Egypt’s Military Backed Government Primed to Move Forward without Foreign Restraint
Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Contributor for In Homeland Security
“The state of Egypt appreciates the efforts of friendly nations and understands the reasons why they did not achieve their desired objectives, and holds the Muslim Brotherhood full responsibility for the failure of these efforts,” said Interim President Adly Manour.
Despite Europe and America’s best efforts to bring the Muslim Brotherhood and the Military into a reconciliation process, Egyptian authorities are finished. The expression is basically a ‘we’ll take it from here’ rebuff to foreign humanitarian and democratic concerns. This comes after over ten days of international diplomatic intervention. That has all “ended today,” Manour remarked. They then blamed the Brotherhood for the failure and apparently for the fact that they are giving up on the whole peace and diplomacy tract. That means a “no” on the very apt national dialogue suggestion from American senators too.
After the coup which deposed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3- he remains in detention at an undisclosed location along with Brotherhood leadership- the military has increasingly persecuted the strongest political opposition to secular nationalists in power without cause. They have sworn the political enemy as “violent” and “terrorist”. They had warned them earlier when they came to power that they would allow no single faction ctonrl of Egypt but Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party ignored them. It almost seems, from the outside, that there is a lot of emotional fury placed on the heads of the Brotherhood when there is no need and that the whole thing is one of neither side wants to play the game called democracy correctly.
The best option is a trial for Morsi that places the ex-President in prison for 10 to 15 years. The imprisonment would be a fair open trial with charges not related to humanitarian abuse but the clear conviction of the abuse of power and the affront to a presumed majority of the Egyptian people which saw his overthrow last month. This quick trial would allow a due process with a conviction that is less political and more appropriate for his brief tenure in office. It does not mean that the former elected ruler of Egypt is not guilty of greater crimes but simply a gesture of de facto guilt held responsible to the character of office and the people. The immediate release of political prisoners and greater restraint toward political parties and non-violent activists is also necessary. This at least solves the question of Morsi and the regime’s resolve of caution but a fair and open peace.
The Brotherhood is demanding the release and re-installation of their President. A trial would with a light sentence for his abuses makes sense. The reply would then instead be, ‘he has been found guilty by the Court and the people’ and not just, ‘we put him away in some dark dungeon some place and you’ll never see him again.’
Unfortunately, the military backed government knows that a substantial amount of aid or loans it receives from the US and Arabian states has nothing to do with justice and democracy and everything to do with keeping the Brotherhood and Islamists out of politics- Islamists are bad for business. That is clear. But political instability, protests, political detentions and increasing violence are also devastating for the economy too.
The deep state of Egypt must also be aware that they will be judged by the same criteria they are judging Morsi and the Brotherhood. Their actions can defuse or complicate matters further from here. The rejection of foreign advice from friendly nations is another bad move because it effectively closes a door to input from nations that have transitioned successfully into democracies and maintained them.
There remains the problem of Brotherhood sit-ins on Cairo’s streets and what to do about them in a divided country of active youthful political demonstrators and a hyper-active security overreach. In the Sinai, the real violent extremists are targeting security officials for the Brotherhood’s persecution. Hopefully the Egypt’s new government is not looking at Turkey’s example, who recently dispelled major capital city and national protests without great consequence. The situation is radically different in Egypt.