Mohamed Morsi’s one-year rule of Egypt was disastrous. He ruled by fiat, alienated potential allies and failed to stabilize the country’s spiraling economy. But a military coup is not an answer to Egypt’s problems. It will exacerbate, not ease, Egypt’s vast political divide.
The Egyptian military’s primary interest is maintaining its privileged role in society and sprawling network of businesses. Like the Pakistani military now and the Brazilian military in the past, its desire to maintain its economic interests will slow desperately needed economic and political reforms.
There is little reason to have faith in Egypt’s broken political process at this point. But the best way to ease the country’s bitter divisions are immediate elections that include the Muslim Brotherhood.
Thursday’s wide crackdown on the Brotherhood, which ranged from the issuing of arrest warrants for 200 Islamists to the shutdown of pro-Brotherhood television stations, were steps in the wrong direction. So was the return to power of several Mubarak-era officials identified with Egypt’s “deep state,” a reference to the powerful security branches of the Mubarak government.
“Political inclusiveness is the only way forward,” said Lauren Bohn, an American journalist who has covered Egypt. “And many worry they won’t see much of that in the days ahead.”