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Peace Reigns In Cairo. The Poor Get Stuck With the Bill.

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I’ll keep the power. You keep the dough. Deal? Deal.

Out with the old, in with the old. And a good thing too. Turns out Egyptian Army Incorporated is still in the money after the latest Cairo carve-up.

Reading the tea leaves in Egyptian politics is fun, fun, fun. And President Morsi’s move to offload Field Marshal Tantawi and the Mubarak army old-guard crew is a fascinating one.

Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were in a tough spot. They wanted power, but they didn’t really want to “own” the total basket-case that is post-Mubarak Egypt. But now the two month deliberations are over.

Triggered by the ease by which militants in lawless Sinai put the hurt on the Army down there, Morsi has decided that it’s time to take power and risk responsibility for not improving the degraded lot of the average Egyptian. It was probably a wise move, because he was almost certainly going to be blamed anyway, being President and all. And he has the added bonus of being an agent of God, so it’s Allah’s fault if things go awry.

Result? The earnest and once absolute SCAF declaration that the Egyptian Parliament was unconstitutional, and that the Presidency had to remain toothless was overturned with the stroke of a pen, and very little harumphing by the military. In fact, they’re all in favor.

When surprising things happen in Arab countries, it’s almost always the result of a back-room deal, and this is probably no exception. Let’s take a look at what both sides want and see how that deal was – probably – cut.

What Does The Egyptian Military Want?

Three things. Lots of money, no responsibility for the Egyptian economy that they continue to exploit, and finally, no war with Israel. They gladly ceded responsibility for the nation in return for continued peace with the “Zionist oppressor” and a blind eye turned to their rank financial corruption, the latter being signaled by the likely deal to let Tantawi keep his ill-gotten riches in his Swiss accounts without any scrutiny from the Islamists. The only things that would make the Egyptian military really mad would be a war footing with Israel and losing their gold-plated Mercs. Neither of these will happen.

What Does Morsi and his MB Want?

Two things. Control and no fuss from the Military. They get the former, and the latter with this deal. They also get something else, a get out of jail free card only available to Islamist governments. It’s called religion. There’s nothing like putting your future in Allah’s hands when things get a little hairy. Lots of superficial social programs, lots of talk about the power of prayer, the nobility of charity, and a healthy dose of old time anti-semitic propaganda. Meanwhile the money that should be spent on infrastructure, sewers, and irrigation projects gets siphoned off to the guys with the ribbons and medals to, well, keep them quiet. Ba da bing!

The new minister of defence is the perfect man for the job. A supposed Islamist, who’s also apparently trusted by the US, and is a former Mubarak-era chief of military intelligence, so he knows just where the bodies are buried.


Written by coolrebel

August 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

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