Fernandez: A Crisis in Competence (5)

Opponents of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi celebrate as they light flares and wave national flags and his picture with Arabic reads, “leave”, in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013.

The overthrow of Morsi in Egypt is bad news for the Muslim Brotherhood. But is it good news for anyone? Austin Bay notes that the Egyptian military is now obviously on top. But he is unsure whether it will revert to its old Nasserite ways or become more inclusive. David Goldman (Spengler) endorses Austin’s view that the army is back in the cards and adds that some Islamists will come up on top  to displace the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Saudis despised.

The reason the Saudi-backed boys will get a seat at the table is simple. Only the kingdom has the money to save Egypt from imminent starvation. The Egyptian military can hardly turn to Obama. Spengler notes, “Obama is all talk and no money … the administration cannot squeeze meaningful sums out of Congress for Egyptian aid. The only prospective rescuer with deep enough pockets to keep Egypt from disintegrating is Saudi Arabia.”

He’s all turban and no camels. Spengler writes of the military:

There is only one reason the military might do a better job than the Muslim Brotherhood or the liberal opposition, and that is because Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states (besides tiny Qatar) might decide to provide funding for a military regime that suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Saudi regime rightly fears as a competitor to its medieval form of monarchy. That is why Saudi aid to Egypt has been insignificant, while tiny Qatar has committed $5 billion–nearly a fifth of its total foreign exchange reserves–to keep Egypt afloat during the past year.

Egypt needs about $20 billion a year in external subsidies; a smaller amount would forestall the worst effects of the economic crisis. With $630 billion in foreign exchange reserves, Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country with the resources to give Egypt help on the scale it requires. But the Saudis will not subsidize their own prospective executioners. The Muslim Brotherhood is a modern totalitarian political party; next to the Saudi royal family, it looks like a meritocracy. For ambitious Saudis not born into the ruling family, it offers an attractive alternative.

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See Also:

#1 — Egypt’s interim president praises protests and army in first comments after being sworn-in

#2 — Egyptians don’t want to be ruled by a pharaoh

#3 — Muslim Brotherhood leader arrested, Egyptian officials say

#4 — Depth of Discontent Threatens Muslim Brotherhood and Its Leader

#5 — Saudi king congratulates new Egyptian head of state

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  • http://www.jacksnewsatch.com fernstalbert

    I have just heard the most interesting comment on the Morsi government “one man, one vote, one election”. In other words, the Islamists take control by the democratic process – but never embrace democracy and are unwilling to have a second election. Democracy is fragile if the lawless are voted into power. Prime point in that observation, is the utter disregard for the rule of law south of the border. Good luck to the Egyptians – they are going to need it and are facing hard times no matter who is in charge.

  • Jack

    Many in the international media are complaining about a “coup” in Egypt and bemoaning the future fate of voters who, as a crowd, are ecstatic about the result yesterday. One would think if things were all that bad “why the joy?”

    Perhaps this story which appeared in the Guardian on June 16th, 2012 may help to enlighten the uninformed.

    “The revolution was stolen from us,” merchant Nabil Abdel-Fatah told reporters as he queued outside a polling centre in Cairo’s working-class district of Imbaba. He said he planned to vote for Shafiq. “We can easily get rid of him if we want to, but not the Brotherhood, which will cling to power.”

    It seems to me (I stand to be corrected) that at the time there were persistent rumours of MB members going around Egypt threatening people not to vote if they opposed Morsi. Somewhere I saw a story that only 49% of eligible voters actually turned out for a hugely important election. I suspect this, if true, was the reason for the low numbers I saw later and as things turned out, the ‘true coup’which inevitably occurred.

    It should also be noted that Morsi is an escaped felon and according to some reports I have read his “escape” was engineered by the MB who now find themselves on the horns of a real dilemma (correctly so in my opinion).

    My question: “When did this coup, presuming there was one, actually occur? Was it in 2012 or was it yesterday?” I strongly suspect it happened in 2012 and yesterday Egyptian voters corrected the situation with the help of their military, which is their right. They lived the Morsi nightmare for a year and that was quite long enough.

    Point: As Fernandez and Spengler have correctly pointed out Egypt is broke. People are starving and the MB, whatever their good points (if there are any) and “stuck on stupid” are political neophytes and in no way are qualified to lead a country, anywhere. As an aside, Turkey appears to be grasping the lesson also and their politicians appear to be having a heart attack (I’m not making this stuff up) as they too weigh the consequences of their ongoing stupidity. As Daniel Pipes recently pointed out Turkey has a problem and yesterday it became much worse because Turkey does this stuff too.

    “Woohoo!”

    Regarding Egypt, I approve of this action by their military and I wish them all, as a country, well. I am certain “Better days are ahead” for them and that is as it should be. Religion is one thing — ruling a country quite another.

    I think Egypt is in “safe hands” now — “thankfully”.

    And as for Obama’s support of the MB — “so much for that”.

    You get what you vote for and so far it isn’t much.

    My view: In 2014 US voters should bury Democrats and the John McCain’s of their country. Time moves on and Egypt has shown the path. Much as Sarah likes him I don’t.

    Time for him to retire. He’s just another “inside the beltway old geezer” slopping at the trough and it’s well past time for him to go and enjoy his retirement. He’s earned it and I see nothing wrong with dismissing him. He’s done enough and lately he’s becoming a problem, representative of the entire GOP in general.

    Small wonder why Sarah is thinking about starting a new party. I agree with her and it’s well past time to kiss a lot of these “good old boys” goodbye.

    “Same, same” in Canada.

    Goodnight.

  • beentheredonethat

    Egyptians don’t want to be ruled by a pharaoh? News flash! Neither do Americans and it’s beginning to show in the polls with each passing day.