon the military not to arrest the deposed leader or other Muslim Brotherhood officials, and then pointedly says that he has “directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.”
In other words, you don’t have to read too closely between the lines to understand that Obama is angrier about regime change in Cairo than he ever was about the Islamist attempt to remake Egypt in their own image.
President Obama stood by passively for a year as Morsi and the Brotherhood began to seize total power, repress critics and pave the way for a complete transformation of Egypt into an Islamist state without threatening a cutoff of U.S. aid. Now Obama has finally found the guts to use America’s leverage over the country but only to register his protest against the downfall of the Brotherhood.
This will do nothing to help Morsi and the rest of his authoritarian crew that had already topped the excesses of the Mubarak regime in only a year. The Egyptian military knows–despite the attempt of the Brotherhood to sell the West on the myth that a fascist-style movement like their brand of Islamistm is democratic in nature–that the only way to prevent it from fomenting violence is to use the same tactics it wanted to employ against Morsi’s critics.
But by doing so in this manner, the president has made it clear again to the Egyptian people that his sympathies are not with those who want a government that doesn’t wish to impose Islamism on the country or the minority that actually want democracy but with Morsi and the Brotherhood. Rather than repair the damage he has done in the last three years, the president sounds as if he is determined to double down on his mistakes.

Only Fundamentalism or Force: in Egypt too?


The latest events in Egypt confirm one of the salient patterns that have governed the upheavals in the Arab world of the last years. This is the troubling but unmistakable fact that despite all the chatter about peoples’ power, democracy, civil society and the rest of it, when it comes to the real, grown-up exercise of political power in the countries in question, there remain only two contenders: the forces of political Islam, and the armed forces of the ancien regime.
That this is so seems empirically irrefutable – from Algeria to Gaza, via Syria and Egypt ...
What is currently taking place in Egypt is a military coup in all but name. The army – the force through which Mubarak, Sadat and Nasir governed – is mobilizing to end the one year rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. It remains to be seen whether Mohammed Morsi and his comrades will yield to this mobilization, or attempt to resist it.
If they attempt the latter, Egypt will stand before a situation analogous to that of Algeria in 1991, when the regime’s military sought to annul the election victory of the Islamist FIS movement. The result was a bloody civil war which in retrospect may be seen as the precursor of what is now taking place in Syria, and what may now lie ahead in Egypt.
If, on the other hand, the Brotherhood choose to acquiesce to the demands of the military, then President Morsi’s remark that this will represent the reversal of the 2011 revolution is entirely correct. What will transpire will be military rule, presumably with a few civilian figureheads placed on the mast to enable the west to pretend that it is something else.
...What are the factors which time and time again prevent the emergence of a muscular, representative, civilian and secular politics in the Arab world?
A politics of this type, which can combine the readiness for the use of force with a commitment to the open society seems to me to be the foundation stone for workable democracy. 
In my own country, Israel, it very clearly exists. The primordial call of Jewish identity is the bedrock on which the democratic structure stands and is defensible and defended. Take away the former, and the latter would soon fall too.
Now the willingness to use force in order to defend rests at root always on something ‘irrational’, ie deeper than profit-loss, self-interested thinking. It must by necessity do so, since by engagement in such activity, the individual increases the possibility of his or her own early extinction. The ‘trick’ for making the open society work and be defensible seems to me the ability to combine or harmonize this deeper, non-rational layer of human motivation with the entirely rational commitment to institutions, structures, checks, balances and so on.
In the highly populated countries of the Arab world... liberal reformers are quite unable to command the kind of potent loyalties by which movements sustain themselves and win. Today, in Egypt, it is not they who are the real political and military actors. The required levels of commitment exist, solely, in the hands of Islamists on the one hand, and authoritarian nationalists on the other.
For as long as this remains the case, secure, rights based societies are likely to remain elusive in the Arabic-speaking world. But is the reason why it is the case, ultimately, because of powerful, pervasive ideas and practices in these societies which militate against the development of the kind of movements and institutions which could form the basis for a defendable civil society? It may well be. An unreformed, power-oriented religion that commands the deep loyalty of masses of people, and a stress on community security over individual rights would be the most notable factors here. And if it is so, it means that the anger of the populations at mis-managed societies will continue to be mis-directed, and that much remaining strife almost certainly lies ahead.