Omar Ashour fears that the country is on the brink of civil war:
The shadow of Algeria in 1992 looms. There, the full-blown civil war did not start right after the coup in January, but in September 1992; nine months later. If al-Seesi and his junta behave like Khaled Nezzar in Algeria or Francisco Franco in Spain, we are likely to see an escalation in armed confrontations between the junta and the president’s loyalists. This can have disastrous regional and international consequences. Egypt’s population is three times that of Algeria in the 1990s and more than four times that of Syria. Unstable Libya and Sudan are on the borders and so is Palestinian Gaza and Israel. All sides in Egypt have their international and regional allies and patrons and they will be asking them for help.
Walter Russell Mead adds:
Few potential tourists and investors these days are picking up their newspapers and thinking that Egypt is looking like a safe destination once more. The uglier the military government looks, and the more blood it has on its hands, the harder it will be for Western governments to shovel billions more aid dollars into the Egyptian money pit.
The calendar is also bad; Ramadan has come. The mosques will be packed and emotions will be high. This is the time of year when religion looms largest in the life of the average Egyptian, and it is the time of year when the imams have their biggest audiences. From the Brotherhood’s point of view, the military could have done it no greater favor than creating 42 new martyrs at the start of the holiest month in the year.
And David Kenner notes that the “violence is already threatening to break apart the alliance between some political forces and the military”:
The Salafist Nour Party, which was already feuding with other opposition forces over the selection of the next prime minister, has withdrawn from any negotiations on government formation, while a spokesman said that “[i]t is as if the former regime is back fully fleshed.” Secular leader Mohamed ElBaradei, meanwhile, called for an independent investigation into the events.
(Photo: Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi sit in front of barbed wire fencing that blocks the access to the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo on July 8, 2013. Forty-two loyalists of Egypt’s ousted president were killed while demonstrating against last week’s military coup, triggering an Islamist uprising call and dashing the army’s hopes for an interim civilian administration. By Mahmum Hams/AFP/Getty Images)