Decrees invoking authority the current ruler doesn’t lawfully have. Attempts to demonize “old regime” holdovers. Removing old-guard generals from power. Pushback from advocates of democracy that are ignored by the rulers – and marginalization of democracy advocates. Efforts to produce a new constitution so that there’s little or no chance of actual debate concerning its contents.
Think that sounds like Iran, early 1979, when they were laying the groundwork for setting up the Khomeini Shia theocracy? You’re right.
The Muslim Brotherhood-backed President of Egypt has done all of that. Without authority, he has dismissed the nation’s chief prosecutor and placed many of his decrees “off limits” to judicial review – by issuing a decree, of course. He’s dismissed or marginalized many in the former Egyptian military leadership. He’s insinuated that no judicial review or input will be appropriate for the planned new Egyptian constitution planned for next year. And he’s doing all he can to marginalize El Baradi and other advocates of actual democracy.
In short, as far as I can tell he’s following Khomeini’s playbook to a T – with the exception that he’s putting a Sunni spin on things. And he’s cagy enough to have done some of the most visible of these abuses of power over a long holiday weekend in the US, and immediately after playing “peacemaker” between Israel and Gaza.
Tell me again why we supported this movement – and this budding theocratic dictator – in the first place? Didn’t we get our nose “rubbed in it” thoroughly enough 33 years ago to learn our lesson?
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Category: Foreign Policy