World View: In Stunning Intervention, Egypt's Army Sides with Protesters Against Morsi

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • In stunning intervention, Egypt's army sides with protesters against president Morsi
  • Army says it will not stand idle while Egypt 'is in severe danger'
  • How the world recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan

In stunning intervention, Egypt's army sides with protesters against president Morsi

Opposing protests: Morsi opponents in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and supporters in Cairo's Nasr City (Al-Jazeera)
Opposing protests: Morsi opponents in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and supporters in Cairo's Nasr City (Al-Jazeera)

Sunday's pro- and anti-government protests were the largest in the history of Egypt. Still, there was no way to be certain that they would lead to worsening political chaos, or whether they would just peter out, especially with Ramadan approaching on July 8. But on Monday, the army made a stunning move that practically guarantees political chaos -- by issuing a statement that threatened president Mohamed Morsi and sided with his political opposition, the Tamarod movement. ("Tamarod" is the Arabic word for rebellion.)

The anti-government crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square were considerably smaller on Monday than they were on Sunday, but within an hour of the army making its statement the crowd in Tahrir Square doubled in size, demanding that Morsi step down. The crowd was further cheered later when army helicopters, trailing large Egyptian flags, flew of Tahrir Square in open support for the Tamarod.

At the same time, the pro-Morsi crowds at Cairo's Nasr City were absolutely furious, chanting "Down with military rule," "Egypt's legitimacy is with the president" and "We love you Morsi." Pro-Morsi protests erupted in violence in scattered incidents across Egypt. One ultra-conservative group, a staunch supporter of the president, urged Morsi supporters nationwide to hit the streets to peacefully express the need to "respect the constitution and the public will." Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Al-Jazeera

Army says it will not stand idle while Egypt 'is in severe danger'

The statement issued by the army on Monday demands political resolution within 48 hours if politicians wish to prevent intervention by the army. I find this to be a truly remarkable statement, well worth reading in its entirety:

  • "Egypt and the whole world witnessed yesterday demonstrations by the great people of Egypt expressing their opinion in an unprecedented, peaceful and civilized way. Everyone saw the movement of the Egyptian people and heard their voices with the greatest respect and concern. It is necessary that the people receive a reply to their movement and the call from every party with any responsibility in the dangerous circumstances surrounding the nation. As a main party in the considerations of the future and based on their patriotic and historic responsibilities to protect security and stability, the armed forces state the following:
  • The armed forces will not be a party in the circles of politics or governance and are not willing to step out of the role defined for them by the basic ideals of democracy based on the will of the people.
  • The national security of the state is exposed to extreme danger by the developments the nation is witnessing, and this places a responsibility on us, each according to his position, to act as is proper to avert these dangers. The armed forces sensed early on the dangers of the current situation and the demands the great people have at this time. Therefore, it previously set a deadline of a week for all political forces in the country to come to a consensus and get out of this crisis. However, the week has passed without any sign of an initiative. This is what led to the people coming out with determination and resolve, in their full freedom, in this glorious way, which inspired surprise, respect and attention at the domestic, regional and international levels.
  • Wasting more time will only bring more division and conflict, which we have warned about and continue to warn about. The noble people have suffered and have found no one to treat them with kindness or sympathize with them. That puts a moral and psychological burden on the armed forces, which find it obligatory that everyone drop everything and embrace these proud people, which have shown they are ready to do the impossible if only they feels there is loyalty and dedication to them.
  • The armed forces repeat their call for the people's demands to be met and give everyone 48 hours as a last chance to shoulder the burden of the historic moment that is happening in the nation, which will not forgive or tolerate any party that is lax in shouldering its responsibility.
  • The armed forces put everyone on notice that if the demands of the people are not realized in the given time period, it will be obliged by its patriotic and historic responsibilities and by its respect for the demands of the great Egyptian people to announce a road map for the future and the steps for overseeing its implementation, with participation of all patriotic and sincere parties and movements - including the youth, who set off the glorious revolution and continue to do so - without excluding anyone.
  • A salute of appreciation and pride to the sincere and loyal men of the Armed Forces, who have always borne and will continue to bear their patriotic responsibilities toward the great people of Egypt with determination, decisiveness and pride. God save Egypt and its proud, great people."

Following this statement, an army spokesman asserted that army doctrine does not allow for "military coups":

"Egyptian Armed Forces' doctrines do not include military coups as a policy. The armed forces already deployed on Egypt's streets in 1977, 1987 and 2011 and this did not lead to a coup, but rather [led the army] to stand with the will of the great Egyptian people and their desire for reform and change.

The armed forces statement was issued to push all political players to find a solution to the current political crisis and reach national reconciliation in line with the demands of the Egyptian people."

It's believed that the army is getting revenge for president Morsi's actions following his election as president last year. After Hosni Mubarak was deposed, the army was governing the country. During his campaign, Morsi promised that his government would be for all the people, not just for his own Muslim Brotherhood.

As soon as he was elected, Morsi immediately nullified decrees that had been issued by the army, and issued new decrees giving himself dictatorial powers that could not be contravened by either the army or the courts. He took steps to give all government powers to his Muslim Brotherhood cronies, and even used this power to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to rewrite Egypt's constitution. The result is that Morsi has been governing for his own minority of supporters, and not for all the people. These power plays are now coming home to roost for Morsi. Al-Jazeera and Al-Ahram (Cairo)

How the world recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan

In 1997, in the aftermath of the bloody genocidal civil war that had wracked Afghanistan since 1990, the Taliban increased in political power. The Taliban were ethnic Pashtun Sunni Muslims who many people thought could bring the war-torn country back together. The Taliban in Afghanistan were negotiating with the government of Pakistan to gain recognition, and on May 25, 1997, Pakistan announced its official recognition. Prior to the formal announcement, the envoys of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the US, China, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan were taken into confidence, and their reactions were surprisingly positive.

The Taliban had promised that their government would be for all the people, not just for their own Pashtun people. The assessment of Pakistan and other governments was that as the new multiethnic entity demonstrated its staying power, the Taliban would become more moderate, but within days it became clear that this assumption was ridiculously naive. Their short-lived success made the Taliban insufferably arrogant and Pakistan was told to immediately introduce their distorted interpretation of Islamic tenets in the country.

Four years later, the Taliban helped Osama bin Laden launch the 9/11/2001 attacks on the United States. The News (Pakistan)


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