The Game

In a few hours, and after a week of wait, we will finally get the presidential results. There are two presidential candidates that are so close in terms of votes that it makes half of the country hostile to whomever is coming. The two dueling camps both now have their own spots for massive protests, after having the Shafiq supporters move their protest spot to Nasr City. The imagery on TV, presenting the dueling protests, were something that occupied the entire night capturing in live video imagery how divided this country is at the moment. The situation in Egypt has turned hilariously complex, to the point that if you detach yourself completely from the fight, You will be able to see the fascinating design that’s taking shape, and what the very near future holds for us.

First of all, we should admit that this is a very strange elections in terms of the reasoning behind the opposing camps, especially that they seem to be fueled by hate more than any other emotion: The Shafiq supporters hate the MB whom they believe are co-opting and using the “naively idealistic revolutionaries” for their own gains, and the Revolutionaries hate the Shafiq-Supporters or the fellol amongst them, to the point that they are willing to sacrifise anything to ensure they don’t reach power again, with the MB to gain from this. Their motivations are different: The Shafiqistas truly believe that they are actively trying to save Egypt, or their civil vision of it, from the almost totally ruining change in the country and society that will befall it if Mb wins, while the Revolutionaries truly believe that they are actively trying to save their revolution, whom they believe is what’s going to be in Egypt’s best interest on the long term. Their motivations are based on the concept of “Save what can be saved”, since the revolutionaries are trying to save the revolution’s and the country’s fig leaf with ensuring that the old regime candidate doesn’t win, while the Shafiqista are trying to save what’s remaining of their Egypt after the “security failure” and “economic ruin” have completely messed up their way of life, and they are not willing to have their society changing against them permanently as well, hence the Shafiq Slogan “Egypt is for all Egyptians”. They want to ensure and secure their place legitimately in the country, and they should also have a say in what’s going on, or else it’s not really a democracy. The Shafiqista’s are playing democracy, ladies and gentlemen. They are even protesting now in massive numbers. How things have changed. :)

But the interesting thing in all of this, with Tahrir being mainly MB, and Nasr City being mainly Shafiq supporters (Fellol, kanaba and general anti-MB individuals), the supreme majority of the revolutionaries sat home, for the first time, on their couches, and watched protesters protesting in the streets, and the country being divided in a fight that they are not uniformly invested in. It’s our turn to watch and freak out and analyze, and have the time to actually see what insanity gets spewed over our fantastic Media. The Media’s coverage of the elections is such a circus, that they are, in my opinion, hands down the only real winner in this election. And the worst part, they never actually tell you anything. You are simply watching verbal duels, and may the best-spoken win. Political entertainment and Theatre, in a surprisingly advanced way. It’s excellent. But all for nothing: It’s clearly obvious that Morsy will win the presidency. It’s the easiest route to resolve the situation, as long as they negotiate their deal’s arrangement with the MB, which they have been doing this whole past week. Feels awesome that our presidential election results are being negotiated. YAY democracy. YAY Voting.

But the crowning of Morsy for President will lead to the appearance that the MB have won the Game, and SCAF made the rules of the game, so how could they lose it by Morsy winning? Why would they do that?

Well, because whomever the next President is, his first term will only last 6 -9 months, by law. You see, SCAF will write the constitution, and will do one that will be appealing to most people, and then call a referendum on it, and the moment that happens, they will hold the parliamentary elections and then redo the presidential elections as well, which Morsy is not going to win it. Why? Well, because we have a very impatient population that wants quick improvements and Morsy will be screwed because of the horrifyingly bad economic situation that will take place in Egypt in those few coming months, and not only because of the world economic situation or Egypt’s economy, but mainly thanks to the Ganzoury budget. This is the Budget that Kamal Ganzoury made for the coming government and will be approved by SCAF, as the legislative e branch of the government before Morsy takes power and swears the oath on the 30th. Before that ceremony, he is not the president, and SCAF still is. What will that Budget entail? Well, after spending his year as PM spending like a drunken sailor up to 130% of the budget (and depleted many reserves), Ganzoury has probably assembled what appears to be an excellent budget, with all the figures balancing and a lesser deficit, but mainly due to cutting off a good chunk of fuel subsidies. Rumors are that it’s estimated to jump at least 50% in price the moment Morsy steps into office in July. Can you imagine what will happen? The protests? The precious and stingy way people will treat their gas? The less traffic due to the notion that no one wants to go anywhere unless they will really have to, and thus less social life? The increased price of transportation for people without cars? The increased price of goods due to the increased price of transportation? Fun Times ahead, folks. A fun year certainly.

Morsy knows that all of the unrest and unhappiness that such a budget would have a serious influence on his chances of re-elections or the Muslim Brotherhood in parliamentary elections, which is why he is trying to appoint a Prime Minister that is not Muslim Brotherhood, but rather a non-MB civilian accepted by most to take the blame for the government’s future economic failure. And, quite naturally, they offered it to Baradei , because he is our #1 choice for replacement leaders in times of crisis. Amazingly, he is the almost always available option when someone in the revolution’s camp gets stuck with the question of “who should we bring for this most unpleasant situation? Baradei, of course. Call him”. Well, if you love Baradei, you should hope he doesn’t accept that post, or else he would be set-up to take the blame for the bad economy set-up taking place. The problem for us as revolutionaries would be that given that Morsy is the revolution’s candidate, then he would be the second time that the choice presented by the revolutionaries to lead was “a failure for the economy”, the first being Essam Sharaf. We will never get taken seriously after that,, and we will be blamed for all of Morsy’s messes. He is the revolution’s candidate, according to some people. Also, please anticipate the emergence of the new Elite, made up for very rich MB families, and how they will start flaunting it now. Their business aristocracy will start showing immediately, with magazines wanting us to get to know the Morsy offspring and the Shater Kids. The Shater Family on Enigma’s cover. Imagine.

If Shafiq ends up winning, then the SCAF truly is playing with fire, since the MB will start causing unrest, and with them many revolutionaries and the bad economic situation will raise the heat on both SCAF and Shafiq, and makes it impossible for him to get re-elections, and it would revitalize the MB in popularity. Why would they do that? Already they have proven that the Islamists aren’t the majority of the country, and that Morsy can’t do it without the revolutionaries voting for him. If you noticed, Morsy rhetoric stopped being religious or islamist, and more revolutionary. Sharia is no longer selling politically, with the population. If it did, they would’ve used it, but they are also aware that the way they used to get votes or support will not work for a while. Political Islam is changing, and its practitioners no longer have their Halo’s in the eyes of the public. The next parliamentary elections will not have Islamists winning the majority, at all, either way. The Game has changed.

This next phase is going to be a doozy. Save your money, people. You are going to need it.

Comments

  1. The SCAF might just be willing to play with fire and bring in Shafeek. The military presence and early going home time for the whole country is not a good sign. They are so pissed off at the MB that they might cut their nose to spite their face. The SCAF. Has proven to be cunning And stupid, which is a dangerous combo. The day is still young, they might even redo some of the elections causing more tension and opening the door for more chances to make SHAFEEK win. The day is young and the magicians hat is still full of crap!

  2. I think you have a degree of understanding of events but they are so clouded by your arrogance that your analysis is incorrect.

    You would like us to accept that “the supreme majority of the revolutionaries sat home”. And that the results were “so close in terms of votes that it makes half of the country hostile to whomever is coming”

    However in reality Shafik never really garnered 50% of the votes. We all know that is forged and to the last minute Scaf could have declared the result whatever way they wanted. He could probably count on 25-30% on a good day!!! Similarly they obviously tampered with the Morsi figure. Giving 50% to him would imply it was much higher in reality (maybe 60%).

    We are all being forced to accept the results flawed as they are because the alternative is worse. The MB quite rightly will negotiate and back down and look to the long term. Even if Shafik represent 25% only theu are an imortant minority and include many christians. There must be an olive branch offered. That is for their good (the MB) and the good of the country I believe. God won’t change our condition until we change the petty hatreds in our own souls.

    However you appear to be accepting the results to make your next point that the real revolutionaries are sitting this out.

    In a stroke you can dismiss all the votes for Mursi from salafis, MB’s, AF, Middle of the road Muslims, liberals who see it as preferable to Shafik and moderate muslims and christians. Whatever way you look at it they form the largest single bloc of those supporting change in Egypt. And even by SCAFs fake presidential election figures they are 50%. What arrogance allows you to then claim the majority of egypptians supporting change are against a morsi presidency. It is simply not true statistically.

    So then we get your conclusion, not analysis but prediction.
    “Sharia is no longer selling politically, with the population.The next parliamentary elections will not have Islamists winning the majority, at all, either way.”
    But the facts haven’t really indicated that at all….
    Peace

  3. This analysis has one major flaw. The MB are not stupid and understand what is going on exactly as Sandmonkey does. They will force SCAF to share power with them by holding up the specter of internal unrest. They will insist on the right of parliament to decide on a new budget and they of course will oppose the disbanding of parliament. They could easily also disrupt any referendum on a new constitution.

    There are many weapons in the MB arsenal now that they have the legitimacy of the presidency, and they will play hardball with the SCAF unless the latter agrees to share power. The first indication of where the wind is blowing will be the fight over the disbanding of parliament. To think that the MB will emerge from this ordeal weaker is naive.

  4. And by the way, Morsi did not “win himself a trap”, he won a bully pulpit. He will use the presidency to point out regularly how the SCAF are setting him up for failure, if the SCAF do not compromise.

    Imagine what the MB were able to achieve and the base they built under military rule. You really think they will be less successful in strengthening their base when they actually hold the presidency and the parliament? That is wishful thinking.

  5. Enjoy the moment. The first and last presidential election in Egypt.

  6. Publicola says:

    … in how far a plausible and self-critical analysis and calculation [i.e. the one presented here by Sandmonkey]
    – of the different forces and motivations involved in the run-off, as well as
    – of some highly relevant consequences following from the resulting present state of affairs
    is supposed to reveal misleading arrogance

    that is and will remain forever a mystery to me.

  7. sore losers. yawn.

    Brothers have proven to be most competent and by far best organized political players in Egypt. will stay that way for years to come.

  8. I’ve problems in understanding the strategy of the liberals in Egypt. If the MB take all institutions, then they are accused of being greedy for power. But when they offer to share responsibilities, the answer is “no thanks, too big challenge, we might fail with you”. Isn’t there a strategy beyond the anti-everything ? In my view, civil forces will win or loose together.

  9. The MB are Islamicists. I don’t believe for a second they won’t impose sharia. The Egyptians said they wanted democracy and ended up voting for Islamic radicals who will end democracy. The irony.

  10. Egypt’s President-elect Mohammed Morsi said in an interview with Iran’s Fars news agency on Monday that he was looking to expand ties with Tehran to create a strategic “balance” in the region.

    Fars quoted him as saying he was interested in better relations with Tehran. “This will create a balance of pressure in the region, and this is part of my program”.

    Egypt is toast.

  11. Spain Viceroy says:

    Hopefully the implementation of Sharia Law will straighten your country out.

    • Like it did in Afghanistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Sudan? Those who want to bring Sharia only bring violence and despair. With Sharia you can say good by to any semblance of democracy that was hoped for in Egypt.

  12. Publicola says:

    @ Latifa However in reality Shafik never really garnered 50% of the votes. We all know that is forged and to the last minute Scaf could have declared the result whatever way they wanted. – No, that’s definitely not true!

    1 – “the Muslim Brotherhood electoral results are trustworthy. It may, in fact, be the most trustworthy part of the entire organization and its most positive contribution to the ongoing Egyptian revolution.”

    2 – “the MB benefited from the PEC rule that candidate agents got to observe the tallying, had to sign the final result sheet to show they agreed and got to keep a copy of the results”

    http://www.arabist.net/blog/2012/6/25/muslim-brotherhood-tallies-and-keeping-egypt-honest.html

    • Are you serious? You don’t think there was fraud? I mean this only worked one way in any major degree. That is Shafik got more than his voters. Do you not think the machine of the soft state is capable of that? 48% 52% is better than 95% for Mubarak…But we are still a long way from free and fair elections.

  13. what is "occupation" says:

    Let’s watch and see the level of unofficial support for hamas and cross border raids into israel increase.

    Let’s watch as the sinai goes to even more of a wild west persona….

    How long til un-named bands of “resistance” fighters go into israel and kill 6 month old “settlers”? Then of course complain to the UN when the “zionist entity” crosses egyptian national borders in illegal pursuit…

    Just how many more grad rockets will be fired into israel from egypt with egypt decrying it’s lack of knowledge and responsibility?

    Egypt new leader is also looking to closer ties with iran…

    Yep things will be heating up soon…

    My real question is: How will Egypt FEED itself? How will it EARN a living for it’s population?

    I guess those things will not matter if Egypt can rise to confront the only issue that matters… Jerusalem being the capital of Egypt

  14. Everytime we get a new boss at work my colleagues always say … it can’t be any worse than the last one.

    My answer is always … yes it can.

  15. In my opinion, the analysis provided by Sand Monkey is quite logical in terms of its theory and mentioned repercussions. Now after the announcement of the results with Morsi winning almost 52% of the votes over Shafik, one cannot guarantee that MB would continue to hold on power using their well-known ‘religious’ rhetoric. Even if their religious approach had supported their appointment in the parliamentary and presidential elections; the situation now can be quite different given the following:

    - Winning the presidency with a 52% ratio is a ‘winning’ indicator but it is not an indication of the dominant Egyptian support to MB – given the fact that a percentage of those who voted for Morsi, actually did so out of their objection to shafik’. I.e. The excessive voting support targeting MB figures in specific, during the parliamentary elections has been downsized to constitute slightly more than half of the voting population.
    In other words, statistics show that MB support amongst voters have shown a considerable decline.

    - Various legal and political challenges are facing Morsi and MB: to swear in in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court which can be an implicit indication of his general acceptance to its verdicts; to alternatively swear in in front of the legally ‘dissolved’ parliament and put himself in a judicial and legal trap with the ‘Law’ that actually acknowledged him to power; to negotiate a political settlement with the SCAF to change the constitutional declaration in favor of providing him with more legislative authority; to appeal to the Supreme Constitutional Court’s decision of dissolving the parliament. All such issues require primarily political and legal approaches; i.e. the ‘religious rhetoric is not of use at this phase’

    This is why i do agree that the rules of the game has changed; and that the room is now open for massive negotiations over holding on to power by both SCAF and Morsi or MB.

    Provided the above, I have the following upcoming questions:
    -what would be the upcoming political and economic consequences of the current scene.
    - if Morsi reaches a satisfying political and legal settlement with the SCAF; what are the sacrifices presented by his side? if so are they ideological in any sense? what be his ruling strategy? Will he come back to the religious rhetoric? will it actually appeal to the masses; will he try to apply sharia ‘as understood by MB perspective’ given that he guaranteed his stay in power and would this card prove effective in backing his public support and political presence?

    A lot of Ifs which i cannot find an answer to other than time….. the only fact I’m sure of is that whether conservative or liberal; religious or secular; democratic or autocratic, the coming system of governance will have to provide food, security and justice to the Egyptian people; who are as much critical as they can be emotional; very enthusiastic in their objection as they are in their support; who can push so hard to end what has been worked really hard to get started .
    So Good luck our President, the game is just starting and your role can soon be over.!!!!

    • “Will he come back to the religious rhetoric? will he try to apply sharia ‘as understood by MB perspective’ ”

      here is the answer to these questions

      Egypt presidential candidate seeks Constitution based on Sharia Law
      http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_05_13/74584752/

      Egypt’s Constitution should be based on the Koran and Sharia law, presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement Mohamed Morsi said.

      “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” Morsi said in his election speech before Cairo University students on Saturday night.

      Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels, he said.

      “Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals,” he said.

      • Leciat, Thanks for your reply, I can understand your point and reference to the MB declarations. However, in my opinion such announcements are not sufficient to actually know how the MB will react should they indulge in power.  The notions of Islam are clear and well defined to the Muslim world at least, but the ‘implementation’ of those notions is what counts and differs. Not all who claim to be ‘islamists’ necessarily implement the sharia and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH radically. When religion is politicized, conflict of interests take place, and justice and freedom can become very subjective. The MB reference to implementing sharia can be counted as a  backfire itself when it is used to attract a country who’s majority of it’s population are Muslims; where the second constitutional article acknowledges Islam as the main source of legislation; and where lies the most powerful and historical moderate Sunni islamic institution, namely al Azhar. Egyptian people are in no need for someone to recall the notions of the sharia, they already have legislative and institutional support for that, yet they felt that the sharia was not implemented in their country. So no matter how much the MB claim to do so, this doesn’t imply they will actually know how ( if truly intended by them) to implement this correctly to satisfy Egyptians both Muslims and Christians ( who represent a coherent demographic, economic and civil sect of the society).

        • christians who represent a coherent demographic, economic and civil sect of the society? in case you havent noticed, christians are persecuted and murdered in egypt (and the wider “muslim wolrd”) with impunity. i don’t think the mb or the muslim majority will give a thought to what might “satisfy” them.

          • Muslims as well as Christians in Egypt have been subject to injustice. The 25th of Jan revolution has witnesses the killings of both Christian and Muslim protestors. MB members themselves have suffered decades of political imprisonment and persecution by the previous regimes prior to the revolution. On another note, you have mentioned Christians being murdered in the ‘wider Muslim world’, I would rather not get in to this argument because if we come to global figures, you will find millions of Muslims being killed by non Muslim regimes ever since Western Imperialism was in place up till the present as in Palestine, Iraq, and even in the most democratic countries such as the US (

          • Muslims as well as Christians in Egypt have been subject to injustice. The 25th of Jan revolution has witnesses the killings of both Christian and Muslim protestors. MB members themselves have suffered decades of political imprisonment and persecution by the previous regimes prior to the revolution. On another note, you have mentioned Christians being murdered in the ‘wider Muslim world’, I would rather not get in to this argument because if we come to global figures, you will find millions of Muslims being killed by non Muslim regimes ever since Western Imperialism was in place up till the present as in Palestine, Iraq, and even in the most democratic countries such as the US (Guantanamo Detention Camp where capital punishment trial and application are widely questioned and violated). Anyways, in both cases no human being should be killed out of racist or unjust practices, regardless of his/her religion, race or ethnic differences. Back to Egypt, those who actually live in Egypt and experience the day to day events, will know that the majority of the population who had suffered most of poor economic, health and social conditions contributed to the Muslim sect of the population. Ironically enough those masses were not the ones who initiated the strikes that triggered the revolution, but it was the effective Christain and Muslim middle and upper class that this radical political change in Egypt has set up it’s basis.

          • Millions of muslims have only been killed by other muslims. Sunnis and Shia are killing each other daily. Funny how muslims never seem to notice that. Non muslims have never killed as many of the umma as their brothers have (not anywhere near). Maybe having so many illiterate people is a reason for not understanding why you have the worst countries and why so many muslims immigrate to the west as opposed to other muslim countries.

          • Publicola says:

            @ Karen – Absolutely correct!

    • I really don’t understand why many of the readers insist to switch the argument over a religious conflict between Muslims and Christians, in Islam we have no offense against any human being unless they start with aggression. Anyhow your judgement on Muslims and the Muslim world is your call and i’m quite surprized that despite your ‘ knowledge’ and our ‘ignorance’ you fail to prove your point objectively and without offending others, and on subjective stereotyping of a certain sect or race. As for the historical comparison of the level of Muslim aggression against Muslims, or Christian aggression against Christains this can be proved through studies and historical records, and goes back to several political, economic and social reasons, far apart from the true callings of all the holy religions which all call for peace, justice and faith in God.

      • Cameron says:

        “in Islam we have no offense against any human being unless they start with aggression”

        A question to muslims do you …lost for words… actually believe this shite you try to peddle?

        Because no one else does, excepting the generally defective.

  16. Quite interesting, deep and to-the-point piece ,and i do agree with the “hate” part expressed in these elections from two opponents.
    Well, it’s a fact now, Morsi is the president:thus All Egyptians (the President of all Egyptians) need to know how truly the president is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood now after claiming resignation from FJP party (nonsense). while i highly doubt he’ll quit the MB,he’s a president because of the MB.
    As for the “trap” (if certified), SCAF has made to the first “elected” president: from bad economic situation to consequences , protests, et cetera, the next 3-4-5-6 days will unfold a clear image of what’s really going on.i think MB are not that “Naïve” to fall for such tricks.the name of the next PM and his cabinet ministers will assert such theory. but if proven otherwise, MB have certainly dug their own grave:”a trap for fools” flawlessly conceived by SCAF (parliament dissolved, endorsing state budget for 2012/2013–and its fallout, crummy MB image through the last 14 months,constitutional assembly which is hanging in balance, the Hamas-Hezbollah-Iran saga—>KSA and Khalij relations hazed …….) when Constitution is in position and elections are revamped: ball would certainly bounce back in SCAF’s arms…. :) )

  17. Civilization says:

    Egypt, be ashamed for Natasha Smith.
    Rename Tahrir Raper’s Square!

  18. Wow! what a comment…
    “Sharia is no longer selling politically, with the population.”

    There is a term Allah uses to describe this ‘population’ – Munafiqeen (Hippocrates), and has the ‘lowest’ depths of hell fire allocated for this ‘population’.
    That’s right, even below the ‘kuffars’ or Non-believers.

    So, my friend the real revolutionary ‘population’ of Egypt who claim to be 90% Muslims needs to rethink what their revolution is for?

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  21. The wife of the president will alienate the egyptian women who are not covered and the christians? So i guess Mubarak’s wife alienated almost all the women in egypt? Also, arent the liberals always so wary of other people(islamists) focusing on dress? Is this a case of those same people(liberals) not following their own principal? I think we should grow up. Just like liberals dont like it when islamists make an issue of women’s dress, i think they should suck it up and realize that in a true democracy if that is what you all believe in, people have the right to dress as they wish within some limits ofcourse.

  22. Christine says:

    For those of you who are enlightened to the real meaning of freedom, who know that sharia is not the way, you have a hell of a road ahead of you.

    Looking forward to your next post.

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  24. Hello my friend, long time since we last talked. Happy to see you are still kicking and growing in your excellent analysis.

    What have we learned?

    1) Unity: a word people use to force you to comply even when it’s obvious that it is against your best interests. I believe that it was used by Mubarek et al on numerous occasions in order to justify their more egregious acts in the name of protecting Egypt. Now “unity” is the word used by the MB and their co-oped leftists in the April 6th Movement to put down any opposition. That and the word “traitor”. So it goes in every revolution.

    Anyone in Egypt who still gives a damn about being free should tell the Unity people to stick that word up their assess.

    2) Cairo is the seat of power, but Cairo is not Egypt. Cairo was always the prize and the MB has finally taken it in their long campaign. They laid the ground work by working outside of Cairo and establishing themselves in the rural provinces and other towns/cities. Even to the point where they were in public life long before February 25th in these outlying areas. In exile as they were, but slowly building their organization with the continued belief that someday Mubarek would fall from power and they would be ready and able to simply step in.

    Liberal Revolutionaries in Tahrir failed to comprehend that reality. They believed themselves to be Egypt when they were really only Cairenes. Liberals have barely scratched the surface of organization. Not unity, but organization, clear message and results driven activism.

    3) The Mob, Bread and Circuses: You have failed to take lessons from history. People can be easily mollified by providing bread and circuses. They will allow whomever to do whatever so long as they eat and are marginally entertained. Mostly by other people’s pain. It is a sad reality of the human race, but true none the less.

    The MB have been providing bread for a very long time and now they have given the people a circus. Including, most notably (and SCAF as co-conspirators), the trial of Mubarek and various others from the old regime along with the spectacle of elections and the build up to the presidential inauguration.

    While SCAF tries to hold on to the national “bread” operations by controlling the budget, the MB has a new powerful tool to provide their state government with resources, seperate from SCAF, required to give even more bread: extortion. They will be able to extort all kinds of non-military related donations, loans, etc from western governments on the premise of holding Egypt to the dreaded Isreali Egyptian treaty and protecting the free use of passage through the Suez.

    Regardless of the military control of budget, arms and foreign policy, the MBs in power will now only have to speak unfavorably about Israel, shaking their sabers, arousing the masses, to bring extorted funds into their coffers, into Egypt. They will be nothing more than the new version of the Barbary Pirates because trade still has to go through the Suez Canal, military vessels go through the Suez Canal. The west will be willing to give, as they gave to Mubarek, because, in the end, they will do what is politically and economically expedient.

    What will the MB do with their chests of extorted gold? They will not give Egypt and Egyptians what they need, but what they want. More bread and circuses.

    That only ends if the West gets tired of paying extortion or the MB overplays its hand re: Israel and the Suez Canal.

    The good news:

    You’re still alive and you have learned some very powerful lessons about politics.

    1) There are no such things as friends in politics only temporary alliances. Sometimes you are the loser. As long as you can still walk around free and speak, you are not completely lost.

    2) Political defeat is not the destruction of an idea. As long as an idea exists in one mind, it can be revived, refined and become a leading idea.

    3) Learn from the MB. They did not come out of no where to win, they only made it seem that way. You cannot win politically or socially without being able to spread your ideas beyond the confines of your own coffee houses or twitter accounts. You will have to travel to the desert, both politically and geographically, if you are going to compete in the politics of Egypt. Cairo was not Egypt. Egypt is “out there”. Go find it.

    4) Liberal Political Base: you need one. You need to establish one. It can be in Cairo, but it needs to be the singular bastion of liberal thought, politics and education. Draw people to it. Have regular lectures. Publish writers. Give lectures. In Egypt. The money will come to you soon enough. You will desperately need to refine your ideas and messages, form them to Egypt.

    5) The Message: Freedom of thought and expression is a great idea and desire of all free people, but it does not put bread on the table. You need a message centered around the economy. You need to be able to decipher and point out the failures of the MB regime on the economy. Yes, they give bread, but they do not give Egyptians an opportunity to crawl out of the bread line and earn their own bread. Their policies will not provide opportunities for people to create businesses or jobs that will give them more than the subsistence bread people are living on.

    Don’t worry over much about their religious views, only those views, social, political or economical that directly impact people’s abilities to earn a living and feed their families.

    That “unity” of message will be the only thing you should be unified on. The economy most remain on top. Liberal ideas on freedom are simply the ideas that underpin a better economic plan. They are the things that you talk about after you talk about the economy.

    The MB had you all so scared about the impending doom of your barely existent rights, you were running around like chickens with your heads cut off, screaming that the sky was falling when, to most Egyptians, the sky had fallen on them long ago.

    The MB had the bully pulpits of the mosques and the bread. Now they have the presidency, the mosques and the bread. What do you have? You need to be pointing out the bread is moldy, comes with a deep price and can barely keep a starving bird alive, much less an Egyptian family. You will need to find your own voice, your own megaphone and you will have to work very hard to maintain your reputations unless you want to go the way of the Wafd party.

    Just a few points. Oh, by the way, you will not win this war tomorrow or next year. The military won’t help you. The west will only give you crumbs unless you have something to offer us. If you want your freedom, you are going to have to go out and earn it the hard way.

    That’s going to be years. Are you ready to fight the long war?

  25. Publicola says:

    There is a fox in Tahrir Square … And this is what he says:
    • that 50.7 per cent of Egyptian voters cast their ballot for Mubarak’s former Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, in last month’s elections;
    • that only 49.3 per cent voted for Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party;
    • but that the military were so fearful of the hundreds of thousands of Brotherhood supporters who would gather in Tahrir Square they gave the victory to Morsi.

    Now foxes can be deceitful. But this is a well-connected fox and he claims
    • that Morsi actually met four leading members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) in Egypt four days before the election results were proclaimed and
    • that he agreed to accept his presidency before the constitutional court rather than the newly dissolved parliament – which is exactly what he did on Saturday.
    • He says there will be another election in a year’s time, although I have my doubts.

    Now behind this piece of Reynard-gossip is a further piece of information … that the Egyptian army’s intelligence service
    • is outraged by the behaviour of some members of the Scaf (in particular, the four who supposedly met Morsi) and
    • wants a mini-revolution to get rid of officers whom it believes to be corrupt.
    • These young soldiers call themselves the New Liberal Officers …
    • Many of the present young intelligence officers were very sympathetic to the Egyptian revolution last year – and
    • several of them were shot dead by government snipers long after Mubarak’s departure during a Tahrir Square demonstration.
    • They admire the current head of military intelligence, soon to retire …
    • the fox … says, for example, that the military intelligence services – like some of the Scaf officers – want a thorough clean out of generals …

    One man who was not present at the Morsi-Scaf meeting, says the fox, is Mohamed el-Baradei, but he may well be asked to be Morsi’s Prime Minister … Baradei’s appointment would help Morsi keep the streets calm and allow Egypt to come up with an economic plan to persuade the International Monetary Fund to loan the country the money it needs to survive.

    There is also talk of great tensions between the military intelligence and the staff of the interior ministry, some of whom are fearful that another mini-revolution will have them in court for committing crimes against Egyptian civilians during the anti-Mubarak revolution.

    There are persistent rumours that the plain-clothes “baltagi” thugs who were used to beat protesters last year were employed to prevent Christians voting in some Egyptian villages. Interestingly, when Sultan Faruq ran through election irregularities before announcing the presidential winner eight days ago, he said he didn’t know who prevented the village voters getting to the polling station.

    … Egypt is not a country which lends itself to hard facts … But one fact cannot be denied.
    When he wanted to show that he was a revolutionary animal,
    the fox held out his back paw.
    And there was a very severe year-old bullet wound in it.

    The Independent – Monday, 2 July 2012
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/robert-fisk-president-morsi-a-rigged-ballot-and-a-foxs-tale-that-has-all-of-cairo-abuzz-7902952.html

  26. I am always an optimist. I hope this election leads to good things. I was in Egypt a couple years ago and used sounds I recorded there in my music. You can hear some of it here – http://www.muteelation.com/ancientinc.html

  27. Publicola says:

    How the Ex-Pats voted in the Presidential elections (categorized according to places/ countries of residence) – see Eric Schewe’s blog:
    http://ericschewe.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/egypt-in-the-world-the-expat-presidential-electoral-map/

  28. Publicola says:

    Analysis of the presidential election results Lower Egypt (by election districts) – see Eric Schewe’s Blog:
    http://ericschewe.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/district-map-of-the-presidential-election-in-lower-egypt-an-environmental-history/

  29. El Sevilla FC, a través de su vicepresidente, José María Cruz, ha lamentado este jueves que la Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), como institución camisetas de fútbol , no esté respondiendo “al interés general sino al interés de una “mayoría artificial”.

    “La sensación que tiene el Sevilla FC es que desgraciadamente hemos llegado a una situación en la institución que no está respondiendo al interés general sino al interés de una mayoría artificial”, señaló el vicepresidente a la salida de la reunión http://www.ventacamiseta.com/ de la Liga de Fútbol Profesional, donde no hubo grandes avances sobre el reparto de los ingresos por los derechos televisivos.
    “http://www.ventacamiseta.com”http://www.ventacamiseta.com”http://www.ventacamiseta.com

  30. rabia I have no problem putting it that way. However the analogy with the American indians falls down in the respect that the minority in Egypt have always been the ones in power. Sadly they have been a secular minority and the muslim position has been persecuted despite being the majority. The tragedy of the secularists is that it was a ruling secular minority but one of the scum, crimninals and murderers. The decent law abiding secularists need to demand their rights whilst accepting the will of the majority. What pisses me off is any suggestion that to be a true revolutionary you need to be against muslims political involvement on a platform drawn from our values. A telling result (if any can be believed) was the spoiled votes. Normally 1% due to error it was 3% in this case indicating 2% of secular liberals whose hatred of muslims in politics was so intense they couldn’t participate and wanted a large percentage to do so with them. They didn’t. So they need to recognise they never re[presented the revolution (exclusively) they habve their place and it is around a value of 2% (of respected citizens!!!)

  31. Agree, however, an Islamist must not be defined loosely. Remember Mursi bowed to Washington by bowing to SCAF, through a negotiation process, not a democratic one before being named as president. The people of Egypt should have a govt representaive of it’s constituents, but more importantly, its govt should acknowledge that it’s not possible to serve the people and the West at the same time.

  32. American Indians? How about you focus on how there is still not one Muslim democracy? Slavery still exists in the Muslim world. Copts are routinely persecuted. You live in a glass house, so don’t throw stones. Egypt is now doomed to fail. Islam is not the answer, it is the problem.

  33. They are part of the de-evolution to barbarism, war, and dictatorship.

  34. Shadi Mikhaiel says:

    go read some Naomi Klein or Chris Hedges to know who the real barbarians are in this modern age.

  35. Shadi, all I need do is read the news from the Muslim world and I can see barbarism at work.

  36. James

    Barbarism exists everywhere and Egypt and Islam certainly don’t have a monopoly on it. If you took the trouble to give the world a good look you might learn to be a little less smug.

    For my part I wish the Egytian people well – they’re in for the long haul which they’re all perfectly well aware of, that includes all the issues they face with poverty, education and employment.

  37. thanks for your thoughtful response james

  38. Cameron says:

    Ignorance, deception or wishful thinking are the only way you could suggest

    “Barbarism exists everywhere and Egypt and Islam certainly don’t have a monopoly on it.”

    No religion demands such violence from it’s subscribers. No religious law but islam’s calls for subjegation of unbelievers, or institionalizes slavery. No other religion’s founder tortured bound prisoners or sanctioned theft and murder..and rape like old moe. The islamic moral exem[lar who at 53 raped a 9 year old child. If you think that anything but rape can happen when an old man has intercourse with a little girl, you are religiously diseased, Muslims can lie to themselves and to each other, you are filth, and I don’t give a fuck about you. As far as I’m concerned you are diseased and need to be quarantined.