Archive for July, 2012
The Washington Times July 11, 2o12
What does it mean that Mohammed Morsi is the president of Egypt? The American consensus is that Egypt has been lost. However, the election was not just symbolic, but illusory. Egypt’s future remains very much in play.
Mr. Morsi is not the most powerful politician in Egypt or the commander in chief. Arguably, he does not even run the Muslim Brotherhood. His job is undefined. The military could brush him aside. For the first time since 1954, Egypt’s president is a secondary figure, assigned the functionary role long associated with its prime ministers.
National Review Online July 11, 2012
Tantawi, not President Morsi, is effective head of all three branches of government.
What does it mean that Mohamed Morsi is now the president of Egypt? Speaking for the American consensus, Bret Stephens argued in the Wall Street Journal against the consolation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory “is merely symbolic, since the army still has the guns,” and went on to conclude that “Egypt is lost.”
We shall argue to the contrary: Not only was the election symbolic, but it was also illusory, in that the military leadership scripted it.
Morsi is not the most powerful politician in Egypt or the commander-in-chief. Arguably, he does not even run the Muslim Brotherhood. His job is undefined. A military coup could brush him aside. For the first time since 1956, Egypt’s president is a secondary figure, fulfilling the secondary, functionary role long familiar to its prime ministers.
A picture of Morsi and Tantawi reveals the terms of their relationship: Not only is Tantawi sitting on the left side, where prior Egyptian presidents (Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak) ritualistically sat when hosting a visitor, but their meeting took place in the Ministry of Defense, not in the presidential palace, which protocol would normally require.