One More Hour

With a deadline of 2:30 GMT, or 10:30 EDT, this doesn’t sound good:

“If the price for legitimacy is my blood, then I am prepared to sacrifice my blood to legitimacy and my homeland,” Morsi said in a speech that seemed aimed more at rallying his supporters than addressing his opponents, and which mentioned legitimacy more than 30 times.

I’m just an ugly American wondering why those foreigners are making so much noise all of a sudden, so here’s Juan Cole, and here’s a NYT backgrounder on how the Brotherhood lost public support. As with the last rounds of protests, there’s a bunch of sexual assault.

The Guardian doesn’t have their Egypt liveblog started yet. Here’s the Guardian liveblog. Here’s Al-Jazeera’s.






89 replies
  1. 1
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Breaking: Morsi’s on a plane to Moscow.

    I’m sorry.

  2. 2
    upyernoz says:

    For something like this, I also recommend the Arabist: http://arabist.net/

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    Elections have consequences, so does overturning elections.

    Remember Algeria.

  5. 5
    Soonergrunt says:

    If a leader is constantly using the word ‘legitimacy’ in his speech, it’s a safe bet that he has none, and he knows it.

  6. 6
    srv says:

    Mubarak should put up some of those Bush signs “Miss Me Yet?”

    I guess elections and democracy don’t really solve anything, do they?

  7. 7
    mistermix says:

    @PeakVT: Thanks.

  8. 8
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Sounds fine to me. He’s an asshole. Let the military take the country back.

  9. 9
    ruemara says:

    non-participation in elections have consequences.

  10. 10
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Funny how Juan Cole’s couple of postings on this are at complete odds with what Totebagger Radio’s main thrust of the cause of the unrest: It’s the Economy Stupid.

    Sure, Morsi’s government has overseen a further collapse of an already moribund Egyptian economy but to hear the “experts” the Nice Polite Republican producers brought in, concerns about the constitution, Morsi’s questionable power grabs, etc., don’t even exist much less relate in any way to gazillions of protesters in the streets.

    I’m wondering why that’s being ignored by our corporate media.

  11. 11

    Hopefully this won’t end in a bloody civil war, but it’s starting to look like the new thing in the Middle East.

    Also, hopefully, we stay the hell out of it.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Let the military take the country back.

    Smh.

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Also, hopefully, we stay the hell out of it.

    Not sure we can. Not sure what the hell we can do.
    But I think, and I’m willing to be disabused of this, that Egypt is kind of the key to every thing we have going on in MENA.

  14. 14
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I don’t like Morsi. I think he’s a shitty administrator who can’t lead his way out of a paper bag, and I think he’s trying to make the country far religiously right wing than it was.
    But I don’t want a military coup. If Egypt is to become a stable, functioning democracy, it must do so on democratic terms. The Egyptian Army interposing itself into the political life of the country (even more than it has) is not a good thing. Democratic institutions can only really grow and thrive by undergoing and reacting to stresses like incompetent leadership of the moment, the unchecked will of the masses, and pressures from the State’s own bureaucratic institutions.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    Reuters: Military takes over state TV

  16. 16
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    If Egypt is to become a stable, functioning democracy, it must do so on democratic terms.

    @Soonergrunt: I could not agree more. the problem is that Egypt is not becoming a stable, functioning democracy; democracy has merely brought increased suffering and a huge loss of personal freedoms onto most of the people there.

    Democracy is good medicine, but it’s not for everyone.

  17. 17
    Cacti says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Democracy is good medicine, but it’s not for everyone

    So the answer to difficulties with democracy is a military junta?

  18. 18
    quannlace says:

    “If a leader is constantly using the word ‘legitimacy’ in his speech, it’s a safe bet that he has none, and he knows it.”
    ****
    Kinda like having to say ‘Fair and Balanced’ all the time.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Religious assholes trying to push their fucking theology on everyone.

    Am I talking about Egypt, or Texas? You decide.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Punchy says:

    The lead singer of The Smiths is running Egypt?

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:

    This paragraph from the NYT story makes the situation sound strangely familiar:

    After Mr. Morsi persuaded the military to yield him full powers last August, he and his Brotherhood allies increasingly operated as though his narrow electoral victory gave them a mandate to override their civilian opposition. (emphasis mine)

    I think there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek there, but I guess conservatives are alike all over.

  24. 24

    I have zero insight about what is going on in Egypt or the rest of the middle east for that matter. However it does not look good.

  25. 25
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    So the answer to difficulties with democracy is a military junta?

    @Cacti: Fuck if I know. That’s a question that falls well beyond both my pay grade and experience.

    I will say this: democracy only works if you have an engaged and informed citizenry. Egypt fails that test. The United States is frankly currently failing that test as well.

    In the absence of democracy, something else must take its place.

  26. 26
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek there, but I guess conservatives are alike all over.

    The term “American Taliban” exists for a reason.

    Fledgling Middle East democracies could take a lesson or five, good and bad, from the democratic evolution of Taiwan and South Korea.

  27. 27
    aimai says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: What? Who is it not for? Because our Republican leadership is craptacular and in NC has just passed an anti sharia and anti abortion bill does that mean that “Democracy is not good for North Carolinaians?” And what does “not good for” lead you to if it leads you to accepting the right of the military to step in and force a coup?

  28. 28

    @Soonergrunt:

    I don’t like Morsi. I think he’s a shitty administrator who can’t lead his way out of a paper bag, and I think he’s trying to make the country far religiously right wing than it was.
    But I don’t want a military coup.

    I agree but having a president that dances to the tune of a foreign power may be worse. That is exactly the situation, here.

  29. 29
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I will say this: democracy only works if you have an engaged and informed citizenry. Egypt fails that test.

    That’s not how I see it. The “failure” was the fact that opposition groups to the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t have the ‘Hood’s decades of organizing behind them to mount an effective political campaign. That aspect of Morsi’s campaign was well documented even by our corporate media.

    Since they couldn’t “compete” initially, that allowed Morsi and his conservative(r) allies into the constitutional hen house where they could, and did, enact a constitution that was exactly what all the opposition groups feared would be.

    They’re engaged and informed, they just couldn’t get organized to the level they needed to be to engage in an effective political campaign when it counted. Kinda like Democrats can be in many states.

  30. 30
    Steve Crickmore says:

    Is it a pity US army personnel are now prevented from reading the Guardian by the Pentagon? The site has been blocked by them, so they won’t be able to peruse the material that has been released by Greenwald and company on the US security state. Does mastermix realize he is abetting the cause of the enemies of the Pentagon, and being ‘unpatriotic’ when he suggests we follow their liveblog on Egypt? It seems only a couple of days ago mastermix was demonizing the editorial policy on the Guardian

  31. 31
    burnspbesq says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    The Egyptian military seems to be adopting a role similar to the role historically played by the Turkish military: guarantor of a secularist state.

    I suspect that the average Egyptian didn’t fully believe that the Brotherhood would actually try to turn Egypt into a conservative theocracy, and has now gotten a bad case of buyer’s remorse.

    A snap election would probably be the preferred solution, but I don’t think the current Constitution provides for it.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You’ll note the parallels: Morsi is as focused like a laser on jobs as much as the teatard crippled House is.

    The economy is in the gutter, and social issues are the most important thing on the agenda.

    People are pissed.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    “some say that if you’re Muslim you can’t be free, you don’t desire freedom”

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I will say this: democracy only works if you have an engaged and informed citizenry. Egypt fails that test.

    I’m pretty sure that a citizenry that’s protesting in the streets by the hundreds of thousands can be said to be “engaged,” FFS.

  35. 35

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    They’re engaged and informed, they just couldn’t get organized to the level they needed to be to engage in an effective political campaign when it counted.

    This.

    Then the opposition made a fatal mistake. When the fundamentalist-concocted constitution was put to a referendum, the opposition boycotted and stayed home. It passed with a 60% majority but with only 30% turnout.

  36. 36
    Craig says:

    @burnspbesq: The Brotherhood in Egypt was a cloistered secret society for almost a century. The average Egypt had no idea how reactionary they are, and the average Brother had no idea how cosmopolitan the average Egyptian is. They just assumed that if they shared the same opponent that they must share the same goals also.

  37. 37
    Narcissus says:

    Civil conflict in Egypt would be a much different animal than Libya or even Syria. The Egyptian military has extremely close ties with the US military as well as state of the art weapons systems.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:
    Try telling any nation that wants democracy that they’re not the right people to have it, and see what sort of response you get. The problem with democracy in Egypt is not that Egypt was the wrong place to try it, but that it still hasn’t been set up right. The military still has the power to put its thumb on the scale; Mubarak fell only because the military figured it had no more to gain by letting him stay on. It could almost certainly depose Morsi any time it felt like it. The Muslim Brotherhood has the best political org in the country, but can’t govern very well.

    You’d need to take the military out of the political picture. You’d need to build up viable political competition to the Brotherhood. (In Malaysia, this latter step took until half a century after independence.) That’s just for starters, and each would take a lot of doing.

  39. 39
    Craigo says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The Brotherhood in Egypt was a cloistered secret society for almost a century. The average Egypt had no idea how reactionary they are, and the average Brother had no idea how cosmopolitan the average Egyptian is. They just assumed that if they shared the same opponent that they must share the same goals also.

  40. 40

    @burnspbesq:

    I suspect that the average Egyptian didn’t fully believe that the Brotherhood would actually try to turn Egypt into a conservative theocracy, and has now gotten a bad case of buyer’s remorse.

    That is my understanding. There is apparently a significant number of people that supported Morsi that are shocked by his theocratic and autocratic behaviour once in office.

    A snap election would probably be the preferred solution, but I don’t think the current Constitution provides for it.

    It apparently doesn’t provide a means to remove the president from office, either.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Va Highlander:

    Then the opposition made a fatal mistake. When the fundamentalist-concocted constitution was put to a referendum, the opposition boycotted and stayed home.

    Has boycotting an election ever worked? Anywhere? I honestly don’t get the people who think that staying home does anything other than make their opponents look like they won a legitimate victory.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Craig:

    You saw the same dynamic in Libya, and you’re seeing it in Syria.

    Wildly divergent groups have a common enemy…Qaddafi or Assad. Once the common enemy is gone, suddenly they’re faced with the issue of which faction’s vision will replace what was there? These people are not used to give and take and compromise, any more than the teatards are.

  43. 43
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I will say this: democracy only works if you have an engaged and informed citizenry. Egypt fails that test. The United States is frankly currently failing that test as well.

    It seems the people of Egypt are pretty damn well informed and engaged–I mean, there were 14 million in the streets a couple days ago–how much more engaged can you get?

    The problem with this situation is that whatever government gets to power must at least try to address the basic needs of everybody (water, food, electricity). Reading a lot of reactions from the protestors as to why they are doing this, many are saying things like “I can’t get clean water” or food or they don’t have electricity (whereas they did before).

    So, even though I fully admit Morsi is the validly elected government, it’s not realistic to expect those millions who don’t have water, food, electricity to just “Wait for the next election 3 years from now, ole chaps!” when in the meantime Morsi is doing things to make your situation worse.

    I don’t have a good answer either. If the Morsi government was expending at least some of their efforts to alleviate these problems, I don’t think this would be happening. You can also feel free to blame overpopulation, banks tanking the worldwide economy, and lack of real resources in Egypt.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: That’s a very good way of analyzing the situation. I forgot that aspect to the original vote.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I hear Britt Hume’s voice when I read those words.

  46. 46

    @Mnemosyne: No, boycotting has never worked. Democracy is a participatory process. Full stop.

    Juan Cole talked about it at the time, saying that they were making a serious mistake.

  47. 47
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @burnspbesq: Buyer’s reMorsi!

  48. 48
    MomSense says:

    @Va Highlander:

    Elections have consequences. Demonstrating your displeasure by not voting is idiotic. See also, too 2010 US elections.

  49. 49
    Chris says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I don’t like Morsi. I think he’s a shitty administrator who can’t lead his way out of a paper bag, and I think he’s trying to make the country far religiously right wing than it was.
    But I don’t want a military coup. If Egypt is to become a stable, functioning democracy, it must do so on democratic terms. The Egyptian Army interposing itself into the political life of the country (even more than it has) is not a good thing. Democratic institutions can only really grow and thrive by undergoing and reacting to stresses like incompetent leadership of the moment, the unchecked will of the masses, and pressures from the State’s own bureaucratic institutions.

    I hate the expression “PREACH!” so I will simply quote this for truth and say “this.”

  50. 50
    inventor says:

    @Amir Khalid: In the long term, you are of course correct. The problem with removing the military from the politics in the short term is the unique place the Army has in Egyptian society. The majority of Egyptians have a personal or economic connection to the Army and they are the most trusted institution in the country. They are also the most organized secular entity in the country.

  51. 51
    bill d says:

    They never had these sort of problems when they had a pharaoh. Well, maybe once.

  52. 52
    Woodrowfan says:

    but the Brotherhood has been armed with tanks and fighter jets by Obama! The righties told me so!

  53. 53
    bill d says:

    Isn’t there an Egyptian version of Peggy Noonan who can tut tut those rabble rousers back inside?

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    @bill d:

    Isn’t there an Egyptian version of Peggy Noonan who can tut tut those rabble rousers back inside

    No, praise be to Allah.

  55. 55
    PaulW says:

    any man who must say out loud “I am the king” is no king at all. – Tywin Lannister

    said by the man who’s really in charge, telling his grandson who really wasn’t.

  56. 56
    Narcissus says:

    @bill d: Neggy Poonan.

    She’s…Pakistani.

  57. 57

    @Mnemosyne:

    Has boycotting an election ever worked? Anywhere?

    IIRC, there are a few places that have minimum turnout requirements for for at least some elections, which makes a boycott a viable approach. But yes, without an explicit rule like that a boycott is a really bad idea.

  58. 58
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    It seems to me that the military has effectively run Egypt since Nasser’s day. Egypt’s economic and social mess is to a great extent the military’s fault – Morsi couldn’t fix an economy that had been mismanaged for decades in a year or two if he were Solomon.

    The generals encouraging the parties to talk and compromise is a good thing. Morsi and the Brotherhood need to stop thinking they are a new pharaoh. The generals forcing Morsi out or suspending the constitution, or whatever else they may have in mind, is not. I don’t know what can be done under the current constitution, but the system they have is broken. Many things can be done short of the military taking over (inclusive political meetings, drafting a new constitution, early elections, etc., etc.; if they do step in it’s not going to fix things…

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  59. 59
    Catsy says:

    @Va Highlander:

    Then the opposition made a fatal mistake. When the fundamentalist-concocted constitution was put to a referendum, the opposition boycotted and stayed home. It passed with a 60% majority but with only 30% turnout.

    There’s a lesson in there for the ‘baggers, Naderites and related flavors of morons.

  60. 60
    maya says:

    Well, we’re certainly going to have to study up on the finer points of the Egypt problem.

  61. 61

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    The problem with this situation is that whatever government gets to power must at least try to address the basic needs of everybody (water, food, electricity).

    And the first government under a new structure has the huge added responsibility of getting the general structure of the government up and running. That demands restraint in pursuing any extraneous goals.

  62. 62
    bill d says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    The problem with this situation is that whatever government gets to power must at least try to address the basic needs of everybody (water, food, electricity). Reading a lot of reactions from the protestors as to why they are doing this, many are saying things like “I can’t get clean water” or food or they don’t have electricity (whereas they did before).

    Sounds like a job for L. Paul Bremer. I hear he is available.

  63. 63
    Anna in PDX says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I don’t know how engaged and informed the electorate is in well-established representative democracies, like ours, so I don’t know that this is a great argument against Egyptians having a representative democracy.

    That said, I am also at a loss and very frustrated about Egypt. I lived there from 1998 to 2006 and I have lots of friends and relatives there and everyone is angry and frustrated and there seems to be no positive move in any direction from anyone. I keep thinking that it is easy to be against someone, but what are you for? What is the alternative? And I am not seeing any answers. Maybe I am not looking in the right places.

    Another friend of mine works at this think tank in South Africa, the Afro-Middle East Centre, and they have a very good paper out about the situation there, which is not up on their website but I have the pdf. if anyone is interested, please email me. anna underscore in underscore pdx at live dot com

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That demands restraint in pursuing any extraneous goals.

    The problem is that the Brotherhood seems to think that food, water, and electricity are extraneous trivialities next to purifying Egypt in the name of Allah.

    Pretty much how our local religious nutcases are unconcerned with all this (“the magic market will provide!”) and are concentrating on setting up monitoring stations inside women’s uteri.

  65. 65
    Citizen_X says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The Egyptian military seems to be adopting a role similar to the role historically played by the Turkish military: guarantor of a secularist state.

    The Turkish military protected a secular state but not a democratic one. I’m no fan of Erdrogan and his party, but it looks like they brought what was necessary for a stable democracy: a conservative, religious party that knows its limits. A point the MB needs to learn, as well as some others. DO YOU HEAR ME GOP? YES I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU.

  66. 66
    catclub says:

    @Narcissus: Naan, mmmm.

  67. 67
    Jay C says:

    Well, as of now (11:35 EDT), Al-Jazeera reports that Pres. Morsi is insisting on “constitutional legitimacy”, and refusing to leave office: but that he has offered to form what the describe as a “consensus government” to deal with the unrest. Which I take to mean he is probably going to (if he’s smart) re-constitute his Cabinet to diminish the MB influence, and add a few Opposition (and military) figures – start to play down the social/religious stuff, and (again, if he’s smart) make a concerted effort to deal with crap like the electric and water issues – and make sure the public knows that he’s behind it all.

    But like I said – IF he’s smart – who knows?

  68. 68
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Exactly what the hell are the Freemasons doing if they aren’t running things and keeping order?

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Courtesy of George W. Bush. Or FTD in this thread, either way.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @maya:

    “If I said you had some bird’s milk would you hold it against me?”

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Making Steve Guttenberg a star.

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    The Arab branch is running down little kids with little cars.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Keeping the Metric System down?

  74. 74
    Anna in PDX says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: There is a lot of paranoia in Egypt about those kind of groups. They are really scared of the Rotary Club, too. It is quite interesting, it goes back to Ottoman times.

  75. 75
    Alex S. says:

    @bill d:

    Ha, nice! I assume you’re referring to Nefertiti’s husband?

  76. 76
    Anna in PDX says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: A very fair statement. As usual conservatives focus on social stuff and ignore real pervasive problems.

  77. 77
    Alex S. says:

    @bill d:

    Ha, even nicer!

  78. 78

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Exactly what the hell are the Freemasons doing if they aren’t running things and keeping order?

    I think that the Freemasons, backed by the Clone Arrangers and the Bavarian Illuminati, are attempting to destroy the Post Office.

  79. 79
    Citizen_X says:

    @bill d: An Islamic Peggy Noonan would not be drunk all the time, but baked on hashish. Which tends to cut down the motivation to keep the rabble in line.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, that’s the House Rethuglicans.

  81. 81
    Paul in KY says:

    @quannlace: Or as Tywin Lannister would say: ‘If you have to mention you are the King of Westeros, then you are not the King of Westeros’ or something like that.

  82. 82
    cvstoner says:

    …in ramming through a fundamentalist constitution, in packing the upper house of parliament with the Brotherhood and its sympathizers, and by neglecting to improve services or the economy…

    Sounds eerily close to the methods being used at the state and federal level here…

  83. 83
    Poopyman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Those are the Shriners, you idiot! Sworn enemies of the Freemasons. Boy, if you ever want to see a bloody knife fight, just get those two conventions in the same city.

  84. 84
    Paul in KY says:

    @PaulW: Didn’t see you had already said that. Valar Morgulis!

  85. 85
    Paul in KY says:

    Would be interested to hear Mantoko’s viewpoint on this.

  86. 86
    some guy says:

    Al Jazeera? really? the official mouthpiece of the Qatari Emirate? holy guacamole, was the Saudi royal press office unavailable?

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Oh, wow. That brings back memories of “don’t say her name, she’ll pull a Kibo on us!”

    Still, considering what a huge fan of the Brotherhood she was back in the day…

  88. 88
    Yatsuno says:

    Morsi really had one task: stability enough to get the tourists to come back. Because without tourism Egypt has little else to draw from economically. Tolls for the Suez Canal ain’t gonna pay for bupkess.

    @Citizen_X: The Turkish military is vested in protecting the legacy of Atatürk, which means secular rule by any means necessary. But they do hand back the reins to a civilian government since they seem to have little appetite for actually running the country. And yes they are watching Erdogan right now very very closely.

  89. 89
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: She followed that stuff more, so we cudlips didn’t have to.

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