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

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

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 thehistory of Egypt. Still, there was no way to be certain that theywould lead to worsening political chaos, or whether they would justpeter out, especially with Ramadan approaching on July 8. But onMonday, the army made a stunning move that practically guaranteespolitical chaos — by issuing a statement that threatened presidentMohamed Morsi and sided with his political opposition, the Tamarodmovement. (“Tamarod” is the Arabic word for rebellion.)

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

At the same time, the pro-Morsi crowds at Cairo’s Nasr City wereabsolutely furious, chanting “Down with military rule,” “Egypt’slegitimacy is with the president” and “We love you Morsi.” Pro-Morsiprotests erupted in violence in scattered incidents across Egypt. Oneultra-conservative group, a staunch supporter of the president, urgedMorsi supporters nationwide to hit the streets to peacefully expressthe 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 politicalresolution within 48 hours if politicians wish to prevent interventionby the army. I find this to be a truly remarkable statement, wellworth 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 doctrinedoes not allow for “military coups”:

“Egyptian Armed Forces’ doctrines do not includemilitary coups as a policy. The armed forces already deployed onEgypt’s streets in 1977, 1987 and 2011 and this did not lead to acoup, but rather [led the army] to stand with the will of thegreat Egyptian people and their desire for reform and change.

The armed forces statement was issued to push all politicalplayers to find a solution to the current political crisis andreach national reconciliation in line with the demands of theEgyptian people.”

It’s believed that the army is getting revenge for president Morsi’sactions following his election as president last year. After HosniMubarak was deposed, the army was governing the country. During hiscampaign, Morsi promised that his government would be for all thepeople, not just for his own Muslim Brotherhood.

As soon as he was elected, Morsi immediately nullified decrees thathad been issued by the army, and issued new decrees giving himselfdictatorial powers that could not be contravened by either the army orthe courts. He took steps to give all government powers to his MuslimBrotherhood cronies, and even used this power to allow the MuslimBrotherhood to rewrite Egypt’s constitution. The result is that Morsihas been governing for his own minority of supporters, and not for allthe people. These power plays are now coming home to roost forMorsi. 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 hadwracked Afghanistan since 1990, the Taliban increased in politicalpower. The Taliban were ethnic Pashtun Sunni Muslims who many peoplethought could bring the war-torn country back together. The Talibanin Afghanistan were negotiating with the government of Pakistan togain recognition, and on May 25, 1997, Pakistan announced its officialrecognition. Prior to the formal announcement, the envoys of Russia,Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the US, China, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstanwere taken into confidence, and their reactions were surprisinglypositive.

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

Four years later, the Taliban helped Osama bin Laden launch the9/11/2001 attacks on the United States. The News (Pakistan)

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