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.
Faced with mounting outcry from the Brotherhood's rank and file against the ousting of President Morsi, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah El Sisi has continued to escalate his ultimatums and the use of force to quell cries for the return of the elected president.
Both countries are now weakened by violence. Another path is possible. Taking it requires the willingness of politicians, especially those who are governing, to open the dialogue and create a broad consensus. This is the only choice; the other leads to the abyss.
The real reason for the ousting of Morsi is that the army has been in charge all along. The reality is that the army is currently using the protests against Morsi to their benefit as they did in 2011 with the protests against Mubarak.
In what looked more like a scene from "The Dictator" than real life, Egypt's leading general and de-facto head of state Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi addressed cheering crowds in his full military fatigue and Gamal Abdel Nassir sunglasses on Wednesday.
The Egyptian military proved that at the time of the January 25 uprising it belonged to the state -- not the regime -- when it sided with the people. The military made the right decision and was celebrated for it. This time around, however, it sided with one party over another in a rather swift and eerie manner.
The army's recent intervention in Egypt, and the turmoil there, have brought memories surging back of a time in 2005 when I was on my way to a vacation in Ecuador and the Galapagos islands. World events chose that moment to intervene in my carefully made plans.
It remains to be seen how large the numbers will be who will follow Egyptian Commander of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's call, and whether al-Sisi indeed commands the authority to mobilize large sections of Egyptians into the streets. It is by all means a risky strategy.
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.
What Egypt and Egyptians need most now are jobs. Why, because any society without a strong, aspirational and growing middle class population is a society at risk. The middle class is not just an aspirational dream, it is a practical and necessary stabilizer for a real democracy.
Amin Abu Hashem has lived in Egypt all his life, and he thinks the media has fundamentally misunderstood what is going on there. "What we ultimately want is food in our bellies and money in our pockets," Amin said.
Egyptians want accountable and responsible leadership that cleans up government, creates economic growth, and provides opportunities. It wants inclusive leadership that fosters a religiously tolerant, politically pluralistic society.
If Morsi and the MB have failed to build a new, inclusive democratic state in Egypt by their restrictive policies, the Egyptian democrats failed to achieve power via the ballot box. There is no such thing as a "coup-volution" but only a "coup d'état," even though with the support of people.
As I watch the current situation unfold within Egypt, now that the military has deposed the government of President Mohamed Morsi and the streets are filled with crowds from both sides, I wonder how the depth of the political instability impacts the long-term international investment.
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.
The July 3rd coup in Egypt dashed the hopes of those who believed that the 2011 revolution was a harbinger of democracy in the Arab world's most populous country.