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EGYPT: Over the Edge
Mubarak has resigned.
“There is no legitimacy other than that of the people.” [Spokesman for the military regime in Egypt]
Our president has succeeded in pushing out Mr. Mubarak and with that leader has jettisoned the Egyptian constitution, and inter alia, the rule of law, as well.
A promised September retirement and an election for Mr. Mubarak’s successor were not good enough. As matters now stand, the administration has de facto acknowledged the Mulsim Brotherhood as a legitimate player in the democratic politics of Egypt, while ruling out constitutional and legal continuity.
Egypt is now in a juridical, constitutional and political limbo, one in which almost any outcome is possible. So far, the pattern eerily recapitulates the removal of the Shaw of Iran, the military takeover and the nascent democracy almost immediately seized by Islamist extremists. Egypt may of may, or may not be a different case and outcome, but merely wishing or pretending it so will not control events.
This is the most gesture-infatuated president in US history. But even gestures have consequences.
Fairly or unfairly, Mr. Obama now decisively owns the Egyptian outcome.
In my earliest post (Egypt Teeters) I wrote-
“Since he probably does not know what he is doing, I hope to hell he is lucky. This president has enjoyed a remarkable run of lucky breaks where national security and terrorism are concerned. I’m thinking particularly of the Times Square bomber (May 2010, Faisal Shahzad) and the Christmas 2009 airline attack by Umar Mutallab (the underwear bomber), either of which would have been heralded as a major jidad “victory” had they succeeded, but were aborted, not by homeland Security, but by the operation of sheer luck. [But] luck has a way of running out.”
At this point we have little but luck on which to ground a reasonable hope for an outcome that will not deliver Egypt to the wolves. Personally I do not believe that Mr. Obama has any special wisdom or unique, reliable intelligence about this.
I do not wish our president to fail, nor do I think the American people do.
In spite of all that has happened t date, we all should hope to hell the he is lucky.