The army is having difficulty finding a firm footing in the post-Muslim Brotherhood Egypt. Having lifted a nation-wide state of emergency more than a week ago, a rising tide of political assassinations, bombings, and general discontent has Egypt’s rulers flailing about and resorting to some of the same tactics that earned President Hosni Mubarak the enmity of the people. The New York Times:
“They have kept alive the idea of ‘enemies of the nation’ and the war on terror — the only glue keeping the bits and pieces together,” said Rabab el-Mahdi, a political science professor at the American University of Cairo, speaking of the interim government. “For any ruling alliance to be stable, it cannot depend on force or coercion. They lack any kind of ideological shield, except being against the Brotherhood.”
“They are not delivering,” Ms. Mahdi added, “and they will keep facing the dissent.”
The military regime in Egypt faces three enemies. There are the Islamists—a mix of angry supporters of the overthrown Muslim Brotherhood government and more radical types. There is the storm of economic problems that confront the country that fuel public anger against any government. And there is the endemic corruption and inefficiency of both the Egyptian state and the private sector that for decades has prospered more through political cronyism and payoffs than through real capitalism.