January 31, 2012

Egypt's Popular Putsch

European Council on Foreign Relations, European Council on Foreign Relations

AP Photo

In 1952 Egypt had a coup, which turned into a permanent revolution. Now Egypt has had a revolution that has turned into a coup. So goes a quip doing the rounds in Cairo. It is a line that sits nicely with the refrain heard in the West about Egypt a year after millions of protesters drove Hosni Mubarak from his pharonic throne of power. With the Egyptian military in charge, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, the emergence of the once-hidden Salafists and the fragmentation of the broad-based liberal-minded alliance that pushed the Egyptian strongman from power, there is plenty of sand if not grist for the pessimists' mill.

Echoing the change in mood, in an interview with The Times the British Foreign Secretary William Hague predicted that the Middle East would face "a lot of...

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