http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2012/04/01/204659.html

A caricature of the parliament speaker with a dreamy look on his face sitting next to a portrait of the field marshal and listening to the classic Egyptian song, “Why did you make me love you?” came as a genius and timely depiction of that passion that has developed between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) since the toppling of the former regime. While at a first glance such an unlikely union would seem like a fling, time and some other few calculations have proven otherwise and it seems the love birds are soon to be standing at the altar while closing the church door in the face of all the unwanted guests desperately trying to barge in and knowing that if they don’t “speak now” they will have to “hold their peace forever.”

The romance started almost right after the regime was toppled or that was rather the time when it was made public and when a long-term project to sideline the revolutionaries and create a new balance of power in post-revolution Egypt was given an official launch.

Early signs of flirtation were detected with the Islamist-dominated committee assigned the surreal mission of amending only a few articles of a constitution that was technically rendered void by the eruption of a revolution and that was supposed by be replaced by a brand new one. The resulting Constitutional Declaration marked the official inauguration of a long dating season with all lovey-dovey proclamations this might involve. In the declaration, the parliament was given the right to elect a 100-member committee to be in charge of drafting the new constitution and SCAF was endowed with all sorts of powers that enable it to become the de facto ruler of Egypt.

With the long-outlawed MB forming a political party and with the massive mobilization of the masses to approve the amendments in a ferocious campaign that put the people of God against liberal delinquents who want to rob Egypt of its Islamic identity, the picture was becoming a lot clearer. With 77 percent voting yes and 99 percent of those doing so in compliance with what was presented as a holy call, the results of the parliamentary elections looked as predictable as those held at the time of the former regime. Becoming more confident of a similar victory in the parliament, the MB waged war on all political powers that belonged to the constitution-first camp and with the blessing of SCAF, the elections were held without a proper constitution and the results were even better than expected and SCAF turned a blind eye to all the violations committed before and during election time whether in terms of bribing voters, slandering rivals, mobilizing Muslims against Christians, and campaigning in places of warship. The crowd cheered as SCAF and the MB exchanged a passionate kiss, after which the first whispered more promises while the second winked seductively.

It might not be very relevant here to talk about the unabashed public display of affection that happened under our very noses when SCAF sanctioned and/or covered up for the killing of unarmed revolutionaries and MB MPs kept referring to the first as the protectors of the revolution and the second as outlaws, but this serves to shed more light on all aspects of that thriving love story and the constitutional honeymoon in which it is expected to end. MB support for SCAF was important at that time to guarantee that the exchanged vows will remain unbroken in order for both sides to be able to bring to the world the much awaited fruit of their love: the constitution of post-revolution Egypt.

The reason why SCAF and the MB want at any cost to oversee, or rather monopolize, the constitution is the same one that drove both of them to take part in the revolution or pretend to side with the revolutionaries: fierce determination to maintain power in the case of the former and desperate keenness to come to power in the case of the later. Putting a long history of grudges aside, both needed to unite in the face of the one power that jeopardizes their ambitions: the revolutionaries. The genetically processed embryo would be a constitution that would establish the kind of state that for the first time in their would allow the MB to launch their Caliphate-like project while giving SCAF and the army the special status that endows them with constitutional legitimacy and protects the influence they have been exercising since the 1952 coup. SCAF will be much more lenient than the former regime as far as the Islamization of Egypt is concerned and will reassure Western powers that this is no way would harm their interests in the region nor threaten the security of Israel. In return, the MB would approve the inclusion of a few articles in the constitution that protect the enterprises run by the Armed Forces, which controls almost 60 percent of the Egyptian economy and owns a whole lot of businesses that range from electric appliances factories and tourist resorts to gas stations and bakeries, and that do not subject the army’s budget, with all the fishy items it is said to contain especially as far as arms deals and unjustified astronomical payments made to senior officers are concerned, to parliamentary scrutiny or public monitoring.

The formation of the Constituent Assembly that should be in charge of drafting the constitution signaled the start of a series of intimate encounters that are to be crowned with the arrival of the much-awaited baby. The MB-controlled parliament decided that 50 percent of the members of the committee will be from the parliament and of course it was no surprise to find out that 25 of those 50 were from the MB’s political wing the Freedom and Justice Party and 11 from the even more conservative the Salafist al-Nour Party while many of the remaining 14 were electoral allies of the MB. It is also no surprise at all that most of the 50 non-parliamentarian members of the committee were in some way or another linked to the MB and its party and this ranged from members through allies to sympathizers and/or vocal supporters. The remaining few were a bunch of liberals, seculars, and socialists, non-Islamists if wish to group them in one single ideological camp or third wheel if we wish to define their position vis-à-vis the unbreakable love affair that seems to have greatly thrived on the discovery of a common enemy. The withdrawal of almost all the unwelcome minority came as a logical conclusion to the farce they preferred to stay away from and to the copyright infringement offence they would have committed had they added their touch to the sacred constitution.

Timing and conditions for the long yearned-for “maculate” conception cannot be more favorable. The constitution of post-revolution Egypt will be different from that of pre-revolution Egypt only insofar as the identity of the tyrant(s) and possibly the means through which the people are to be subjugated. The shape the new state would take could also change a little bit so that it is taken from the basic level of a dictatorship to the more advanced category of a military theocracy where rebellion becomes both high treason and apostasy and where the people by which and for which the revolution erupted will shift from second to third rate citizens and where words like “rights” and “freedoms” will be followed by expressions along the lines of “provided that” and “as long as.”

It is, however, quite pointless to keep dwelling on how disastrous and how unrepresentative of a country that has just rebelled against oppression the coming constitution would be. It will be much more fruitful to wonder how long this constitution is expected to live and how long it will be before everyone sees it as a grave insult to the revolution and as detrimental to the democracy it was supposed to establish.

The life expectancy of the constitution is inseparable from the nature of the alliance that made it see the light and the sinister interests that united its progenitors. A freak of nature is likely to perish shortly after its birth and if it survives its chances at turning into a healthy being are almost nonexistent.

Couples are advised to undergo pre-marital screening lest their genes are too corrupt to make their union risk-free and their blood types too incompatible to beget a normal offspring.

Otherwise, so much for the happy ending.