Deadly clashes erupted in Cairo and other cities over the last two days, leaving at least 10 people killed and hundreds injured. Nevertheless, Kamal Ganzouri, the temporary PM picked by the military, insisted that there was no violence even as it continued outside his window.
A key tactic of the Egyptian military has been to play Egyptian against Egyptian first by attacking the Egyptian Coptic population and blaming it on supporters of the democratic movement, then by declaring election procedures aimed at spitting the secular democrats and moderate Muslims and yesterday, by staging a pro-military demonstration Saturday morning.
Chaos is good for the military
And that’s what they want to show. They want to confuse the situation and divide their opposition by appealing to the undeniable desire of the Egyptian public for normalcy after 9 months of upheaval. But the military is going all-out, ignoring recommendations on how to end the violence made by a civilian advisory council it appointed within the last month.
It’s possible that the military has decided to switch tactics from compromising with the various pro-democracy factions fighting to clamping down on protesters and whipping up suspicion and division among them.
But it doesn’t come easily for the SCAF. The military may have counted on violence right before elections to sow chaos into the multi-day, multi-provence process. Instead, a determined population ensured the elections went smoothly.