The continuing violence in Egypt as the military dictatorship tries to eradicate all opposition is a terrible reminder of what can go wrong when democracy is overthrown. The current crisis in Egypt has also once again exposed the bankruptcy and hypocrisy of our Western governments. Where were the ringing denouncements of the military coup? Instead the most we got were some half hearted misgivings. One does not need to like or approve of President Morsi to oppose his violent overthrow. One does not need to like or approve of the Muslim Brotherhood to oppose the banning of their organization. One does not need to support or approve of the Morsi government to oppose what has happened. The claim that the Egyptian economy was badly mismanaged by the Morsi government must ring rather hollow in certain parts of Europe. Just how bad must things get in the likes of Greece, Spain and Portugal for the West to support a military takeover in these countries? Not liking your government is the norm for at least half the population in all countries. Often a large majority dislike or disapprove of their government. I do not have any time for our nasty coalition in Westminster. But no matter how much I abhor the government I do not call for our generals to intervene and lock up David Cameron et al. I, along with my fellow citizens will get our change to vote the buggers out.
But the so-called liberal opposition to Morsi in Egypt was not prepared to wait for the next round of elections. I wonder why? Did they think they might lose? At any rate to call for a military overthrow of an elected government is a very dangerous route to embark on. After all if this becomes the game, anyone can play. If President Morsi had attempted to do away with elections or subvert the constitution then there would be a case for his overthrow. But he had not done so and as far as I am aware there is no evidence that he was planning to do so. The current crack down is unlikely to usher in some kind of liberal dawn for Egypt. The previous military regimes were not known for their respect for the law.
In all this it is up to the Egyptians to work out their future. What is in question for us in the West is how do we respond to a military coup against a democratically elected government? The answer it seems is that if we do not approve of the government in question then we do nothing. Even worse, we let it be known that we will co-operate with the military. What kind of message is this? Once again, if further evidence were needed, the West is exposed as a bunch of hypocrites. Preaching democracy and the rule of law and subverting it whenever it suits. The very least the West can do is to withhold all aid to the military regime until Morsi is released. Don’t hold your breath!