Egypt's descent

Egypt's descent

June 22nd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

OK, so is everybody happy now about what is happening in merry ol' Egypt?

Just to recap, the Arab Spring and the removal from power of strongman Hosni Mubarak were supposed to usher in a time of peace, liberty and representative government in Egypt.

But let us consider what has actually happened there recently:

• Judges aligned with Mubarak and the powerful Egyptian military have dissolved parliament.

• A member of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a group that was linked to the assassination of former Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat in 1981, won the recent presidential election.

• The military more or less gave its OK for that candidate, Mohammed Morsi, to assume the presidency, but it says it will retain all meaningful powers. It will write a new constitution for Egypt, and it will control the country's budget.

• The Brotherhood refuses to recognize the dissolution of parliament or the legislative control seized by the military.

So what's next? The Muslim Brotherhood is happy to have won the election, but it is not happy that the president will be reduced to figurehead status.

So is Egypt on course for civil war? And what if the Brotherhood gains real power in Egypt? That's hardly better than military control.

Maybe the United Nations should step in and solve things.

Oh wait, the U.N. can't even deal with nearly civil war-level violence in Syria, where the government has murdered protesting civilians by the thousands.

To quote The Associated Press, "[T]he U.N. said its 300 observers based in Syria were suspending all missions because of concerns for their safety after fighting intensified over the previous 10 days."

So perhaps a big U.N. intervention isn't exactly what Egypt needs.

For that matter, maybe nobody knows exactly what Egypt needs. But what becomes painfully clearer day by day is that freedom, representative government and respect for the rule of law did not take root during the absurdly hyped Arab Spring.