If Egypt’s officers were guaranteed immunity, allowed to keep whatever ill-gotten gains they have, and assured that civilianization of the political system is not tantamount to destroying the armed forces—a mistake the Turks seem to be making—the chances are better that the military will yield to civilian politicians and a more democratic order. If the experience of Latin America can be any kind of guide, these guarantees and the traces of the previous authoritarian system that go with them will fade away as democratic practices and processes become institutionalized.
Indeed. I recall such a principle being espoused in a hugely influential IR paper. This is the oh-so lovely territory where the demands of Realpolitik and the findings of empirical investigation regarding what is best, conflicts to the core with our moral intuitions. Part of me says fuck it; nothing is worth the price of selling out like this. I’m tempted to say it’s worth taking the fight regardless of how much trouble it brings.