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The Nile Runs Red

Yesterday's confrontation between Egypt's army and the Muslim Brotherhood may only be the beginning.

4:01 PM, Aug 15, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
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As for the notion that Sisi is pro-West, even a cursory glance of his interview with the Washington Post shows that this is a different cut of cloth. “You left the Egyptians, you turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that,” said Sisi, adding that Americans need to pay up unless they want Egypt as an enemy. “Where is the economic support to Egypt from the U.S.?” asked Sisi “Where was the U.S. support to help the country restore its economy and overcome its dire needs?”

These are threats, coming from the leader of a country that has lived off the generosity of others for way too long.  It’s not just Egyptian bread and fuel that are heavily subsidized, for so is Egyptian politics. For the last two-and-a-half years, Egyptians have behaved like spoiled children, trashing what they like because someone else will pay for it.  Neither the United States nor Europe has the cash on hand right now, so the Gulf Arabs—the very same people the Egyptians typically blame for their problems with radical Islam—have agreed to extend Cairo a large line of credit.  But eventually the Saudis, Emiratis, Kuwaitis and Qataris will tire of feeding 80 million people who hold them in contempt. When Egypt becomes more importunate, more tiresome, more dangerous, and the Arabs are no longer willing to pick up the check, what happens?

What happens when the army proves that it is no more capable of fixing Egypt now than it was in the brief period following Mubarak’s exit? What happens when many now on the sidelines, or even standing against the Brotherhood, demand the return and resurrection of a political movement better organized and galvanized by a vendetta that it has been nurturing against the many millions of Egyptians who cheered to see their blood run? 

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