Morsi may have agreed to postpone the referendum, but this compromise, like his previous offers of compromise is likely to be meaningless.
Obama called his BFF Morsi to urge all sides to refrain from violence. This was a mealy mouthed non-condemnation of Morsi’s violence that met with contempt from Egyptian protesters with signs such as these.
The irony is that the left claimed that America was hated because we supported dictators. Obama vowed to reverse that by ending the support for dictators. Now he’s back to supporting an Islamist dictator in a country where America’s approval ratings are down to the teens. This isn’t much of a moment of triumph for soft power or Islamist appeasement.
Meanwhile the protesters have once again broken through into the presidential palace, climbing over army tanks and even scrawling graffiti on them. One such tank was decorated with a simple message. “Down with Morsi”
Morsi’s position with the military is precarious. The military is not fond of the Brotherhood, but it is even less fond of the protesters. Mubarak did at least have military backing, Morsi is forced to rely on Muslim Brotherhood thugs, which is backfiring and will make it difficult for him to hold on to Western support. And some photos appear to show the Republican Guard sympathizing with protesters.
Morsi has the police and they appear to have cooperated in the torture of detained protesters, but the police were not enough to keep Mubarak in power.
But the Brotherhood is ramping up for murderous violence, using exactly the same rhetoric as their Hamas cousins in Gaza.
“Egypt is Islamic, it will not be secular, it will not be liberal,” the crowd chanted in a funeral procession filling streets around the mosque. During the funeral, thousands chanted, “With blood and soul, we redeem Islam,” pumping their fists in the air. Mourners yelled that opposition leaders were “murderers.”
“We march on this path in sacrifice for the nation and our martyrs,” a leading Brotherhood figure, Mohammed el-Beltagi, told the crowd. “We will keep going even if we all become martyrs. We will avenge them or die like them.
“Bread! Freedom! Islamic Law!” the crowd chanted, twisting the revolutionary slogan of “Bread! Freedom! Social Justice!” used by leftists and secular activists in the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.
The protesters are talking in terms of revolution, taking away the Jan 25 rhetoric that the Muslim Brotherhood used to own the revolution. That leaves them with little on the table except to openly call for martyrdom for Islamic law.