Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Egypt’s Arab Spring Spawns Brutal Military Dictatorship

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Muslim-Brotherhood-Bella-Naija-600x400The chickens continue coming home to roost:

An Egyptian court Monday sentenced to death 529 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi on charges including one murder count, in a trial denounced by human rights groups as bereft of due process.

The biggest mass death sentence handed down in Egypt’s modern history comes amid a sharp escalation of a crackdown on dissent and, in particular, on the Muslim Brotherhood. It prompted cries of anguish among family members of the accused gathered outside the courthouse.

(Al Jazeera, March 24, 2014)

Surely you understand why I cannot state too often that I warned it would be thus:

With all due respect to the protesters, the issue is not whether Mubarak will go, for he will. (The man is 82 and already looks half dead for Christ’s sake!) Rather, the issue is who will replace him. And it appears they have not given any thought whatsoever to this very critical question.

The devil Egyptians know might prove far preferable to the devil they don’t. Just ask the Iranians who got rid of the Mubarak-like Shah in 1979 only to end up with the Ayatollah — whose Islamic revolution they’ve regretted (and have longed to overturn) ever since….

(“Army Pledges No Force Against Protesters,” The iPINIONS Journal, February 1, 2011)

a-huge-chunk-of-egypt-is-angry-that-their-democratically-elected-president-was-overthrown-300x224Recall that, even though democratically elected to succeed Mubarak, Mohammad Morsi proved such a bigger devil that the very pro-democracy protesters who ousted and imprisoned Mubarak returned to their protesting ways and soon ousted and imprisoned Morsi.

thExcept that getting rid of Morsi begat General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is proving yet an even bigger devil. Not least because he’s using mass show trials (as cited above) and other more brutal measures to politically cleanse Egypt of all traces of the Muslim Brotherhood. Reports are that he has imprisoned over 19,000 members since seizing power last summer and is now systematically executing those who held leadership positions.

Frankly, al-Sisi is ruling Egypt in a manner that makes Mubarak and Morsi look like Boy Scouts. Which is why nothing vindicates my early criticism of pro-democracy protesters quite like the fact that, after commandeering Tahrir Square to get rid of Mubarak and Morsi, they are now conspicuously MIA.

0nnfnt3dbtq7Granted, these erstwhile democratic revolutionaries are sensible enough to appreciate that al-Sisi would probably do to them what Chinese leaders did to pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. Except that their hypocrisy, cowardice, and naiveté are being brought into sharp relief by Morsi’s die-hard supporters who are risking and incurring al-Sisi’s wrath by taking to the streets to protest against his brutal military dictatorship.

Incidentally, even though Egyptian judges are acting more like executioners these days, I suspect al-Sisi is just using death sentences as a pretext to feign mercy by commuting them to life in prison, which is bound to be the fate of every front-line member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, al-Sisi knows all too well that Western governments are too busy trying to find ways to counter Russia’s annexation of Crimea to even voice feckless condemnation, let alone take action to restrain him. Not to mention Western media being too busy covering Flight MH 370 search-and-recovery efforts in the Indian Ocean, like vultures hovering over dying prey, to cover these far more newsworthy events unfolding in Egypt.

In any event, there can be no gainsaying that, like Iranians, Egyptians must regret the day they got rid of a benign despot only to end up with a malevolent one.

Related commentaries:
Egypt march back to future

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