Activists and pro-democracy groups accused the generals of widespread human rights violations during their rule, including the torture of detainees and the trial of at least 10,000 civilians before military tribunals.
The military later made good on its promise to hand over power to an elected government, although Morsi and his Brotherhood would clearly not have been the generals' choice if they had to make one.
With that history in mind, there are serious questions about whether a military intervention can even solve any of Egypt's problems in a time short enough to satisfy a population seething with anger over the chaos and hardships of the last two years.
The military would be risking more vilification if it does not move the country onto firmer ground quickly.
Nevertheless, there may be enough goodwill toward the military and popular discontent to give it another chance.