If you were to bet on events in Egypt, how would you bet? *UPDATED*

Egypt protest in Tahir Square

Things in Egypt are coming to a head.  The protest in Tahir Square on Sunday is being billed as the largest political protest ever.  In addition to Cairo, people are protesting all over.  A mob burned down the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters.  Obama, after staying silent for some time, finally called upon to President Morsi to meet with the opposition and enact some democratic reforms.  (Two years ago, under similar circumstances, he demanded that the Egyptian president step down.)

I see a few scenarios playing out:

1.  Morsi leaves power.  There is a power vacuum, and a civil war.

2.  Morsi does not leave power.  There is a civil war.

3.  The military takes over, creating a military dictatorship.  Since Morsi tried to purge as many non-Islamist people as possible from the military, it is an Islamist military dictatorship.

4.  The military takes over, creating a military dictatorship.  Despite Morsi’s efforts to purge as many non-Islamist people as possible from the military, the military has remained primarily secular.  Once in power, it can either retain it or, having stabilized the country, pave the way for democratic elections.

5.  The military, which Morsi purged of moderate elements, backs Morsi.  It takes extreme measures, killing hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in order to put down the protests. The Muslim Brotherhood retains power, but with increased cruelty and despotism.

Keep in mind with these scenarios that Egypt has the largest population of any nation in the Arab Middle East, and that it shares borders with Libya (al Qaeda), the Sudan (Muslim extremists), and Israel (Jewish, democratic, prosperous).  It is also a country in deep economic decline, something that began under Mubarak and accelerated under Morsi.  Famine is dogging it.  Finally, Obama has continued to pour money and weapons (including F-18 fighters) into Egypt.

What do you think will happen?  Are any of my scenarios reasonable?  I assume there are a lot of scenarios that didn’t even occur to me.

UPDATE:  Right now, it looks as if the military is starting variation 4 — taking over — and to the extent it seems to support the protests, that may pave the way for a peaceful transition to a more democratic, non-sharia Egypt.  I know I sound cynical, but I’m not sure that people bred on decades of Islamism are capable of making that transition:

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Comments

  1. Gringo says

    As Spengler/David Goldman has pointed out, the basic problem for Egypt is that it imports half its caloric requirements. This problem will exist regardless of what kind of government there is. A tourist-phobic Muslim Brotherhood government certainly exacerbates matters by cutting off the primary source of paying for those food imports. My prediction is utter chaos and famine resulting in twenty million Egyptians invading Europe, boatload by boatload.

  2. SADIE says

     
    Gringo, the wealthier have already exited.  Business has been brisk at the airport. Good thing we have that Nobel Peace Prize winner in the WH along with his foreign-folly advisors.
     
    All bets are off regarding Egypt. Too many weak horses in the race. A few observations from Pipes follows….
     
    The demonstrations across the country were, by consensus estimates, 7 to 10 times larger than the biggest anti-Mubarak crowds in early 2011. They dwarfed street rebellions such other those in Iran in 1979 or Peking in 1989. Simply put, they were probably the largest political demonstration in human history.
     
    Whither Morsi: Awesome and satisfying as the June 30 rejection of Muslim Brotherhood rule was, what should come next is not obvious. Emotionally, I want Morsi and his foul crew gone as soon as possible from the corridors of power. Tactically, however, I fear that, once they are dispatched, the politically obtuse military leadership will likely muck things up and the opposition will be unable to unify or to handle the looming economic disaster. If Egypt’s pain is to have benefit, it would be by discrediting Islamism. For that to happen, it’s probably better that Morsi linger in office and be ascribed responsibility for the hunger and other disasters ahead.
    I write this with trepidation, as always when the heart and mind disagree. (July 1, 2013)
     - Daniel Pipes
    If anyone is interested a link to none other than RT online.
     
    Livestream from Tahrir Square – go to link, follows to RT ….
    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/07/01/livestream-from-tahrir-square/
     

  3. Mike Devx says

    All I know, is Obama backed hard-core jihadists among the Palestinians.  And those jihadists were very capable fascists, but totally hopeless when it comes to economics, and ensuring that people thrive in their lives rather than starve and live in unending misery and loss of hope.  For the Palestinians that’s Life Under Jihad, and for Americans, that’s Life Under Obama!
     
    And Obama backed the hard-core jihadist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  And those jihadists were very capable fascists, but totally hopeless when it comes to economics, and ensuring that people thrive in their lives rather than starve and live in unending misery and loss of hope.  For the Egyptians that’s Life Under Jihad, and for Americans, that’s Life Under Obama!
     
    All Hail, All Hail, Life Under Obama!  And what foreign loser is he going to side with next?

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