News / Middle East

Egyptians Predict Escalating Security Backlash

Egyptians Predict Escalating Security Backlashi
X
October 09, 2013 4:59 PM
The violence enveloping Egypt has grown worse in recent days, with attacks on security forces across the country and more than 50 people killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and police. Some see it as a backlash to the heavy-handed tactics of the military, which toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
The violence enveloping Egypt has grown worse in recent days, with attacks on security forces across the country and more than 50 people killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and police.  Some see it as a backlash to the heavy-handed tactics of the military, which toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
 
The violence engulfing Egypt is escalating, with militant attacks on security forces and clashes between protesters and police. Some predict it will only lead to a greater military crackdown with worsening consequences.
 
“Repression doesn't work.  Of course repression doesn't work.  But it is the vanity of power,” said public policy professor Emad Shahin of The American University In Cairo.

Shahin thinks military leaders, who boast massive popular support, are seizing the moment for a final showdown with their long-time foes. "They think that the plan by which they managed to charge, to mobilize the anger of people against Morsi's rule and administration and so on, has gained a momentum and it really is time to break down the Islamists,” he stated.
 
The military's “war on terror” is being waged against the broad spectrum of Egypt's Islamists, from peaceful protesters to armed militants.  The jihadist core is based in the Sinai peninsula and enjoys little popular support, but their attacks appear to be spreading.
 
Mustafa Labbad, director of the Al Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies, believes they can be contained. "According to balance of power, I don't think we have a civil war.  We have a conflict, and it would last for months to come, but balance of power is clearly in favor of the military," he said.

The spirit of defiance unleashed in Egypt's 2011 revolution may prove a more formidable challenge.  Emad Shahin points to an widely-seen image.
 
"Imagine this 16-year-old girl, her photo is everywhere, that raised the sign of Rabaa in front of an entire school, in front of the state security guy in the school trying to intimidate them.  A single girl is not intimidated.  That's the culture of protest that they cannot break,” said Shahin.

For now, the majority is still throwing its support behind the military against its opponents.  But  Labbad says there are questions of how long that can last.

"After a while you have to solve your social and economic problems, and it wouldn’t matter if you are wearing a uniform or casual wear. If you are in power, you have to solve these problems.”

Repression against one group may be possible, analysts say. But in protest-ready Egypt, which toppled a repressive leader in 2011, and saw mass rallies against its now-ousted president this year, trying to keep down a larger movement is hard.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid