i Editor's Letter: Egypt? We used to go on holiday there

 

 

Egypt? We used to go on holiday there. This scheduled coup – a new model for changing government, where the army doesn’t even wait for the President to travel abroad – would be a rude exposé of the Arab Spring. The scale of protests against Mohamed Morsi, who has been given 48 hours by the Egyptian military to resolve the crisis or sling his hook (page 6), has already surpassed the uprising that deposed Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

What are we to make of the death of democracy on the Nile? The curious sight of democracy protesters cheering a general as he threatens to overthrow an elected government will send a message to other Islamists who prospered from the Arab Spring: don’t forget bread, security and personal freedoms.

Mr Morsi’s team seem overwhelmed – his spokesman resorted to raging at journalists: “Do you have a better idea?” – and the critical hand is now held by Anne Paterson, America’s ambassador to Cairo, vilified on placards as “Hayzaboon” (old crone). Will she, ie Washington, continue to back the Islamist government, or tacitly approve a military takeover? Either way, the  Muslim Brotherhood won’t vanish.

*****

Thanks to so many of you for writing with questions for our Health Editor Jeremy Laurance, to launch i’s new Monday series You Ask the Questions. Next in the chair answering readers’ teasers: our Defence Correspondent Kim Sengupta. Over the last two decades, Kim has reported from frontlines around the world. Questions, please, to i@independent.co.uk by 10am on Thursday. Kim’s answers will be published next Monday. And i is your paper, so do, as ever, let us know your thoughts.

Twitter.com: @olyduff

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