Property rights for aid: this could be the most effective anti-poverty strategy in history
04 Jul 2013 - To watch events in Egypt is like seeing a videotape of the Arab Spring being played backwards. The ballot box has been kicked away, the constitution torn up, the military has announced the name of a puppet president – and crowds assemble in Tahrir Square to go wild with joy. The Saudi Arabian monarchy, which was so nervous two years ago, has telegrammed its congratulations to Cairo’s generals. To the delight of autocrats everywhere, Egypt’s brief experiment with democracy seems to have ended in embarrassing failure.
Normally, Western leaders would be lining up to deplore a coup d’etat, but yesterday even William Hague seemed lost for words. As a rule of thumb, he says, Britain prefers civilian rule. But when asked to condemn the Cairo coup, he declined. The Arab world’s Twitter accounts, once full of revolutionary optimism, have turned into a depository of despair. “Egypt has taught me that democracy is a lie and an elected president is a myth,” wrote Ahmed al-Husseini, a Sunni preacher from Bahrain. “No parliament, no elections, no ballot boxes. All lies.”
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