A fierce power struggle has erupted in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood and the army. International efforts to get the two sides talking have proved fruitless. Egypt's military leaders are now calling their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood a "war on terror". Politicians in the US and Europe now fear that they may have been duped by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
USDeputy Secretary of State William Burns and the EU, together with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, had been trying to foster talks aimed at finding a peaceful solution.
Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has given Egyptian armed forces orders to violently suppress protests by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.The army and the police, stalwart pillars of Hosni Mubarak's regime, are once more back in control. In this climate, political discussion appears impossible. The fronts are beginning to harden. Moderate voices have been drowned out.
The US and the EU's threats that they could freeze aid to Egypt are likely to prove ineffective. The Gulf states and Saudi Arabia have already promised to step up to fill the breach.
The military government insists the violence was initiated by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. But are they just using this as an excuse to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood? Is this the end of the Arab Spring and of Egypt's tentative steps towards democracy? Have the US and the EU followed the wrong strategy?
Tell us what you think: Egyptian Disaster: International Failure?
Thomas Hasel- is a German journalist and political scientist. He studied at the Universities of Munich, Paris and Berlin. His 2002 doctorate examined the conflict in Algeria between Islamists and the state. Since 1994 he has specialized in political and economic systems in the Arab world. He taught at Berlin's Free University examining the authoritarian regimes of North Africa and the difficulties in democratizing them. He has also written a number of press articles on the region and has produced documentaries on post Mubarak Egypt.
Yasmina Al – Gannabi – is a freelance journalist who works primarily on topics involving the Arab world. She studied journalism at the University of Tübingen, and is currently working on a documentary about Libyans wounded in the civil war who are now living in Germany.
Alan Posener - was born in London and grew up in Kuala Lumpur and West - Berlin. A teacher by training, he quit school to become a freelance author and journalist. He worked as an editor and author for the German newspaper “Die Welt” and was chief of commentary for "Welt am Sonntag". At the present, he contributes to a variety of media, among them the debate magazine The European. Posener is the author of several critically acclaimed books, among them biographies of the American idols John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Elvis Presley.