The worsening situation in Egypt is creating a difficult situation both inside and outside of that country. It's made for strange bedfellows from a U.S. political perspective. It's created almost a civil war situation in Egypt.
The problem is that after last year's ouster of Mubarak, Morsi was democratically elected by a (slim) majority of Egyptians. A year later they have buyer's remorse, and use a non-democratic method to oust him. Those here and abroad that support the democratic process are understandably concerned of the precedent this is setting. Those who distrust the Muslim Brotherhood are supporting his ouster. Those who abhor the suppression of civil rights and the rights of people over government suppression are supporting his ouster. In U.S. political circles, this has led to fractures within typically homogeneous political parties.
Once again, the Egyptian Army has installed an interim president
, saying they are doing the will of the people. Israel is already breathing easier, hoping the new president will normalize relations, something Morsi did not do
Things took a turn for the worse earlier today when 42 pro-Morsi supporters were killed in an attack
. 322 were also wounded:
The Muslim Brotherhood, which has led pro-Morsi demonstrations, said 35 of its supporters were killed when police and troops fired at them while they were praying at dawn.
Witnesses, including Brotherhood supporters at the scene, said the army fired only tear gas and warning shots and that “thugs” in civilian clothes had carried out the deadly shooting.
This is very bad considering that - while spirited and often angry - protests from both sides have been fairly peaceful up to this point. When gunfire erupts and people are killed, it can set into motion a deadly spiral of retribution, with armaments being supplied by outside actors who wish to skew the outcome.
John McCain has called for a suspension of aid to Egypt
(which he did before this attack happened), and he has fellow senators on both sides of the aisle disagreeing with him. McCain calls this a "military coup", and others disagree. After this attack on Morsi supporters, that will be a difficult position to maintain.
It's still possible the Egyptian military can maintain the peace long enough for another election to occur, and have a peaceful transition back to civilian control occur. That was made more difficult by today's shootings.
Here's hoping my concerns are unfounded.