Situation in Egypt: boiling over with no easy way out

August 31, 2013 — by Helen Wong
The Arab Spring, beginning in 2011, kicked off the Egyptian Revolution and wave after wave of violent protest, propaganda and political mines across the Middle East.
The Arab Spring, beginning in 2011, kicked off the Egyptian Revolution and wave after wave of violent protest, propaganda and political mines across the Middle East.
Now, it’s 2013, and two deposed leaders later, Egypt is still in a state of chaos. The fighting and the protesting continue in the streets of Cairo in full force, and the violence is getting no one anywhere.
Egypt, as of now, is under military control. That, in itself, does not sound promising. While the military has muscle on its side, the fact that the country is being led by an army without a single, central leader does little to reassure the world that Egypt is on its way to improvement. Military takeovers too often morph into dictatorships, not democracies.
Admittedly, when the Arab Spring began and the Egyptian Revolution started, the whole situation looked promising in many ways, especially to Western powers. The people of the Middle East appeared to finally be standing up against dictatorships and corrupt rulers. 
In Egypt, then long-time president Hosni Mubarak was kicked off his pedestal and effectively removed from power in a coup. Per the people’s wishes, a democratic election was held. Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, won.
Unfortunately, his incompetence sent people to the streets again a year later, where they protested peacefully for his removal, citing his extremist Islamist agenda and increasingly authoritarian rule. The peace lasted until five anti-Morsi protesters were killed in clashes with pro-Morsi supporters.
From there, the violence escalated, and Morsi ended up being deposed in another coup, this time by the military. The fight between pro and anti-Morsi supporters is still ongoing, manifested in the form of street violence and exacerbated by military involvement.
The root of the political crisis in Egypt is the fact that the two best-organized and trusted groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, have both proven to be nearly incapable of leading the country. 
There is no easy way out for Egypt. For now, there are only two viable options for national leadership: the Brotherhood and the military. The situation is too volatile, politically and physically, at the moment for peace talks and negotiation between the two. 
What solutions are left, then, if negotiation is out of the picture? International interference by world powers such as the U.S. is possible, but also politically shaky, even if the interference ended up working to stabilize the country. The situation in Egypt is, as of now, domestic, and it would be preferable for it to stay that way.
There is no magical one-go solution to Egypt’s state of chaos. However, containment of protesters and violence is the first step of many back to stability, and Egypt must do that itself, without any other powers stepping in.
The most obvious thing to do first is for the people to put down their weapons. From there, negotiations can begin.
Until Egypt achieves a viable peace within its borders, there is nothing else anyone can do to stabilize the country politically and spiritually, itself included.
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