Former General and current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is going for the President for Life maneuver very much in vogue with dictators for quite a while. To us this is repugnant, as we believe (or some of us do) in limiting the power of government.
What Sisi is specifically trying to do is get a referendum passed, sometimes not so hard to do in a dictatorship, that would extend his current term to six years from four and then let him run again for another six-year term. He would leave office, maybe, in 2030. The Egyptian parliament, in a cliffhanger, voted 531-22 in favor of this constitutional amendment. The referendum date has not been set yet.
Sisi is an American ally who works closely with the Israelis on regional security and has held the internal and external line against the Islamists. His rule is not democratic. But other despots make him look like Shirley Temple. And we must always remember, our values and principles do not always travel well.
The notion that everyone wants to be “free” in the Western definition is pure fantasy of the kind the Bush-the- younger administration sadly indulged in. Different nations have different histories and cultures, and to say that our type of it, borne in our specific experiences, is somehow the only model for government is saying that one size fits all regardless of the actual size.
If a nation is not a threat to us or our allies then what business do our know-it-all politicians or experts have in sticking their noses in where they don’t belong? Haven’t we as a nation had enough of fruitless foreign adventures that start to go south right after we win the initial military phase?
So when you hear the usual suspects railing on about what a bad guy and tyrant General Sisi is, please remember that they, or we, don’t live in Egypt and thus don’t have to bear the wacky consequences of their unsolicited counsel.
Need a reminder regarding our proficiency in this regard? Look at next door, Libya. Not a pretty picture at all. But, it wasn’t supposed to turn out that way.
Funny, that’s always the line after the debacle.