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Egyptian Army Removes President Morsi From Office

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    The situation in Egypt is highly volatile right now, and it would appear that the military is largely at fault in the killings of Morsi supporters. What those killings have done is further strengthen the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood, who despite their protests, have shown restraint when it comes to violence. That may change now. Reuters reports that the interim government is seeking quick elections to quiet the unrest.

    Reuters, July 9, 2013: Egypt seeks end to crisis with quick elections

    "(Reuters) - Egypt's interim rulers issued a faster than expected timetable for elections to try to drag the country out of crisis, a day after 51 people were killed when troops fired on a crowd supporting ousted President Mohamed Mursi. Under pressure to restore democracy quickly, Adli Mansour, the judge named head of state by the army when it brought down Mursi last week, decreed overnight that a parliamentary vote would be held in about six months. That would be followed by a presidential election.

    "In an important positive signal for the transitional authorities, the ultra-orthodox Islamist Nour Party said it would accept ex-finance minister Samir Radwan as prime minister, potentially paving the way for an interim cabinet."


    The article also notes what appears to be an olive branch to Islamists. The interim decree of governing Egypt, enacted after the suspension of the constitution, retains controversial language from the previous constitution that defined the principles of Islamic sharia law. Whether or not sharia law provisions will become a part of the new constitution will be debated and voted upon by the populace. However, some are skeptical that anything will change:

    "Nathan Brown, a leading expert on Egypt's constitution at George Washington University in Washington, said that while the overnight decree laid out a clear sequence for transition, it repeated some mistakes made two years ago, after Mubarak.

    ""It was drawn up by an anonymous committee; it was issued by executive fiat; the timetable is rushed; the provisions for consultation are vague; and it promises inclusiveness but gives no clear procedural guidelines for it," he told Reuters."


    My own view is that the Muslim Brotherhood, if they play their hand right, could end up being winners again. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both wanting to see the Muslim Brotherhood's power reined in have promised billions in financial support for factions opposing the Brotherhood.

    The youthful urban secularists that initiated the protests against Morsi were successful in that regard, but in organizing candidates for parliamentary and presidential elections they are largely inept and especially without political clout in the rural areas. If the elections are held in six months I don't see anything changing. The secularist parties will get at most 25 percent of the parliamentary seats mostly from urban districts, while the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi political parties will again get between 70 and 75 percent of the seats, largely from rural areas. Unless they do some gerrymandering of voting districts as a part of the constitutional reform process, the Islamists will easily retain power in parliament.

    The presidential race could be much closer depending on how the Salafist aligned parties lend their support...for or against the Muslim Brotherhood. The UAE and Saudi financial backing of political parties opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood could be the game changer.

    The losers, no matter what happens, will be the United States.
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    BBC News, July 9, 2013: Egypt unrest: Liberal opposition rejects transition plan

    It looks like the constitutional decree is being rejected by all sides.

    "The National Salvation Front announces its rejection of the constitutional decree," the liberal opposition said in a statement. The NSF said it was not consulted on the document vital to Egypt's political transition, demanding changes to the proposal. The coalition - which was led by Mohamed ElBaradei until his appointment as Egypt's deputy president - did not elaborate further.

    The Muslim Brotherhood - which is pressing for the immediate reinstatement of Mr Morsi - earlier also rejected the decree.

    Essam al-Erian, deputy chairman of the FJP, said the document was "a constitutional decree by a man appointed by putschists".

    Even the Tamarod movement - which led the anti-Morsi protests - said it had not been consulted on the election plan, asking to see the interim leader to discuss the situation.


    Well, the quick transition to a new government looks like it is going to have several bumps along the way. This should come as no surprise, as Nathan Brown (previous post) said regarding the decree,

    "It was drawn up by an anonymous committee; it was issued by executive fiat; the timetable is rushed; the provisions for consultation are vague; and it promises inclusiveness but gives no clear procedural guidelines for it."

    These interim appointed guys in the transition government don't seem to have any political savvy.
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    Latest news from Egypt...if anyone cares.

    US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is in Cairo for a two day visit holding talks with Egypt's caretaker leaders...including religious and civilian leaders, the heads of political parties and business figures.

    The US has called for the release of Mr Morsi, who remains in custody.

    Egypt's public prosecutor has frozen the assets of 14 Islamist leaders including those of the Muslim Brotherhood head Mohammed Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater.

    The Muslim Brotherhood has refused to join the new government headed by Mr Beblawi. Likewise, Egypt's ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour party has also said it will not join the interim government. Spokesman Nader Bakkar states: "We would participate only in an elected government."

    Meanwhile, Arab nations have pledged $12 billion to Egypt's new government.

    The United States is still reviewing our $1.5 billion annual assistance to the government of Egypt.

    Does the United States really have that much leverage to influence or alter events in Egypt? Our $1.5 billion in aid is small in comparison to that pledged by Arab countries.
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    Thanks for the update Schmidt. It's amazing how fast our media forgets about revolutions going on throughout the world.
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    Another perspective...

    Bob Dreyfuss, The Nation, July 11, 2013: Egypt's Fake Mass Rebellion

    Ben Hubbard and David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, July 10, 2013: Sudden Improvements in Egypt Suggest a Campaign to Undermine Morsi

    Life on the streets in Cairo and across Egypt has suddenly gotten better. Gas lines have disappeared, power outages have stopped, and the police have returned to the streets to restore order.

    As per the NYT:

    "...the Muslim Brotherhood and Mr. Morsi’s supporters say the sudden turnaround proves that their opponents conspired to make Mr. Morsi fail. Not only did police officers seem to disappear, but the state agencies responsible for providing electricity and ensuring gas supplies failed so fundamentally that gas lines and rolling blackouts fed widespread anger and frustration."

    "Working behind the scenes, members of the old establishment, some of them close to Mr. Mubarak and the country’s top generals, also helped finance, advise and organize those determined to topple the Islamist leadership, including Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire and an outspoken foe of the Brotherhood; Tahani El-Gebali, a former judge on the Supreme Constitutional Court who is close to the ruling generals; and Shawki al-Sayed, a legal adviser to Ahmed Shafik, Mr. Mubarak’s last prime minister, who lost the presidential race to Mr. Morsi."


    I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, the Muslim Brotherhood overreached and rammed through their agenda going against the popular will of many Egyptians. However, the power base including the military found ways to make life miserable for Morsi, and it does appear that his presidency was undermined by power brokers deliberately fueling discontent in the masses.

    One of those, Naguib Sawiris, a billionaire, did not hide his support for the overthrow of Morsi. “I am not ashamed of it.”

    Do I dare draw parallels with how some corporate and media oligarchs have tried to undermine Obama's presidency?
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    With the knowledge of CIA boss being a "convert" to islam now getting out, it is painfully clear that the radical left in the US is now aligned with radical islam. They will be the footsoldiers of the new world order under the CFR/trilat slaves and traitors populating our govt. This will be brought to an end either the easy way or the hard way. The old democratic party of JFK died with him and has been replaced by the "new" democrats started by the clintons. Democrats still think they are voting for the old party. The repub rino's are equally guilty as are all of you. We have become a nation where the govt now gins up racial hatred and takes advantage of the massive ignorance of a very small majority of "voters". Shame on everyone here. I doubt if the "tolerant" left will alow this post to proceed. Soviet style censorship will be the rule of the day.
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    patriotrenegade Wrote: With the knowledge of CIA boss being a "convert" to islam now getting out, it is painfully clear that the radical left in the US is now aligned with radical islam. They will be the footsoldiers of the new world order under the CFR/trilat slaves and traitors populating our govt. This will be brought to an end either the easy way or the hard way. The old democratic party of JFK died with him and has been replaced by the "new" democrats started by the clintons. Democrats still think they are voting for the old party. The repub rino's are equally guilty as are all of you. We have become a nation where the govt now gins up racial hatred and takes advantage of the massive ignorance of a very small majority of "voters". Shame on everyone here. I doubt if the "tolerant" left will alow this post to proceed. Soviet style censorship will be the rule of the day.
    Your post is riddled with more inaccuracies and innuendo than I've seen in awhile and I feel that whatever facts I put down here will be entirely discarded. That is your right, but it is unfortunate that conspiracy theories and xenophobia have won you over.
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    You obviously have the saul alinsky handbook on your coffee table. "when faced with incontrovertable facts-DENIGRATE" That's all you got.