Wondering why the Egyptian army went to break up the barricades? This won’t get as much coverage in the Western media, but Ron Ben-Yishai has an analysis of the fighting that you won’t read in the Times. It seems the Muslim Brotherhood was trying to turn their “protest” camps into armed camps, and the Egyptian army went in before they could complete their goal. Also, that they hesitated because the Brotherhood was getting so much support from the West that they felt confident they could retake Egypt and the West wouldn’t protest about any bloodshed used to do it. Sound familiar? It should. It’s the Palestinian/Lebanon playbook in a nutshell.
First: Using civilians as cover for building up weapons and munitions to be used in later attacks.
Moreover, there were credible reports, including from Brotherhood members, that the pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo were accumulating weapons and defensive equipment and were also building barricades, meaning that as time passed it would become harder to remove them by force and the number of casualties would have been greater. Such an outcome could have caused the US and Britain to turn their backs on the interim government and stop the flow of much-needed foreign cash to the Egyptian economy.
Second, get Western opinion behind you.
The second reason is linked to the first. Western figures, including American senators, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s emissary and the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, all tried to convince the Muslim Brotherhood to reach a peaceful compromise with the new Egyptian government, but the Brotherhood refused to budge even one millimeter from its positions.
Encouraged by the newfound interest by international forces in their cause, they continued to demand Morsi’s release as well as his reinstatement to the presidency. Until it was utterly clear that the Muslim Brotherhood refused to make peace with the new reality, General al-Sisi was under pressure to refrain from moving against the mass sit-ins.
Third, use the cover of religion to churn up people for your cause.
The third reason was the Ramadan fast. The Egyptian army did not want to act against a group of people already overflowing with religious zeal as a result of the Ramadan period, and hence al-Sisi and the new interim president decided to wait until the post-holiday season – after Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Ramadan. The operation was intended to take place immediately after Eid al-Fitr, however, by Sunday the plan was leaked to the Muslim Brotherhood, prompting the army to postpone the operation. But, not for too long.
All of these tactics have been used since the 1960s by the Palestinians, and in the last decade or two by Hizbullah. The Islamists note the ones that work and utilize them. Stupid Western leaders? Tell them over and over again it was a free and democratic election. Don’t worry about their noticing the power grab of suspending the constitution and replacing secular judges with religious ones. Anything that doesn’t fit their narrative will be discarded. Talk about discrimination while ignoring the attacks by the Brotherhood on Egypt’s Coptic Christian communities. The result? Well, you’re reading about it.
I do not in any way condone the attacks on innocents. But what is going on here is more than meets the eye.