Why SCAF would be Happy with President Mursi

Now that the Egyptian presidential race it is all over except for the shouting (and the outcome is still unknown), it is useful to reflect from a cold-eyed power-realist point of view on why Mursi is the best outcome for SCAF, meaning the outcome that allows them to preserve the most power:

1- Revolutionaries  of all stripes will be either drained or focus their anger on the MB, relieving the pressure on the military.

2- Many of the secular and liberal elements will want to keep the military powerful as a check on the MB. The MB is bound to give them plenty of reasons to feel so.

3- The economic doldrums to come will be dumped squarely on the MB.

4- SCAF would remain the conduit for much of foreign contacts as countries such as the US will find it easier historically and culturally to deal with SCAF rather than the civilian government. Witness Pakistan. Will the potentates of the UAE deal with the MB or SCAF?  Ignore Qatar in this, it is a stock worth shorting greatly.

5- They can run rings around Mursi personally, and in any case they will always deal with El-Shater. It is always better to have No. 2 appear in charge if you do not intend to be transparent in your dealings.

6- They can always come back to power with the West’s support. All you need is a few incidents against the Copts, a big cry abroad, and the nattering pundits in the West will be asking the military to end sectarian violence. The white horse is always in the stable while Mursi is in charge.

7- Shafiq can always pull a Nasser or a Sadat. Both were military men who kept the military brass fat and happy and out of power. He will have the support of the various capitalist forces. Mursi is unlikely to challenge the SCAF brass.

The Mursi scenario is a sophisticated version of Mubarak’s crude “me or the Brothers” strategy. Fear refined to a governing philosophy.


3 Comments on “Why SCAF would be Happy with President Mursi”

  1. [...] This blog has done a good job at making the case why the military might not mind, or even favor, a Morsy victory. Chief among them is that it gives the military a cover for a civilian – and in particular an Islamist – to take the fall for all coming problems, natural or instigated. [...]

  2. mw says:

    Great analysis on the current situation. I just wish most activists, revolutionaries and media professionals are as clear minded, visionary and objective as you.

    Anyways, I totally agree with you, but I disagree with you on one thing. I believe that the MB will challenge SCAF and that more conflict will arise from there. Time and time again MB have proven to have no respect for anyone or anything be it the judiciary system as in the dissolution of parliament or even the constitution.

  3. I totally disagree with this prognosis, which is based on scenarios of the past when the Arab public was less educated, more traditional and more respectful of authority. Today’s Arab youth, who exert a robust voice in the Muslim Brotherhood, are well-educated, well-connected to world and inspired by winds of freedom swirling all around them. What many in the West and the Egyptian military junta don’t seem to know is that Egypt and much of the rest of the Middle East and North Africa have undergone a paradigm shift in the last the last two decades: Today’s Arab youth are pulsating with the zest for freedom from domestic tyranny and foreign hegemony. That spirit of freedom has flowered into the Arab Spring, and indeed the Egyptian revolution. I think we will see in a matter of weeks or months that the Egyptian generals have miscalculated. If they insist on keeping a strong stranglehold on the presidency or parliament, the Brotherhood and the other opposition forces will burst upon the streets and eventually checkmate them.


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