A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day Three: Close to the Breaking Point

The third day of pitched battles in Egypt has seen considerable escalation. Despite official claims live ammunition is not being used, the Ministry of Health (which probably undercounts) admits to 38 dead for the three days. The demonstrations are no longer limited to Cairo and Alexandria, but have spread to some 14 cities.  SCAF has not commented on whether it will accept the Cabinet resignations, but there are reports that the Ministry of the Interior is being run  by the military now. A big demonstration has been called for tomorrow to demand a national unity government  and an early handover of power. SCAF is supposedly talking to some political parties, but whether they actually make concessions or crack down harder depends in large part about whether their motives have been driven by incompetence or by cynical power manipulation. I feel (and I fear) the coming days will be as tense as the 18 days of the revolution, but what the results may be are really hard to predict. The moment of decision is fast approaching, but as it has been from the beginning, SCAF's real intentions are inscrutable.

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