Before the Arab Spring, Egypt was ruled by a dictator, that happened to be on good terms with the U.S. in spite of anything else. Many moons have passed, and the earth has cooled considerably since then (global warming alarmists notwithstanding.) In spite of any wishes for something remotely resembling democracy in Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi has been engaged in anything but democratic behavior.
First, he declared that he is a power unto himself, and that even the judiciary branch could not overturn his proclamations going forward. Of course, he also made a slight about-face, and reached out to the top judges that were the only ones giving him the benefit of the doubt. However, whether it was outbursts of violence, or the Egyptian stock market tumbling that moved Morsi to discuss his decree with the top judges remains to be seen.
Of course that didn’t stop him from ratifying a law that permits the government to appoint its loyalists to the Egyptian Trade Union Federation. While there has always been some level of government involvement in the ETUF, at this point, labor activists in Egypt believe this is paving the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over the organization. Government controlled unions had a monopoly since 1957 – independent unions have entered the scene since the 25 January revolution.
Beyond concerns over Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood continuing to grab more power, rumblings over the possibility of political moderates being attacked have started. Nageh Ibrahim, a senior member of Egypt’s former militant Islamist group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya has begun suggesting there could be violent consequences for liberals speaking against Morsi’s current power grabs.
And in the middle of all of this, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo remains as tone deaf as ever. If the apologies to protesters burning the U.S. flag wasn’t ridiculous enough in September, now the twit manning the Embassy Twitter account is silly enough to call the Morsi government a democracy – better than Mubarak’s government. Perhaps someone needs to remind the Embassy folks that this current government didn’t stop protesters from breaching their walls. Ok, maybe not.