Death Toll in Egypt After Third Slaughter of Protestors: 638

Thousands are injured across Egypt, and at least 638 are dead, after a vicious crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins by the Egyptian Army—the third such mass killing since President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power by the military, and the worst by far.

The official toll reported Thursday morning by the Egyptian Health Ministry includes 202 killed at the country's largest protest, in Nasr City near Cairo; 87 killed in Nahda Square, Cario; 29 in another Cairo suburb, Helwan; and a further 207 elsewhere in Egypt. Those numbers were increased to a total of 638 by Friday; injuries number at in the thousands.

Not all the dead are Muslim Brotherhood protestors or Morsi supporters: At least 40 policeman were killed by angry demonstrators, according to the state, and seven churches were attacked or burned. (More, according to Coptic Christians.)

The Muslim Brotherhood says it will continue protests today. Egyptian state TV reports that "hundreds" of its supporters have "stormed a government building in Cairo."

Meanwhile, here's how The New York Times is rendering the situation:

The crackdown followed six weeks of attempts by Western diplomats to broker a political resolution that might persuade the Islamists to abandon their protests and rejoin a renewed democratic process despite the military’s removal of Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president. But the brutality of the attack seemed to extinguish any such hopes.

Whoo. This paragraph goes in about six directions, and every other word needs scare quotes: The West (?!) was trying to persuade the Islamists (!?) to rejoin (?!?!?!?!?!?!) a renewed (?!?) democratic process (?!?!!) despite the military's removal (!!!) of Egypt's first freely elected president (!!!!!!!), but now its hopes of persuading the Islamists (!!?!?!??!?!) have been extinguished because of the brutality of the military's attack (?!?!).

But, look it's hard to blame the Times for this bit of pretzel-twisting. The article itself is impeccably reported. Here, it's trying to epitomize the logic of the situation. And the logic is insane. The word "rejoin" alone: It seems to me that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only group still joined to the democratic process, unless we're talking about this "renewed" "'democratic' 'process,'" which, well, is like trying to convince Charlie Brown to rejoin Lucy's football game.