Moises Saman for The New York Times
Protesters gather in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2012, marking the first anniversary of the 2011 revolution.
By STEVEN A. COOK Published: February 10, 2012
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
CAIRO is tense and polarized. Egypt’s military is groping for solutions to the many political and economic problems that have beset the country since the fall of the old government. Various political parties and groups are united in their opposition to military rule despite being divided among themselves. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, is trying to remain above the fray and out of the line of fire by making deals with the army. And despite the promise of parliamentary elections and the prospect of a new constitution, the situation remains highly unstable.
One could be forgiven for thinking this is a description of early 2012, but it is actually an account of early 1954, when Gamal Abdel Nasser and his military colleagues, known as the Free Officers, first consolidated their power in Egypt. Read the rest of this entry »