Zero Sum Game

A dead-end. A mixture of opinions and perspectives, from fear to pure optimism. What is happening in Egypt? Away from criticizing the foreign as well as the local media and away of pointing fingers. An attempt to understand.

First of all, we need to categorize three main groups in Egypt at the moment. One is the fascist Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, second is the “heroic” Army and its supporters and the third is the group who doesn’t really support neither the Brotherhood nor the Army.

Complex much?

The Muslim Brotherhood with Mohamed Morsi issuing his presidential decree in November 2012 started the fall of the Brotherhood. At that time demonstrations went to the street but wasn’t influential as the one on the 30th of June. Why? Because the 30th of June was backed by the army at a point where people were desperate against a political group that has become blind to see the truth with their popularity is declining while people suffered electricity cuts and shortage in solar. The Brotherhood had more than one political arm and the rhetoric they used in the media is to expiate anyone who was against their plan to take over the country without including other political forces in the decision making process. We saw this in the writing of the constitution of 2012 as Christians were represented by Mohamed El Sawi ex-culture Minister, a Muslim who has nothing to do with the Christian interests or demands, for example.

During the Tamarod campaign, the Brotherhood was unable to see that this movement could be a cycle of tension that should be dealt with in a proper manner. On the contrary, the Brotherhood was arrogant enough to fall into the fault of Mubarak and play stubborn until the Army intervened. The hypothetical that puts its self forward, what if Mohamed Morsi has called for early elections? What would have happened? It would have demobilized the Tamarod movement and the Brotherhood might have won the elections with someone else other than Mohamed Morsi instead of having to lose what they have lost till today and still to come.

With economic conditions worsening and with Mohamed Morsi calling for Jihad in Syria and with the scandle of dealing with the Ethiopian Dam crisis, people started to feel that Tamarod is their only way out in the absence of the political means, the parliament being dissolved, of impeaching a president that has shown undemocratic tendencies.

The Army saw a golden opportunity to jump back in the game as the Brotherhood started to use a more violent rhetoric against the people instead of listening to them. And here is a vital point. In order to regain your power over people, all you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country and the German example is the best to illustrate this as well as the bush administration. That is exactly what the Army did, it gave the people the umbrella of “safety”! Whether it is a coup or not is not my debate, because in political science there is a concept of a democratic coup which I think happened in Egypt by people signing the Tamarod petition. The people needed a savior with the lack of presence of strong political parties on the ground and the absence of political institutions to voice the demands of the people.

Now there are people who support the Brotherhood and its legitimate as they came through a democratic process and also because they believe in a dogma of the Islamic project. We cannot deny them to fight for it. It is how they do that it, is what people have a problem with. Violence is never a solution.

The other group seeing the Army as the savior, due to the negligence of the Brotherhood and a very strong PR by the current government, has the illusion that what is happening to the Brotherhood is the right thing to be done. Eliminating them is the ultimate solution. The question here, is this the end of the Brotherhood really? You think the next generation won’t hold any grudges against the Army again?

It seems to me that history repeats itself. This has been the ongoing situation between 1952 until now. A huge fight between two big monsters, the Army and the Brotherhood and people are lost in the middle of a zero sum game.

Now the third group has tried the Army in power since 1952 and saw the rule of the Brotherhood for a year and it was enough to realize that neither is suitable.

What we are not seeing in this mixed up picture is that the existence of the Army is related to the existence of the Brotherhood, so we would stay trapped between them, and this was exactly the trap of the second round of the presidential election in early 2012.

The third group is lost between the big two monsters, why? Because there is a lack of organization. Everybody in this group are talking to each other, knowing what they don’t want, yet they have been failing for 2 years now to reach the conclusion that without hard work and organization your voice will never be heard.

I wrote an article titled “The four years struggle”.  Go back to it and you will find it relative to our situation today. I hope we learn.

“The best way to anticipate the future is to plan it”. – Charles de Gaulle