WorldViews: The anecdote that perfectly explains Egypt’s self-defeating crackdowns

By Max Fisher, January 15, 2014

The arc of history seems to bend toward status quo in today's Egypt. This week, Egyptians are voting on a popular referendum to approve or reject a new constitution. It's the second such constitutional referendum since the February 2011 revolution that was to change everything; the first, in late 2012, when President Mohamed Morsi was in power, approved a new constitution that carved out special powers and immunities for the military. All the same, the army suspended that constitution immediately after ousting Morsi in a July 2013 coup. This new constitution would further entrench the military's powers and its independence from civilian rule, as well as extending similar privileges to security services.

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