Early in June, I reported on the deepening crisis in Egypt and reported President Morsi was facing serious issues. With Ethiopia proposing to build a hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, Egypt could end up with a water crisis. Morsi warned that Egypt would not tolerate having their water supply threatened, but the alternative might be a war. In June, I pointed out that the Morsi government had been a serious disappoint for many Egyptians. Now that situation has exploded in the streets.
Three days of protests against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have turned violent with five Brotherhood members killed by gunfire. Unfortunately, gunfire has become more common on both sides of the conflict. The Brotherhood lines up to support Morsi while the opposition refuses to back down. The country is again in an uproar. American student Andrew Pochter was killed by stabbing. The reverberations from his death have only begun.
The first election in the entire history of Egypt stretching back to pre-historic times is now a year old, but the promises and hopes in the balloting process have not paid off. In the past two years of postrevolutionary crisis, the streets have never been so tense as they are today. It now appears that any sense of unity has disappeared.
The tension has risen to the point where even the United States government is expressing concern about the safety of the embassy. While the Obama administration refuses to express opinions about the leadership of Egypt, it is preparing for the worst.
Adding to the fragility of the political process, the police are fundamentally in a revolt among themselves. The Murbarak’s feared security forces still exist within the Interior Ministry, but are angry over the reversal they have witnessed following the collapse of the Murbarak regime. However, the police have agreed among themselves that no protection will be provided for the Brotherhood headquarters.
In the streets, the populace is divided between those who supported the aristocratic policies of the past and extreme right-wing views of the Brotherhood. Unfortunately, the vast Egyptian masses have lost all confidence in the leadership of the Brotherhood.
The wild card remains the military. Playing their cards close to the vest, they have not openly supported Morse. Fundamentally, they have issued statements saying they will intervene if matters get out of hand. As of July 2, the military has given Morsi 24 hours to get matters under control. Even the leftist opposition have left their own hints suggesting a military coup would be the only way to solve the Morsi crisis.
Apparently, the fundamental issue on the streets is over who will run the country and set the rules. The Muslim Brotherhood haven’t given up, but are not trusted to do more than create a theocracy like Iran. On the other side, the old Mubark leaders are feared as a return to the past. In turn, the people are circumventing the ballot box and flooding the streets in a riot mode.
Where is it going? No one knows. But you can bet it will be a hot summer in Egypt.