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Egypt’s leadership problem

I’m not sure if it will spur discussion, but read this article in the New York Times.  In it, Egypt’s Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri is depicted as lacking the charisma and capacity necessary to see Egypt through its current trials.  Specifically, the article notes some of his nonsensical quotes, in the same way articles used to break down President Bush quotes.

The big picture issue here is that the Egyptian military has still not successfully transferred power to the people.  And they do not appear to be any closer to doing so than they were in July.  I’m not sure when the revolution got away from the wants of the protesters, or if the revolution was ever all it was made out to be in the first place.  My opinion is that political movements need a charismatic leader, and there either are none in Egypt, or else the English media has failed to notice them.  I’m sure there are counter examples to my point on single leaders being pivotal, but still, maybe a ramification of the social media-led revolution is that in the process of a revolution, no alternative governing structures are created.  It takes power and organization to run a country.  I’m not sure if the protesters ever had that.  With the way the revolution played out, it was never necessary.  So now the organization that has power and a strong hierarchy,  the military, is running the country (with the help of Mr. Ganzouri).

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3 Responses

  1. It appears that all the Arab countries have a similar problem. They do not have the institutions needed to support true democracy. Added to this is the hold that Islam has on the population which does not bode well for an open free society. It is sad that the courage & initiative of those who started the revolution will be pushed aside & it is hard to believe that the people will be any better off than they were before.

  2. Altalena, I think its interesting that you say Islam’s hold on Egypt’s population does not bode well for an open free society. Is that a criticism of Islam in general, or of its function in Egypt in particular? Oh and I think your right to identify the lack of institutions as a key problem. I was saying that the leadership can develop in the course of the revolution, but history favors your point: America, France, Russia, and Iran all had strong institutions. I’m not sure about China.

    • I think Islam in all the Arab countries presents challenges to what we regard as free societies. Even Turkey’s democracy, which held out so much hope & has tended to be used as an example of democracy in a Muslim society, is moving in the wrong direction as the Islamist government moves to silence the opposition.

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