The Egyptian Coup
Speaking for myself (Professor Abdelaal and I will do some more posts as events warrant), I think that the coup d’etat in Egypt will not end well. This isn’t because of some abstract thought that “democracy” means that the overthrow of a civilian leader by the military is always wrong. This is a transitional period for much of the Arab World, and things rarely work out so neatly. (Ask the French how their Revolution went.)
My thought is more practical. Why should any Islamist political party participate in constitutional democracy now? Basically, the message (in Algeria in the 1990s and in Egypt now) is that the military or other elites will not accept that victory. So why bother? It’s funny to watch General Fill-in-the-Blank say that he wants to include all parties in rewriting the Constitution while the police are arresting various leaders of one of those parties. Now, if I thought that this would lead to a better outcome, then I’d say fine. But I don’t think that it will. Basically, there’ll just be a large segment of the population that does not accept the government as legitimate, with all sorts of nasty consequences.
UPDATE: I’ll add one other thing. David Brooks, whom I normally like reading, penned an absurd column today defending the coup. It could have been written by a mandarin of the British Empire in 1925.