The Arab World Today: Like Europe in 1848? 1917?

Since 2011, The Arab Middle East has undergone revolutionary change.  The carnage unleashed today by the Egyptian military against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi may slow or accelerate, but will not stop, that change.

Today’s New York Times invoked the revolutions that convulsed Europe in 1848 -http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/world/middleeast/egypt-bloodshed-may-be-ill-omen-for-broader-region.html.  The revolutions were suppressed in the short term but they unleashed a dynamic that ultimately created new regimes, toppled others, and altered the map of Europe forever.

Perhaps a better parallel should be drawn between Egypt today and Russia in 1917, when there were two revolutions – that of the moderate Mensheviks in February and the radical Bolsheviks in October.  Compared with the salafists, who have strategically lent and withheld support from the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi is a moderate.   If Egypt slides into civil war, with massive defections from the military and pitched battles between armed factions, will Morsi regain power or will there be a second revolution, even more Islamicist than the first?  Is Morsi Egypt’s Kerensky?  If so, who will be Egypt’s Lenin?

 

 

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