原地打转:埃及危险的第二次转型
原地打转:埃及危险的第二次转型
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Reducing tensions as Ethiopia Moves to Fill its Blue Nile Dam
Reducing tensions as Ethiopia Moves to Fill its Blue Nile Dam

原地打转:埃及危险的第二次转型

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概述

在胡斯尼·穆巴拉克被推翻近两年半的时间之后,埃及开始走上转型之路,让人不安的是,这次转型在很多方面同它刚刚经历过的第一次转型很相似——只不过领头人不同,且转型过程更加令人担忧,更加暴力。被罢免的总统默罕默德·穆尔西的支持者和反对者之间的对立如此严重,不得不让人担心会发生更多的流血事件;军队似乎认为他们的任务是镇压游行者;穆斯林兄弟会认为自身通过民主获得的权力遭到了非法剥夺,并似乎坚信只要坚守立场就能重整旗鼓。缓和事态的当务之急包括:释放政治犯——首先是穆尔西;尊重言论自由和集会权;对杀人事件展开独立调查;所有各方都要避免使用暴力和挑衅手段。这样才能创造环境弥补2011年以来所缺失的步骤,即优先讨论基本原则,避免仓促进行导致分裂的过渡计划。一个兼收并蓄的民族和解进程需要穆兄会和其他伊斯兰组织的参与,这不能仅靠承诺。这个进程必不可少,国际社会应该敦促其实现。

造成目前的危机有许多原因:穆尔西政府对于批评者不屑一顾;政府没有能力调动国家机器来处理失去耐心的埃及人民的基本需求;反对派依靠体制外的方式来改变于己不利的选举结果;政府机构介入极具破坏性的党派政治;各方集体诉诸街头斗争来解决分歧。6月30日发生的民众起义以及3天之后穆尔西被军队推翻,都是在上述背景之下发生的,在这样的背景之下要进行一个成功的民主转型,比起2011年2月而言,希望要更渺茫得多。社会和意识形态方面的分歧更为明显,暴力愈发成为常态,似乎旨在复仇的安全机构愈加肆无忌惮,成王败寇的游戏规则比以往任何时候都更具吸引力。这一切都发生在一个财政、社会和经济都日益恶化的环境之中。

6月30日上演了多个声称具有合法性的势力之间的决斗。一方的合法性基于对穆尔西和穆兄会的普遍不满,公众认为他们无能、傲慢、刚愎自用并且越来越脱离民众。第二方的合法性源于民主选举。但这二者都被自视为政治终极裁判,并赋予自身合法性的军队所压倒。毫无疑问,军队能这样做,仰仗的是它在穆兄会反对者中极高的支持率。但是这并非一个稳定的模式。支持军队的基础是一个鱼龙混杂的尴尬联盟,由自由主义者、左翼分子、商人、穆巴拉克时代的保守派和当权派成员组成。不久他们之间的矛盾就会凸显;其中一些已经崭露头角。许多穆兄会的批评者仍然对军队所扮演的角色模棱两可,而相当一部分伊斯兰主义阵营已经因军队的行为而站到了它的敌对方。简而言之,军队在 2011年将自己表现得置身事外,此次却支持一方阵营而反对另一方阵营。

穆兄会的命运是目前局面的中心所在。由于权力尽失,和遭受自从20世纪60年代以来未曾有过的迫害,穆兄会开始重谈受害与不公。它把斗争描述为民主和伊斯兰教二者的捍卫者和反对者之间的战争。它正加强内部团结,寄希望于进行一场消耗战,让时间来暴露新统治者比穆巴拉克政权更为残暴的本质;加深其支持者之间的分歧;破坏其在国内和国际舆论中的声誉。于此相应,新政权认为可以通过阻止社会恢复正常来继续腐蚀伊斯兰组织的公众支持率,如果他们拒绝退让,可以此为借口加大镇压力度。

避免发生更暴力的冲突并找到回归合法政治进程的出路是一个巨大挑战。在目前的局势下,仅靠国内参与方是不够的。欧盟已成为一个重要的潜在调停者,这表明埃及对立双方都强烈反美。其他参与方(包括幕后的华盛顿)应当统一行动。必须在伊斯兰组织和军方之间寻找中间点,这个目标说起来容易做起来难。伊斯兰方的条件包括:让穆尔西复职,让宪法重新生效;军方及其盟友却不愿开倒车。有一些提议得到了关注,比如让穆尔西体面地重新上台,以便他能很快地辞职,从而把权力让渡给为各方所接受的另一个临时总统或总理;通过一个兼收并蓄的进程建立起新的机制(以修订宪法和组织新的选举)。

当然,目前的当权者强烈希望一往直前造成既成事实:成立有效的政府;利用海湾地区阿拉伯国家的大量财政援助来取得经济发展;修宪;举行选举。但是,实现这些目标要付出高昂的代价,7月8日和27日的流血冲突已经证实了这一点。

的确,军队及支持它的盟友都应该清楚知道这个代价,因为这是穆尔西及其盟友刚刚付出的代价:他们利用力量优势,急于创立一个新的政治秩序来将失败者边缘化,这一切使得他们置国家稳定于险境,让回归常态变得遥不可及。但是这一次,失败的代价可能会让埃及遭受自20世纪90年代初以来从未经历过的最严重的政治暴力。

开罗/布鲁塞尔,2013年8月7日

Nearly two-and-half years after Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow, Egypt is embarking on a transition in many ways disturbingly like the one it just experienced – only with different actors at the helm and far more fraught and violent. Polarisation between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohamed Morsi is such that one can only fear more bloodshed; the military appears convinced it has a mandate to suppress demonstrators; the Muslim Brotherhood, aggrieved by what it sees as the unlawful overturn of its democratic mandate, seems persuaded it can recover by holding firm. A priority is to lower flames by releasing political prisoners – beginning with Morsi; respect speech and assembly rights; independently investigate killings; and for, all sides, avoid violence and provocation. This could pave the way for what has been missing since 2011: negotiating basic rules first, not rushing through divisive transition plans. An inclusive reconciliation process – notably of the Brotherhood and other Islamists – needs more than lip-service. It is a necessity for which the international community should press.

There are many reasons for the current crisis: the Morsi administration’s dismissive attitude toward its critics; its inability to mobilise the machinery of state to address basic concerns of an impatient citizenry; the opposition’s reliance on extra-institutional means to reverse unfavourable electoral outcomes; state institutions’ disruptive foray into partisan politics; and collective resort to street action to resolve differences. All these served as backdrop to the 30 June popular uprising and Morsi’s overthrow by the military three days later and have left prospects for a successful democratic transition far dimmer than in February 2011. Social and ideological divisions are more pronounced, violence more normalised, a seemingly revanchist security apparatus more emboldened and a winner-takes-all approach more alluring than ever. And all this takes place in a deteriorating fiscal, social and economic environment.

Duelling legitimacies were on display on 30 June. The first was based on popular outcry against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, viewed as incompetent, arrogant, domineering and increasingly out of touch. The second was rooted in the ballot box. Both have been superseded in effect by the legitimacy the military bestowed upon itself as ultimate arbiter of politics. In so doing, the armed forces unquestionably are relying on deep popular backing among Brotherhood opponents. But this hardly is a stable formula. Their support base consists of an eclectic and awkward alliance of liberals, leftists, businessmen, Mubarak-era conservatives and members of the establishment. The contradictions will be evident before long; some already have surfaced. Many Brotherhood critics remain ambivalent about the role of the army, which simultaneously has turned a sizeable portion of the Islamist camp into its foe. In short, and unlike 2011 when it could paint itself as above the fray, the military has sided with one camp against another.

The fate of the Muslim Brotherhood is at the centre of the equation. Reeling from its dramatic loss of power and persecuted in ways unseen since the 1960s, it is reviving its traditional narratives of victimhood and injustice. It is depicting the struggle as a battle between defenders and opponents of both democracy and Islam. It is closing ranks, banking on a war of attrition to expose the new rulers over time as a more repressive version of Mubarak’s old regime; exacerbate divisions among their current backers; and discredit them with domestic and international public opinion. In mirror image, the new authorities believe that, by preventing a return to normalcy, the Islamists will continue to lose popular support and – if they refuse to retreat – justify a more forceful crackdown.

Averting a more violent confrontation and finding a pathway back to a legitimate political process is a huge challenge, one that, by the nature of current dynamics, domestic actors are in no position to meet alone. The European Union (EU) has emerged as an important potential mediator, a fact that reflects the intense anti-Americanism that has enveloped both sides of the Egyptian divide. Others (including, behind the scenes, Washington) should work in unison. The goal, easier said than done, must be to propose a middle ground between the Islamists’ insistence that Morsi be reinstated and the constitution restored, and the resolve of the military and its allies that there will be no turning back. Some ideas have been floated, such as allowing Morsi to return with dignity in order to quickly resign, thereby transferring power to a different interim president or prime minister acceptable to all; and, through an inclusive process, establishing new institutional rules (to amend the constitution and organise new elections).

The current rulers, of course, are strongly tempted to press forward forcefully in order to establish facts on the ground: an effective government; economic progress thanks in part to massive Gulf Arab financial assistance; constitutional revisions; and elections. But this would come at a very steep price, as the bloody confrontations on 8 and 27 July readily attest.

Indeed, it is a price the army and the coalition that supports it should know well, for it is one Morsi and his allies just paid: by taking advantage of a favourable balance of power and rushing to create a new political order that essentially marginalised losers, they put the country’s stability at risk and hope of a return to normalcy out of reach. Only this time around, the cost of failure could well include political violence at a level not experienced by Egypt since the early 1990s.

Cairo/Brussels, 7 August 2013

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Reducing tensions as Ethiopia Moves to Fill its Blue Nile Dam

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Reducing tensions as Ethiopia Moves to Fill its Blue Nile Dam

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