The Egyptian Experiment
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An Egyptian solution to an Egyptian problem is not what most Americans want; or is it?
The man and the machine who actually rule Egypt.
Then, approximately 18 months later, on 30 June 2012, Mohammed Morsi became the first ever democratically elected President in the history of Egypt. And exactly one year after that, on 30 June 2013, he also found himself being removed from power. Ironically, in a similar fashion to how his predecessor Hosni Mubarak was driven from power, Morsi's removal was also spurred on by large-scale public demonstrations.
Since the ousting of Morsi, Egypt has now seen more than five continuous weeks of massive public demonstrations and sit-ins from both supporters and opponents of ousted former president Mohammed Morsi. And why shouldn't we expect this to have happened and to continue? A precedence has now been set in Egypt that if enough people gather on the streets, their demands will be met; democracy will be served.
The masses gathered; Mubarak was deposed. The masses gathered again; Morsi was ousted. The masses continue to gather; yet what will happen next is yet to be determined.
Or is it?
Who rules Egypt is not up for debate. The only question is through whom they ' the Egyptian Military ' choose to rule. The Generals have been in control for many decades, and the last several weeks have shown they continue to remain in control. It is, after all, Egypt's military chief, General Abdul-Fatah al-Sisi, whose face now appears on posters prominently displayed all over the country as the man who ended Morsi's term as president one year after he was democratically elected. And it is al-Sisi who is currently considered by most to be the man actually running the show in Egypt.
Yet in a recent effort to show the world Egypt is moving towards a democracy, the military-backed interim government hosted American and European diplomats amongst others, in order to supposedly seek to find a diplomatic solution to the current situation. However, diplomacy failed.
On Wednesday, 7 August 2013, Egypt's military-backed interim government said that international efforts to end the country's political standoff have failed. The Interim President Adly Mansour's office publicly stated, "The phase of diplomatic efforts has ended today."
Or in other words, the Egyptian military decided to formidably end The Egyptian Democratic Experiment that placed a leading figure from the Muslim Brotherhood in power. The military will no longer allow a member of the Muslim Brotherhood to be the puppet they rule through.
This statement by the military-backed government, which was put in place on 3 July 2013 after the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi, came less than 24 hours after US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, EU envoy Bernardino Leon, United States Senator John McCain (R ' Arizona) and United States Senator Lindsey Graham (R ' South Carolina) finished meeting with various leaders in Cairo to seek a diplomatic solution to the problem.
While in Egypt, Senator Graham said "We're here to help find an Egyptian solution to an Egyptian problem," with regards to their objective for being there. And while I applaud the efforts of all involved, the fact of the matter is that in the Arab World diplomacy fails. Well, that is, Western-style diplomacy fails.
However, while diplomacy failed, what Senator Graham stated as the main objective ' to find an Egyptian solution to an Egyptian problem ' may indeed prevail. But make no mistake about it, the "Egyptian solution" will not usher in an era of American-style democracy; at least not any time soon.
To believe that will happen is as idiotic as believing that if a group of Ayatollahs from Iran came to the United States suggesting that America adopt an Iranian-style theocracy, the Iranian Ayatollahs would instantaneously be welcomed and embraced by the American populace with arms wide-open and outstretched hands. I highly doubt that would happen.
The reality is that an Egyptian solution to an Egyptian problem is not what most Americans want. Or at least not what they think they want.
Most Americans want Egypt to embrace American-style democracy. Most Americans believe the majority of Egyptians long for American-style democracy. However, the truth ' as scary as it may be ' is that most Americans believe what they want to believe, regardless of whether or not it is grounded in reality. Yet American-style democracy is in practical terms not an option for Egypt, or the Arab World as a whole, in this day-in-time.
It is not an option because Arabs are not yet ready for a system of governance that is as foreign to them as their systems of governance are foreign to Americans. America will not become an Islamic-style theocracy overnight, and Egypt will not become an American-style democracy overnight.
And while this may not be easily palatable or understandable to the many Americans whose love for and belief in democracy resembles a love for and belief in a religious-system more than anything else, it is the way things are in the Arab World.
It is also a fact that will produce the result most Americans actually want.
Let us remember that democratic elections placed the Muslim Brotherhood in power. This was an unsettling problem to many in the West from the outset, and became a problem for many Egyptians as well. And so the military stepped in, ousted the first ever democratically elected president of Egypt, re-inserted their control over the country, and will now place in power those whom they desire to be the puppets through whom they rule.
This will be the next round of The Egyptian Democratic Experiment.
Jeff d. Patterson, Middle East Specialist: While the ashes were beginning to settle in New York City with the setting of the sun on 9/11, Jeff D. Patterson was unpacking his bags far, far away from American shores; far, far away from his family and friends; far, far away from his homeland. He was starting a new phase of life in a region of the world he would call ‘home’ for most of the next decade. Jeff was taking his first breaths of Middle Eastern air, thinking of the world becoming a better place… In contrast to most... (more...)