Its all kicking off in Egypt, innit?
And since my FB, twitter and T.V. is filling up with people throwing about their views on what’s hip and happening in Egypt, I thought I might as well add my two pence into the mix. I’d hate to miss a good old bandwagon jumping. Other than following a herd of sheep its my favorite past time. But enough about my hobbies and interests. Lets get crack-a-lackin.
What going on in Egypt I hear you ask?
Stuff, mainly. Loads of it to be precise. But for all those ‘detail’ nerds ima try and break it down as best I can.
That guy Morsi, you know, the guy that looks like an Egyptian accountant who has just spotted an extra dime
Well he has been in power for over a year. And he hasn’t been faring so well. If Egypt was a football pitch and he was the only player on that pitch he would have scored an own goal by now. Side point, you know you have messed up when even the people who are against your overthrow unanimously choose to throw you under the bus in their argument against it.
Anywhozile, Morsi messed up and a sizeable segment of the Egyptian population had enough. They took to the streets like Morsi took to power causing a right old uproar. The opposition who have been whining ever since their loss to the big M jumped at this public display of aggregation like the MB jumped on the protests that overthrow the other big M. Sidenote, Egypt maybe try not electing a guy whose name starts with the letter M? Odds are you wont like him.
Morsi seeing all this ruckus decided to do the logical thing…the logical guy-in-the-middle-east-faced-with-opposition-thing that is and chat a lot of fraff about legitimacy and well not much else….well I hope it wasn’t much else cause to be honest I snoozed a good 2 minutes into the broadcast.
Anywayz, the military seeing all this drama unfold decided to get involved to remind Egyptians that they aren’t just bedazzled Rambo-esque young folk parading around in pretty tanks scattered randomly across the country. They actually do stuff…be it the wrong stuff. Well it was either that or go to war to prove their net worthiness. So they set a 48 hour ultimatum for the lads on either side to sort their shiz out.
Suffice to say, they didn’t sort their shiz out.
And so when the 48 hours was up… they decided to give Morsi the proverbial boot… well… to be honest it could have been the literal boot we have no way of knowing what actually went down. We know Morsi was overthrown not only cause the profits of Egypts firework companies- pun alert – skyrocketed over night, but because Morsi chose to launch his hell naw sass against this ruling on a FB page. As a rule of thumb, you know someone is out of power when they are foregoing national state TV, instead opting to broadcast their important message on a social network site that lets people update banal statuses like ‘I’m hungry’, ‘OMG GOSSIP GIRL FINALE’, ‘I like ice cream’.
So what does this all mean?
Puts on serious cap
Well it means a lot. When somebody gets elected two pacts are made. One by the elected official to the people: I will serve you justly. And one by the people to the elected official: we will let you serve your term.
Its one of democracies foundations. That’s not to say there aren’t other components to democracy, because there are many, many components, from freedom of speech, to an independent media free of government censorship, to a just judiciary etc.
All these components are needed for a viable democracy. Morsi’s mistake was not respecting these components. Instead he mistook winning an election for winning the hearts and minds of all his populace. These are two distinct things.
Morsi being kicked out of office before his term ended by a military coup is a breach of democratic principles. Aside from the obvious fact he got elected to serve a term, the more distressing thing is the form of his removal. Militarily.
The militaries role in essence is to defend the nation against external enemies. It is why historically it was formed and it is why in the west this institution remains wholly independent of the political process. It is a neautral entity and the thought of the military moving in and removing lets say, David-I’m-posh-as-a-crumpet Cameron from downing street would not only be politically charged act of treason but also wholly unacceptable.
But the problem with Egypt is not simply the military coup but the military itself. Ironically, it was a military coup led by Nasser which first initiated the 60 year long age of dictators that so begrudged the nation to rise up in protest in the first place. The military was also the institution that bestowed the Egyptian people with the gift of Mubarak. It is also the military through these upheavals which still stands institutionally as it did under Mubarak relatively unscathed. It is not to be trusted. History has taught us that much and the news that followed Morsi’s overthrow reinforces that view. Mere hours after his overthrow people were being arrested. From journalists like the ones in Aljazeera (who were still on air when the arrests were made) to around 300 Muslim brotherhood members.
If this doesn’t bother you then it should. You don’t trade one form of oppression for another. Freedom of speech is vital to a democracy and the fact that this is being breached is an ominous sign to say the least.
It is ominous because it’s déjà vu’ for some political analysts. The same mistakes are being repeated over and over again. The only difference is a role reversal. Morsi fell because he failed to work with the opposition to form a stable government and constitution. His failure cost him his presidency. The result will be no different if the opposition fail to work with the Muslim Brotherhood. Whether you like it or not, they are here to stay for a good while at least. The sizeable amount of people who voted him in have not disappeared overnight, though some may have. To move Egypt decisively towards any real form of progress the word that needs to be in every politicians vocabulary is this: Compromise.