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January 30, 2011



Brave man for taking a guess. I have no reason for believing I know any better, but I do wonder quite how compatible a seizure of the state by securicrats and 'free and fair' elections might be. I mean, democracy in that sense would seem to imply a kind of 'Russian' solution.& is Putinism on the Nile a plausibly stable outcome? (No, I don't know either)


I also wonder in what sense it's possible for securocrats to seize the Egyptian state. They already had it.


If they already had it in the operational sense then there wouldn't have been an uprising of this magnitude. So a re-seizure, if you like.

On the other point, I think they have to have yer actual elections right now; so they just have to limit the things they will effect. They can claw back what they lost later.


The end result might very well be as you describe, but it's not going to be the result of a deal.


I mean to say that I find any scenario where someone from the opposition wins the presidential election but the military retains effective control. In the 60 days before the election, the generals will have to find a candidate or lose power. They could certainly regain that control within 18 months if the new government is divided and weak.


I see three scenarios. Either the regime prevails, maybe with a new guy at the top, or Egypt becomes Pakistan or it becomes the Phillipines.


We're ruling out its becoming Iran, then? Fair enough. The Muslim Brotherhood seems to have dropped the ball somewhat (although they're perking up a bit in Tunisia).


Or Turkey?


Turkey would be a very good outcome if the military would budge over.

Meanwhile more on Suleiman from 2009:


In other words, most Suleiman supporters recognize that to gain the presidency he would most likely have to carry out a coup -- perhaps a soft, constitutional one, but a coup nonetheless. (It is possible, one analyst told me, that "the day Mubarak dies there will be tanks on the street.") Strange though it sounds, many Egyptians would find such a coup acceptable. The amendments to the Constitution were broadly viewed as illegitimate, and the regime's standing may be at an all-time low.

"Broadly accepted" doesn't seem right to say the least, but it may be what the regime are banking on.

Incidentally, Patrick Tyler's book on America in the ME says that Suleiman's party trick is an Arik Sharon impersonation.


Incidentally, Patrick Tyler's book on America in the ME says that Suleiman's party trick is an Arik Sharon impersonation.

Also known as a "nap".

Richard J

i [guilty snigger].

I think I'm going to cautiously take Krugman's position on this - I don't know enough about Egypt to make even a sensible guess, beyond noting that there doesn't seem to be much momentum to the current situation.


I don't think it will become Turkey in terms of governance or growth, at least not in this decade, but maybe in terms of foreign policy.

Iran '78 I think can alsmost be ruled out. Much more sharia and social conservatism a few years down the road is possible, tho I doubt the votes will be there.


More on Mr disappearing act:


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