The military’s disdain for Gamal and his generation of casually corrupt businessmen was well known, as was their desire not to see him crowned, and the January uprising provided a perfect opportunity to abort the Mubarak family dynasty . . . . The only suitable dancing partner was the Muslim Brotherhood, an institution whose organizational, bureaucratic and service-providing experience was deeper than even that of the post-1956 militarized government itself.
As movies go — if only it were a movie — it’s a bad romance but one fit to the forms well known to autocrats.
1. Dismiss the other guy’s generals and get in your own.
2. Show off a few spiffy torture cells and get the word out.
See, for example: Alakhbar, “Mursi ‘torture chambers’ exposed.” December 7, 2012 and Okail, Nancy, “Two Years after Mubarak’s Fall, Torture and Denial Continue Unabated in Morsi’s Egypt,” Freedom House, February 11, 2013 and CBS News, “Egypt opposition claims 2nd anti-Morsi protester killed by police after torture, February 1, 2013 and Ahram Online, “Egyptian police torture 88, kill 34 under President Morsi: Rights report,” October 15, 2012.
3. Inhibit the Press.
4. Alter the constitution of the state to obliterate minority rights and secure greater executive privilege.
See, for example: Birnbaum, Michael. “Morsi’s decree sparks rival rallies in Egypt.” The Independent, November 2012 and Kirkpatrick, David D., “Morsi Admits ‘Mistakes’ in Drafting Egypt’s Constitution,” The New York Times, December 28, 2012 and RT Op-Edge “‘Morsi tires to ram Sharia constitution down Egyptian people’s throats’, RT, June 29, 2013 and Reuters, “Morsi cancels controversial decree amid protests,” The Jerusalem Post, December 9, 2012.
My standard, which I may define soon in some academic way, involves the term “Qualities of Living” and dimensions indicated by the adverbs “physically, psychologically, and spiritually.” Go to work on that standard any which way — the economics of physical comfort and security; perceived degrees of freedom in common constituent life; freedom and security in thought and worship — Morsi’s first year in power has been a disaster, itself the single greatest cause of incitement in Egypt this day.
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