TBE still carries a torch, however flickering, for Mohamed ElBaradei, but we feel the need to offer some advice on his* “campaign,” and where we see things moving from here. We originally intended to make this one long post, but decided that might be too boring for readers, so we’ve split it into two parts. Part 1 deals with the necessity of creating campaign infrastructure now, instead of waiting until the immediate pre-election period. Part 2 will deal with policy and messaging, and what we see as ElBaradei’s strengths and weaknesses in these areas, especially vis-a-vis Amr Moussa.
Limited engagement. One weekend only. You can call me uncle.
First, a dedication to our readers…
The Muslim Brotherhood's favorite bank?
Dear Foreign Correspondents,
It’s a journalistic and academic commonplace to maintain that the Muslim Brotherhood derives some (or a lot) of support by providing social services for the poor-middle classes.
It’s also a journalistic and academic commonplace to maintain that the government is heavily involved in licensing and generally sticking its nose in everything. And it’s not exactly possible to run a medical clinic or whatever in secret, even if you’re totally deمحظورة out like مظاهر محظورة . (That’s a Kriss Kross reference.)
Where these two common places overlap lies an interesting story angle.
Bonus incentive: Al-Baradei will return on the 19th, and you’ll surely get a story out of it. But between now and then nothing is likely to happen that will get your name in the newspaper/magazine.
"Sittin here grillin people like George Foreman" -Kanye. Also TBE is considering making a film called "Must Love George Grosz," a "Must Love Dogs" for the LRB/NYRB personals set.
TBE has once again alighted (alit) in our ancestral homeland, just in time for a slew of prophet’s birthdays and new yearseses and things. Which meant passing through JFK, which meant our first chance to see if entering the country on a fresh passport would allow us to bypass the security scrutiny that we so graciously countenanced last time we entered the homeland. (Is it just us or does that word sound better in German?)
TBE Meta-Commentary: In this piece, our fearless correspondent Michael Jeffrey Flackslashman offers a highly speculative reading of recent developments in Egypt. We aren’t sure he’s right about what’s going on, but we hope it sparks a broader discussion about changing socio-political dynamics and where they are likely to lead.
For background reading, please see Jack Shenker’s recent Guardian article on the wages of structural adjustment, a glancing mention of the middle class or lack thereof at Egyptian Chronicles, and this post by The Traveller Within, which isn’t strictly related but does have some bearing on the below points.
News Analysis: Bringing Order to Cairo’s Chaotic Streets
By Michael Jeffrey Flackslashman
TBE is more-or-less out of pocket due to a number of annoying intrusions on our regularly scheduled bloggingzeit, so we’ll probably be reduced to subsistence blogging during the next period.