Very Interesting

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A very interesting piece in the Times.

Notwithstanding the violence and the tense standoff now gripping Egypt’s capital, many bread and butter aspects of life – energy shortages, blackouts, lack of police on the street, etc. – have suddenly got much better in the country since Morsi’s ouster.

As the Times puts it, “The apparently miraculous end to the crippling energy shortages, and the re-emergence of the police, seems to show that the legions of personnel left in place after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011 played a significant role — intentionally or not — in undermining the overall quality of life under the Islamist administration of Mr. Morsi.”

Working behind the scenes, members of the old establishment, some of them close to Mr. Mubarak and the country’s top generals, also helped finance, advise and organize those determined to topple the Islamist leadership, including Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire and an outspoken foe of the Brotherhood; Tahani El-Gebali, a former judge on the Supreme Constitutional Court who is close to the ruling generals; and Shawki al-Sayed, a legal adviser to Ahmed Shafik, Mr. Mubarak’s last prime minister, who lost the presidential race to Mr. Morsi.

While he failed to broaden his appeal and build any kind of national consensus, he also faced an active campaign by those hostile to his leadership, including some of the wealthiest and most powerful pillars of the Mubarak era.

Mr. Sawiris, one of Egypt’s richest men and a titan of the old establishment, said Wednesday that he had supported an upstart group called “tamarrod,” Arabic for “rebellion,” that led a petition drive seeking Mr. Morsi’s ouster. He donated use of the nationwide offices and infrastructure of the political party he built, the Free Egyptians. He provided publicity through his popular television network and his major interest in Egypt’s largest private newspaper. He even commissioned the production of a popular music video that played heavily on his network.

“Tamarrod did not even know it was me!” he said. “I am not ashamed of it.”

From the Times piece, not all black and white. But a very interesting read.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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