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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 4-Jul-2013
4-Jul-13 World View -- Egypt's army deposes Morsi in a non-coup coup

Web Log - July, 2013

4-Jul-13 World View -- Egypt's army deposes Morsi in a non-coup coup

President Obama's Egypt statement does not use the word 'coup'

This morning's key headlines from

Egypt's army deposes Morsi, appoints Court head Adly Mansour

Adly Mansour, head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court, now President
Adly Mansour, head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court, now President

The army had given Egypt's elected president Mohamed Morsi and its Muslim Brotherhood party 48 hours to negotiate with the Tamarod ("Rebellion"), the opposition represented by massive crowds in Tahrir Square in Cairo and in cities across Egypt. When the deadline expired on Wednesday afternoon, the army took action. It blocked all the streets with armored personnel carriers, it shut down all the pro-Muslim Brotherhood television stations, and it issued some 300 arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood members.

The military chief-of-staff Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi appeared on a televised press conference and announced a "roadmap" that includes the following:

The army was responsible for governing Egypt for about a year following the fall of Hosni Mubarak, and it seemed pretty clear that they have no desire to have to govern again. At the press conference, El-Sisi gave the podium to a series of non-army officials, including the Coptic Orthodox patriarch and nobel peace prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, who may yet become president of Egypt. The press conference also included a representative of the extremely religiously conservative Salafist al-Nour party, who have been just as shut out by Morsi as the liberals and secularists.

The army has appointed Judge Adly Mahmoud Mansour, 67, head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) to be the interim president until new presidential elections can be held.

The only major group that didn't take part in the army's press conference was the Muslim Brotherhood. They were invited, but declined to attend. About 30% of Egypt's population are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and they are currently furious. So far, there have only been sporadic acts of violence between the pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi groups, but it seems likely that much worse violence is to come. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Al-Ahram

President Obama's Egypt statement does not use the word 'coup'

Egypt's army is claiming that its coup is not really a coup. The reasoning is that a real coup is done in secret, killing the leader and the replacing him with the leader of the coup plotters. But what happened on Wednesday is not a coup. It was the army enforcing the will of the vast majority of the people, and then providing a roadmap to return to civilian rule within a few months.

The reason that the army is saying this kind of transparent nonsense is that Egypt receives $1.5 billion in U.S. aid per year, and the U.S. has a strict law that aid will be terminated to any country where the army stages a coup against a democratically elected leader.

Everyone understands that it would be a disaster for the entire region, including Israel, if U.S. aid to Egypt were suspended. For that reason, both Cairo and Washington are being very careful not to use the word "coup" when describing what happened on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama issued a very tough statement that did not use the word "coup":

"The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt."

As of this writing, nobody seems to know where Mohamed Morsi is, and he may have been arrested. Certainly some of his supporters have been arrested. So one part of Obama's statement has already been violated.

The last sentence is the most threatening. It says, in essence, that aid may be cut off if Egypt doesn't return to civilian rule quickly. CBS News and White House statement

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 4-Jul-13 World View -- Egypt's army deposes Morsi in a non-coup coup thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (4-Jul-2013) Permanent Link
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