Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Once More, With Feeling

Egypt's military is trying to be a third force apart from protesters and the government's security forces. They maneuvered successfully between Mubarak and the protesters. Can the military pull it off again against Mursi's Islamists and the protesters who know that they were betrayed once already?

Port Said is the site of four days of army intervention trying to keep protesters and riot police apart:

Egyptian protesters demanding the release of prisoners battled police in Port Said for a fourth day on Wednesday, challenging state authority in the turbulent city at the northern end of the Suez Canal.

Unrest has plagued Egypt since Hosni Mubarak's overthrow two years ago, with Port Said a focus for violence since a football stadium riot in which more than 70 people died last year. ...

Army troops tried to separate police and protesters, and at one point a soldier was evacuated in an ambulance after choking on teargas, the witness said.

And once more, are the army conscripts reliable to take on either side in this without refusing orders to fire on people they identify with? This will be tough because Mursi is likely a tougher nut to crack than Mubarak. And protesters see how round one of protests didn't seem to do much good.

I'm not so sure the Egyptian army can navigate between the two sides who have much more intense feelings about the outcome of the protests.