Breaking Story: Court Dissolves Egyptian Parliament; Army Takes Over; Civil War?

June 14, 2012 – 4:17 pm – by Barry Rubin, PJ MEDIA

The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court has just invalidated the parliamentary election there. The parliament, 75 percent of whose members were Islamists, is being dissolved. The military junta has taken over total authority. The presidential election is still scheduled for a few dozen hours from now.

In short, everything is confused and everything is a mess. All calculations are thrown to the wind. What this appears to be is a new military coup.

Yes, it is under legal cover but nobody is going to see it as a group of judges-appointed by former President Husni Mubarak, remember–looking deep into the law books and coming up with a carefully reasoned decision based on precedent. No. This will be seen by every Islamist–whether Salafi or Muslim Brotherhood–and by most of the liberals, who feel closer to the Islamists than to the government, as if the 2011 revolution has just been reversed.

Prediction: massive violence.

With typical journalistic “neutrality” CNN’s Ben Wedeman reported from Cairo, “Those who don’t want to see a return to the oppression of the past…are very unhappy with this ruling.” Well, what about the people who don’t want a radical Islamist regime and a Sharia state become the oppression of the future?

Still, the fact that the court ruled that “establishment” candidate Ahmad Shafiq can run for president will further a perception that this is a conspiracy to return to the pre-revolutionary situation.

I’m not saying that the armed forces told the justices to make such a ruling. But clearly by backing it up the generals are declaring their willingness to confront the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists rather than let them take power. Is there a precedent for this? You bet there is:


    In 1991 the Islamic Salvation Front was on the verge of gaining victory. Before the second round could be held the army staged a coup to stop the election. The resulting war lasted more than a decade–in some respects it’s still continuing today. Cost in lives? 150-200,000 in a country whose population was about one-third that of contemporary Egypt. You do the math.

That doesn’t mean Egypt will be the same but this is something to be taken seriously. Consider:

    –The decision virtually wipes out the much-vaunted “Arab Spring” and all the claims for a basic transition that have been claimed.

    –This event poses a huge problem for the Obama Administration and I’ll bet one that has caught it by surprise. Does the U.S. government condemn the military and put sanctions on it, demanding that the Muslim Brotherhood be put into power? There is no easy solution. But we are likely to have the strange situation of an American president fighting to put into power an anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic political force that is opposed to all U.S. interests because–after all–they did win the election.

    –What if Shafiq wins the presidency? Will the armed forces line up behind him and we will be back in 1952 when the military created a dictatorship and suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood? In other words, the entire “Arab Spring” would have been a temporary detour and things will return to the path they would have taken if there had been no revolution and an ailing Mubarak was simply replaced back in 2011 by the establishment’s choice for president.

    –And what if the Brotherhood’s candidate wins the presidency? Is the military really going to let him rule?

June 14, 2012 | 13 Comments »

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13 Comments / 13 Comments

  1. There are many Americans and many American Jews, to whom Israel is almost a sacred word. In spite of the
    barrage of anti Israeli propaganda continuously spewed by muslims and anti Jewish groups around the world,
    their admiration for what has been accomplished in what for centuries was a dreary desert country can
    never be diminished. I am an American Jew. Fought in WWII, enlisted at 17, and love my country and what
    it stands for dearly. But Israel is so special that to me it is almost like one of my own children and
    I constantly worry about it and it’s people. I know that there are many like me who hold Israel on
    a pedestal. I am sure that the vote that Obama received from American Jews in 2008 will drop at least
    in half this year. Why, even at that…that so many will still vote for him is a true wonder and a pity.

  2. @ NormanF:
    I agree with your comment. Most of the Arab countries regimes used/use Israel as escape goat for all of their socio-economic-political problems and will continue to do so. The best friend Israel has is its own people and some evangelicals in the USA. Above all, she has the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who will continue to give her a victory upon all of her enemies. I hope she has been preparing itself to avoid any surprises like what happened in 1973 as a potential for all out war may come sooner or later.

  3. Generally muslims are so stupid that they cannot seem to get out of their own way.
    If they are not trying to slaughter Americans or Israelis, they do it to themselves.
    Seems that their most important need is to hate someone else that might be different
    than themselves. Not just hate, but the need to kill. That, I guess is why they
    are hundreds of years behind the Western World. Kill, kill, kill….without
    oil they would be thousands of years behind.

  4. Sometimes one must make hard choices. Right now Israel’s greatest existential threat is the MB. Israel has managed to maintain a relative peace with the Egyptian military since the Six Day War. Egypt, while not exactly in love with us since then, has at least kept the Sinai under relative control. it is only since the Arab Spring that things have deteriorated there as the military has weakened. It is taken for granted that Egypt does not love us but having the MB in control in Egypt would be a disaster. It would eventually devolve into Sunni equivalent of Iran’s Shiites sitting on Israel’s border.
    I lean to Danial Pipe’s opinion that the best situation is to have a weal Syria in the north fighting with itself and a weak Egypt in the south also torn by internal dissent. As long as they fight with themselves they are no immediate existential threat to Israel. There is one BIG caveat to this. Israel in the meantime must not relax its guard for one minute but must arm itself to the teeth because sooner or later (hopefully much later) Syria or Egypt may resolve their internal differences and return to be threats to Israel. Israel must reinforce its borders, guard them well, and remain so strong that no one can harm them. Israel must increase its missile defences because invulnerability is a great strategic advantage.

  5. This is the best news out of Egypt in over a year! The MB must be stopped and the Egyptian military is the way to do it. I see this as good return on all the US dollars sent to their military in the past. They have to know that the dollars would stop when Obama loses the election. This is a way for that aid to continue under Romney.

  6. The Egyptian Military has much more to lose if the M.B. actually takes over. It is not
    just their position of power that is at stake…they are in business in Egypt in a big
    way. They own large portions of Egypts GNP. They must have gotten pretty nervous about
    a M.B.landslide and are protecting their business interests as well as their commissions,
    and probably ultimately their lives.

  7. steven belsky Said:

    @ TT Woreti:
    Hogwash- Ihe Egyptian army is tolerating the smuggling of weapons and illegal migrants over the Israel-Egyptian border territory in Sinai.There now is an Al Qaeda presence in border regions of Israel, where none existed in the past. The Gas pipeline into Israel has been bombed numerous times during the last year thanks to the connivance of the Egyptian Army. Thousands of units of military equipment is managing to get into Gaza from Egypt again due to the “benign neglect” of the Egyptian Army.

    As bad as the Egyptian Army is, what is happening in the Sinai and Gaza right now will look like a picnic compared to what will happen if the Muslim Brotherhood should take over. We don’t have any good choices in Egypt. What we have now is the lesser of two evils.

  8. @ TT Woreti:
    Hogwash- Ihe Egyptian army is tolerating the smuggling of weapons and illegal migrants over the Israel-Egyptian border territory in Sinai.There now is an Al Qaeda presence in border regions of Israel, where none existed in the past. The Gas pipeline into Israel has been bombed numerous times during the last year thanks to the connivance of the Egyptian Army. Thousands of units of military equipment is managing to get into Gaza from Egypt again due to the “benign neglect” of the Egyptian Army.

  9. The Egyptian Army is the most organized and powerful institution when compared to any other political or/and religious groups in Egypt. If the military lets the Muslim Groups to power, there is more probability to go to war with Israel as the Islamists do not want to honor the Camp David Agreement. If they stop them from becoming part of any future Egyptian government, there is a potential for a civil war. However, the military along with non-islamists could prevail against any unrest if they choose to do so. If the Muslims take over the Egyptian government, aids from USA may be stopped. The Egyptian military should choose between becoming like Iran or to remain as a relatively secular and peaceful country in order to solve the socio-economic-political crisis it is currently facing.

  10. A military dictatorship for Egypt is preferable to the alternative – rule by radical Islamists.

    While a lot of Egyptian generals are pious they took another look at the future and saw what happened to the generals in Turkey.

    And they don’t want to find themselves in jail or swinging at the end of the gallows. That’s the probable future of Muslim Brotherhood rule.

    Put quite simply, the Egyptians must not be allowed to enslave themselves. As unpleasant as military rule is, its the least worst of all possible worlds for Egypt.

  11. As a Jewish nationalist, I am more comforted by an Egypt under firm control of its military establishment then by a purported democracy under control of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least until Israel is militarily prepared to use take back control of the Sinai peninsula in response to some major or even minor attack against the Negev as instigated by one of the Egyptian Islamic gangs angling for power in that country. As I have written before, nothing in or about Egypt interests other than the expectation that Israel one day must and will re-assert control by the Jewish state over the Sinai, and this time with a permanent solution such as only can be achieved by annexation and Jewish settlement.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI