This time, international expressions of concern and calls for restraint will not suffice. The Egyptian military’s brutal clearance this morning of Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo demands the same outrage that would follow if secular protesters were killed by an Islamist government.
Responding clearly -- and in the case of the U.S., freezing $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt -- isn’t solely a matter of principle. Reports of secularist civilians in Cairo attacking the Muslim Brotherhood protesters, and of possible Islamist retaliation against Christian churches in central Egypt, show that the military’s policies threaten civil war. An all-out sectarian war, with the military largely on one side and Islamists largely on the other, is in nobody’s interests.