Egypt: Riots But No Revolution — For Now
show comments
  • Donna Robinson Divine

    One slight addition to your analysis. The Muslim Brethren sponsored the original Friday protest supported by a small number of those affiliated with the more liberal protesters. When a small number decided to remain in Tahrir to continue the protest, the security police tried to remove them firing live ammunition–thought they denied it [but people arrived at hospitals with bullet wounds]. By Sunday, more people arrived to protest the police and army violence. Long before that, the Brethren withdraw–having set in motion the events but not wanting to lose sight of their campaign for parliamentary elections set to begin on November 28. The violence seems to have sparked more protests, the resignation of the temporary government, and more widespread calls for suspending the campaigns and replacing them with a general strike. There are also calls for some sort of national unity government to supervise the elections.

  • Luke Lea

    “Mr Wang said “some structural problems” exist in the country’s financial industry and Beijing needed to make monetary policy more “forward-looking, targeted and flexible”.

    One problem they won’t have is a lender of last resort. I understand state banks are instructed to just print up the money necessary to cover any runs that take place.

    The same sources indicated that most deposits had been wasted on state-mandated uber-projects — freeways, airports, bullet trains, Olympic stadiums, whole new cities designed to house millions — which have no chance of generating the revenues necessary to pay back the loans by which they were financed.

    If true, China’s new industrial middle-class, whose deposits we are mostly talking about here, will get shafted. To say nothing of the inflation that seems likely to follow.

  • Ira

    There is only one way to understand what is going on in Egypt and it shocks me that I have not seen it mentioned yet. The “Cairo Trilogy” by Egypt’s Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Naguib Mahfouz explains exactly what is going on. This is the Egyptian tragedy of its confrontation with modernity. Read the trilogy and you will be enlightened.

  • WigWag

    “There is only one way to understand what is going on in Egypt and it shocks me that I have not seen it mentioned yet. The “Cairo Trilogy” by Egypt’s Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Naguib Mahfouz explains exactly what is going on. This is the Egyptian tragedy of its confrontation with modernity. Read the trilogy and you will be enlightened.” (Ira @ November 22, 2011 at 7:27 am)

    I can’t help but wonder what Mahfouz would think about what’s happening in Egypt today. As cheered as he would have been about the “Arab Spring” I think he would have known in his heart of hearts that it would end in misery. Already it is obvious that the Egyptian liberals are a spent force that will be overwhelmed by Islamist elements in Egyptian society.

    Although he was raised as a devout Muslim, Mahfouz was actually named after a renowned Coptic physician who delivered him. In the late 19th century when he was born, the relationship between Coptic and Islamic Egyptians was nowhere near as troubled as it is now. I have a strong suspicion that the future of the Copts in Egypt is in great peril and that before too long we are likely to see a mass emigration. I truly hope that the United States is foresightful enough to offer sanctuary to the Copts. Very close to where Professor Mead lives in Queens, on Steinway Street in Astoria, there is a large Egyptian neighborhood that would gladly welcome Copts who flee Egypt.

    Mahfouz survived an assassination attempt by Egyptian Islamic extremists. It is sad to think that these same extremists wearing the modestly less intolerant garb of the Muslim Brotherhood will end up as the new power brokers of an increasing impoverished and intolerant Egypt.

    It won’t be long before liberals like Mahfouz will be even less safe in Egypt than he was.

    Speaking of Egypt Professor Mead says,

    “The economy is in trouble and nobody knows how to fix it.”

    Actually, I don’t think that’s true. The Egyptian economy is in trouble but it’s not that no one knows how to fix it, it’s that no one is willing to take the steps necessary to fix it.

    What a different society Egypt would be if it embraced liberal democracy, forged a real peace with Israel that included a vibrant economic relationship, accepted pluralism and reduced military expenditures. This is the type of Egyptian society that Mahfouz would have been proud of.

    Instead Egypt, like most of the Islamic world, chooses to meander down a path that leads to perdition.

    Egypt is a nation that imports a very large percentage of its caloric intake, yet it is hemorrhaging foreign reserves. How long will it be before Egypt becomes Somalia on the Nile?

    My guess is that from his perch in heaven, Naguib Mahfouz is weeping. But Mahfouz was an existentialist so the absurdity of what’s happening in Egypt probably wouldn’t have surprised him at all.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.