Monday, August 19, 2013
Public relations depends on persuasion -- the ability to discuss ideas and over time turn an opponent into an ally. PR rarely resorts to violence to make a point because bodily harm persuades no one. It only cows them until the time is right to rise again. This is why the lack of restraint in Egypt is so disappointing and far removed from free speech and a democratic society. The military's slaughter of civilians and rebels murder of policemen is an ugly tit for tat that highlights how far removed each side is from the other. If Egypt is to survive as a secular state, all sides must resolve to sit with each other and to work through issues until an agreement is reached that does not require street demonstrations, tear gas and bullets. Given the size of the death toll, this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. The military detests the Muslim Brotherhood and vice versa. That the struggle is enmeshed in religious belief only makes the stakes higher. By all accounts, the Egyptian populace is struggling to get basic services -- enough food, medical care and education -- to live comfortably. Killing each other is not a way to achieve this.