|Woman protesting in Tahir Square, prior to the departure of Mubarak. Such Egyptian liberals are, according to Dr. Pipes, "the country's only hope and the West's only allies"|
Egypt's Sixty Years of Misery -Daniel Pipes, PhD
This week marks 60 years since Egypt's self-proclaimed Free Officers overthrew the constitutional monarchy of King Farouq – and the first anniversary when one can imagine the demise of the military despotism that so long has wounded the country. Sadly, its most likely replacement will bring on an even worse rule.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF] still runs the country, the Muslim Brotherhood wants to push it aside. Which of these unworthy, autocratic forces will win?
SCAF has, in my view, an 80 percent chance of holding power, meaning that Islamists will prevail only if they display enough talent.
SCAF cleverly sidelined the Muslim Brotherhood's most charismatic and capable leader, Khairat al-Shater on dubious technical grounds. That left the much less competent Mohamed Morsi as the brotherhood's standard-bearer and the country's new president. His first few weeks have shown him to be a mumbler and bumbler with no aptitude for waging political battle even against the incompetents who staff SCAF.
As Egyptians endure the 60th anniversary of the military's power grab, they have little to look forward to. [A]t least they are not suffering through the first anniversary of Islamist rule. Better domination by greedy soldiers than by Islamist ideologues.
But Egyptians and their supporters abroad can aspire to better. The liberals who rallied in Tahrir Square remain the country's only hope and the West's only allies; they deserve support.
However remote they are from the corridors of power, their rise uniquely offers an antidote to sixty years of tyranny and decline.
[National Review Online]