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26 December 2013


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I hope that this is the start of the decline of the Brotherhood across the Middle East and the Arab world. I further hope that the particularly pernicious financial and ill thought out political influence of Qatar will rapidly decline. Sadat gave the Brotherhood social space to grow and develop and dominate; Sisi must deny them that space as well.

Mark Kolmar

Without a place at the ballot box, the Muslim Brotherhood declared as a "terrorist group" are more likely to select themselves to make it so.

Is it better to filter coarsely on the candidates or on the electorate? Maybe individuals are more eligible for redemption than groups. You can always form new groups that never killed anyone or destroyed property.

Our host posed a question to me a while ago, maybe rhetorical - faced with armed Islamists in the circumstances around Mursi's exit, in the military, what would I do? I would have waited them out generally, and tamped them down micro, as long as it was consistent with the safety of bystanders and other protestors. That approach may have offered time for persuasion - failing that, infiltration.

FB Ali

I agree that the MB is finished for a long time.

But I also think that jihadi terrorism will raise its ugly head in Egypt as it is doing in other Muslim countries. I doubt if the Egyptian military will be able to crush it any better than these other regimes.


I hope al-Sisi is reading this blog. Maybe someone at Foggy Bottom should too.


Also, the military has a very special place in Egyptian society - it is accorded a great deal of respect. That is something the think-tanks and political commentators in the U.S. don't comprehend.


Hmm. The basis for the suppression, as you note, comes from the MB's attempt to re-write the Constitution in their own image. In that sense, their suppression is self-caused, and so can be successful. For a while.

How long will that last? As governmental repression continues, do you really think popular anger with the MB will remain, or will the anger turn against the government? If that happens, then those people who tell you political movements can't be suppressed may well turn out to be right. I doubt it will take a generation.


Mohamed Morsi = Mohammad Mosaddegh

Be careful what you wish for, you may get it!!!!



Mursi was removed by the Egyptian people and army. Good! Mossadegh's removal was followed by thirty years of progressive and western aligned Pahlavi rule. Good! Egypt should be so lucky! pl


One point and one question:

Adding Nur to the list risks transforming the conflict into military/secularism vs. Islam. Where will the good Muslim go to participate in political life after this?

Colonel, you are pretty antagonistic towards the MB, and it seems, all of the Islamists. Sort of like a modern day Ethan Edwards[1] or something. Do you have a story to tell?

[1] The Searchers, 1956.



Your comment contains a fundamental error. Political Islamism is a minority phenomenon in Islam. You do not have to be MB, Salafist, Deobandi, AQ or any other kind of Islamist in order to be a "good" Muslim and the great majority are not.

There are many believing, pious Muslims in the Egyptian military and among those whom we ignorantly call "secularist." That does not mean they want to live in a theocracy of the sort the Islamists want to create.

Political Islamism in its many varieties always seeks to bind the minds of Muslims in medieval chains that restrict thought and hold back the development of those societies in the modern world. For that reason I am altogether opposed to such groups.

Ethan Edwards disliked Comanches. Islamists are not a tribe. pl


I would say that Mohamed Morsi = Abolhassan Banisadr

Both were the first to take over after a revolution, thus got blamed when none of the revolution's dreams came true instantly. Both thought they had more backing than they really had and tried to take on the true powers behind the revolution and got burned badly. At least Banisadr had the good sense to get out while the getting was good. I certainly wouldn't mind a nice French villa...


Thanks. The conventional wisdom, at least in the US, is that the military gov't is heading into a cycle of resistance-repression-radicalization-resistance which will intensify the conflict. I guess we'll see.



Yes, conventional "wisdom" seems to envision a day of "jubilo" in Egypt when the lions will lie down with the lambs. In fact that will never happen. The struggle to avoid creation of a sharia law state in Egypt is permanent. Get used to it. pl

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