Why SCAF would be Happy with President MursiPosted: June 16, 2012
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.