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The Egyptian Military's Delicate Balancing Act


Two days since Mohammed Morsi was removed from power, the outlines of the power dynamic in Egypt are becoming clear: The military wants this to be a soft coup with a swift return to normalcy. And members of the Muslim Brotherhood may find it in their interests to try to prevent that.

The NYT:

In his swearing-in address, [interim president] Mr. [Adli] Mansour offered an olive branch to the Islamists, saying they were part of Egyptian society and deserved to participate in the political process. The National Salvation Front, an umbrella opposition group that had pushed for Mr. Morsi’s ouster, also called for inclusive politics.

But in less than 24 hours after the military’s intervention, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for at least 200 Islamists, most members of the Muslim Brotherhood. All were wanted on accusations of incitement to kill demonstrators. […]

In a statement, the Brotherhood denounced “the military coup against the elected president and the will of the nation” and said it would refuse to deal with any resulting authority. Mr. Morsi’s supporters said their protests on Friday would be meant to “denounce the military coup against legitimacy and in support of the legitimacy of President Morsi.”

All eyes are on the Muslim Brotherhood protests scheduled for today. The military will do its utmost not to get goaded into doing anything it might regret. The harsher the crackdown in the coming days and weeks, the harder it will be for Western liberals to provide the military and its civilian supporters with the billions in aid Egypt desperately needs. Kick-starting the economy in a way that helps the poverty stricken masses is the key to any hope of stability in Egypt.

At least some bitter Islamists understand this all too well, and they may be tempted to derail the plan by mounting a violent resistance that scares tourists and investors away and makes it harder for the aid money to flow.

Interesting times.

[Photo of Adli Mansour courtesy of Getty Images.]

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  • rheddles

    Egypt makes California and Illinois appear fiscally sound. There is only one solution for the
    Egyptians and that is alms from Saudi Arabia, not the pittance Western liberals will provide with unmeetable strings attached. The Sauds hate the MB as it is a threat to their regime. So their quid pro quo for aid will be the suppression of the MB. It will be suppressed. Order will be restored, for now. Attention will return to Syria in the war between Shia and Sunni. And then the entropy of hunger will reduce order. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • bigfire

    Egyptian Islamists (such as Muslim Brotherhood) went out of their way to kill the country’s ONLY viable hard currency earner, Tourism because it’s a sinful enterprise. Other than getting donation from various country, they don’t appear to have any other sustainable industry.

    Yes, we California can learn from this and do our utmost to destroy our state, like the Egyptian.

  • wigwag

    According to the Washington Post, the Muslim Brotherhood is now claiming that Egypt’s new interim President is secretly Jewish.


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