Egypt on the brink

Would a free and fair election bring Islamists back to power again, assuming the military allowed it? The answer lies less in numbers than in opportunities for the people of Egypt.

US Secretary of Defense Photo: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meets with then-Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, right, and armed forces chief General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, left, in Cairo in April. Gen. al-Sisi announced Mr. Morsi's removal from power in July.
Ferry de Kerckhove
Published: Thursday, 09/05/2013 8:05 pm EDT
Last Updated: Monday, 09/09/2013 2:19 am EDT

The events in Egypt raise fundamental questions, beyond the fate of democracy. The wishful thinking in the West about democracy spreading to the Arab World has been exposed. The dictatorial, military-based leadership the West put in place or helped come to power in most of these countries cannot mutate overnight into full-fledged democratic governance. Today, the issue underpinning the crisis is the ability for the people of Egypt, poor as most are, to feed themselves and their children and live in dignity.

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