The al Sisi regime has failed to pave the way for an inclusive process of political accord that brings the country out of its difficulties; and the Brotherhood has not carried out the required review after the collapse of its experiment in ruling the country.
by Urayb ar-Rintawi – ad Dustour
(translation by Mideast Mirror Ltd)
The applause and shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’ from prisoners belonging to the [jihadist] ‘Peninsula Lions’ organization in a Kuwaiti prisons were sufficient to reveal the end of the thread that led to the dismantlement of the terrorist cell responsible for bombing the [Shiite] Imam as-Sadiq Mosque in the Kuwaiti capital.
The manifestations of gloating, satisfaction, and delight that distinguished the reactions of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt in response to the ‘qualitative’ terrorist attack that killed public prosecutor Hisham Barakat were sufficient to create a general impression that the Brotherhood was connected to this crime in one way or another. They fortified the suspicion in many minds that the Brotherhood is implicated in the violence and terrorism that is striking at Egypt, from its desert to its Nile Valley.
In his speech at the funeral of the assassinated public prosecutor, President Sissi pointed the finger directly at ‘those [Muslim Brotherhood leaders] who issued the orders to kill from their prisons.’ He threatened and promised to give the security forces a free hand in seeking revenge and achieving deterrence.
Egypt seems to have entered a phase of an open war, one in which torrents of blood will be spilt. Egypt after that crime is not what it was before, as many analysts and observers agree. Egypt is on the verge of a harsh decade that may resemble that decade that struck Algeria [after 1991]. Egypt is already preparing to cross the threshold of the ‘Algerian scenario'; it may have crossed it already in fact. For while eyes were turned to the ‘professional’ crime that took away the life of the Egyptian prosecutor, Sinai was the arena for a bloody battle that killed and wounded tens of soldiers, civilians, and terrorists – terrorists who, every time we think they have been weakened, surprise us by their ability to commit more crimes.
We still do not know how the Egyptian state agencies will implement President Sissi’s statements and his hints regarding ‘shackled hands,’ ‘fettered laws,’ and ‘the infliction of just and deterrent punishment,’ or his reference to ‘those who issued the orders from their prisons.‘ Will the authorities carry out the death sentences against the Brotherhood leaders? Former Muslim Brotherhood general guide Mohammad Habib was clearly extremely pessimistic in his assessment of the consequences of the terrorist attack on the public prosecutor for the Brotherhood. Will Cairo erect the gallows from which tens of death sentences will be carried out, from the president to the General Guide, to other senior Brotherhood officials? Will the regime declare a state of emergency and freeze the remaining phases of ‘the roadmap to the future,’ specifically the parliamentary elections that have been promised before the end of this year?
These questions dominate the minds of those who observe the development of the Egyptian domestic scene with concern. This is a scene characterized by the faltering political process, the diminishing chances for national reconciliation, the spread of terrorism and its proliferation across the entire country, the growing currents of extremism and fanaticism inside the Brotherhood which is now under the control of its most extreme main figures, and by the regime’s failure to restore security and stability and to place the country on track towards national accord, reform, and modernization two years after the [2013 anti-Mursi] June Revolution.
Egypt today, and until further notice, is paying the price of giving priority to the policies of exclusion and mutual violence pursued by the regime and the Brotherhood, and of the absence of channels of communication, dialogue, accord, and containment. The regime has also failed to pave the way for an inclusive process of political accord that brings the country out of its difficulties; and the Brotherhood has not carried out the required review after the collapse of its experiment in ruling the country. Instead, it has continued to live in a state of denial in dealing with all the developments that followed upon Mursi’s removal from the presidency. And it did not refrain from extending a hand of cooperation to self-proclaimed terrorist jihadi groups, until it began to apparently slide into the vortex of killing and violence itself.
The developments that Egypt is witnessing will be disastrous for all parties. The regime will not achieve calm and development without an all-inclusive political process that proceeds hand-in-hand with anti-terrorism measures. And the Brotherhood will suffer backbreaking blows in comparison to which the events of Rabi’a Square [police repression] and the  ‘coup against their legitimacy’ will seem like a short picnic. Most likely, having suffered a real hemorrahage via imprisonment, killing, forced displacement, resignations, and splits, the Brotherhood will witness more of the same, but at a greater pace and a further extent than expected. This is inevitable especially if the investigations reveal some direct or indirect link to connect the Brotherhood to Barakat’s assassination.
And the pressing and explosive domestic situation in Egypt will have a direct impact on the country’s regional role and foreign policies. We are likely to witness a shrinkage in this role and an erosion of these policies. Experience has taught us that states that are not stable at home cannot play any significant foreign role, even if they are of Egypt’s size and stature.
Just look at the erosion of what used to be an active Algerian diplomacy after its black decade and at the shrinkage in what used to be an active Kuwaiti diplomacy after the  Iraqi invasion. Some Arab arenas riddled with crises will lose an Egyptian role that could have saved them after the management of these crises has been monopolized by small and marginal states armed to the teeth with the desire for revenge and confessional agendas.
Egypt is at a critical crossroads, and so is the region.