Cairo’s terror: Bombs take a toll on lives and stability

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Four well-placed bombs in Cairo Friday that killed at least six underscored the long-term problems of Egypt, which tasted democracy during the Arab Spring only to be ruled now by the military after a coup d’etat.

The attacks were directed against a police headquarters, a subway station, a museum and a movie theater. The first target was the security forces of the regime of Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The choice of the other three, no doubt, will strike fear in the general population and among tourists, a key part of Egypt’s economy.

The Egyptians drove former President Hosni Mubarak from office in 2011, an early chapter in the North African part of the Arab Spring. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was chosen as president in democratic elections in 2012. A year later the Egyptian military, led by Gen. el-Sisi, overthrew Mr. Morsi and has since used arrests, suppression of demonstrations and muzzling of the media to consolidate its power.

The culmination of the military’s takeover came last week with a referendum on a new constitution, with special measures benefiting the armed forces. The Muslim Brotherhood boycotted the vote and the turnout was a feeble 38.6 percent. The new constitution was approved by a dubious vote of 98.1 percent. Rumors of Gen. el-Sisi running for president are now widespread.

Friday’s bombs indicate a rough ride ahead for Egypt as it proceeds toward a banana-republic government. The United States is still pretending that what the military did last year was not a coup, in order to continue providing cash to the Egyptian government to pay for its military purchases from American suppliers. It is increasingly clear that this policy is not going to work.

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