Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blair on Egypt

From the Observer, 7 July:
Tony Blair says the Egyptian army had no alternative but to oust President Morsi from power, given the strength of opposition on the streets. The military were confronted,writes Blair in the Observer, with the simple choice of intervening or allowing chaos.
"It [..] marks a striking development in the thinking of Blair ..." And one that leaves me behind, preferring Blair Mark 1.

"The economy is tanking. Ordinary law and order has virtually disappeared ..." Wasn't that because the police (and army where necessary) refused to enforce it on behalf of the Morsi government, notably in failing to defend the MB headquarters ? 

Here he is again: Egyptian army right to intervene, says Blair - video  - Tony Blair tells Channel 4 News that Egypt must "move back to democratic elections as soon as possible", but the army was right to take action or there would have been "total chaos" in the country. And again: on Al Jazeera, 9 July, Tony Blair said something like
of course governments govern well or badly or averagely, but the Muslim Brotherhood failed to govern at all competently ... 

I much preferred David Miliband who insisted, this was a coup (BBC WS, Newshour, 14 July, 21:50; Mr Miliband said: “I think we’ve got to be clear this was a coup.”,  The Financial Times),  though he did go on to say  that the MB staged their own coup last November, with Morsi putting himself above the constitution (The Andrew_Marr Show, 9:37 - 44). 

More reactions:

The failure of this Islamist experiment poses a danger far beyond Egypt, Jonathan Freedland:  But there are coping mechanisms available to deal with such contradictions, denial chief among them. Note the message in English on the front of the al-Tahrir newspaper – "It's a revolution … not a coup, Mr Obama!" – or the delicate term chosen by the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, who insisted this was not a coup, but a "deposal".

Fawaz Gerges: the military has not just ousted Morsi. It has ousted democracy

Guardian Editorial Egypt: on the brink of disaster: Once parliaments are dissolved and constitutions suspended, the street becomes the only arbiter of legitimacy. It is, to say the least, ironic that the African Union called the coup for what it was and, notably, the European Union did not.


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