Ask Michael Hanna Anything: The Surprise Of June 30th

Michael Hanna points out how shocking it was for the June 30th protests to not only come together as fast as they did, but grow to a size that far eclipsed the protests of 2011:

Nisral Nasr thinks the political landscape in Egypt is too foggy to tell whether the coup will be in the service of democracy:

There is no particular reason for now to believe that the Egyptian Armed Forces are the modernizers envisaged by American academics in the 1960s.  Nor is there reason to believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is the carrier of democratization through an Islamic state as envisaged in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Of course the governments after 1952, invariably led by Army officers, pursued industrialization policies for strategic reasons.  So, too, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership pursued open elections for their own strategic reasons.  Neither the Army nor the MB are or were particularly committed to the wider principles that academics like to read into these policy choices.

Sarah Carr declares that “the debate is semantic and tedious, and the nomenclature will not be decided now”:

I will not weigh in on the coup/revolution debate other than to say millions of Egyptians were on the ground demanding Morsi’s removal while military jets drew hearts in the skies above them, and then Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that Morsi had (forcibly) buggered off. Nothing has changed. The real revolution will happen when army involvement in politics is a distant relic of history.

Elsewhere, the Big Picture is up with a new gallery compiled from the past week in Egypt.

Michael Wahid Hanna is a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, where he works on issues of international security, international law, and US foreign policy in the broader Middle East and South Asia. He appears regularly on NPR, BBC, and al-Jazeera. Additionally, his Twitter feed is a must-read for anyone interested in Egyptian politics. Our ongoing coverage of the current events in Egypt is here. Michael’s previous answers are here. Our full Ask Anything archive is here.