The U.S. quest for stability in the Middle East that amounted to support for autocratic regimes at the expense of democratic values was in part fueled by fear -- fear that change in countries like Saudi Arabia threatened to open the door to the replacement of conservative, pro-Western rulers by military officers steeped in a vision that combined nationalism and Islamism.
What about the plan for a moderate Islamist government, the idea of an Islamist succession that would not become just another form of despotism? Whatever happens next in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has buried that idea.
With the nation in turmoil, it is increasingly clear that both parties in Egypt are using U.S. policy toward Egypt as a whipping boy to rally support for their respective causes as they continue their standoff.
The US reaction to the Egypt coup shows that its policy hinges on two ideas: democracy and stability, which constitutes the dilemma. As a result this perpetually causes it problems in the region.
Militant, highly politicized soccer fans who played key roles in the toppling of Hosni Mubarak and last month's protests in Turkey have been conspicuously absent from the dramatic scenes in Cairo with the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi and ongoing smaller scale protests in Istanbul.
The Egyptian military coup was Saudi Arabia's third successful counter-strike in recent weeks against the wave of change in the Middle East and North Africa and its most important defeat to date of Qatari support for popular revolts and the Brotherhood.
Both Morsi and Erdogan's failure to adopt inclusive policies alienated a significant portion of the population. But unlike Erdogan, Morsi failed to realize that he had lostthe second ingredient of legitimacy: a recognition by those that had not voted for him that he was the country's elected leader.
The Islamist identity of Morsy and his party seems to be the major reason for the reticence of the international community and media in defining this coup a coup.
After the downfall of Mubarak, and then the Brotherhood, whoever will hold the reins of power in Egypt, the military included, will have to realize that the new player in town, the Egyptian people, cannot and will not be taken for granted anymore.
Morsi was removed from power not for crimes against the state, but largely for poor job performance and having too many political enemies (particularly in the military). These are issues to be settled at the ballot box, not by mobs and tanks surrounding the presidential palace in Cairo.
Those who don't pay much attention to Egypt would be forgiven for thinking that the images dominating their television sets these days are simply a replay of the popular revolution that overthrew President Mubarak two and a half years ago. They are not. What we are watching today is an attempt by a majority of normal Egyptians to reclaim a revolution that has stalled. They are out on the street in order to reset the conditions for success, and to place the country on a more promising and prosperous path. Make no mistake, these are messy, noisy, uncertain and unpredictable days for Egypt.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and militant, street battle-hardened soccer fans, in a replay of the run-up to mass protests two years ago that ousted Hosni Mubarak are positioning themselves for planned watershed mass demonstrations for and against the government this weekend.
Controversial soccer matches this weekend constitute a potential walk-up to a watershed mass anti-government demonstration on June 30 that has Egyptians of all political stripes bracing themselves for political violence and increased uncertainty
In a bid to distract attention from his domestic woes, curry favor with the U.S. and Gulf countries and restore Egypt to a leadership position in the region, Morsi chose a Cairo stadium to announce to his supporters that he was cutting diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime.
Like in Indonesia, the question of military reform in Egypt is complicated by public perception of the police and security forces, who are widely viewed as not only brutal but also incompetent and corrupt.
Egyptian authorities have expanded the ban on fans attending matches to include international as well as domestic games in a bid to prevent violence that is likely to backfire and spark renewed incidents in a country that is reeling from economic decline.