Here are my thought that was published today in Fikra Forum about the forced end of the sit-in and the crisis in Egypt:
I wrote on Sunday, August 11 that the sit-ins should be left alone and not dispersed by force; it seems that the government lost patience, and viewed the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its supporters as an increasingly provocative group looking to defy the state. Sadly, the government’s tactics were brutal and deplorable, and there were other non-lethal measures that they could have tried before using force.
After the sit-ins were forcibly dispersed, emergency law became inevitable. Pro-Morsi protestors had been indoctrinated for 7 weeks during the sit-ins that Copts and regime thugs were behind the coup, so the military’s action against the protestors unleashed their raw, pent up anger.
I doubt both sides will reconcile their differences, and it appears that there are dark days ahead for Egypt. The leadership is currently engaged in a termination game with the Muslim Brotherhood, and thus far, the military seems to have the upper hand. The future of democracy in Egypt will depend on the outcome of this battle. If the violence continues, Egypt could be doomed for years of autocracy, but if the military succeeds in controlling the violence, it is possible that steps toward democracy can be taken. How this will happen and to what extent remains to be seen. One thing, however, is clear: Egypt’s leadership and the broader public do not care about the U.S. or its calls for democracy.
Among those who are neither pro-Morsi nor pro-military, the mood is somber, and there is a sense of helplessness. In Egypt, those who are genuine are not powerful, and those who are powerful (on both sides) may not necessarily be genuine.