Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Let's say about halfway through the natural course of the revolution the military steps in—not, according to them, as counterrevolution or more revolution, but as a kind of compromise between the two, an acceptance of the revolution and an effort to slow it down. The astonished old president, biting his lip purple, is put under arrest and charged with various crimes: murderous assault on the peaceful revolutionaries, massive corruption.
Elephant hang gliding. From Toys Period.

The military commissions a constitution, stages a couple of elections, for a parliament and a president. The most popular party wins, not the one the military likes, or the one the old president likes, or the ones (dozens, of course) the revolutionaries like, but the one ordinary people, not thinking too hard about it, incline to.

The military appears to be having second thoughts, being quite nervous about this winning party, which is sort of religious: they sack the constitution-writing committee, dismiss the new parliament, constitute a cabinet in which they play the principal roles, announce an emergency. The old president is convicted of murder, or something like it, but they drop the corruption charges.

The new president then calls the parliament into session, just to say hello, and appoints his own defense minister and what not, sending the semi-dictators into an unexpected elder statesmanship, all very politely. Younger officers (who have been complaining all along about waiting for promotions and witnessing corruption) join the cabinet. The semi-dictators don't even whine; they just do as they're told.

So what is the opposite of a coup?

One thing, Thomas P. Friedman's head must be exploding. No wonder he's on vacation. He could tell himself it's the education problem—with no decent schools, the Egyptians don't have a clue what's normal (i.e., what Thomas P. Friedman expects), so they're doing everything backwards. But don't worry, Tom, Bahrain's going according to plan!
Leaf Elephant. Atelier Pour Enfants.

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