Comment on the
Article by Ursula Lindsey, in the Arabist on November 1st, 2013
I would like to comment on your remarkable article, and note the following:
It is true that the people consider the army as the rescuer from Morsi's rule, and that the people acknowledge it is an organized and powerful entity.
It is also true that the political parties are so weak and divided to count for anything, so they have been for the last two decades.
It is also true that everyone is using Morsi's failures to mobilize support for the army.
It is also true that the military as you quoted are the de facto authority, but let's keep in mind that it is acting behind curtains, and whoever will get up front and center, military or civilian will be held accountable for the people's aspirations.
You have been talking only politics, but the economy is much involved in politics, where government has no credible economical plan to get some money into the pockets of the vast majority of the poor people, no ruler will be able to continue. Revolutions or dictatorships can live in richer countries where it can feed its people, but not in poor countries depending on support of other countries for food.
The people will never be held responsible for the failure of any government in providing a better life to the people, even though if they elected the ruler or supported his overthrowing a bad regime.
You have to look into the steps by which General Sisi will come to power, knowing that the elections procedure and campaigning will take weeks, he will have to resign his post with the risks involved. I cannot think of a credible alternative scenario for him to step from one office to the other without passing through these steps.
General Sisi has a large number of supporters, but also he has a large number of adversaries, this will bring to our minds the elections of Morsi's versus Ahmed Shafik, where nothing is guaranteed, especially if we do not undermine the power of suggestion about the weak performance of his government.
What you quoted about boosting the state power over the society power by the constitution is not of substance, for one, the power lies in the hands of the people not the government, and the people can use it at any time of his choice, it has been proven twice in Egypt, and for two, a constitution is only as powerful as to how much the people support it, so a constitution as the one of Morsi's, even with 65% approval rate in referendum, when the people didn't even read a small part of its two hundred and twenty articles before voting, was not respected by the people, nor was it respected by Morsi as its author. So drafting another constitution does not matter, what really matters most is that a president should give the people a better life.
The Camp David accords support is not dependent on the military, and can never be threatened no matter who is ruling Egypt, because it is in the best interest of Egypt, and because the balance of power is largely in Israel's favor.
Security and stability are essential factors for economic improvement, so far it is not getting better. And using power will not help to achieve the desired stability. All solutions for this are political ones.
Given this data we can conclude that no one will rule Egypt happily, and that with no sustainable economical plan, Egypt will soon face its worst nightmare, when the poor people march over the cities for food, no army will ever be able to stop them. Keeping in mind that managing an economy of ninety million people is far more complicated than managing an economy for four hundred thousand military veterans.