Egypt: Now what? Civil war?

Mass protests against President Morsi have been going on since June 30.

Hmm . . . Already the protesters are “rebels.” And that’s just Wikipedia.

The Army gave Morsi 48 hours to resolve the crisis, and now that deadline has passed. But what they’re gonna do about it, they ain’t sayin’.

Is this going to lead to a full-blow civil war? That could be a really ugly war-to-the-knife – it would be like the mass movement that drove Mubarak from power, only divided in two and each half lusting to kill the other in the streets. And that’s all apart from whatever the Army might do.

My limited understanding of the situation is the armed parties (military/police) are solidly behind the “rebels” (anti Morsi protesters) and the protesters are actually on the side of the majority of Egyptians. If my understanding is correct it will not be bloodless but it won’t be especially bloody.

Awaiting the smarter members to correct my assumptions :slight_smile:

What? What “will not be bloodless” – Morsi’s ouster?

How can Egypt develop a stable constitutional republic if it’s that easy?!

I must have missed the last part of your previous post, I was responding to your civil war question in the OP not the constitutional question posed in the post after mine.

To expand I think Morsi is done, between the very powerful and respected Egyptian military going against him (to my knowledge) and the judicial system just hours ago reappointed a former Mubarak prosecutor sacked by Morsi, it’s not looking good for his future. I did just see he is now willing to redo the “Islamic constitution” with members of the opposition so I could be wrong!

The thing that strikes me here is that if they’re serious about having a constitutional republic and real democracy, they need to let Morsi finish his term, no matter how odious he and his policies may be.

Otherwise, you throw out the rule of law every time the Army sides against its own government, or the judiciary ignores the Executive branch.

My impression is that if they leave him in office they’ll have neither a republic nor a democracy.

Not to rub in my own ignorance but that’s my take as well. President Morsi has been stacking and sacking, all aspects of government to align with the Muslim Brotherhood (TV stations, all forms of media in Egypt included) and that has led to a fear of another form of Egyptian tyranny.

A 2010 Pew survey found that 82% of Egyptian Muslims favored stoning as a punishment for adultery, 77% favored cutting off peoples hands and feet for property crimes, and 84% favor imposing the death penalty on those who leave the Muslim religion. You are quite right, but considering the restraint that the military has shown to date, it is easy to sympathize with those who prefer it to be in charge rather than any sort of majority rule.

There was a good NY Times op-ed today:

I read this the other night: “Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak tried to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood. Only Morsi succeeded.”

I think Egypt probably would have been in bad times regardless of who followed Mubarak, but that Morsi has also made it worse. I don’t think there’s going to be a civil war, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was further street violence and that Morsi is forced out.

I hope you are right but that is not a prediction I would make right now.

And everything he said in his campaign about having any commitment to democracy was a lie. That’s the kind of thing that will get a leader removed from office. The military is still probably the most powerful and maybe the most respected institution in Egypt. I don’t know how peacefully this can happen or how they would start over from here, but I hope it’s possible.

BBC TV is reporting a coup is now under way in Egypt, with tanks on the street.

And Egypt will never be a democratic republic until that changes.

Yeah, the WSJ is reporting Morsi is currently under house arrest but stressed it was an unconfirmed rumor.

Basically, Morsi wheeled and dealed to become President. He made a lot of promises in behind-the-scenes meetings to share power and have a government that respected Salafist and Secular groups and give them a shared power and influence, with him at the head. He mostly did not deliver on any of that. Then, he arguably broke the law by dismissing judges he didn’t like because they were from the old regime and then replaced them with judges that would accept the controversial constitution his party passed.

His supporters have basically said that since he won a free election, he basically should be able to do whatever he wants because it is the “will of the people.” That is precisely the type of “democracy” the American Founding Fathers feared, that elections would just give power to a succession of “democratically elected” tyrants governed by the passions of the mob.

It’s unfortunate that it looks like the best thing here is for the military to step in and essentially remove a democratically elected President from power. But ultimately, Egypt is trying to build a workable democratic government here. Many countries try that and fail multiple times before getting it right, and a rebellion/revolution/coup is often what transitions from one attempt to another.

A properly functioning democracy must give primary decision making power to the majority, but it must have ironclad protections for the minority. The result of being in the minority can’t be persecution and losing all power in society or the minority has no reason to tolerate the things the way they are.

And it probably won’t change until there is more than one organized political force.

Out of curiousity, did you consider Egypt to be a democratic republic a week ago? Because I’m generally of the opinion that one election doesn’t make a country a democracy.

This is the whole problem: Egypt is a society which is simply not ready for western style democracy.

Morsi used the democratic system to create a non-democratic state. If he stays in power, we will see his democratic election turn into the the old cliche: “one man, one vote-- one time.”

If Morsi is thrown out, then Egypt will return to a dictatorship like it was under Mubarek,but with much less legitimacy and less support from the west. But the country will probably remain in better economic shape and with a more stable society, and more freedom for women and minority groups.

Nascent. And this might be a miscarriage/abortion.