Egypt is headed for a full-fledged civil war as the horrific violence that has claimed hundreds of lives continues to escalate, says Fred Fleitz, managing editor of the global intelligence web site LIGNET.
“It's going to get worse with these protests. The shops can't operate if people keep filling the streets and breaking storefronts and confronting the police,” Fleitz told John Fund, guest host of “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
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“It's very bad for the Egyptian economy . . . We're moving towards a civil war.”
Egypt erupted this week as the Egyptian military battled supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was ousted from power along with President Mohammed Morsi.
More than 600 have died in clashes across the country in two days of steady violence.
Fleitz said there is no easy solution to stopping the turmoil and added that American policy has inflamed the situation.
“I'm very troubled about how the Obama administration has contributed to this,” he said.
“The policy has been so weak that the Egyptian military seems to think they had had a free hand to engage in this crackdown this week.”
He said that neither side shows any sign of moving towards peace.
“It's now clear that the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamists in Egypt, are not going to back down. The Egyptian military government is not going to bend here. We're going to have a fight to the death on one of these two sides,” he said.
“The Egyptian military's going to continue their crackdown and the way things are going right now, the Muslim Brotherhood is moving towards becoming an underground militancy which is going to be engaged in acts of terrorism. It's just a terrible situation.”
Fleitz said the Obama administration has “a very difficult road” ahead of it dealing with Egypt.
“When the Morsi regime was overthrown, I don't think we were nearly hard enough on the military regime to make it clear that there's certain types of activities and crackdowns we simply can't tolerate,” he said.
“I have some sympathy for the White House because Congress has tied the president's hands by requiring him to cut off aid if he determines something is a coup. Of course it's a coup.
And when we don't call things honestly, it undermines our reputation . . . This situation now makes us look extremely weak.”
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