Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Twitter Messages -- July 3

Egyptian Standoff is the new Mexican Standoff...

The difference, of course, is that history's biggest civil disobedience direct action is one of the weapons. 

At this writing the time set by the Egyptian military for President Morsi to step down is still several hours off. Tensions are building and the US media seems finally to be carrying the story that began three days ago and is now reaching a crisis point. My last three days of posting Twitter messages is all the background I can furnish.  Events are happening so fast there is little time for reflection and analysis. 

This next message is not to be skipped...
Nor this one... 
This is a compelling argument from an academic angle. But when this many citizens are paricipating in history's most impressive display of civil disobedience, it rings hollow.
Even some of Mr. Morsi’s detractors rightly point out that the president’s removal through mass protests and military intervention would set a terrible precedent. Egyptians would be encouraged to take to the streets and ask the generals to intervene whenever a president became unpopular. The genius of democracy, by contrast, is that it wants voters to change their minds when leaders fail and to replace them not in spasms of fury but regularly and for the best reason: that others can better deliver what the people want. 
To arrive at such a system, though, the people need patience and faith that leaders can be voted out. Mr. Morsi hurt himself badly with his efforts last November to sidestep the courts while he rammed through a constitution. 
Still, integrating Islamists is essential if Egypt is to have stable, democratic politics. Movements like the Brotherhood are a core constituency in Egyptian society; democracy requires their inclusion. If the millions in the streets want the Brotherhood out of power, they must learn to organize and campaign effectively, and vote them out. 
That would be the best way to establish liberal democracy in Egypt. Removing Mr. Morsi through a military coup supported by the secular and liberal opposition could well be the worst.

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