Army Ousts Egypt's President
[NY Times] Egypt's military on Wednesday ousted Mohamed Morsi, the nation's first freely elected president, suspending the Constitution, installing an interim government and insisting it was responding to the millions of Egyptians who had opposed the Islamist agenda of Mr. Morsi and his allies in the Moslem Brüderbund.
The nation's first freely elected president decided he was the replacement for the previous dictator.
The military intervention, which Mr. Morsi rejected,
"I reject your tanks! I reject your guns! I reject your... ummm... firing squad?"
marked a tumultuous new phase in the politics of modern Egypt, where Mr. Morsi's autocratic predecessor, Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
, was tossed in a 2011 revolution.
Morsi misjudged his moment in history. He thought it was time to install his party and exclude everybody else. Syria's Assad is misinterpreting this, naturally. It'll be interesting to see what Erdogan does, since he's in precisely the same position.
The intervention raised questions about whether that revolution would fulfill its promise to build a new democracy at the heart of the Arab world.
Egypt got the Islamist thing out of the way. I thought it would take them a generation to get sick of it. It turned out to be a year. The choices they make this time around will be at least minimally better than Morsi, though don't expect to see any Jeffersons or Madisons in Giza.
The defiance of Mr. Morsi and his Brotherhood allies raised the specter of the bloody years of the 1990s when fringe Islamist groups used violence in an effort to overthrow the military government.
Except that the Islamists have been running things. At this point they'll merely be running. However, the relatively moderate MB will now be replaced by frothing Salafists who don't care about any damned elections, determined as they are that rule by holy men is man's natural state.
I wonder if the army's next move is to round up the Salafists who conveniently identified themselves these last couple years, and shoot them...
In an announcement read on state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian defense minister, said the military had taken the extraordinary steps not to seize power for itself but to ensure that "confidence and stability are secured for the people."
Notice that the military in this case are acting remarkably like the Turkish military always has--and as the Syrian military would have, had it had the national interest at heart.
Under a "road map" for a post-Morsi government, the general said, the Constitution would be suspended, the head of the Constitutional Court would become acting president and plans would be expedited for new elections while an interim government is in charge.
The constitution was designed by the MB to keep the MB in power. The [army] hasn't actually wasted a couple years; they've learned something.
The general, who had issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Mr. Morsi on Monday to respond to what he called widespread anger over his administration's troubled one-year-old tenure, said the president's defiant response in a televised address on Tuesday had failed "to meet the demands of the masses of the people."
... most of whom were out in the streets demanding his head.
The general's announcement came after the armed forces had deployed tanks and troops in Cairo and other cities where pro-Morsi crowds were massing, restricted Mr. Morsi's movements and convened an emergency meeting of top civilian and religious leaders to devise the details of how the interim government and new elections would proceed.
Morsi knew the door was open for him and he didn't leave. He would have liked to be another Assad.
Ahram Online, the government's official English-language Web site, said the military had informed Mr. Morsi that he was no longer head of state. There was no word on Mr. Morsi's whereabouts.
In the cell next to Hosni?
But in a statement e-mailed by his office, Mr. Morsi rejected the military's intervention.
I reject all this lard hanging over my belt. It hasn't left yet.
"Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, emphasizes that the measures taken by the General Command of the armed forces represent a complete military coup which is categorically rejected by all the free of the country who have struggled so that Egypt turns into a civil democratic society," his statement said.
Most of the free of the country are in the streets with torches and pitchforks.
"His Excellency the president, as the President of the Republic and the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces stresses that all citizens, civilians and in the military, leaders and soldiers, must commit to the constitution and the law and to not respond to this coup that sets Egypt back and to maintain peacefulness in their performance and to avoid being involved in the blood of the people of the homeland. Everybody must shoulder their responsibilities before God and then before the people and history. "
He's blowing wind. It means no more than did his last-minute demand for "dialogue."
The military had signaled early in the day that it intended to depose Mr. Morsi. By 6:30 p.m. military forces began moving around Cairo. Tanks and troops headed for the presidential palace -- although it was unclear whether Mr. Morsi was inside -- while other soldiers ringed the nearby square where tens of thousands of the president's supporters were rallying.
Posted by: Fred 2013-07-04