Egypt Unmoored


egyptians-call-for-the-ouster-of-islamist-president-mohamed-morsi-during-protests-on-june-30On July 3, 2013 – the eve of our own Independence Day celebration – millions of Egyptians who had protested in the streets against the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime of President Mohammed Morsi last weekend got their wish. The Egyptian military followed through on its threat and removed Morsi from power, as the protesters demanded. The military had given Morsi 48 hours to enter into meaningful reconciliation talks with the opposition. Morsi ignored the ultimatum and gave a defiant speech instead.

The armed forces also suspended the unpopular constitution that Morsi and his Islamist allies had rammed through, which the opposition considered a dangerous blueprint for the institution of strict Islamic law on the Egyptian people and for the trampling of minority rights. Pending new presidential elections, which could take several months to set up, the military named the chief justice of Egypt’s constitutional court as interim president and announced the formation of a technocratic government.

At a press conference following the official announcement of Morsi’s removal, General Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi outlined a roadmap that he claimed would “put an end to the state of division” besetting the country. Emphasizing the military’s stated objective of inclusive civilian rule rather than a return to a military dictatorship, General Al-Sisi surrounded himself with top Muslim and Christian clerics as well as the Nobel Prize Laureate, diplomat and secularist leader Mohamed El-Baradei.

Cairo’s Tahrir Square, filled with anti-Morsi protesters, erupted in celebration at the news of Morsi’s ouster with loud cheers and continuous fireworks.

In another part of Cairo, however, Islamist backers of Morsi cried foul at the forcible removal of Egypt’s first democratically elected president and vowed to fight for Morsi’s restoration to power. Clashes have already been reported between Morsi supporters and the military.

As for Morsi himself, he has reportedly been under house arrest and cut off from outside communications. However, he managed to issue a statement to his supporters decrying what he called a “complete military coup.” While declaring that the “revolution is being stolen from us,” he finally offered to sit down and “negotiate with everybody.” But it was too little too late.

The military was taking no chances and moved preemptively to detain many of Morsi’s senior aides and some leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the chief of its political party.

Civil war cannot be ruled out as a possible outcome, although there is a split within the Islamist ranks. The ultraconservative Islamist Nour Party leadership decided to stand with the military and endorse its action. They apparently sensed an opportunity to position the Salafist party as a credible Muslim alternative to its rival, the Muslim Brotherhood, by winning favor with the military and the opposition at the same time.

Dire predictions that Egypt could go down the same path as Syria are premature. First of all, unlike the situation in Syria where Sunni-Shiite hatreds are fueling the deadly sectarian conflict, such sectarian divisions are not expected to play a major role in Egypt. Secondly, while the entry of foreign jihadist fighters into Egypt cannot be ruled out, Saudi Arabia – which has helped bankroll the arming of the jihadist opposition to the Syrian regime – has already congratulated Egypt’s new transitional head of state. Third, defections from the Egyptian military are less likely than those experienced by the Syrian military, at least so long as the Egyptian army does not turn its guns on wide portions of the Egyptian civilian population.

The military claims that it does not want to rule the country and only intervened as a last resort to carry out the expressed will of the people. More likely, the truth is that the military intervened when it realized that the protests against the Muslim Brotherhood-led government would continue to escalate and threaten the semblance of national stability that the military depends on to preserve its own privileged status in Egyptian society.

“Egypt’s military leaders are not ideologically committed to one thing or the other,” said Steven A. Cook, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted by the New York Times. “They are willing to make a deal with virtually anyone, and this one didn’t work out, clearly,” he added, referring to the failure of the Morsi regime to maintain relative domestic peace and to improve the disastrous economy.

Another expert, Michael Wahid Hanna of the Century Foundation, agreed with this assessment of the military’s agenda, according to the New York Times. He said that the military does not want the responsibility of being the “front-line actors” on the political stage. They have seen how quickly the people will turn on whomever is very visibly running the government if economic and political conditions are not to their liking. The military, Hanna said, “just want things to settle down.”

President Barack Obama once again demonstrated his fecklessness in dealing with the volatile Middle East. Appearing to hold out the possibility of a lifeline of sorts to the Morsi regime, Obama said he was “deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian Constitution.”

Obama also said he was ordering an assessment of what the military’s action meant for U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. However, he avoided for the moment referring to the military’s action as a “coup” since that explicit label could trigger a statutorily required suspension of American military aid to Egypt.

Obama’s hypocrisy came to the fore when he urged the Egyptian army to refrain from “arbitrary arrests” of Morsi and his supporters. Obama is worried about the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, but showed little concern while Morsi’s government was arbitrarily arresting its opponents and persecuting the Christian minority.

The Obama administration is apparently so upset with the nullification of the democratic election of Morsi as president that it fails to grasp the underlying mass popular forces that led to the nullification. The Arab Spring “revolution” in the streets of Cairo that Obama praised so highly in 2011 reached a more intense phase in the summer of 2013 because the Morsi regime subverted the revolution’s purpose, as articulated by many of its youthful leaders who started the ball rolling – the end of autocracy of all stripes.

Morsi’s rush to impose the Muslim Brotherhood’s rigid concept of Islamic law on the Egyptian people and his government’s trampling on the rights of minorities prevented the rise of viable competing opposition organizations that would be free to make their case to the people in advance of the next round of elections. By removing all checks and balances to his own powers and squelching popular voices of dissent, Morsi was effectively rigging the political system to ensure the dominance of Muslim Brotherhood political power for the long term. That is a subversion of a truly functioning democratic process.

Barack Obama made a tragic mistake in 2009 when he sided with the Iranian mullahs and ignored the pleas for help by waves of Green Revolution dissidents protesting the fraudulent “re-election” of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president. Now, four years later, Obama is over-solicitous to the Islamists who forfeited their legitimacy by betraying the revolution that helped propel them to power in the first place.

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  • Alvaro

    Morsi was as democratically elected and authoritarian as Hitler. The people who say that ousting Morsi in favor of seculars and real democrats is bad for democracy – they must be smoking good stuff.

  • OldmanRick

    Interesting to note that leaders the brat supported or supports have fallen by the wayside. It could be suggested that the brat and his puppet master don’t have a clue.

  • tanstaafl

    Obamahdi is just a servant of the ummah.

  • Sara B

    Egypt unmoored…reminds me of Secretary of State John F. Kerry yachting while the Middle East implodes.

  • Gee

    The Egyptian military acted to preserve Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood was forcing through an attempt to restart a war with Israel. The Egyptian military knows that is a death sentence and that they would be the ones to pay the price

  • ObamaYoMoma

    although there is a split within the Islamist ranks

    There is no such thing as Islamists much less a split in their ranks, as there is no such thing as a so-called moderate Muslim, much less a so-called radical Muslim, except for those that have been blinded by both Republican Party and Democratic Party political correct BS and what in reality is propaganda, since Islam is not a genuine religion to begin with. At least not in the same way we in the West view religion. Because the first and foremost requirement of Islam unlike any true religion requires total, complete, and unconditional submission to the will of Allah by all adherents under the penalty of death for blasphemy and apostasy, Islam by definition is a cult, and, by the way, what it is the will of Allah that all Muslims must submit to totally, completely, and unconditionally as the first and foremost requirement of Islam? In essence, it is Sharia, and Sharia is Islamic totalitarian law. Thus, while Islam masquerades as being a religion to dupe its intended infidel victims, in reality it is a totalitarian cult.

    Furthermore, a person of Islamic persuasion is either a Muslim, per his or her total, complete, and unconditional submission to the will of Allah under the penalty of death for blasphemy and apostasy, or otherwise they are blasphemous apostates in which case according to the texts and tenets of Islam must be executed. Hence, any and all so-called moderate Muslims in reality would be blasphemous apostates that must all be executed! Therefore, the existence of such nonsense is utterly absurd. Yet, it is nonetheless the prevailing mainstream wisdom today, which is absolutely altogether ludicrous.

    Of course, Muslims love to cite the earlier issued peaceful verses of the Koran to dupe gullible useful idiots infidels, but in reality all those earlier issued peaceful verses of the Koran were abrogated and replaced by the latter issued sword verses of the Koran that command all Muslims to wage jihad against all religions and all infidels and that were issued after the Hijra, which was Muhammad’s forced migration to Medina, whereby Muhammad and his early followers were cast out of Mecca by the Meccans and forced to migrate to Medina. In Mecca, Muhammad became obsessed with revenge and turned to politics and waging jihad and in the process soon reformed Islam into what it is today, which is a very aggressive and destructive totalitarian cult that aims to subjugate all religions and all infidels into Islamic totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law.

    Indeed, can anyone point to just one Islamic state in the world that is not a totalitarian hellhole? Even Iraq and Afghanistan are Islamic totalitarian hellholes today thanks to Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law, being enshrined in both their respective constitutions with US acquiescence. Can anyone point to just one non-Muslim majority country in the world that borders a Muslim country that isn’t under assault by jihad exactly like Israel? Even though mass Muslim immigration has been occurring throughout Western Europe since shortly after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, can anyone cite one single example of a group of Muslim immigrants actually assimilating, integrating, and matriculating into productive and contributing citizens of their new host infidel states, instead of forming Muslim enclaves that eventually morph into Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia and that operate like tiny Islamic statelets within their host infidel states? Can anyone name or cite just one legitimate so-called moderate Muslim anywhere? Indeed, can anyone connect the dots? How much longer will we have to endure these writers like this one trying to force-feed their obvious fairy tales down our respective throats? Please give us a break from this constant storm of brain damage. Do they really believe that everyone is as dumb as they are?

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Barack Obama made a tragic mistake in 2009 when he sided with the Iranian mullahs and ignored the pleas for help by waves of Green Revolution dissidents protesting the fraudulent “re-election” of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president. Now, four years later, Obama is over-solicitous to the Islamists who forfeited their legitimacy by betraying the revolution that helped propel them to power in the first place.

    Of course, there is no denying that Obama is a complete and utter buffoon when it comes to dealing with Islam, but so are the Republicans. In fact, it was GWB, Karl Rove, and their Republican Party that gave America the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history that Republicans and Fox News to this day still market as some sort miraculous success despite all reality. Are the people in Iraq somehow free today? Only if you smoke crack or are a Republican could you believe such pure utter nonsense!

    Nevertheless, the so-called Green Revolution was an Islamic motivated revolution, as Green was Muhammad’s favorite color and members of the Green Movement in Iran at the time would shout Allah Akbar from the rooftops at night in solidarity. Hence, the standard Republican Party propaganda today is that Obama somehow made a tragic mistake in 2009. Yeah right, as if the Republican Party has a stellar record when it comes to dealing with Islam and Jihad, that it also misconstrues as being terrorism. Give me a fricking break. Anyone that believes that democracy is a possibility in the Islamic world shouldn’t be writing articles on FPM, they should be in a straight jacket in a mental ward somewhere!

    Anyway, the best thing the US and, indeed, the West at large could do ASAP is first and foremost realize that Islam and all Muslims are the enemy, and as such outlaw Islam and ban and reverse mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP. Followed by the total and complete abandonment and isolation of the Islamic world forever. Otherwise, the US, the West, and Republicans and Democrats alike will all be subsumed by Islam and rendered into Islamic totalitarianism. It’s like the Republican Party is racing with the Democratic Party to see which party out of the two of them can be the most stupid and incompetent, and it is a very close race.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Saudi Arabia – which has helped bankroll the arming of the jihadist opposition to the Syrian regime – has already congratulated Egypt’s new transitional head of state.

    There is nothing unusual here. The Saudis bankroll the Jihadists opposition in Syria so that the Sunnis will regain control of Syria, but at the same time the Saudis also oppose all Jihadists movements in the world that they view as being too obviously aggressive, such as Morsi in Egypt and also AQ at large, as the Saudis believe in slow but steady jihad via demographic conquest through mass Muslim immigration to the West along with deception and bribes.

  • Arf

    I just watched a video on youtube where a morsi supporter vowed thousands of suicide bombers would blow up Egypt and one of those oppressed muslim women vowed to set Christians on fire! I think it’s premature to rule out civil war.

  • pfbonney

    “By removing all checks and balances to his own powers and squelching popular voices of dissent, Morsi was effectively rigging the political system to ensure the dominance of Muslim Brotherhood political power for the long term.”

    Kind of like in Sub-Saharan Africa, where, after the fall of European colonialism, their experience in democracy consisted in countries getting to vote for their semi-permanent dictator, once.

    Then their elected leader would take steps to ensure he would always stay in power (or at least, would try, until the first great uprising).