The events, which occurred in Egypt, have been in the headlines all week.; many good articles, mediocre articles, and poor articles on the topic of the revolution against Mohamed Morsi have been penned. Since there are thousands of articles I was hesitant to write one on this topic, but I decided to make a few quick points which many in the media I think our missing. Note this article will be written very informally, also I did not link everything but if you see my old articles and especially Twitter comments you will find all the sources. Feel free to leave comments if you think any of my points are wrong (I will try to rebut if I have time).
First on expertise
Baupost's investment process involves "never-ending" gleaning of facts to help support investment ideas Seth Klarman writes in his end-of-year letter to investors. In the letter, a copy of which ValueWalk has been able to review, the value investor describes the Baupost Group's process to identify ideas and answer the most critical questions about its potential Read More
Just wanted to note that one of the dumbest arguments on any topic is that X knows more than you. Any topic in the world there will always be someone who knows more than you. I am sure there are lots of people who ‘know more’ about investing than Seth Klarman ie Burton Malkiel. Does that make their argument better? No, you need to be qualified and know a topic well, but just having knowledge alone is not enough. Logic is more important than knowledge and even intelligence (see the financial crisis for one example).
Mohamed Morsi and Democracy?
One argument is that this was a democracy deposed by a coup. I do not care what the exact definition of a democracy is, but clearly people are referring to a government which both has elections and protects rights of people. We do not want to have elections alone. Let’s say 1. the Government can garner 51% of the vote who vote to oppress/kill etc the other 49% is that democracy (Mohamed Morsi seems to believe in that philosophy) ? 2. I will not use Hitler example because it’s so cliche (even though I have vast knowledge of WWII and Mohamed Morsi is as much of a racist as Hitler) but there are many types of examples of one vote being the last vote: It happened in FAIR elections in some eastern European countries in the late 1940s. I believe the Bolsheviks won a majority in the Soviet parliament, Romania had democratic elections which led to communist rule, there are many more cases.
Egypt was headed this way. I mentioned so many times how Mohamed Morsi was CLEARLY leading the country towards a dictatorship. I mentioned this many times after Mohamed Morsi won the election. He tried to arrest his opponent in the elections Shafiq, he made a decree which gave him dictatorial powers, Mohamed Morsi was arresting media who opposed him, trying to fill the army with Brotherhood loyalists, threatened to charge all political opponents with treason etc. See my old articles and tweets the actions he took were clearly meant to take Egypt into a muslim brotherhood state.
Since Mohamed Morsi did such an awful job with the economy #1 is doubtful (although if Mohamed Morsi had done a good job he would have likely could have won a fair election), but #2 looked very realistic. It is highly doubtful based on the actions Mohamed Morsi took after he was elected, his personal history, and the totalitarian nature of the Brotherhood that there would have been fair elections in the future.
Mohamed Morsi vs Ahmed Shafiq Who really won?
An excellent source told me right after the elections that Shafiq had won but the US put heavy pressure on the SCAF to have Mohamed Morsi declared winner. Remember Mohamed Morsi ‘won’ by a very small percentage. If anyone recalls it took many days after the result was determined to declare a winner, why? Because SCAF wanted to decide who should be declared the victor. I am not stating Shafiq won based on this logic, this is based on sources in SCAF, close to Shafiq and high up in several Governments in the region, but it also makes sense logically. However, many more people now believe this today, and similar reports have come out from ‘reputable’ media outlets.
Why would Obama do this? Its not because he is some secret muslim. He made some very poordecisions on Egypt based on the belief that the Brotherhood would revolt if Shafiq was declared the winner (at the time they did threaten violence if Mohamed Morsi was not declared winner). So in reality, Mohamed Morsi did NOT win the elections. But lets assume I’m wrong or you don’t believe me go back to the democracy argument above.
Democracy is not instant but a Mohamed Morsi dictatorship last longer
Exactly! It is not instant but the US (and I pointed this out many times) did all it could to weaken the military, both behind the scenes and publicly that for a while it left the Muslim Brotherhood the only organized power left to fill the vacuum. However, if Mohamed Morsi had gained full power over the military (as they were trying to do) there would not have been a democracy in our lifetime. The best way to slowly develop the process would have been to allow the military to oversee a slow transition to a full inclusive system. Instead the West rushed the results thinking democracy= elections and let an authoritarian cult led by Mohamed Morsi take charge.
Mohamed Morsi vs Everyone: Islamists versus Secular?!
One more note I think people are missing. The media does a disservice to moderate muslims by refusing to label extremist muslims. This causes ‘liberal’s to assume there are no fanatic muslims (insert excuse here) and some racists on the right to assume all muslims are extremists. This allows little room for a moderate/ realist approach to the issue and note that the fanatic muslims are a powerful minority in many countries. The Muslim Brotherhood is one of those fanatic Islamic groups which is more akin to an authoritarian cult.
However, many religious muslims opposed the Muslim Brotherhood both because of their views and their actions after the election.
Egypt has a population of 84 million people (90% are Sunni muslim), the rebel campaign to garner to oust Mohamed Morsi received 22 MILLION signatures. That is over 26% of the ENTIRE population. 89% of Egyptian muslims favor some form of Sharia but many are opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood cult, which Mohamed Morsi came from.
When the army made the announcement of their roadmap after Mohamed Morsi was deposed the grand mufti of Al Azhar (possibly the most respected Islamic university in the world) was present showing his support. So were some of the Salafi readers whom many consider more fanatic than the Brotherhood. As a reminder, the Salafis won 25% of the vote in parliamentary elections.
When Morsi deposed the leaders of the military and appointed Al Sisi, my excellent source told me that Al Sisi is sympathetic to the Brotherhood. Indeed, he allowed the Brotherhood to do much of what they wanted without interference until he felt forced to act. Al Sisi’s is a devout muslim and his wife wears a Niqab (which covers the whole face); he is not some secular liberal.
The media does not understand the fact that there are many religious muslims who oppose the Brotherhood. I personally have many devout Sunni friends who despise the group. Since the media gives the taboo impression of all muslims being fanatic (which is absolutely not true as I stated above) all Muslims who are opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood are labelled as secular. This is totally false and therefore the secular versus religious portrayal in the media is very misleading.
Mohamed Morsi: Same wrong people same wrong arguments
Finally, many pundits are now discussing how the deposing of Mohamed Morsi is a setback for ‘democracy’. There are many great journalists out there, but a large amount were cheerleading the ‘rebels’ as some secular, pro democracy protesters who wore jeans and tweeted on their blackberries. They had let their emotion get the best of them and presented their own wishes as facts.
These pundits were shocked when the brotherhood swept the elections (in parliament) and had to change their arguments. Many of these journalists/ analysts who were dead wrong about Egypt for the past few years are now coming out of the woods and crying about the death of Egyptian ‘democracy’. So people who have been totally completely wrong on this issue are now bringing forth a totally misleading narrative. Fool me once shame on me fool me twice shame on you.
Mohamed Morsi and Egypt Conclusion
I hope for the best of Egypt. I really hope there is no civil war but I do not know what will happen next. However, the Brotherhood was not a moderate Islamist party (even though they wore suits) nor was Mohamed Morsi a moderate individual. I needed to clear up some of the false narrative spread by the media. I leave off with this question for people to ponder; Read everything Mohamed Morsi did before he was deposed, assuming the military did not step in and Morsi kept on course, do you really think there would have been fair elections in a few years? And do you think Morsi would have respected the rights of all Egyptians?