Egyptian Protesters Storm Presidential Palace

Arab Spring 2.0?


protest like it's 2011

Just last month, Egypt's president, the Muslim Brother Mohammed Morsi, was seen as the big winner in the conflagration between Hamas and Israel, negotiating a ceasefire between the two. Just a day later, on November 22nd, Morsi made a grab for power, proclaiming that the courts could not overturn any of his decisions until a new constitution was drafted.  The proverbial shit hit the fan almost immediately, with protesters setting fire to the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood. Protesters eventually began to clash with police in Cairo. A draft constitution was finally approved at the end of the month, but protests continued unabated against what's seen as a heavily flawed constitution. Morsi announced a snap referendum on the draft constitution, set for December 15,  but protests continued.

Today, protesters stormed the presidential compound, forcing Morsi to flee in a scene reminiscent of the last days of the former Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Long-time Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei, meanwhile, characterized Morsi's power grab as pharaoh-like, tweeting  that it was a "major blow to the revolution" that could have "dire consequences." Given that the Egyptian people's discontent over Hosni Mubarak and the state of affairs in Egypt far predated the 2011 revolution that actually swept Mubarak out of power, perhaps the current round of protests in Egypt are better seen as a continuation of last year's revolution. Morsi's election, after all, did little to address the core complaints of Egypt's protesters: a massive police state propping up a vast and corrupt bureaucracy. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

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  1. “Long-time Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei, meanwhile, characterized MUBARAK’s power grab as pharaoh-like, tweeting that it was a “major blow to the revolution” that could have “dire consequences.”

    Ed, did you mean “Morsi”?

    1. Thanks for catching that! Morsi, Mubarak, tomato, tomahto

  2. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    You might even say…

    *sunglasses off*

    They won’t get fooled again.


    1. “Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, won’t get fooled again”

      1. *shame on you. Botched a botched quote. Of course.

      2. “We’ll be fighting in the streets
        With our children at our feet
        And the morals that they worship will be gone
        And the men who spurred us on
        Sit in judgment of all wrong
        They decide and the shotgun sings the song”

        1. One reason why I love Stiff Little Fingers’ Suspect Device is that after their “why don’t we take over” verse, they change the lyrics of their chorus from “Don’t believe them, don’t believe them” to “don’t believe us, don’t believe us”. It’s almost as if they understood that it’s power, and not the people who hold it, that is the problem.

          1. OK. I don’t really like The Who, just a handful of their songs. I’m assuming Stiff Little Fingers is one of their albums.

  3. It amazes me that people can get away with doing this without a massacre of Biblical proportions occurring.

    1. Indeed. What we are seeing is Egypt’s decent into it’s own twisted and catastrophic version of the twisted and catastrophic French Revolution.

      This is a hard process, and I don’t think anyone knows the best method to transfer from a decades old dictatorship to democracy without significant risk of this exact kind of chaos.

      1. I don’t think anyone knows the best method to transfer from a decades old dictatorship to democracy

        Putting a bunch of old white men in charge seems to be correlated with having a relatively non-chaotic revolution. No guarantee, of course. Perhaps a necessary but not sufficient condition?

        1. Putting a bunch of old white men in charge seems to be correlated with having a relatively non-chaotic revolution.


        2. As several people noted, the American revolution avoided this blood shed largely due to the fact that it was actually more reactionary than revolutionary. Britain had let the US become used to a certain level of benign neglect, the US got used to it, and then when George III tried getting more involved again, the “revolution” sprung up largely trying to maintain the status quo.

          1. Put anther way, it was a revolution with the explicit goal of having a government leave people the fuck alone. That’s going to wind up better than a revolution where half the people want to inflict a theocracy on others.

    2. Well, supposedly Hez has their mitts on some of Syria’s chemical weapons, which increases the odds of a wrath-of-god style massacre enormously.

      I think Hez and the Bros hate each other, so its not likely they will send some to Morsi for crowd control, but who knows?

      1. Why would they send some to Morsi when there are JOOOOOOOZZZZZ to kill?

        1. I didn’t say who the lucky recipients of the massacre would be. I’m sure the Jooos are at the top of the list, but they could probably spare a few barrels for their buddies elsewhere.

      2. Wonder where they got those weapons of…”mass destruction”, shall we say?

        Wouldn’t be…IRAQ?!

        Just askin’…

        1. Those are Balls!

  4. I’ll write the Egyptian constitution. Muslim “so-cons” and Tulpa might not like what I write, but I’ll write it.

  5. I don’t see any good end to this. Economically Egypt is a semi-socialist mess that can’t even feed itself. They import half their calories and get most of their foreign exchange from rapidly-declining tourism and foreign aid. It’s not as if Egypt is filled with libertarians or even “moderates” who will somehow coalesce and lead the country out of its terrible problems. The most organized and determined and ruthless groups are all Islamist, and it’s very hard to counter religious fanatics when the entire culture is oriented around that particular religion, and free discussion of it is actually dangerous.

  6. Hmmm, I’m getting the strangest sense of deja-vu.

  7. I actually find this encouraging.

    Far from embracing a radical islamist agenda, the people are reacting to a power-grab and saying no, we’ll not trade a secular dictatorship for an islamic one.

    1. I agree this is a good sign.

    2. I get a feeling they’re wanting to try their hand at some sort of “Islamic Democracy”. All I can say is, good luck with that. See you next spring.

    3. I agree, its good to see there’s some popular support for non-authoritarian government.

      I fear that without a bloody-handed “militant” wing, though, the non-authoritarians are going to lose. These sorts of revolutions usually go to the most ruthless.


  9. Why are we discussing this? The major news today seems to be royal bun in the oven that could be in jeopardy if the royal twit keeps puking.

    1. What I can’t figure out is why so many people here give a shit about the BRITISH royal family.

      1. You mean that weird German family that inhabits Buckingham Palace? I don’t get it, either.

      2. There seems to be a fairly popular sentiment on the left that the Obamas should be our royal family. Because “mandate,” and all.

    2. Sick semper tyrannis!

    3. I came *this* close to writing about the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha yesterday

  10. Now there is a dude that clearly knows what time it is .Wow.

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