Egypt’s current situation can be summed up by one jokey quote doing the rounds just now:
“Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak all tried to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood. Only Morsi succeeded.”
UPDATE: Yesterday, the army gave President Morsi 48 hours to resolve the crisis before they would “take responsibility.” They later denied this would amount to a coup, but it has been speculated that it would involve removing Morsi from power – perhaps replacing him with a technocratic government before holding new elections. It’s a fair bet to say that the Muslim Brotherhood would find their popularity diminished in such hypothetical elections. These protests have been seen as a setback for – and perhaps even a rejection of – political Islamism in the region. Either way, the next day will be crucial for determining the direction of Egypt’s future.
You can see a live stream of Tahrir Square, the focus point of Egypt’s protests, here.
“If there is one single factor which dominates the course of Russian history… it is the principle of autocracy.”
Just read this quote by Hugh Seton-Watson in The Russian Empire 1801-1917 (quoted by Eric Wilmot in The Great Powers 1814-1914). He wrote this in 1967 and it is still relevant nearly 50 years later. It’s as if Russia is allergic to democracy; even with the establishment of a multi-party system it had snapped back within a decade to strongman rule under President Putin. I look forward to the day that this quote is no longer relevant.