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Dramatically, the political debate in Egypt has not developed beyond where it was in the 1920s. The gap between the MB and the secularists, and the hate and intransigeance on both sides, is a constant. Mubarak tacitly tolerated the MB on condition that they stayed out of politics; they were allowed to take on a social role, organising charity and funnelling oil money to the needy. A huge strategic mistake, no doubt.

I am left to wonder as to the extent to which this course of action was urged upon Mubarak by the USA. A much wiser course of action would have been to provide at least half of the aid for the purpose of government backed aid and education programs for the poor. But the relevant considerations undoubtedly were patronage, not the national interests of either Egypt or the USA.

One thing seems obvious to me. No reconciliation is possible until Muslim Brotherhood triumphalism is dispelled. It was in full bloom right up to the night Morsi was overthrown. Now triumphalism has turned to defiance. I don't see how it can end well either. But canceling joint maneuvers could be a favor to the Egyptian regime at this point, both from reducing the association of the Egyptian military with the USA and from freeing them to deal with domestic unrest.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 18th, 2013 at 02:15:22 PM EST
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