Mar 25, 2011 3:05 pm


There is a level of absurdity in current complaints that the failure to significantly amend the old constitution, the one used under Mubarak, will benefit the Muslim Brotherhood and entrench Shariah law. Jonathan Tobin is not alone to worry that The Arab Spring Has Gone Straight to Winter

Why complain now and not when the constitution passed?

Because constitutions matter little in autocracies. Now, the assumption it that it will start to make a difference.

Unfortunately, it has always mattered. It was there to be used and abused.

Secret shame of Egypt's army: Women protesters were forced to have 'virginity checks' after being arrested in Tahrir Square

Who will defend Christians in Egypt?

Does that mean all's lost?

John Riady argues not. The Egyptians may just follow the Indonesian model:

The way to contain the challenge is to replicate what has worked in Indonesia: the organization of credible elections, held under a Constitution that guarantees the secular character of the state and the tangible improvement of governance.

To be honest, I rest my meager hopes on the possibility of a second elections. Ultimately, democracy works because you can throw the rascals out. Democracy works because the rascals do not have to worry that being thrown out implies death, imprisonment or poverty. Indeed, it provide the rascal with hope of returning to power.

In other words, I am conflicted. Arab autocrats and traditional elites are horrid. Their successor may turn out to be better or worse. Unfortunately, if not unexpectedly, Obama does not appear to be up to the task which decreases the chances of it all turning out for the better.

But, what the heck, I hope Libyan do succeed getting rid of Qaddafi and Syrians rid of Assad fils.

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