The illusion that Egypt’s military-backed interim government was willing and able to take the country to inclusive elections after last month’s anti-Islamist coup vanished amid the carnage on Cairo’s streets on Wednesday. With chaos spreading across the country, the military has declared a state of emergency. As the army tightens its grip and the death toll mounts, so too does the threat of civil war.
Violence was inevitable once the security forces moved in on the Islamist protesters who have occupied public squares in Cairo to call for the release of former President Mohamed Morsi. All sides share the blame. Islamists have refused every offer of negotiation, demanding as a precondition the release and reinstatement of the deeply unpopular Mr Morsi. Worse, at the height of the violence, they called for more protesters to join the pitched battles instead of appealing for calm.
The military, which brought down a democratically elected government last month and now pulls the strings of a nominally civilian executive, has ignited Islamist fury further by trying to crush the Muslim Brotherhood. Hundreds of leaders have been rounded up and jailed, while Mr Morsi is being held on trumped-up charges. Until the resignation on Wednesday evening of Mohamed ElBaradei, secularists in the government have stood by as state forces were deployed against civilians in weeks of clashes that have left hundreds dead.
International efforts to bring the warring camps to the bargaining table have failed. Diplomatic missions by the US and EU could not prevent the bloodshed on Wednesday. Yet more than diplomacy is needed to overcome the intransigence of those who believe the only path to victory is the destruction of the other. Washington has so far refused to suspend the $1.3bn in aid to Egypt’s military. This should now be done until the violence is halted and all parties agree to talks. The release of Mr Morsi has to be on the table.
But pressure also has to be exerted on the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey or Qatar are best placed to intervene with Egypt’s Islamists. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, condemned the earlier military coup, but this should not rule out him acting as an intermediary in concert with other parties. Qatar could also play a useful role. The new emir may be wary of foreign entanglements but he and the rest of the world should be even more wary of the consequences for the region of a descent into sectarian anarchy in Egypt.
1.Word of the day
coup: a sudden, illegal and often violent, change of government 政变
e.g1：He seized power in a military coup in 1997.
例1：他在 1997 年的军事政变中夺取了政权。
e.g2：She lost her position in a boardroom coup (= a sudden change of power among senior managers in a company).
2.Phrase of the day
pitched battles：a fierce battle fought in close combat between troops in predetermined positions at a chosen time and place 激战
3.Sentence of the day
The new emir may be wary of foreign entanglements but he and the rest of the world should be even more wary of the consequences for the region of a descent into sectarian anarchy in Egypt.
4.Cultural point of the day
Muslim Brotherhood：穆斯林兄弟会是一个有近百年历史的伊斯兰复新运动宗教组织，最近因为埃及内战而常常见诸报端。其他有名的伊斯兰组织还有哈马斯(HAMAS，即Islamic Resistance Movement，伊斯兰抵抗运动)、基地组织(Al-Qaida)、东突厥斯坦伊斯兰运动(Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement,ETIM) 等。
5.Translation of the day
As the army tightens its grip and the death toll mounts, so too does the threat of civil war.
小编注：death toll的意思是死亡人数，时政新闻中说到死亡人数，几乎用的都是这个词，另外有一个表示伤亡人数的高频词是the number of casualties。
e.g:Clinton said the Obama administration deeply regrets the civilian casualties.