Sunday, February 13, 2011

Egypt: Military disbands Egypt parliament, suspends constitution -

Egypt: Military disbands Egypt parliament, suspends constitution -

I'm afraid that declaring victory for democracy in Eqypt is premature, as it was is Iraq. The absence of an occupying force in Egypt improved the chance of achieving democracy because a potential dictator does not have an obvious scapegoat. But, if the military finds that power is fun, then a benevolent occupier, if there is such a thing, might increase the probability of democracy. Who would be the occupier most able to facilitate the transition to democracy?

Not the US, because to easy to rally against.
Neither Russia nor China, because their democratic credentials are week.

One of the main considerations should be who the Egyptians want. Let them lead a dialog.

The quote below shows some complications.

"We don't want to leave," said Mohammed Shaheen. "They'll never give up the emergency laws. And they'll use them to put people in jail."

As the campers watched the army clear the square, a parade of police and ordinary Egyptians materialized like a flash flood. The cops in blue sweaters and berets were raised on people's shoulders and waved Egyptian flags.

"The police and army are one," they chanted. The policemen pumped their fists and converged with the protesters' stage. "God is great, God is great," the two groups roared, while cars beeped and inched forward, as if nothing unusual had happened.

Some responded in anger at the police. One young man tried to charge them. "The police killed us! Don't believe them," he shouted, before a group pulled him back.

Others looked on, bemused. Tahrir Square was slowly returning to normal. They believed the people had won.

"We are taking our freedom," said Wael Mustafa, 40. He smiled at the scene of soldiers, protesters, police and cars bumper to bumper. He predicted that if the army didn't keep its word, "the people will come back."

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