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The Associated Press via Time is reporting that Egyptian president Mohammed Morsy has issued "far reaching" executive orders, granting him, the panel drafting the new constitution, and his parliament immunity for their actions. He, and both bodies to which he's granted immunity, are largely composed of followers of Islamist ideologies.

Time also reports the decrees include everything he has done and will do is beyond the reach of Egyptian courts:

The Egyptian leader also decreed that all decisions he has made since taking office in June and until a new constitution is adopted are not subject to appeal in court or by any other authority, a move that places Morsy above oversight of any kind. He already has legislative powers after the powerful lower chamber was dissolved days before he took office June 30.
Despite widespread international praise for his involvement in negotiating the recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, his actions are not without opposition within his own country:
Morsy’s decrees came as thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Cairo for the fourth day running to protest against Morsy’s policies and criticize the Muslim Brotherhood, the fundamentalist group from which the Egyptian leader hails.
The new middle east theocratic "democracy" is beginning to look a lot like the old middle east.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A president not accountable for his actions? (9+ / 0-)

    This sounds a lot like the US "democracy" if you ask me.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 10:33:55 AM PST

  •  It really comes down to whether the military.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, George3

    supports him or not.

    Politicians like to think they rule, but the ones with the guns sometimes teach them otherwise.

    Egypt has a history of military rule and if the generals think he is overstepping his bounds, it is likely they will put him out of his job.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 10:34:41 AM PST

    •  and they'll be so much nicer to the people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      The only real advantage of military rule versus fundamentalist rule is that military governments generally don't bother with social engineering.  They also tend to be corrupt, but in a lot of Third World societies, corruptibility is seen as a feature, not a bug: the next best thing to actually caring about your subjects ... and definitely preferable to fundamentalists who'd rather see you starve than fall short of their ideals.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:21:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kane in CA, Cliss, native, blueoasis, George3

    Is this progress?  Hard to say.  The trappings of democracy does not a democracy make.

    But the demonstrations against Mubarek toppled a decades-old dictatorship.  They're still demonstrating--now against the quasi-dictatorship that replaced him.

    Where will it all end?  I don't know.  The theocratic nature of the regimes which came to power in the "Arab Spring" is concerning, but I still have hope.

    Hope that the young people will not settle for this, but see it as the next step on the journey toward transforming their nations.  Hope that their energy and insistence will drag those countries, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

    I may be wrong. This may all turn out like Iran in 1979.  But is it worse than what came before?  Only time will tell.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 10:37:30 AM PST

    •  That much sacrafice, I hope they can wind up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      puzzled, George3

      somewhere a hell of a lot more decent than "the 21st century" as Westerners define it.

      Two people in sweat shops and three in agricultural bondage to support the luxury of just one "Middle Class" lord or lady?

      They can do better.  So can we.

      "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

      by JesseCW on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:55:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's too early to tell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3

    The fact that the State Department views Morsi "with trepidation" doesn't bother me very much.  I think the Egyptian people had enough of Mubarak.

    Maybe Morsi will support his own people, more than Mubarak did?  Example:  the natural gas pipeline which ran from Egypt to Israel.  It was blown up about 13 times.  In April of this year, Egypt cancelled the contract with Israel.  

    Apparently the Egyptians are going to use this natural gas.  Sounds like a plan to me.

    •  At least for the moment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George3, word is bond

      Whether he supports his own people would be one of the primary concerns. But this power grab, along with those he's already enforced is concerning to say the least. I was hopeful that the Arab Spring would bring freedom. It appears that it's only a different form of totalitarianism. It is not progress.

      •  A totalitarian system in which the party in power (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George3, Cliss

        at least gives a shit, from time to time, about what the people want or need is actually a very small measure of progress when compared to a totalitarian system in which only the interests of wealthy foreign powers were ever even noticed.

        "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

        by JesseCW on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:57:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How will Morsi and the MB treat (5+ / 0-)

    Egyptian Christians and Moderate Muslims.  That's the test. I'm not optimistic.

  •  Rome wasn't built in a day. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss

    It's going to take time for Egypt to transition from the military junta of Mubarak to anything approaching western democracy. But they've started down that path.

  •  part of the challenge of making a transition (10+ / 0-)

    from an entrenched dictatorship to a democracy is frustrating the remnants from the previous dictatorial regime from monkeywrenching the democracy through legal or extralegal means, until the democracy itself is established.

    SCAF appointed a bunch of legislators and packed the courts with its people, and has been trying to run things in spite of morsi winning the election, and is trying to shape the constitution to preserve that undemocratic influence. morsi is trying to stall them until a democratic parliament is able to write a democratic constitution.

    if morsi makes himself a dictator, he will be overthrown by the revolution in short order. what you're lamenting is the remnants of the dictatorship being marginalized.

    •  So he's making himself a dictator (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, cfm

      In order to marginalize the previous dictatorship, and then he can create a real democracy. Is that what you're saying?  I can accept that some patience is in order. This still is not a promising development in moving towards those goals.

      •  letting the SCAF remnants run things (8+ / 0-)

        before the constitution is written (or letting them write the constitution in the interim) would be more injurious to any development to democracy, because they are implacably hostile to the very idea of popular democracy and the political supremacy of elected leadership over the military or internal security agencies. if, once the constitutional assembly is begun,  morsi refuses to relinquish these transitionary powers that he has been taking away from SCAF remnants, then he will be moving towards dictatorship and he will undoubtedly be overthrown by popular direct action.

        military juntas don't play nice. morsi is playing a very delicate game here, to entrench the revolution without getting killed in a coup, and the muslim brotherhood's long-predicted reign of terror has not materialized as of yet. he has managed to keep the salafis and SCAF out of power while making coalition with the liberals and non-SCAF tied secularists, and has so far been able to thread the needle on israel and gaza WRT egyptian popular opinion and american geopolitical patronage.

        the fact that we've made it a year without blood in the streets is pretty awesome, going by historical revolutionary precedent. arabs, it appears, are more ready for democracy than western commentators tend to assume.

    •  Only time will tell, although it should be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      acknowledged that the threat of counter-revolution usually isn't just a figment of the imagination in these scenarios. It'd be foolish of Morsi or any democratist to equate the judges and other institutions of the old regieme with the term 'rule of law.' Indeed, obscene.

      Morsi might turn out to be a dictator, but he'll have to actually have to survive the next couple of years to do that.

  •  populism has this tendency (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Geenius at Wrok

    Populism leans right because it sees itself as an unfiltered expression of the collective will of a unitary "people".  Rule by decree can be justified on the grounds that you're decreeing things that the people would vote for anyway. That, or you believe yourself to have a unique insight into the wants and needs of the people and the country, so decree simply becomes strong paternalistic leadership that will be vindicated in the end.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:30:59 PM PST

    •  One of the conundrums of real democracy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA, IreGyre

      that impatient leaders who see themselves as trying to solidify a revolution almost always get wrong: You can't free people by being arbitrary.  Fear and hatred of the Old Order is so often the root from which the New Order turns into a nightmare - the French, the Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, so many people have experienced this fact.  The beginning of freedom is giving people the chance to choose who they are, even if they choose "wrongly."

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:51:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  revolutions see themselves as acts of will (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        I think that arbitrariness gets justified on the grounds that the revolutionaries think they have to make stuff happen that doesn't really want to happen: they're fighting entrenched interests, social inertia, human nature, etc.  The argument is not merely that free people will choose "wrongly", but that they won't choose at all, and the glorious epoch-making revolution will simply peter out into a handful of trials and token reforms.  Revolutionaries believe that they're uplifting their nations - less New Order than higher order - as opposed to simply making a coup and ideally everything goes on as before except with their face on the money.  If that was the case then the usual post-revolutionary crackdown with decrees and purges and the like wouldn't happen; the new boss is happy to do exactly what the old boss did - he just wanted the office.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 01:15:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup. All true liberators are reformers. (0+ / 0-)

          Revolutionaries are just people pissed off that they're not the ones running the police state.

          "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

          by Troubadour on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 01:22:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Prrrretty amazing that you think this is why (0+ / 0-)

            Haiti revolted and threw out the French.

            "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

            by JesseCW on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 04:07:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lovely non sequitur. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoGoGoEverton

              "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

              by Troubadour on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:06:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You argue that the only reason anyone revolts (0+ / 0-)

                is to be the one in charge.

                I didn't put those words in your mouth.

                Lacking the courage to fight for real change is not a virtue.  

                In the end, only revolution ends truly bankrupt systems of exploitation.

                Conflating revolution with war, of course, is a common error.

                "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

                by JesseCW on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:09:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No. (0+ / 0-)

                  I argued that people who make a career out of revolution just want to be the ones in charge.  Reformers stop being revolutionaries the moment the guns go silent and invite their enemies to the table.

                  "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

                  by Troubadour on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:04:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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