Hypocrisy over Egyptian bloodshed
The attack of the Egyptian police and military on the supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi gathered in Adawiya and Nahda squares of Cairo started in the early hours of Aug. 14, as it was started to be reported in social media a while before the international agencies.
The interim government had warned a few days ago that they would “gradually” put pressure on the demonstrators to empty the streets, but perhaps no one expected such a merciless attack by the security forces that resulted in killing of so many people. That may include governments who gave a silent approval to the military coup, which toppled the elected president of the country, like the U.S. and EU governments and those who applauded the coup, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar; they have a responsibility for yesterday’s massacre in Cairo.
Qatar condemned the yesterday’s move by the Egyptian security forces and joined Turkey to denounce it as “unacceptable”; perhaps thanks to a telephone call by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The first statements from the European Union were calling all political sides to “renounce violence,” as if it was same thing to have street demonstrations against a military coup and opening fire on them. Later on the statement from the EU was a more careful one asking the Egyptian security forces to stop attacking peaceful demonstrators.
But right after the attack, some of the protesters were no longer as peaceful as before, showing a reaction. The incidents quickly spread to other cities of Egypt in such a way that the interim government declared state of emergency, perhaps dragging the country a step closer to martial law. The United States’ condemnation of the killings was particularly against the declaration of the state of emergency, too.
Actually the country is being dragged into a civil war like Syria. Pointing at that threat, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said Egypt was getting down into chaos and it might take long years from now for the country to adopt democracy.
No one has ever seen such a situation before. A part of the Egyptian people are resisting against a coup, claiming their votes and do not want to lose the power they have achieved after decades, and part of the people are against the protesters, even supporting the military with the fear that the democratic majority could turn the country into a theocratic state; a terrible picture indeed.
Egypt, despite its thousands of years of history and tradition of statehood, has never experienced a democratic life. The Arab Spring, which resulted in the toppling of its former ruler Hosni Mubarak, was regarded as an opportunity for a journey toward a democratic life. It started to turn sour when Morsi felt that he could transform the long established Egyptian state apparatus into a Muslim Brotherhood machine overnight, and it took a big blow when the military, betraying its new boss, overthrew Morsi on July 3. Now it seems democracy in Egypt is a dream that cannot become true so quickly.
But it should be noted that this situation is no way sustainable for either the Egyptian military or the international community in support of them. The U.S. administration must see that the support that they give the military-backed interim government in Egypt will not be able to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood, which has deep roots in the society, but it will possibly radicalize many proud and angry men and women in Egypt and in other Arab countries into the trenches of al-Qaeda and the like. That would be the bitter cost of the hypocrisy over the bloodshed in Egypt.