Consequence Of A Death Foretold --- Morsi's Death + Realpolitik 2019

It has been very easy for the international community to 'forget' Egypt, as attention has moved from the 2010/11 optimism of the ‘Arab Spring’ to Trump and his trade wars, Brexit, the chaos in Syria and Iraq, fighting ISIS/IS, terrorism, and nuclear and missile crises in North Korea and Iran.

The death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has however briefly thrust Egypt back into the international limelight, and provided a stark reminder of the utter failure that Egypt's uprising has become.

Morsi had been brought to power as the first democratically elected President of Egypt following the triumphant protests of 2010 and 2011 that had unseated military dictator of four decades Hosni Mubarak. Morsi was however himself removed by the military just a year later, with the support of a majority of the Tahrir Square protesters fearful that they had swapped dictatorship for Muslim Brotherhood theocracy.

He has languished in prison since, only leaving to appear in courts for a variety of trials relating to his brief and controversial rule. He died in one such court, minutes after giving testimony.

What should be of most note is how little impact this news has had on international politicians and policy makers.

The death in a show trial of an elected leader deposed by military coup, following years of widely documented mistreatment in jail, might in other circumstances spark an international furore, condemnations from the UN Security Council, and demands for explanation and reprisal.

But when it comes to viewing the post-'Arab Spring' Middle-East and North Africa such considerations have long since been superseded by more practical concerns - Egypt may no longer be a democracy worthy of the name, but it is relatively stable, in the starkest of contrast to the chaos in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and neighbouring Libya.

Egypt - seen from Washington or London or Moscow - is now the good news story compared with most of a region still in the grips of political collapse and civil war.

Fifteen years ago a US Secretary Of State promised in Cairo that her government would no longer pursue stability over democracy - we can however safely assume that much of the international community has well and truly returned to the morally questionable yet strategically obvious logic that stability beats democracy every time.

So Egypt will again be quickly forgotten, its 100 million people - a quarter of all Arabs - increasingly repressed by a military government that strips back more and more of the political and social gains of 2010/11 with every day that passes.

Welcome to realpolitik, 2019 style.