Once in a while, even I have to salute a colleague on a job well done (in the past I've complimented one Silvio Berlusconi, but more on him in a future post). That's what I'm going to do today. Because although the jury is still out on Adbel Fattah al-Sisi, I have to admit that I like what I see, so far.
Let's put it this way:
- Ouster of a democratically elected (if not 100% democratic) leader? Check!
- Rapid mobilization of forces to capitalize on public discontent with the then in-power regime? Check!
- Public assurances that 'this is not a coup!' Right ... check!
- Violent crackdowns on supporters of the former regimen? Check, again!
- Reintroduction of time-tested security measures aimed at monitoring the citizenry? Yes! Check!
- Very public scapegoating of a hegemonic power ('the US turned it's back on Egypt' etc etc)? You guessed it! Check!
Well, all I can say is, unless al-Sisi turns out to be a simple facilitator for the eventual democratic flowering of Egypt, unless he steps back into the shadows once the future legitimate president of Egypt is elected, unless he quietly mends the country's relationship with the US ... unless all that happens, he's taken a few monumental steps toward a dictatorship! And done so with a lot of style, I have to say.
Do you know what that means? Yes -- he must have read my book. And taken good notes, but the looks of it. Young dictators, this is a man to emulate!