ABERNETHY: You’ve been to Egypt many times. As you look at it from here, what do you see? How do you characterize the mess it’s in?
[KATE] SEELYE: Well Egypt is facing a very challenging situation as it transitions from an authoritarian regime to a democracy in the future. It’s still very much along a transitional path.
ABERNETHY: But, how do you describe what’s going on?
SEELYE: Well, you know, there are two different views of what just happened. There are those who say that a coup just took place, that a legitimately elected government was just overthrown. You now have the military in office that is rounding up the very Islamists that were ruling Egypt just, you know, a few weeks ago, putting them in prison and closing down the media. You have liberals on the other hand, who supported the recent popular uprising, who say this is the very best thing that could have ever happened to Egypt. They say Morsi, the president, was incompetent, that he was authoritarian, as authoritarian as Mubarak. And they note that the economy was collapsing. There were two months left of wheat supplies. Now, in response to what’s just happened, Gulf countries have committed twelve billion dollars to Egypt. The new prime minister is a renowned economist and the liberals say there’s hope that Egypt will become prosperous and stable once again.