In the Land of the Pharaohs, the Democracy That Never Was

Some interesting events in Egypt yesterday: the dissolution of the 4-month old Egyptian parliament, the imposition of martial law, and the transference of legislative power into the clenched fists of the Egyptian military whose leaders will now appoint a new 100-member assembly which will then author the country’s new constitution.

Out on their collective arses are the Islamic extremists who overwhelmingly won parliamentary seats during all that Arab Spring/pseudo-democracy silliness.  The upcoming presidential runoff election scheduled for this weekend will take place as planned.  However, Ahmed Shafik, former prime minister under the deposed Hosni Mubarak, will now be allowed to face off against Mohamed Morsi, head of the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.  So the false choice facing Egyptian citizens this coming weekend will be to vote for either the military’s puppet president or to cast their ballot for the Imams’ handyman.

But are we really surprised at this odious outcome?  I would think that anyone with a grade school grasp of world history who has been watching this typical bit of Arab cabaret to be well aware that the deep-seated cultural forces swirling through the Middle East were hardly giving birth to a people-friendly democracy.  A parliament full of duly elected religious zealots would have quickly turned the land of wind and sand into a woman-hating wasteland of jihadi fundamentalism.  And of course, the strong men running the Egyptian military have always been loath to truckle to an all-powerful Caliphate and have never had any civic investment in fomenting a citizen-centered government.

This weekend we will witness the clash of the anti-democracy titans, the two dominant forces in the Middle East that will shape the future of Egypt and its neighbors.

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2 Responses to In the Land of the Pharaohs, the Democracy That Never Was

  1. wisebeyond says:

    Never thought I would say this… but why vote? If these are the choices. What exactly are the votes going to impact? The citizens … are they unable (really) or unwilling? Are they aware??? Like our go-to-the-polls-and-vote-for-the-’keep-you-answering-to-them’-left-wing-can’t-get-enuf-of-your-money danger to freedom and liberty jerks. Which leads me to this question… Why don’t we have a Conservative party?

    • What’s really telling as far as Egypt goes is that the majority seem to want an Islamic-based theocracy. Those seeking a more Western version of democracy with some basic rights for women are very much in the minority.

      There’s a Conservative party here in the US but it’s very much a fringe element. They’ve tried running candidates on a third party ticket for congressional seats here and there but haven’t been very successful

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