Egyptian Army suspends constitution, parliament

posted at 1:30 pm on February 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The Egyptian army moved to consolidate its newly-seized power today by neutralizing the political institutions of Egypt, at least for the moment:

The Egyptian military consolidated its control Sunday over what it has called a democratic transition from three decades of President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian rule, dissolving the country’s feeble parliament, suspending the constitution and calling for elections in six months in sweeping steps that echoed protesters’ demands.

The statement by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, read on television, effectively put Egypt under direct military authority, thrusting the country into territory uncharted since republican Egypt was founded in 1952. Though enjoying popular support, the military must now cope with the formidable task of negotiating a post-revolutionary landscape still basking in the glow of Mr. Mubarak’s fall but beset by demands to ameliorate hardships that percolated across Cairo on Sunday.

Since seizing power from Mr. Mubarak on Friday, the military has sought to strike the right note, responding in words and action to the platform articulated by hundreds of thousands in Tahrir Square. But beyond more protests, there is almost no check on the sweep of military rule, and while opposition leaders welcomed the moves some have quietly raised worries about the role of the army in Egypt’s future.

This is actually good news, at least from the American perspective.  We want a transition to democracy, but one that doesn’t involve chaos and radicals from the Muslim Brotherhood to seize control in the midst of it.  Egypt needs some time to allow alternative voices of democratization to organize into competing political parties that will keep the Ikhwan from asserting its current organizational advantage over other voices that the Mubarak regime suppressed more successfully.

The Obama administration seems to have belatedly realized this as well.  They have recovered from their demands for an immediate transition to democracy and apparently have instead begun quietly acquiescing, at least, to transitional control by the army in the form of Omar Suleiman’s de facto regency.  This gives the US the best chance to influence events, since the army gets a significant subsidy from the US, as well as acting as a brake on Islamist ambitions.  The White House should be hoping that Egypt’s army will eventually position itself as a bulwark against radicalism in a democratic state, in the same manner as Turkey.

However, that depends on whether Omar Suleiman is a reincarnation of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk rather than a successor to Hosni Mubarak.  There are few examples of military coups resulting in the birth of democracies; Ataturk’s was one of the few.  Usually when armies seize power, they keep it, which is exactly what happened in Egypt in 1952, resulting in Nasser’s elevation to president-for-life in 1956.  And in 1952, Nasser and the other leaders of the revolution ostensibly intended to establish a democracy in Egypt, too.


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http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110212/wl_time/08599204878900

Has there been any discussion about this article? Any more info about these possible candidates?

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 13, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Hey protesters: “How’s that forcing Mubarak out thingy working out so far?”

Elections in 6 months? Better send over Jimmy Carter…
/s

Khun Joe on February 13, 2011 at 10:09 PM

No Constitution? Why not send our boneheads over there to rule. Thats what they like.

johnnyU on February 13, 2011 at 10:10 PM

You know what’s really sad? This is nothing new. Mubarak the Monster has suspended the constitution for decades.

Dark-Star on February 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM

A constitution that can be amended at the will of a dictator is not a constitution, but an excuse to do what the dictator wants to keep money flowing from Washington.

Just because they use words like Constitution and democracy does not mean there is any semblance of self-government going on.

This is a perfect example of watch what happens rather than listen to the words…

Of course they know the code words of democracy. So does George Soros. That doesn’t make George Soros a freedom fighter.

petunia on February 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Hey protesters: “How’s that forcing Mubarak out thingy working out so far?”

Elections in 6 months? Better send over Jimmy Carter…
/s

Khun Joe on February 13, 2011 at 10:09 PM

So you think Mubarak would have lasted… what another month?

It was ridiculous to think Mubarak could with stand what was going on.

As long as you live in your fantasyland world where we call all the shots–you will have lots of chances to pretend other people are fools….you only show how out of touch you are with reality.

petunia on February 13, 2011 at 10:42 PM

Palestinian refugees should capitalise on the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East by massing peacefully on the borders of Israel until it gives in to their demands, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday.

Yeah, well Reagan shut this guy up…it wouldn’t take much of a reminder to shut him up again…but we don’t have the leader that can do it.

right2bright on February 14, 2011 at 7:30 AM

right2bright on February 14, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Exactly.

kingsjester on February 14, 2011 at 7:48 AM

This is actually good news, at least from the American perspective.

Maybe, maybe not.
They suspended the constitution, which could be a transition to full military rule — and the military is socialist.

Count to 10 on February 14, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Count to 10 on February 14, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Let’s be real about this much, their constitution to the extent it granted any rule of law has been inoperative for at least the last 30 years. They haven’t had any real elections in that time and so this development really isn’t much of a news story.

I say it’s positive because the hastier they act, the more likely it is that unsavory forces (such as the MB) will be able to exert more influence than the population wants. By allowing a little time to cool off and build some real democratic institutions, we are much more likely to see a functioning democracy in due time.

MJBrutus on February 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM

It wasn’t only Mubarak that America gifted to Egypt, but their Constitutional Republic.

Leaving Mubarak aside, since he made himself president-for-life whether or not originally legitimate according to their constitution, Egypt’s Constitution, I dare say, would represents a hybrid of US/British law. Who has read it to argue?

Why would dismantling all governance be “good” given the people (including criminals and radically violent Islamists) still not returned home, but remaining out in street demonstrations?

The Egyptian Army is in total control with no limits now. And the only reason that the Egyptian people adore their Army as they do is because Mubarak never permitted the Army to exceed their powers; meaning, the Army has never been forced to maintain martial law and order while simultaneously performing its traditional role protecting Egypt from invasion.

The Muslim Brotherhood are represented within the Egyptian Military, just as they are within every profession, guild enterprise and union in Egypt and throughout “Islam” i.e., the MidEast.

maverick muse on February 14, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Gaddafi’s pronouncement for all Muslims to focus their dissent against Israel is certainly a “smart” move on his part to protect his president-for-life power and status in the MidEast.

And his imPotus boy ain’t gonna stop Gaddafi, his strongest international endorsement since the perpetual ’08 campaign.

Yet, the American mass media news announced that given the popular uprisings in each Muslim nation, the CIA was activating cells.

So at what point will the imPotus CinC coordinate with his uncoordinated intelligence/counterintelligence agencies on US Foreign Policy? Oops, nothing inconsistent to date given the imPotus destructive agenda manifestation of what “RESET” means.

maverick muse on February 14, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Good posts maverick muse.
The contemporary Jimmy Carter in the WH will do nothing with his uncoordinated suppport team except treat this as their own private Super Bowl, watching as the outcome unfolds. Like they don’t know what the outcome is.
Idiots.

ORconservative on February 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

This is actually good news, at least from the American perspective. We want a transition to democracy, but one that doesn’t involve chaos and radicals from the Muslim Brotherhood to seize control in the midst of it. Egypt needs some time to allow alternative voices of democratization to organize into competing political parties that will keep the Ikhwan from asserting its current organizational advantage over other voices that the Mubarak regime suppressed more successfully.

This COULD be good news, if (a big IF) cooler heads prevail in the Egyptian military, and it is not controlled or seized by the Muslim Brotherhood, or by someone who wants to be dictator in Mubarak’s place. In the short term, martial law is preferable to the alternative of anarchy and chaos.

Our CIA and military advisors need to be working behind the scenes with the Egyptian military to bring about a slow, orderly transition to another government acceptable to the Egyptian people and not hostile to the United States or Israel. But with a President like Obama, and a DNI who thinks the Muslim Brotherhood is secular and non-violent, is this possible?

Steve Z on February 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Nothing says democracy like a military junta running things. Those speeches from Obama obviously worked.

/s

G M on February 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Steve Z on February 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Our best hope, of course, is that the idiots ashore will not do a damned thing. Their bumbling did nothing to bring about the revolution nor to prevent it. PBHO and company did succeed however in ticking off everyone involved. Siding first with Mubarak costing us any moral authority we may have regained and then discarding him ticking off the other Arab allies who are cringing in their palaces.

The best course of action was and is for PBHO to follow his own advice and leave Egypt to the Egyptians to sort out!

MJBrutus on February 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM

In human history, there has only been one civilization that has overthrown its own dictator and didn’t fall into a military authoritarian rule. What civilization was that?

Here is your first clue: You’re sitting in it.

kurtzz3 on February 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM

kurtzz3 on February 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM

So then Poland and the other former Soviet satellites never happened?

MJBrutus on February 14, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I’ve been following through Twitter the Iran protests as little as they come in. This YouTube video shows how nasty the police is-people just started to write a sign, and three feet away the police start shootin’. Absolute pigs.

ProudPalinFan on February 14, 2011 at 1:49 PM

The Egyptian army Federal Emergency Management Agency moved to consolidate its newly-seized power today by neutralizing the political institutions of Egypt the USA, at least for the moment:

perspectives.

ted c on February 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM

ORconservative,

WH will do nothing with his uncoordinated support team

Remember the Post Turtle joke from the ’08 campaign?

“Uncoordinated” — we should be so lucky if only that. Someone put that turtle up on the post, even if only to distract the public from all else while globalists “reset” feudal coordinates.

The night before last, Assoc.Press news announced on talk radio that as the Islamic revolutionaries announced their instituting protests throughout each nation in the MidEast region, in response the CIA cells have been ordered to activate.

SteveZ,

after studying American “history” since the Cold War, CIA sponsored revolutions result eventually in negative consequences for America, all motivating good intentions and compassionate conservatism for naught. Correct me where I’m wrong. But as revolutions progress given the vested interests of all faithful Muslims to establish a global theocracy, inevitably the Muslim Brotherhood are involved and lead from within every portion of Muslim caste society, democratic society, ignorant tribal culture or sophisticated Western elitist educated.

Who do you think cooked up Politically Correct Warfare, obligating our troops to abide compassionate Rules of Engagement for the sake of winning hearts and minds of Islamists?

Some things simply will never be, no matter, not peacefully. And black ops do not exist to promote warm and fuzzy international relations. Gen. McChrystal tried to coordinate America’s efforts, much to his consternation. It wasn’t simply CinC Obama frustrating our Military’s execution of mission and of orders. No, I didn’t say that our failures in Islam are the fault of the CIA. Not at all. But we should acknowledge that the CIA mission statement augmented itself as does every federal bureau/agency. It mutated from gathering information into subversion for its own best interests that do not necessarily coincide or align with the US Constitution. Furthermore, DHS enables everything authoritarian with steroids.

What we hear on the news is only what we are allowed to hear. And I did not just say that’s the CIA’s fault. But I did just point out that what would present a simplistic illusion of disjointed confusion in this administration is compounded by those with massive powers to manipulate functional globalist feudal authoritarianism. And those with the most information and the most power are certainly not attune to our Constitution. I won’t cheer the demise of our Constitutional Governance, no matter who inaugurates Global Governance.

maverick muse on February 14, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Nearly Nobody on February 14, 2011 at 1:54 PM

yeah, I heard that.

Rush featured that the big named CNN British-accent reporter whose failed bent over backwards efforts to get an Egyptian to be “thankful” to Obama finally convoluted through the reporter’s truncated cadence: I’m right because I feel like I’m right. I told you, they all said what I said.

maverick muse on February 14, 2011 at 3:22 PM

However, that depends on whether Omar Suleiman is a reincarnation of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk rather than a successor to Hosni Mubarak. There are few examples of military coups resulting in the birth of democracies; Ataturk’s was one of the few.

Atta’ Turk! was a dictator who imposed secularism on Turkey by force and only then transitioned it towards democracy. One of the consequences of this was the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 – set up with aim of restoring the Caliphate.

Now even if the next Egyptian leader were to attempt to force secularism on Egypt before holding elections – which of course he won’t – then the M.B. will be ready for him. They’ve seen what happened in Turkey and they won’t get fooled agaib.

It sounds like you think that Atta’ Turk! just seized power and then held elections – and that’s all Suleiman has to do to obtain the same results.

aengus on February 14, 2011 at 4:04 PM

“All your constitutionals are belong to us!”

44Magnum on February 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM

There was not constitution. They only used the word constitution because we do… and we were funding them.

The military was in total control before, under the guise of Mubarak’s “police”.

Now it is open to view.

Of course this is dangerous. But it was coming for a long time. To pretend otherwise is folly.

petunia on February 14, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Frankly, Egypt has no other option than to go to military control.

When Hosni abdicated, in order to prevent the collapse of Egypt and takeover as a fundamentalist regime by the Muslim Brotherhood, the military and its minions MUST establish martial law, although they will not call it that.

Egyptians know that to revert to an Islamic state, with Sharia law, would reduce Egypt to an agrarian economy. This kind of lowest-level economy would relegate all Egyptians into a death spiral as they return to the seventh century AD (ACE).

Islam, as primarily a 7th century political system, masked as religion,has nothing to offer its adherents in the modern world other than to effect Jihad on the infidels that have knowledge, those having ability to effect knowledge into profitable production that enhances the populace.

Islam would revert the world into living in tents, milking camels, and selling daughters to the highest bidder (although Muslims do that now). Islam rejects modern advancements in all intellectual and economic activities since these are not specifically referenced in the Q’ran’s seventh century viewpoint. Mohammad did not know anything about world history even though he was no more than 500 miles from the Library at Alexandria.

If Mohammad’s successors saved the Library at Alexandria, Islam might have advanced. No such thing happened: the Muslims burned the library to the ground, because the works were not “written by Mohammad and vetted by Allah (the Moon God”.

This is what the Earth faces if we allow Muslims to rest on our soils, and do not demand that they integrate in the existing societies. If Muslims fail to integrate, each and every one should be removed and sent back to their originating countries.

The Western World must protect itself from Jihad, Sharia, and Islam in all of its parts. Or, we die.

Quaoar on February 14, 2011 at 10:06 PM

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