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Tahrir Square celebrations370.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Analysis: The spring that never came
Two years ago the world was ecstatic over Mubarak's fall, and now the same has happened Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi.
Time is up – the Muslim Brotherhood is being removed from power. Does this mean the “Arab Spring” is over? Are we witnessing the comeback of the nationalist military dictatorship model that former president Hosni Mubarak represented?

Two years ago, the world was ecstatic over his fall, now there is praise for the return of military rule.

The constitution has been suspended and the army is to announce a road map and oversee a transitional period and elections.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders remained defiant. Gehad El-Haddad, a senior political adviser for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, asked on Twitter late Wednesday night: “Egypt enters another military coup cycle. Will the [people] of Egypt take it. Again!!” The question for the US and Europe is how to react. Will they support the coup or will they condemn it because it overran a democratic government? If the army does not remain steadfast, it could leave enough room for the Muslim Brotherhood to wage a violent uprising or protests. If this happens, the country will move toward economic ruin, and become paralyzed in some kind of civil war.

What if, after the coup, the economy crashes, and then the Muslim Brotherhood brings its supporters to the streets and fills Tahrir Square again? David P. Goldman reports at PJ Media that we have now reached the worst-case scenario: “chaos in politics, violence in the streets, complete cessation of tourism, and economic breakdown.”

Goldman quotes statistics from the World Health Organization in 2011 stating that around 20 percent of Egyptians suffer malnutrition. He goes on to predict that a military regime would probably do a better job of dealing with the economic issue because it would be more likely to receive aid from the Gulf states, besides Qatar, which “might decide to provide funding for a military regime that suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Gulf states are status quo powers for the most part (except Qatar) and strongly fear any revolutionary movements, and for that reason the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, and Shi’ite Iran should be controlled and resisted.

However, it is interesting that the Gulf states have no problem with supporting the Sunni Islamists fighting far away or against Shi’ites. For example, in Syria they are funding the Islamist-dominated opposition.

The spiraling economic disaster combined with what may be a Muslim Brotherhood struggle against the military – possibly including terrorism, urban warfare, assassinations and mass protests – may be difficult to manage even with billions of aid money. Qatar already gave Morsi’s regime $5 billion and it only served to postpone a much worse situation.

Max Singer of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) and a co-founder of the Hudson Institute told The Jerusalem Post, “I never believed in the Arab Spring,” so he does not see it as being reversed.

The Brotherhood, he said, rejects democracy, as it does not believe in free speech or freedom to organize, for example.

Democracy is not just about holding an election, he said.

Israel and Egypt “are better off with the army and democrats than with the Islamists,” said Singer, warning that there still will remain problems with the army and the opposition, “but the Islamists are a more dangerous enemy.”

Asked about what the coup could mean for US policy, he responded that President Barack Obama has taken the position that the Brotherhood is not the enemy. This is a big mistake, Singer said.

Zvi Mazel, who served as Israel’s sixth ambassador to Egypt and who is a contributor to the Post, told the Post that the army worked with the protesters to fix the revolution. Dialogue between the Brotherhood and the opposition became impossible because Morsi refused to cooperate, wishing to push his party’s agenda.

“The Muslim Brotherood are in shock – they cannot believe it,” said Mazel adding that in time the Islamists will “wake up and there may be violence.” The Islamists now will begin planning for a struggle to return to power, he asserted.
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