Military Coup Underway In Egypt [Update: Morsi Deposed]

if reports are to be believed, there is a coup d'etat underway in Egypt.


It’s only been a few hours since the deadline set by the Egyptian military for some type of unspecified solution to the political crisis precipitated by the massive protests that started on Sunday has passed and, already, it appears that something major and important is happening:

CAIRO — With a potentially violent showdown looming between Egypt’s military and the Islamist backers of President Mohamed Morsi, the country’s top generals summoned civilian political leaders to an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss a new interim government while moving tanks toward the presidential palace and restricting Mr. Morsi’s travel — new signals of an impending military takeover. A top presidential adviser said a coup already was under way.

The developments came as street tensions intensified and a 48-hour deadline imposed by the military generals on the increasingly isolated president to meet the demands of millions of unhappy Egyptians came and went.

By 6:30 p.m. military forces began moving around Cairo. Tanks and troops headed for the presidential palace — although it was unclear whether Mr. Morsi was inside — while other soldiers ringed the nearby square where tens of thousands of the president’s supporters were rallying.

Many of the Islamists had armed themselves with makeshift clubs, shields made of potcovers or metal scraps and plastic hard hats, and there were small scuffles with the better-armed soldiers. Some soldiers fired their weapons in the air. But the military forces held back.

Soldiers also were seen erecting barbed-wire fences and barriers around a barracks were President Morsi may have been working, Reuters reported, quoting witnesses.

Mr. Morsi’s senior foreign policy adviser, Essam el-Haddad, issued an open letter Wednesday afternoon on his official Web page lamenting what he called the imminent takeover of Egypt’s first freely elected government.

“As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page,” he wrote. “For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup.”

Security officials said the military’s intelligence service had banned any travel by President Morsi and senior Islamist aides, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and his influential deputy, Khairat el-Shater.

People close to the president said at around the same time that talks with the generals continued but looked increasingly futile. A decisive move was expected within hours, these people said, although the president and his advisers remained at liberty.

With millions of Egyptians waiting to see what the military would do, Mr. Morsi reiterated in a Facebook posting what he had said in a long and rambling televised speech Tuesday night, vowing to stay in power as Egypt’s first democratically elected president following the 2011 revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

“The presidency reaffirms that violating constitutional legitimacy threatens democratic practice by veering off the right track and threatens the freedom of expression that Egypt has lived since the revolution,” the statement said.

Among those called to the meeting with the generals was Mohamed ElBaradei, the former United Nations diplomat who has been tapped by the protesters demanding Mr. Morsi’s ouster as one of their negotiators over a new interim government, Reuters reported, citing unnamed official sources.

Mr. ElBaradei has been an outspoken critic of Mr. Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood, the Constitution they pushed to a referendum and the previous period of military rule. He has declined to comment in his current position. News agencies reported that top Muslim and Christian religious authorities were invited as well.

Gehad el-Haddad, a Brotherhood spokesman, vowed that the group would not bend in its defiance of the military. “The only plan,” he said in a statement posted online, “is to stand in front of the tanks.”

More from NBC News:

CAIRO — An adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said Wednesday that a military coup was underway, that tanks were on the move outside Cairo and that communication with the president had been cut off.

As a military deadline came and went for Morsi to step aside, the army took control of state television, and boisterous crowds opposed to the president cheered, danced and set off fireworks in Tahrir Square. Pro-Morsi forces rallied elsewhere in the Egyptian capital.

The president’s whereabouts were not clear. The Morsi adviser, Jihad Haddad, told NBC News that he could not confirm or deny whether Morsi had moved from Republican Guard headquarters. It was not clear whether the military had ordered the Republican Guard to keep him there.

Representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports Morsi, said that some of its leaders had been rounded up and arrested.

Earlier in the day, both the president and the military had sworn a fight to the death in their struggle for control of the country. The military leader, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said it would be an honor to die rather than subject the Egyptian people to threats or terror.

In something of a call to arms, the military posted on Facebook: “We swear to God to sacrifice with our blood for Egypt and its people against any terrorist, extremist or ignoramus. Long live Egypt and its proud people.”

The government said at least 16 people had been killed and about 200 injured in clashes with security forces at Cairo University.


The military has said it will impose its own “road map” for the future if Morsi does not meet the protesters’ demands.

In his speech, which was loud and passionate, Morsi blamed loyalists of Mubarak, his predecessor, for fighting against democracy and challenging his leadership through the current wave of protests.

He asked Egyptians not to confront the military or use violence against its forces, the police or the interior ministry. Earlier in the day, he had demanded that the armed forces withdraw their ultimatum.

The Muslim Brotherhood, backing Morsi, called for counter-demonstrations, and a pro-Morsi rally in a Cairo suburb appeared to attract about 100,000 people, journalists for Reuters said.

The U.S. Embassy warned Americans in Egypt to avoid large gatherings and monitor local news.

“Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence,” it said, adding the embassy was closed.

As the BBC reports, Egyptians are now awaiting a statement from the military. As was the case when the protests were ongoing against Hosni Mubarak two years ago, there are a lot of rumors floating about what exactly is going on on the streets of Egypt, and since everything that’s being reported right now is based on second hand reports and self-serving statements, it’s best to take things with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, the reports we do have, which include the military seizing the state-run television station and newspaper, surrounding the Presidential Palace where Morsi was believed to be located, and surrounding the pro-Morsi crowd in Cairo but not (apparently) the anti-Morsi crowd, seems to suggest that the Egyptian military is stepping back into the political scene in a big way. What that means for the future is unclear.

The Muslim Brotherhood has, to date, maintained that it is standing by Morsi’s statements that he is the legitimately elected President of Egypt and that, under the Constitution, any attempt to depose him would be illegitimate. There have also been threats of violence and jihad if Morsi actually is overthrown. So, even if the military does succeed in overthrowing Morsi today and replacing him with a regime that they control, likely headed by Mohammed el-Baradei, this could only be the opening act in a political and religious conflict that could tear the Arab world’s largest nations to shreds in a very short period of time. The consequences of that for the Middle East should be rather obvious, and they aren’t likely to be very good at all.

Update: It’s being reported by multiple sources that Morsi has been informed by the military that he is no longer President and, at this moment (3:00pm ET), the Defense Minister is making a statement regarding the matter. It is expected that a military backed government headed by Mohammed el-Baradei and others will be put in place, that the Parliament and Constitution will be dissolved, and some kind of transition plan will be put in place. What the details of that are, and how Morsi’s supporters will react to all of this, are the details that are likely to unfold over the coming hours and days. At the very least, though, yes, there’s been a military coup in Egypt and Mohamed Morsi is no longer in power, the military is back in control, and nobody really knows where Egypt is headed from here.

Here’s the latest from al-Jazeera:

The Egyptian army has overthrown President Mohamed Morsi, announcing a roadmap for the country’s political future that will be implemented by a national reconciliation committee.

The head of Egypt’s armed forces issued a declaration on Wednesday evening suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state.

In a televised broadcast, flanked by military leaders, religious authorities and political figures, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi effectively declared the removal of Morsi.

Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups.

General al-Sisi also said in his statement that the military would be drafting a “Code of Ethics” for the media, which, of course, means censorship, although that’s not really anything new in Egypt.

More from the BBC:

The head of the Egyptian army has appeared live on television, announcing the suspension of the constitution.

General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, flanked by religious and military leaders, said the chief justice of constitutional court would take the powers of the presidency.

His announcement means President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in power.

Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square gave out a huge cheer in response to the speech.

The move follows four days of mass street protests against Mr Morsi, and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.

After General Sisi’s address, both Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, and leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei made short statements.

Update # 2: The White House has released a statement on today’s events in Egypt:

As I have said since the Egyptian Revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people.  The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law.  Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force.

The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.

The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties —secular and religious, civilian and military. During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts.  Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, majority and minority; that institutionalizes the checks and balances upon which democracy depends; and that places the interests of the people above party or faction. The voices of all those who have protested peacefully must be heard – including those who welcomed today’s developments, and those who have supported President Morsy. In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt’s democracy.

No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve. The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.

 I draw your attention to the highlighted portion, especially the underlined part. Noticed that it speaks of “a democratically elected civilian government,” not “THE democratically elected civilian government.” This is an explicit sign, I would suggest that the United States has accepted the military’s action to remove Morsi from power and is now simply calling on the military to move quickly toward restoration of civilian rule. This isn’t surprising. Ever since the Camp David Accords, our primary ally in Egypt has been the Egyptian military, not whomever happens to be nominally in power at the time.
FILED UNDER: Middle East,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. michael reynolds says:

    It’s really a fascinating moment, isn’t it?

    The miltary-backed dictator, Mubarak, falls to the mob.

    Elections are held and the Muslim Brotherhood takes control as the duly-elected government.

    Then, in one short year, the Muslim Brotherhood utterly discredits itself and is ejected from power by the military and the mob that now backs the military.

    After 80 years in exile and opposition, the Brotherhood is utterly ruined by a single year’s exposure to democracy. And sadly, democracy in Egypt is probably ruined by the unreadiness of its people.

    The Egyptian army couldn’t have planned it better if they’d actually sat down and planned it out. Of course now the generals have to govern an almost ungovernable country. Wow.

  2. legion says:

    FWIW, Al-Jazeera’s liveblog reports an active coup under way, courtesy of the Egyptian Army. You can follow the updates here:

  3. JKB says:

    It is what the People want. Shouldn’t everyone back the popular desires of Egyptians?

  4. CB says:

    Copt friends with family in Cairo see this as an absolute positive, needless to say, despite having been completely supportive of overthrowing Mubarak. Strange times, indeed.

  5. Gustopher says:

    I think the best case scenario for Egypt for the next few decades is likely to be similar to Turkey — elected Presidents, sometimes from the religious parties, with a secular military threatening the occasional coup when the elected government either cannot keep order or starts imposing too much Islamic law.

    It will require a certain amount of restraint from both sides to keep that going, but it is better than the alternatives (long, painful civil war and a destroyed country).

    Turkey seems to be having a few problems lately, of course.

  6. stonetools says:

    Courtesy of al-Jazeera, the military’s roadmap:

    The Egyptian Armed Forces just announced their roadmap. It includes the following:

    -Suspending the constitution provisionally;

    -The chief justice of the constitutional court will declare the early presidential elections;

    -Interim period until president elected. Chief Justice will have presidential powers;

    -A technocrat, capable national government will be formed;

    -The committee will offer all its expertise to review the new constitution;

    -The Supreme Constitutional Law will address the draft law and prepare for parliamentary elections;

    -Securing and guaranteeing freedom of expression, freedom of media

    -All necessary measures will be taken to empower youth so they can take part in decision making processes

    -The EAF appeal to the Egyptian people with all its spectrum to steer away from violence and remain peaceful. The Armed Forced warn it will stand up firmly and strictly to any act deviating from peacefulness based on its patriotic and historic responsibility.

    This isn’t ideal democracy. But better than a civil war a la Syria.

  7. Mr. Prosser says:

    I tend to agree with Gustopher. Are we seeing the conflict between religion and modernity coming forth in Egypt and Turkey? Will this be common in other middle-Eastern countries and are we seeing this in our own country without (I hope) the violence?

  8. PJ says:

    This is a good thing.

    People in Egypt found out what happens when you elect religious weirdos and now they get another chance.

  9. steve says:

    How many minutes until faux news blames obama?

  10. Pinky says:


    I think the best case scenario for Egypt for the next few decades is likely to be similar to Turkey

    That’s what I’ve been thinking too. Religious and policy issues aside, it’s tough to run a country without any expertise. The military can serve as a kind of Supreme Court of last resort in an unstable emerging democracy – as long as they don’t decide they like the nice chairs and the big offices. We’ll see what happens.

  11. Andre Kenji says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Are we seeing the conflict between religion and modernity coming forth in Egypt and Turkey?

    No, I think that´s a simplistic view. Turkey and Egypt faces pretty different problems: in Turkey, Erdogan managed to use the extraordinary growth of the economy to increase his power. In Egypt, the economy is a basketcase, and Morsi did not manage to improve the economy. In Turkey, the rallies of people supporting Erdogan seemed to be larger than the rallies of people claiming for his resignation.

    I think that the big problem is that Arabic(and Turkey and Iran) have extraordinary sophisticated elites, but mostly uneducated masses. Most of the International News channels have a huge market in the region, but on the same time most countries have a high level of illiteracy.

    The biggest problem of Egypt is the economy. Improving the economy would require abolishing fuel and food subsidies, and that´s something unacceptable for the population,.

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    SOme weeks ago, I was watching BBC Dateline London: the panel of journalists was discussing about the killing of a British Soldier by Muslims, when Mustapha Karkouti(A Syrian journalist) began to point out that the problem was that Britain was “too democratic” and that they should resort to force to deal with this kinda of people. Vincent Magombe, an Ugandan jornalist, seemed to agree with him.

    Part of the problem begins with a authoritarian political culture.

  13. the Q says:

    “Democracy and education must go hand in hand” – Thomas Jefferson

    Just as astronomers gaze into the heavens and see the death of stars and the birth of new systems, we are seeing in real time, the pains of democracy in all its messy violence and passions.

    Perhaps a form of checks and balances are emerging with the religious sects, the military and the Parliament as the substitution for our own triad of legislative, executive and judicial branches.

    The lessons we can learn from this upheaval is how precious our own form of democracy is and how campaign laws, eroding church/state walls and ignorant voters can easily undermine and destroy what is left of our own political republic.

  14. Scott says:

    @Gustopher: I think the difference is that Ataturk overthrew the old remnants of the Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI and absolutely crushed any religious impulse in order to forge a secular society. Egypt has very different starting points (strong religious segment, endemic corruption (including the military) but hopefully will have similar end points as Turkey.

    Our role should be driven by what is good for the US, both short and long-term. And be hands-off for the most part.

  15. rudderpedals says:

    Contemporary Turkish-style government isn’t going to happen. The forecast calls for a Pakistan-like democracy with periodic coup eruptions.

  16. TastyBits says:


    This isn’t ideal democracy. But better than a civil war a la Syria.

    Honestly, you’re killing me. Democracy does not include a military coup of the democratically elected president. This is called autocratic rule. If you want to avoid a civil war, send them a few billion to purchase food and fuel.

    “I’ve abandoned [democratic] principles to save the [democratic] system”.

  17. Note to Morsi: the classic “Oh yeah? You and what army?” retort doesn’t work when the person you’re using it on actually has an army.

  18. stonetools says:


    . Democracy does not include a military coup of the democratically elected president. This is called autocratic rule.

    Military coups can lead to democratic rule. It’s certainly happened in Turkey, and indeed in Egypt in 2011.

    Maybe you ought to read some history before voicing an opinion. Just sayin’
    If books are too big a lift for you, try this article:

    Money quote:

    But are there cases when a coup can advance democracy? In a 2012 article for the Harvard International Law Journal, Ozan Varol, now a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, argues that while the vast majority of military coups are undemocratic in nature, and lead to less democratic political regimes, there are significant examples of “democratic coups d’etat.”

  19. michael reynolds says:

    South Korea and Taiwan I believe are both examples of countries that moved from military (or military puppet) rule to democracy. But I may be missing some nuance there.

    But of course I have no idea what Egypt’s military will do.

  20. @michael reynolds:

    If Egypt ends up being South Korea it will be a good thing. Unfortunately it could just as likely be Iran after Mosaddegh was deposed.

  21. TastyBits says:


    Military coups can lead to democratic rule. …

    My grandpa can have his d*ck cut off, but that does not make him my grandma. A thing is itself regardless of what you call it.

    Maybe you ought to read some history before voicing an opinion.

    History did not begin with the American Revolution, and democracy goes back a long way. I would suggest you learn a little bit more about history. You need to do the research yourself. Website articles will not substitute for scholarly works nor will college history courses. You can start with Egypt and the Middle East, but you will need to go back 4,000 to 5,000 years.

    I highly suspect that what I have forgotten about history far exceeds anything you have ever known.

  22. PJ says:

    Yeah, we should have left the man who decided he was going to be able pass laws himself without judicial oversight in power.

  23. PJ says:

    Yeah, they should have left the man who decided he was going to be able pass laws himself without judicial oversight in power.

    Democracy in action!

  24. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    South Korea and Taiwan I believe are both examples of countries that moved from military (or military puppet) rule to democracy. But I may be missing some nuance there.

    Democracy is about institutions, not about elections. Both Taiwan and South Korea moved to democracy AFTER their industrialization, when both were already known as “Asian Tigers”. Then most of the population already was moving into the middle class, there was a emerging bourgeois.

    The Egyptians are going to have to build institutions from zero and then industrialize the country. That´s going to be difficult. On the other hand, I think that at least the population is not apathetic. I think that reducing this to “coup” is a bit simplistic.

  25. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Andre Kenji: It appeared to me that Erdogan’s support was/is mostly rural while the demonstrations were taking place in the cities. I certainly don’t disagree that Turkey benefits from a better economy. Perhaps ElBaradei and other educated elites can actually begin to move things in a more positive direction by moving away from the reactionary Islamist structure. He has impressed me since he was head of the IAEA and bucking the Bush administration’s push in Iraq. For the near future the subsidies in Egypt must stay or there will be no chance for any reform.

  26. edmondo says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    Yes, we are all for “democracy” when our puppets do as they are told. If they don’t, send in the military

  27. Neo says:

    There is this Russian joke …

    Lenin is in a railroad car traveling until the train get stuck.
    Lenin says “get rid of the engineers and bring in the proletariat.”

    The train starts to move again .. until it get stuck again.

    By this time Khrushchev is in charge.
    Khrushchev says “bring back the engineers, they knew what they were doing.”

    The train starts to move again .. until it get stuck again.

    By this time Brezhnev is in charge.
    Brezhnev says “pull down the shades and pretend the train is moving.”

    … you got to ask when the Egyptians will opt to pull the shades ?

  28. stonetools says:


    Guess I touched a nerve there.
    Bottom line, the article details research- by a professor in a Harvard academic journal, even-showing that military coups can lead to democracy, citing real world examples.
    Your response? Bluster( I read history books too!!).
    Well , good on you, mate. Keep reading.

  29. edmondo says:


    I’m sure that the people of Chile will be forever thankful for the 20 year reign of Augusto Pinochet.

  30. Scott says:

    @Andre Kenji: I was about to make the same point. Economic development and a strong middle class are prerequisites for a democracy. Can’t think of any exceptions except for maybe India.

  31. edmondo says:


    not to mention the people of Argentina and a few other places'%C3%A9tat_and_coup_attempts

  32. stonetools says:


    You didn’t read the article (Big surprise!)
    The article says that only CERTAIN military coups lead to democracy.

    Varol argues that there are seven characteristics a coup must generally meet in order to be considered democratic:

    (1) the coup is staged against an authoritarian or totalitarian regime; (2) the military responds to persistent popular opposition against that regime; (3) the authoritarian or totalitarian regime refuses to step down in response to the popular uprising; (4) the coup is staged by a military that is highly respected within the nation, ordinarily because of mandatory conscription; (5) the military stages the coup to overthrow the authoritarian or totalitarian regime; (6) the military facilitates free and fair elections within a short span of time; and (7) the coup ends with the transfer of power to democratically elected leaders

    Its not clear that this coup fulfills all the characteristics. (1) is problematic.We will have to see if the military will follow through to 6 and 7.
    The US role is to push the military to follow through. Since the US gives Egypt a lot of military aid, it has a lot of leverage. The Administration is on it:

    Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey on Wednesday warned the Egyptian military of consequences if its overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi is viewed as a coup.

    “At the end of the day it’s their country and they will find their way, but there will consequences if it is badly handled,” he told CNN.

    “There’s laws that bind us on how we deal with these kinds of situations.”

  33. TastyBits says:


    Egypt’s president was elected with over 50% of the vote.

    Another country’s president got less than 50% of the vote, and he was installed by a ruling council. He was able to thwart the country’s constitution regarding war by getting the congress to pass a law giving him a “blank check” to use the military any way he wanted. He was also able to get laws passed to spy on the country’s citizens. These laws violated the country’s constitution, but he did it anyway. He also set up an espionage program to spy on other sovereign countries. This president then lied about or misrepresented intelligence to legitimize the invasion of another sovereign country, and the invaded country did nothing that was an act of war.

    The citizens of this country are now lecturing others about democracy, and the citizens of this country wonder why they are not loved.

  34. ernieyeball says:

    @TastyBits: You speak in riddles. Why don’t you come clean?

  35. TastyBits says:


    I am not interested in appeals to an authority. If the author would like to discuss the subject, I am willing. I am not willing to engage you over a third party’s article. If you want to make the case that this is a “democratic coup”, do so. Providing quotes and links to other people’s work is not how a discussion is conducted. You will need to become more knowledgeable about the article’s subject and its examples.

    History began before 1960, and there are even people claiming it was a really, really long time ago. None of this is new. There are general contours throughout history, and if you find exceptions, you need to determine if they are lasting exceptions.

    There was once a Republic that appointed a dictator, and in an attempt to retain the Republic, a group of Senators deposed the dictator using swords. At the end of the civil war they started, their Republic was no more. Interestingly, Egypt was part of these events.

    The article provides three examples: Turkey, Portugal, and Egypt in 2011. Turkey’s military has “melted into the background”, but many people assume it will assert itself if needed. This assumption could be wrong, and the Turkish military is now subordinate to the civilian government. Portugal was a one-off. The following is from the article is about Egypt in 2011:

    … and — interesting in this context — the 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarak. …

    The second military coup is actually a “democratic military coup” also. How many “democratic military coups” does it take to make an authoritative military coup. One, two, three, … It takes three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Is three the magic number.

    The author then assures the reader that:

    … The good news is that around the world, coups now more frequently result in a quick return to the normal democratic process than in the bad old days of the Cold War …

    The link supporting this assertion is rather sparse, and it is lacking any discussion of the topic. I guess I am supposed to click through another series of links to articles about subjects the author does not discuss. I guess that links have replaced insightful discussion. I am now discussing a linked article, in a linked article, in the linked article you provided. I assume I am supposed to supply linked articles. I prefer to provide original thoughts, and I will engage based upon them.

    Now that the “Arab Spring” has morphed into the “Arab Turd”, I am being assured that the foul smell failure is really the sweet smell of success. In the real world, an “A for effort” is as useless as “tits on a bull”. My dogs think that corn in sh*t is tasty, but it is still corn in sh*t.

  36. Andre Kenji says:

    @Mr. Prosser:

    It appeared to me that Erdogan’s support was/is mostly rural while the demonstrations were taking place in the cities. I certainly don’t disagree that Turkey benefits from a better economy

    According to the election map from the last election, support from the Erdogan´s AKP seems to be distributed all over the country.

    It´s true that their advantage in the rural provinces is much stronger than in Ankara and in Istanbul, but that goes beyond rural v. urban. A big point about Erdogan is that he managed to talk to the lower middle classes, not Islamism. The economy also helped.

    Morsi failed because he had no economic plan and because he failed to build a large coalition.

    Perhaps ElBaradei and other educated elites can actually begin to move things in a more positive direction by moving away from the reactionary Islamist structure


    The educated elites can´t do anything by themselves. They have first to explain to the people on the streets what they can do help them.

  37. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: and both are industrious countries, egypt- not so much. their population can only rely on our “peace bribes” so much- eventually they’ll have to figure out what to do with their new found freedom if they’re actually free.

  38. bill says:

    @steve: nobody blames obama, what does he do anyway?
    here’s some pix from the square that probably won’t make it on the big 3 news.;

  39. Andre Kenji says:


    I was about to make the same point. Economic development and a strong middle class are prerequisites for a democracy. Can’t think of any exceptions except for maybe India.

    Not only that. The distinctions between Democracies and Dictatorships are smaller than it looks. Many dictatorships tries to create an aura of legitimacy, many democracies have authoritarian sets of laws. India´s laws on Freedom of Expression are horrible, by the way.

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    I agree. It’s interesting how much various democratization efforts in various places have taught us about our own democracy, isn’t it? I think most of us started out thinking just about elections. t’s increasingly clear that this recipe calls for more than one ingredient.

  41. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes, that´s fascinating. That´s huge real life laboratory for Political Science. 😉

  42. @michael reynolds:

    It took the Anglo countries more than 500 years to go from absolute monarchy to a modern democracy and universal suffrage was actually one of the last steps in the process. The idea that we can just hold an election and everything will work out in a year or so has always been ridiculous.

  43. Andre Kenji says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It took the Anglo countries more than 500 years to go from absolute monarchy to a modern democracy and universal suffrage was actually one of the last steps in the process.

    In the Anglo countries. But in the German Speaking countries and in many Asian countries that happened way after industrialization.