Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Reject's Military's Ultimatum


Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi has rejected an ultimatum by the Egyptian army to come to terms with the protesters within 48 hours, starting Monday.

Morsi's office put out a statement saying a "modern democratic state" was what the anti-Mubarak uprising was about, adding, "With all its force, Egypt will not allow itself to be taken backward."

The statement also said that the military's ultimatum "could cause disturbances in the complicated national scene."

Let's translate this.

First of all, Morsi is just a figurehead for the Muslim Brotherhood.They're the one's calling the shots, and they were the ones who refused to give up power.

According to the White House, Morsi and President Obama talked on the phone yesterday. While the White House report had our president counseling Morsi that democracy meant more than just elections and that the voice of the people needed to be heard, you can safely assume that President Obama said nothing remotely like that.

The conversation was more along the lines of Morsi asking President Obama, "Do you have my back? Can I count on your support against the Army?"

And President Obama asking Morsi whether he felt able to hold on. As you'll recall, this wouldn't be the first time President Obama has directly intervened with the army to keep Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in power.

That's the cynical nature of the calculation going on here.  While President Obama would like nothing better than muscling to army to stand down again by threatening to cut off their aid, if Morsi and the Brotherhood truly can no longer govern it's an open question whether he feels it's worth it to risk having Egypt spiral into anarchy...or into the rule of a  military junta with memories of how he attempted to sandbag them.

Stay tuned.

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