Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 22, 2012

Morsy Issues Constitutional Decree - Declares Himself Pharaoh

The New York Times has a fawning story about the new relation between Obama and Egypt's president Morsi:
As he and Mr. Morsi talked, Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection. Three hours later, at 2:30 in the morning, they talked again.

The cease-fire brokered between Israel and Hamas on Wednesday was the official unveiling of this unlikely new geopolitical partnership, one with bracing potential if not a fair measure of risk for both men. After a rocky start to their relationship, Mr. Obama has decided to invest heavily in the leader whose election caused concern because of his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, seeing in him an intermediary who might help make progress in the Middle East beyond the current crisis in Gaza.

Having established his credentials with the colonial overlord Morsi immediately felt free to also establish his credentials as the new dictator of Egypt:
President Mohamed Morsi's Thursday decree announced that all decisions, laws and declarations passed by the president since taking office cannot be appealed or revoked by any authority, including the judiciary.
Mursi also gave himself the power to take any decision to "protect the revolution."

We will not hear a word of protest over this from the White House. Just imagine an Egypt where the government would have to implement what the Egyptian people want. The horrors. Much nicer than to have a new dictator, even a religious one, to implement Washington's policies.

The Egyptian revolution has failed. It will now devour its children.

Posted by b on November 22, 2012 at 16:39 UTC | Permalink


"The Egyptian revolution has failed. It will now devour its children."

There is a great risk of that but it hasn't happened yet. Morsi simply has not yet built the enforcement/police state apparatus that Mubarak had. That is not to say he never will, only that he hasn't yet and it wont be so easy to do. In the meantime Egyptians still can protest and criticize.

The biggest change of the revolution was the attitude of the public. So long as that attitude is contentious, it will be hard for anyone to act as dictator.

That said, it is certainly possible a smart politician can slowly wear down the public and gain total control.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 22 2012 16:54 utc | 1

I believe it has failed too. What has Morsi achieved? Begging to the IMF and bowing to Washington and London.

Installing a Muslim Brotherhood client state in an arc of them seems to be have been Washington and London's bet. They now have a arc - sort of ironic given Brzezinski's infamous Arc of Crisis of decades ago - from Libya to Turkey of "Sunni" / Muslim Brotherhood allied states lined up against Iran, Lebanon and Syria.

Posted by: revenire | Nov 22 2012 17:12 utc | 2

@Lysander - we will see the Morsi enforcement apparatus tomorrow. There will likely be clashes at tomorrows demonstrations when the more secular folks and the MB will show up each for their own cause.

Posted by: b | Nov 22 2012 18:09 utc | 3

"The Egyptian revolution has failed. It will now devour its children."

Gee... This is such an eerie feeling....why do I get the feeling of deja vu? As if I have traveled back in time to 1980-81... Where was it that I saw this before.... Some leader who came out of a revolution and declared himself a pharaoh... Then the revolution started devouring its own children...mass executions by thousands up on thousands... Interestingly the new pharaoh seemed to make some connections with the big colonial power of the time too...Morsi sent letters to Shimon Peres, those guys were doing under the table deals with the like of Michael Ledeen...eerie...such an odd resemblance...what was the deal? was it about getting some weapons in return for money which would eventually be supplied to some where in Latin America...was it Peru? Guatemala? oh no no...I was Nicaragua...the money for the weapons would go to some 'rebel' groups in Nicaragua...and there were some under the table 'hostage deal' dated even to before the weapons deal....hmmmm....which country was it which resembled today's Egypt so much??

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 22 2012 18:25 utc | 4

Pirouz_2 :-)) and it will backfire this time too.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2012 18:43 utc | 5

actually, they are damn good politicians (in that other country presumably they were, too)

from Haaretz

After brokering Israel-Gaza truce, Egypt to push for Hamas-Fatah unity Egypt officials say President Morsi wants to take advantage of Hamas' strong position to set date for PA elections; Hamas, Islamic Jihad say they support PA's UN bid; meanwhile, Brotherhood in Egypt calls for 'jihad against Israel.'

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2012 18:52 utc | 6

English text of Morsi's Constitutional Declaration

Posted by: b | Nov 22 2012 18:58 utc | 7

Yeah, in theory, his powers will be limited/legalized by the future constitution.
As he is protecting bodies with a Muslim Brotherhood majority, the constitution is certain to be in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.
If Mursi overdoes it, there will be demonstrations and the military will step in. They must be in the background somewhere.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2012 19:27 utc | 8

David Goldman think Morsi is fooling Obama

Posted by: nikon | Nov 22 2012 19:57 utc | 9

One man! One vote! One time?

Posted by: blowback | Nov 22 2012 19:58 utc | 10

b, what kind of pushback will Morsi receive from the judiciary---and from the prosecutor general it sounds like he relieved?

Posted by: ess emm | Nov 22 2012 20:01 utc | 11

If the Muslim brotherhood can gain control of Libya, then it would be able to use Libyan oil to revive Egyptian economy.

Posted by: nikon | Nov 22 2012 20:05 utc | 12

Libyans did not vote for the Muslim Brotherhood, it is very unlikely they can gain control in tribal militia politics.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 22 2012 20:26 utc | 13

The Egyptian revolution has failed. It will now devour its children

Hate to pile on here but this is one of b's less insightful remarks. First, the Egyptian revolution cannot fail since it really never achieved the status of a revolution. At most it was a mass movement that achieved considerable success in toppling the Mubarak regime but it was too disorganized to offer an alternative structure. It is possible that we are witnessing a revolutionary process but it will still be some time before real change emerges.

It seems unlikely that Mursi has sufficient hold on power to make himself the supreme leader. Of course, we really do not have a good idea on how deeply the MB has penetrated the armed forces so if they willing to throw their full support behind Mursi, he might be able to pull if off. On the other hand we do know that the majority of people involved in the insurrection are not only not MB but are extremely distrustful of their intentions. Many of these are people who voted for Mursi (now that was one choice of the lesser evil dilemmas) and will confront the MB in any major power play attempt.

The revolutionary process is in play.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 22 2012 21:45 utc | 14

US preparing to install Abdullah's brother as King

Posted by: nikon | Nov 22 2012 22:06 utc | 15

"We will not hear a word of protest over this from the White House"

Why would anyone have ever thought that the White House would protest?
Morsi/Mursi has been a western puppet, a western tool all along.
The writing was on the wall
It just had to be read

Posted by: Penny | Nov 22 2012 22:53 utc | 16

@ nikon #9

Spengler/Goldman is one big ff-ing stain on ATol, who can't help but jump to Israel's rescue every ff-ing time. How's that for an 'unbiased' ff-ing, dual banker?

@ b,

As long as Obambi has the right to extra-judicially kill foreigners and Americans alike, without anyone being held accountable, I fail to see much difference between our colluded 'free speech zones' and Tahrir Square's sputtering demos

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 22 2012 23:40 utc | 17

@ ToivoS,

Q: Hate to pile on here but this is one of b's less insightful remarks.

R: For someone who proclaims to be 'opinionated' and feel the urge to express his 'thoughts' I wonder who decided that you'd be the judge, jury and prosecution on other people who act on their urge to express themselves?

The Egyptian MB can only rule because the West is fine with it. In case you've been staring at the cave's wall for too long, the West continuously ff's up anything it doesn't like. Still wondering why Israel can get away with wanton murder and slaughter, hmmm?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 22 2012 23:46 utc | 18

Daniel Rich, I know you do not approve of my conjectures or criticisms of other people's conjectures but I think MoA is a forum that is designed to do just that. As I said before I was attracted to this site because b is one of the better blog analyst I have seen.

Anyway, my point of responding is different. In a few posts back I responded to someone whose handle was "Danel Rich" and I assumed it was you. The tone of his comments were unusually nasty even by your standards. Was that you?

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 23 2012 0:20 utc | 19

NYTimes: "Mr. Obama felt?" Who cares. We ought to judge Morsi, or anyone, by his achievements. I like what he's done. Principally, he's wrested the I/P conciliation process away from the US/UK conspirators -- a wonderful thing. There is nothing as important than I/P. Knocking the US and UK out as "neutral arbitrators"-- which they never were -- is long overdue and Morsi has done it. What Morsi does domestically is of little import compared to that.

Obama and Clinton have been turned into mere spectators. It took SO LONG but now it's happened. Hurrah for that. Go Morsi.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 1:28 utc | 20

@b #3 My guess is he can only partially rely on the police forces (which might not be enough if there is a big enough turnout tomorrow) and it would be extremely awkward for him he calls out the army. His enforcement arm will have to be Salafist Baltagiya, assuming he needs any at all.

Morsi announced that he will reopen cases against the security forces during the last revolution. This was intended to win popular support, but it will not make him popular among the police he would count on to suppress any big demo. It might also make many police too frightened to use brute force, for maybe they will be on the dock next. Same WRT the army.

Morsi is counting on revolution fatigue, and the couch party's desire for normalcy to induce a small turnout. That is probably the biggest obstacle to the opposition. A small turnout and Morsi need not bother with riot police at all. At the same time, Morsi has real support and can call out large numbers of demonstrators to back him. He can also count on Arab media (Al Jazeerah) to be on his side. Western media will ignore it, or will present oppo demonstrators in the worst popular light.

And so we wait for tomorrow. If opposition demos fizzle then you will be right. The revolution, if there ever even was one, would be dead. If turnout is substantial, there is still hope. But even then, Morsi might just back down now and regroup at a later time.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 1:44 utc | 21

@ ToivoS,

There's only one me. You know the story about opinions, so I won't bother repeating it. My point is as simplistic as I am, anyone who shares his thoughts does just that. If we're lucky, those thoughts are firmly rooted in integrity and fed by torrents of honesty and bathed in rays of truth and doesn't run through the man-made canals of distortion, lies, half-truths, misdirection, fallacies and/or other forms of propaganda. The fact that I have to come all the way from where ever, to a [formerly totally unknown] site like MoA to find grains of truth says anything there's to say about ff-ing MSM. Nobody here's privy to what's going on behind closed doors and dropped curtains, so we all have to geustimate based on whatever fragmented shards of info we can find. Only a few know exactly who and/or what has decided that the time has come for an MB member to become Egypt's PM. My gut-feeling tells me that's because of compromises. With the US needing Africom [TY Gaddafi] and Israel always in need of 'security' and 'zones' I find it hard to believe Egypt's ruler rules as a singular entity, but as long as I, you or anyone else doesn't have access to whatever the real truth is, we are all right [until proven wrong with verifiable facts].

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 23 2012 2:04 utc | 22

Don, I'd like to believe Morsi has outmaneuvered US/UK/I but I'm dubious. Whenever the western media is filled with praise for an Arab leader, it's usually because he has stabbed other Arabs in the back at their behest.

That said, Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad seemed very happy with the results of the ceasefire (whether Israel lives up to its side of the bargain remains to be seen) And in the post-ceasefire press conference press conference, Khaled Meshal and and IJ chief Ramadan Shallah praised both Iran and Egypt. I guess if they were stabbed in the back, they would have said something different.

But the key to remember is that Morsi was acting under popular spotlight because he needed popular support, which he wouldn't have if he visibly threw Hamas under the bus. Once he becomes total dictator, he need only follow the wishes of US/UK/I.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 2:20 utc | 23

Nothing wrong with being dubious on Morsi's future, but again I think that looking at what he's recently accomplished is of greatest importance.

For too long now the U.S. has pretended to be the sole I/P arbiter which was a friggin' charade b/c the U.S. was NEVER impartial as it pretended to be. Claiming to be the sole I/P determinant while also continually expounding on "no daylight" between U.S. and Israel was a terrible charade.

Morsi just put that puppy to bed, hopefully forever. Go Morsi.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 2:50 utc | 24

@Lysander - remember is that Morsi was acting under popular spotlight

The top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood denounced peace efforts with Israel and urged holy war to liberate Palestinian territories on Thursday — one day after the country's president, who hails from the movement, mediated a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians to end eight days of fierce fighting.

So if Morsi moves to become "a new dictator" to counter clowns like this, more power to him.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 3:10 utc | 25

egypt has its pharaoh....Turkey its Ottoman sultan...and France its Sun King...Hollande

Posted by: brian | Nov 23 2012 4:58 utc | 26

Rather a rush to make judgement on Morsi, is it not?

After all, this decree is clearly being made In Response To moves being made by others to stymie the constitutional reforms that he has being labouring to put into place. And, let's face it, he has already had to do this once before when the military attempts to neuter both his Presidency and the parliament that his party dominated.....

So, please, some context.

Mosri's opponents have been trying to sweep the rug out from under him, and he has decreed that This Can't Be Done.

OK, how appalling. Now, what were those prior moves that were being made against him, and were *they* even more appalling?

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 23 2012 5:32 utc | 27

Johnboy, agree, and sure Lysander, his decree obviously is only constitutional if he has the political power to back it.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 6:35 utc | 28

The supreme irony will be when Mubarak's former henchmen return to power as "guardians of the democratic revolution" by overthrowing in a violent coup those elected through the "democratic means" produced by the Egyptian revolution. Farcical, if it weren't so tragic.

Posted by: hk | Nov 23 2012 7:46 utc | 29

Let's see, the Muslim Brotherhood is organized and I hear they are surrounding the relevant ministries.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 7:56 utc | 30

#22 daniel rich says: I find it hard to believe Egypt's ruler rules as a singular entity, but as long as I, you or anyone else doesn't have access to whatever the real truth is, we are all right [until proven wrong with verifiable facts].

That is certainly a statement that I agree with. Our problem, us peons on the outside looking in, are trying to make some sense what the inside players are really doing. I think we agree that the power players are only giving us a small fraction of the information that they have access to and that probably 90% of the information they do give us are outright lies. This does leave us in a position of constructing hypotheses based on only fragments of truth, much missing information and many outright lies. We therefore have to use reasonable conjectures. These are difficult judgement calls but some of us, b especially, have better records than others. That is why I must disagree with your statement that all are right until proven otherwise.

I have to admit that I have been spectacularly wrong on a number of occasions. One big error was my prediction, as late as January 2003, that the US would not invade Iraq. My reasoning then was that we would not do that because if we did we would be unable to control the resulting insurrection. I was totally wrong and correct at the same time.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 23 2012 8:42 utc | 31

Egypt should step back and see itself embarrassingly as a victim of western 'divide and conquer' tactics, particularly since the end of WWI. The Sykes-Picot agreement (1916) sealed the fate of present-day Arab nations by creating artificial borders and perpetuating tribal dis-unity, thus weakening any chance of these same Arabs acquiring pre-Ottoman independence.

By the way, where are the cowardly and feckless Saudis in support of their brethren, the Palestinians? Oh, I know! They are cowering behind their corrupt American protectors who ensured there would be no Arab Spring in Riyadh. All due to the black stuff under the sand.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 23 2012 14:38 utc | 32

Also Don, I wouldn't give Morsi too much credit for the ceasefire. It was clear after day 3 Israel wanted one. Morsi didn't pressure the Israelis to stop, and the western media certainly wouldn't be praising him if he had. It was in fact Hamas' and Islamic Jihad's (Iran supplied) rockets that made the Israelis want to stop.

Qatar was only interested on refocusing the world's attention to Syria.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 14:52 utc | 33

Lysander, agree, won't happen now, attention is on Egypt. Will make everybody extra cautious seen backing "mainly jihadist rebel forces" or anybody described "Al Qaeda loyalist" by AFP.

In the meantime Turkey and Iraq think the other is disintegrating.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 15:11 utc | 34

@Lysander -- Also Don, I wouldn't give Morsi too much credit for the ceasefire.
I give Morsi ALL the credit. Israel was being counter-attacked effectively with rockets, Israel had the ground forces ready to go in and the U.S. was in full support. Only Morsi kept it from becoming Cast Lead II. Credit where credit is due.

There's a new Middle East now, with Egypt and Iran in ascendance and the U.S. -- pivot to Asia-Pacific in hand ((how propitious) -- enjoys virtually no political power except with the Gulf fat-boys and stupid Erdogan. Iran, Iraq, plus Egypt and Turkey, are now aligned against US/Israel. How nice. Neither Iran nor Egypt (nor Turkey and Iraq) has perfect domestics, but I don't care much about that in deference to the foreign policy aspects. Go Morsi.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 15:30 utc | 35

Morsi's room to manouevre is narrowed by his relations with the IMF and international financiers. Egypt's modern history is that of being ruled by its creditors. Had there been a revolution the first act of the new government would have been to suspend payments on the debt, which, after decades of Sadat/Mubarak corruption simply cries out for auditing. Instead, so far as I know, Morsi has agreed to nail Egypt back onto the Cross of Gold from which her people have been hanging for the better part of two centuries.

Given Morsi's addiction to debt the US and UK have very little to worry about: at the least hint of independence "the markets" can be relied upon to point out the preferred policies.

On the other hand, Don is right to celebrate the fact that the Egyptian people can no longer be expected to eat the various servings of shit which Israeli fascism serves up to it, just for the entertainment value of the spectacle.

The hero in this story is nameless,anonymous and legion: history has few parallels to the courage and resilience the Palestinian people exhibit every day in the face of a tsunami of bullets, lies, slanders and propaganda sponsored by the zionists. It is just a matter of time before they discover within themselves a leadership worthy of their strength of mind and pride. At the moment Palestine is a classic case of Lions being led by greedy, cowardly Donkeys.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 23 2012 16:02 utc | 36

Don, the whole world from the EU to the us were warning israel against a ground assault. Morsi's two cents were hardly needed.

And they were not issuing those wsrnings out of concern for Gaza, but out of concern for the embarassment that would have ensued following the Izzies getting bogged down.

Again, the western media would not be praising him if he had put real pressure on Israel. But I grant you, he wad certainly better than Mubarak would have been.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 16:16 utc | 37

Show me quotes of the US warning Israel not to do something. (And I'll show you quotes of "rock solid" US support.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 16:32 utc | 38

Don Bacon, Hamas presumably has antitank weapons now and other stuff. There is no real economy in Gaza due to the blockade, so no employment opportunities for youngsters. They have a median age of 18. So Hamas will have had no problem recruiting fighters.

Israel did not get close to Hamas fighters in the Cast Lead "invasion" to protect their own soldiers from getting kidnapped or worse. That way they had an immense Gazan civilian death versus fighter death ratio. Really bad PR. Especially in the times of the Responsibility to Protect.

An invasion would have served no military strategic purpose except a psychological deterrent punishment action which would have resulted in very bad PR for Israel and did not deter last time, pose a risk for Israelis in foreign courts in the future, would have meant dead soldiers (bad for Netanyahu's election prospects) and risk Israeli kidnapped soldiers (bad for Netanyahu's election prospects).

No it is clear they were desperate for a ceasefire, Israelis and Americans. Clinton would not have rushed in for Gazans or for Morsi, if Israel had wanted to continue, she would have waffled from Cambodia to the media about Israel's right to defend itself. It is possible Americans were more desperate than Israel (though a very large part of the Israeli population had to spend the week underground for security reasons) as the Gaza operation united US allies and foes.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 16:42 utc | 39

Im writing from my phone at work so links are cumbersome. The US issuef no public warning but U.K. pm Cameron did as did others in the eu. I suspecy the us made their wishes clear ad well.

But none of that really mattered. The ground assault didn't happen because nyahoo didn't want it to happen (body bags don't win votes, especially when the rockets keep flying anyway)

So all this is a fake bar fight where the antagonist waits fir his frienfs to grab hold of him before he starts shouting "let me at em! Boy if my buddu es weren't here id let u have it but good!"

Egypt and Qatar were alloud to take the credit so as to hurnish their rep.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 16:46 utc | 40

On this "pharaoh" business. Went to a group dinner yesterday, complete with a pre-dining benediction. paraphrasing: 'Thank you Lord for our freedom to express our opinions, and even though we differ we had the freedom to vote in the (presidential) election.' --Which is about all the 'freedom' we have, politically, voting for one clown or another every four years, as we now have the 'freedom' to enjoy four more years of executive orders from those who are determined to be 'better' than ourselves. Just sit down and shut up, with anything meaningful. I mean, yeah, I enjoy reading the rants of others and ranting myself, and it's personally gratifying and pleasant (or I wouldn't do it), but what's the effect of it, really? IOW the only pharaoh may not be -- or is not -- in Cairo.

Okay, that's my rant on pharaohs.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 16:48 utc | 41

Cameron warning Netanyahu is sort of like Karzai warning Obama, isn't it? A joke.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 16:53 utc | 42

Don't get me wrong Don. The US is in no position to bitch about democracy to anyone. And I could cut Morsi some slack if he really was going to be part of the resistance front. But im afraid he wants to be a dictator with no redeeming virtues.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 17:01 utc | 43


If you don't mind my interference in your conversation with Lysander, I must say that I agree with him more than I do with you on this issue.

To make a long story short and give you the bottom line: IMO it is a grave mistake to think of Qatar and S. Arabia as independent actors. They are both literally puppets of USA.

Morsi is on the pay-roll of Persian Gulf Sheikhdoms and S. Arabia, as well as IMF/WB (as bevin pointed out). As a result it would be a mistake to think that Morsi has acted independent of USA. I say 'USA' and not 'Qatar', because as I said before there is no such country as Qatar , Qatar does as USA commands!

IMO, the 'pillar of cloud' was NOT the will of USA, it harmed the position of US lackeys in this region (Morsi/Erdogan/Qatar) greatly vis-a-vis Syria. It was the will of Netanyahoo/Barak to appeal to the more sadistic parts of Israeli society before the elections.

I don't know if you noticed it or not but a few days before the ceasefire I actually asked what the readers on MOA thought about the possibility of a land incursion. I didn't have the time to explain my own position at the time, but I had -at the time- already heard Dr. Norman Finklestein's view on the matter and I was in total agreement with him: "The Israelies will NOT escalate [ie. would NOT make a land incursion] the crisis, simply because it would be against American interests in this region" (this is just a paraphrase). What he meant was of course that the Americans will not allow the Israelies to escalate the crisis.

The position of Morsi/Erdogan/Qatar was ONLY and ONLY a manifestation of the will of USA. USA did not want the position of QATAR/Morsi/Turkey to be weakened vis-a-vis Syria, and the bloodbath in Gazza achieved nothing (on the contrary it harmed US interests) except satisfying the sadistic desires of Israelies.

Posted by: pirouz_2 | Nov 23 2012 17:35 utc | 44

* the 'pillar of cloud' was NOT the will of USA, it harmed the position of US lackeys in this region
* the Americans will not allow the Israelis to escalate the crisis
* The position of Morsi/Erdogan/Qatar was ONLY and ONLY a manifestation of the will of USA

So Israel is independent of the US except when it isn't, and when Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi warned that the ongoing airstrikes by the Israeli regime on the blockaded Gaza Strip would jeopardize security in the region, he was agreeing with U.S. rock-solid support for Israel's right to self-defense? No.

Morsi: “I tell them (Israelis) in the name of all the Egyptian people that the Egypt of today is not the Egypt of yesterday and that the Arabs of today are different than the Arabs of yesterday.” That's true.

PS: Please, I have no intention of having a conversation with anybody on b's or anyone's blog. The more perspectives the better, and let the truth be revealed thereby.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 18:34 utc | 45


You say Morsi warned: "that the ongoing airstrikes by the Israeli regime on the blockaded Gaza Strip would jeopardize security in the region"; could you explain what he meant by "jeopardizing the security in the 'region'"?? To be preceise, which "region" is he talking about? Is it jeopradizing the straight of Hormoz and the oil flow? Of course no... Is it jeopradizing the security of Turkey? Is there any way that the armed conflict will spread to Turkey? Again no... Will Israelies attack Egypt and Egypt end up trying to defend Sinai against the Israeli forces?? Again no... Will Egypt end up doing a military intervention in defence of Gazza?? Is that what Morsi is warning the Israelies about? Obviously NO!

What could Morsi possiblly mean? Could he mean anything other than that this latest massacre of the Gazzans will jeopradize the position of the US lackeys (ie. Qatar/Erdogan) vis-a-vis Syria? Could it mean anything other than that this latest Israeli massacre is doing nothing except to humiliate all the US lackeys in this region who are fighting in Syria, in the name of "Arab spring"? In other words is he not saying that "the American hegemony in this region is being jeopradized for the sake of sadistic pleasure of the Israeli society"?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 23 2012 19:14 utc | 46

By the way Don;
I think you really give too much credit to empty words of politicians. In order to show that Morsi desrves credit you quote him as saying:

"I tell them (Israelis) in the name of all the Egyptian people that the Egypt of today is not the Egypt of yesterday and that the Arabs of today are different than the Arabs of yesterday.”

Well then I quote you Condi Rice from back in 2005:

"The US pursuit of stability in the Middle East at the expense of democracy had "achieved neither", she admitted.

"Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people," she said.

The BBC's Frank Gardner said her comments marked a complete departure for the US, and were "immensely risky".

She criticised Egypt and Saudi Arabia, where she arrived after leaving Cairo, for cracking down on dissenters.

Now should we agree that Condi was a great promoter of democracy in middle east and was doing her best to democratize Egypt ans S. Arabia?!?!?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 23 2012 19:25 utc | 47

Pirouz, sorry I didn't answer your question from a few threads ago. Yes I used to post on Arnold's blog. Pity that he doesn't have time to update often. He's very insightful. He doesn't comment on race for Iran in quite a while.

Don, I still hold out hope that Morsi might at least drag his feet a bit when carrying out orders. But the key factor is pressure from the public. If he has too much power he will ignore it.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 19:34 utc | 48

@ Pirouz_2
Then if I give too much credit to empty words of politicians, why ask me what Morsi meant by his words? Probably he just wanted to give Israel a verbal shot. To repeat a refrain, judge them (politicians) not on what they say but on what they do. And Morsi brought home the bacon. :-)

Quoting me, from 20025, quoting Condi, without context -- I'm at a loss for words. :-(

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 19:37 utc | 49

I am glad to be able to follow up on your comments in here then. Yes. It is a real pity. I wish I could read Arnold more often. I used to go to RFI very often (eventhough I wrote there only occassionally), but ever since Eric Brill and Arnold Evans have disappeared, there doesn't seem to be much point in going there. That and the fact that I got a bit disappointed with one of Leverrette's writings, the one about "Dan Joyner". They 'ommitted' a part of his comment regarding his wish for Iran to be a secular liberal democracy and that bothered me a bit.
Anyone who has read my comments would know that I am no fan of liberal democracy, but it is not a matter of agreeing with some one or not. It is a matter of not 'omitting' parts of a writing, when we don't like it.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 23 2012 19:45 utc | 50

46, which leads to the point - why did Israel do it? Netanyahu did not need pillar of cloud for the elections, he looks like a fool now but presumably will still make it.

The only rational reason I can think of is that they wanted to test Iron Dome, that they want more US investment into the system (they are going to get it), that they want to market it.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 19:57 utc | 51

Don my friend, I gave you the link, you can read the whole context all you want. But why reading that? G. W. Bush kept raving about democracy day and night! It was not just Condi, it was the official rhethoric of the Bush administration! To bring democracy and freedom to the ME! Surely you remember that?

What made this latest massacre by the Israelies such a tragedy, is that killing Gazzans non-stop would achieve NOTHING for them! There was NOTHING to be gained from that massacre! From the fact that it jeopradized the position of US lackeys in this region one would to venture to guess that perhaps this operation had something for the Israelies, BUT NO!
So we are saying that the revolutionary fervor of Morsi and the strong winds of "change" in Egypt stopped Israelies?? then what did achieve operation "cast lead" achieve for Israel? What would have Israel achieved -if Morsi/Qatar/Turkey had not stopped them- by killing 2 more thousands of palestinians like they did in 2008? What geopolitical goal would US/Israel achieve in killing a few hundred more of Palestinians? NOTHING. In fact that is the sad part of this whole thing: Those Gazzan children were killed as if they were 'bugs' just so that bibi can look tough and ruthless to the sadistic Israelies and gain a few more votes in the up coming elections!! THAT IS ALL!
Now is it worth for US to let its lackeys loose face vis-a-vis Syria just so that bibi could gain (hopefully!)a few more seats in the parliament?!?!?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 23 2012 20:05 utc | 52

re: what is going on in Egypt - this is the best analysis I could find

From 1990 to today, a new generation of coups has emerged in the global scene, and recent putschists tend to stick to democracy, especially if they depend on substantial military aid from the U.S. and need to please their patrons with some spectacle of free elections. New coups bring civilian presidents to power, but the armed forces reserve for themselves the upper hand in state affairs.

A coup d’etat usually takes place in a country that suffers from an economic crisis, has oppositional groups that are fragmented and not homogenous, and has a weak civil society in comparison to a strong military institution. In a unipolar global system in which the U.S. is the only hegemonic power and benevolent patron of third-world regimes, adhering to the American rhetoric on democracy – or the Bush Doctrine of the 2000s – is essential to the survival of any coup. Federal law in the U.S. prohibits granting any financial assistance “to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.” Thus, to hold elections and follow the path of ballot boxes becomes the only way through which coup leaders can secure the flow of U.S. foreign aid.

The Egyptian case is a conspicuous example of the new generation of world coups. Last year, the armed putschists capitalized on the mass protests to finally get rid of Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal, whose succession scheme threatened their economic empire and political interests. After overthrowing Mubarak, the SCAF immediately adopted a democratic discourse and held elections to meet the expectations of the U.S., which grants the Egyptian army $1.3-billion (U.S.) in annual aid.


Morsy is an elected son of the coup. He is the civilian president that the military council allowed to rise to power, but only after issuing a supplement to the Constitutional Declaration that deprives him of any substantial authority over the armed forces. Morsy will inherit a highly militarized state where retired army generals and colonels occupy almost every high-ranking position in the bureaucracy and the public sector. This is in addition to the fact that the military runs massive economic enterprises.

Despite the fact that the militarization of the state is a huge hurdle to any civilian president who aspires for real reform, it is significant that Morsy began his first speech by expressing his deep love for the military institution. Morsy showed no intentions during his campaign to demilitarize the state.

The U.S. had a big role to play in pressuring the military to honor Morsy's win. A report published by Al-Watan daily newspaper said U.S. officials met with SCAF members to press the latter to announce the valid results of the election and accept Morsy's victory. Before that, and over the course of many months or even years, the U.S. had numerous talks with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo and Washington, where the Brothers always emphasized their choice of market economy policies as well as their adherence to international agreements.

Even though Egypt has elected its first civilian president since its independence, it remains a bittersweet victory. This is not only because there is a public mistrust of the Muslim Brotherhood, but, more importantly, because Morsy's presidency is characteristic of a new generation of military coups. The SCAF celebrates free elections only to be allowed to tighten its grip on power while securing its indispensable American funding.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 20:29 utc | 53

more on the Arab Spring being the new generation of coups

Isn’t that what the rebels also claim?
 Mustapha: No. You know, the rebellion is not a movement as popular as you might think. The Muslim brothers are the ones who tried to knock the regime over. If it's still in place today, it means that the Syrian people made the decision not to follow them. These radicals have got full support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Western countries. Khaled: Just read the names of most of the rebel groups. They’re all Islamic names, not a single one is not related to religion.

Don't you think Syrian people only wanted to follow the path of countries like Tunisia or Libya?
Mustapha: Apart from the Muslim brothers, most of the rebels are not even from Syria. I come from Aleppo, so let’s take my city as an example. The German weekly newspaper Die Welt published a note by the BND – the German secret service – estimating that 95 percent of the rebels occupying the city came from Turkish rear bases where Islam fighters from all over the world gather before going to war.
Wissam: Take a look at what’s currently happening in Antakya, where my father was born. Foreign fighters financially supported by various Arabic businessmen are invading the city. The people can't handle it anymore.

Mustapha: France is literally supporting rebels who would be treated as terrorists if they were on French territory. It’s outrageous.
Dima: It’s a masked coup. No one in the Western world seems to realise they're collaborating with dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where freedom of speech and religion are flouted millions times more than in Syria.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 20:59 utc | 54

Never doubted for a sec this will happen, morsi reincarnated the Pharos and the new Syrian opposition reincarnates the mukhabrat.

This is just background noise for what is really taking place. Israel and turkey are back talking again to resolve their differences. How much do you want to bet that was what Clinton offered yahoo to stop the gaza silliness. Getting turkey back is a far bigger win for yahoo than killing a few gazans. For turkey it also give erdogan a better way to squeeze Assad and all is happy, on syria's expense. Qatar's emir is a desert fool but I am willing to bet he is the real brain child behind this one.

Posted by: ana souri | Nov 23 2012 21:02 utc | 55

@ana souri - This is just background noise for what is really taking place. Israel and turkey are back talking again to resolve their differences.

Let's get the story from one or two "senior Israeli officials" straight, shall we?

A senior Israeli official said that this meeting was another attempt to find a solution to the Gaza flotilla crisis that will be acceptable to both Turkey and Israel.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 21:24 utc | 56

agree, Don Bacon, the world is not black and white.

Somehow this tweet by the director of Human Rights Watch tells me a lot of things have changed

21m Kenneth Roth Kenneth Roth ‏@KenRoth

Israel says no agreement yet to ease restrictions. Not true; only implementation to be negotiated:

And the New York Times article he is linking tells me something has changed there, too.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 21:56 utc | 57

Big doins' at the UN next week.

The Palestinian Authority is set to ask the UN General Assembly for a vote on November 29 on its bid for a status upgrade, defying the threat of sanctions from the US and Israel. November 29, 1947 was the date in which the UN voted to accept the Partition Plan for Palestine. November 29 is also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an anniversary adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1977.

in reference to that and other I/P matters:
Statement issued by the IBSA member-states on The situation between Israel and Palestine(pdf) at the United Nations on November 21, 2012

India, Brazil and South Africa express their strongest condemnation of the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine, that threatens the peace and security of the region. The IBSA countries deeply regret the loss of human lives and express their concern over the disproportionate and excessive use of force.
They urge the parties to immediately cease all violence, to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid taking any action that may further exacerbate the situation. They stress their expectation that the United Nations Security Council will do its utmost in the fulfillment of its responsibilities in regard to this serious situation.
They also stress the urgent need to lift the blockade on Gaza which continues to worsen the already dire socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza.
The IBSA countries express their strong support to the mediation efforts of the Government of Egypt, the League of Arab States and the UN Secretary-General aimed at achieving a negotiated ceasefire.
The IBSA countries believe that only diplomacy and dialogue will lead to the resolution of the current crisis, which makes it even more urgent to resume direct talks between Israel and Palestine, leading to a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian Question i.e. the achievement of a two-state solution.
In view of the upcoming UN General Assembly discussion on the Question of Palestine, India, Brazil and South Africa express their support for Palestine's request to be accorded Observer State status in the United Nations system.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 22:56 utc | 58

Morsi took power over the judiciary because he felt it was attempting to undo the revolution and resurrect the old military council. The court overturned one attempt Morsi made to reinstate the parliament.

The best evidence that Morsi is doing the right thing -- the U.S. is against it.

U.S. has concerns about Egyptian president Mursi's moves
WASHINGTON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The United States is concerned about Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's decision to assume sweeping powers, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 23 2012 23:18 utc | 59

Don, ill be very happy if you turn out to be right and me wrong. But that US statement is the equivalent of the US telling Israel not to kill too many civilians. Obviously the US can't say they want morsi to seize all power so that the rabble don't keep bothering us.

At anyrate, we will have a chance to learn for sure if the opposition can't muster bigger numbers in the next few days.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 23 2012 23:42 utc | 60

Don Bacon, :-)) "is concerned" translates into "we will not take any action". Mursi has issued a package with some reasonable and popular moves including absolute power for himself. There is nobody who can challenge his decisions from now on if he survives this (and as he has the control of the security services and is backed by the army he will survive it. He is a civilian dictator now backed by army.

This here from 2011 explains the cross interests of Netanyahu and Obama in view of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood
Maybe this Gaza war was an attempt by Netanyahu to force Obama to back him.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 23 2012 23:44 utc | 61

@ Don Bacon,

Q: A senior Israeli official said that this meeting was another attempt to find a solution to the Gaza flotilla crisis that will be acceptable to both Turkey and Israel.

R: If they come up with a solution the way they handled the USS Liberty onslaught, we all know what's gonna happen next...

I sincerely appreciate your positive views and upbeat attitude, leaving me with a feeling of pissing on your parade [absolutely not my intention]. I guess it is because of all the politicians I've met and talked to only one stood out for all the good reasons: Nelson Mandela. He's the only politician I've ever believed in for all the right reasons [or the things I firmly believe in].

WRT Egypt I can't get rid of the feeling that Egypt's pres moves around, but not freely. The old clique didn't vanish overnight and the Machiavellian [Mubarak era] political structure doesn't seem to have changed that much either. As you say, we vote every 4 years to nominate clowns in a circus. I hate clowns, I really do. Having said that, people deserve to be free, free of spirit and movement and above all a freedom to choose.

End of rant.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 24 2012 0:01 utc | 62

You gotta break some eggs to make an omelet, and it's best done by one cook. Perhaps you who doubt Morsi have at some time said, in effect: "If this job is going to get done right, I've got to do it myself." I know I have. You have too. "You all have the freedom -- to do it my way." Or perhaps you believe in committees.

I don't know Morsi from Adam, but I figure that I've got to believe in somebody person, and right now he's my guy. Could change.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2012 0:36 utc | 63

Regarding political Islam in general and MB in particular, there is a very good article and an excellent interview which I recommend every one:

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 24 2012 0:58 utc | 64

In my opinion overall the biggest winner in this last Israeli adventure against the Gaza/ Hamas was Iran. Clearly Iran was thanked by all major Palestinian fighting political resisting group that includes prime minister Ismail Haniya, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal as well as PIJ’s Ramadan Abdullah all three publicly thanked and said that the victory was possible by financial and military support of I.R. of Iran, this alone has achieved Iran’s major policy aim which is elevation of Iran in Muslim/ Arab street public opinion which is what Iran is really after and needs for her strategic aims. Another major victory in this conflict for Iran with regard to Muslim / Arab public opinion was that just before the agreement to a ceasefire Iran publicly and without any fear of US/ Israel/ EU and possibly UNSC announced that is proud to supply military hardware and technology to Hamas which is considered a terrorist organization to most westerners, that will boost Iran’s image in Muslim street since no other Muslim country has ever been willing or even brave enough to announce. We clearly are witnessing an emerging power whom has already caused changes in her region and is aware of her power.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 24 2012 1:52 utc | 65

The best thing of all is that the attack on Gaza will be curtailed; but no one really knows for how long. It's clear that international pressure and pressure from inside Israel's own political class caused the Pillar of Depravity operation to be closed down. Too many adverse consequences were building up. Netanyahoo reaped some domestic gains prior to elections; but these would have been reversed, and worse for him, if it had gone to a ground attack.

The practical rewards for Morsi out of this diplomatic game are depressing and obvious as well. The man declares the new power for himself, illegitimate power, right out in the open in the public spotlight. He is a traitor; and the action taken is treason. No need to put a finer point on it or add anything else, except to say that Morsi is an odious little tyrant; but then he is joining a select class of contemporaries whose names we all know.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 24 2012 4:06 utc | 66

It is like having a Christian Fundamentalist as US President who says his decisions are made by god and his decrees cannot be challenged or reverted. I would not wish that on anyone.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2012 7:48 utc | 67

Well it is well into Saturday in Cairo right now and it looks like Mursi has set off one major reaction against his government with this decree. The street demonstrations seem to be gaining steam and they are going on in all of the major cities. The MB seems to have organized support demonstrations but they are not actively fighting the pro-democracy forces. It is too early to make any predictions on what will happen in the next few days but I would guess Mursi might be regretting about now that he made this move.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 24 2012 10:24 utc | 68

Latest on Egypt from Raw Story:

Posted by: ben | Nov 24 2012 14:54 utc | 69

Morsi seems to be trying to outflank a corrupt judiciary that protected Mubarak and his regime,so I 'd give him a little slack right now.And these rioters might just be remnants of the old regimes supporters.If the western Ziomedia condemn him,Morsi has to be the good guy,as their fruits are poison to the core.Just look around at the dead,and rubble,and the collapse of reason and justice.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 24 2012 15:16 utc | 70

Video from Real News and Hamid Dasbashi on Egypt:

Posted by: ben | Nov 24 2012 15:23 utc | 71

I wonder if this was the ruling Democrats taking the opportunity to settle scores with Bibi for supporting Willard and the other republicans so strongly.

Posted by: heath | Nov 24 2012 15:33 utc | 72

U.S. troops in Egypt?

Posted by: ben | Nov 24 2012 15:34 utc | 73

@dahoit 70 -- Morsi seems to be trying to outflank a corrupt judiciary that protected Mubarak and his regime, so I'd give him a little slack right now.

I agree. Remember, Morsi delivered in August when he ended the Egyptian military’s post-Mubarak rule of the country. Nobody complained about his excessive authority then. Recently Morsi delivered big-time on Gaza. Now he is ensuring that Egypt’s pro-Mubarak judiciary can't dismiss the constitutional assembly like it dissolved the country’s first democratically elected parliament before Morsi was elected president in June.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2012 16:15 utc | 74

@ben 73 -- U.S. troops in Egypt?

Never fear, the US lacks having troops in very few places on this earth, and Egypt is not one of them. US Task Force Sinai is the largest element of the Multinational Force and Observers ("MFO"), the peacekeeping organization in place in the Sinai Peninsula since 1982. The TF includes a support battalion and an infantry battalion. Its facebook page is here; 24 more 'likes' will push them over a thousand.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2012 16:38 utc | 75

Article VI:

The President may take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution.

That is absolute power, no? And if he did not mean it why say it?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2012 16:48 utc | 76

Ben, thanks for those links. The idea of US troops guarding the Gaza border has been around for a while and even Mubarak had enough sense to nix it. If the RT article is true, it would be a disaster for all concerned. On the one hand. US troops will be highly motivated to destroy the Gaza tunnels and starve Hamas entirely. On the other, they would be an attractive target for Sinai Bedouins and jihadists who are not on good terms with the Egyptian government.

In fact it is such a dumb idea that only a neocon warmonger could love it. Then again, the USG is full of neocon warmongers.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 24 2012 17:02 utc | 77

Don Bacon @ 63 -- Re: Morsi being your guy.

Damn, you're easy! (With all respect for your many good posts here.)

But... a suggestion: Don't fall for pols. Trust to an extent, but this for me is trust breaker.

Of course, my skepticism may be verging on cynicism. I realized I couldn't trust Obama when he first came out for making changes, aka cuts, to SocSec. No real Dem would say that. I tried to find a way around that, but most of his actual political ACTIONS were of a Corporatist bent. No way could I back him or much less vote for him.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 24 2012 17:25 utc | 78

The Times piece describes the budding relationship between Morsi and Obama as "one with bracing potential if not a fair measure of risk for both men." If there are more similarities than differences in these men's approach to democracy; then Morsi, just as Mubarak, can become "like one of the family". Didn't State Secretary Clinton describe old Mubarak as being like "one of the family?

Perhaps the US and Egyptian presidents can have a cozy fireside chat, where they can compare notes on executive orders.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 24 2012 17:27 utc | 79

I'm with Don Bacon on this one; it's not that I'm a supporter of Morsi, I'm simply too ignorant of the history of Egypt, the MB and Morsi, to dare give judgements; but as a general rule, I think politics come before democracy, or in other words nation-building by the State comes chronologically before the "nation";

if Morsi doesn't succeed in taming the ancien régime there will be no Egypt nation to talk about, and any kind of electoral democracy will be the farce we all now

another general rule I believe in is that a politician who has just risen to power cannot have a precise agenda, at most a direction in which to move; an agenda will take shape taking into account the actions and reactions of the various powers that act on the scene, popular powers and local economical interests included; what's important is that, for now, Morsi seems acting decisively in wresting control of the State apparatus from their former owners and searching for a new identity and role for Egypt; this doesn't mean it won't cave in to the old masters tomorrow, but it hasn't happened yet

the Us are concerned every time a political power seems to assert itself, anywhere around the globe, against the power of oligarchies, much easier to buy and control

Posted by: claudio | Nov 24 2012 17:29 utc | 80

Penney has some thoughts on how the US is preparing banksters and Big Bidnesses to pillage Syria. Part of the plan.

Looks like most of the loot/bidness/control will be going to the Gulf Emirates, if all goes as planned. But who will control the oil? Hhhhmmm.

She notes that the new Western cobbled together Gov't in Exile for Syria, created with nary a vote from Syrian citizens, is HQ'd in Egypt.

Yes, indeed: Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza = Terrorists. Muslim Brotherhood in Syria = Important US Allies...kind of under the table allies, but utterly necessary to success of the US plans.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 24 2012 17:39 utc | 81

Penney's first link is to an article about Syria presenting names of foreigh fighters to the UN:

Syria has presented the UN Security Council a list of 143 foreign citizens killed in Syria fighting government troops. Damascus hopes the move will force the UN to declare the presence of foreign nationals in Syria to be international terrorism.

Any chance of success for Syria? Somehow, I doubt the US will permit that kind of thing to happen.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 24 2012 17:41 utc | 82

Well it is obvious that he is not taming the ancien regime

Egypt’s FJP reports lawsuit against ElBaradei, Sabahi, others for sedition
FJP - Freedom and Justice Party - Muslim Brotherhood

Hamdeen Sabahi is this guy:

Hamdeen Sabahi (Arabic: حمدين صباحى‎, IPA: [ħæmˈdeːn sˤɑbˈbɑːħi]) (born 5 July 1954) the leader of the Dignity Party and a former member of parliament. An opposition leader during the Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak eras, Sabahi was jailed 17 times during their presidencies for political dissidence.[1] He was an immediate supporter and participant of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.[1] Sabahi entered the 2012 Egyptian presidential race in which he finished third place with 21.5% of the vote trailing the second place winner Ahmed Shafiq by a margin of 700,000 votes.[2] A well known opposition figure, Sabahi ascribes to Nasserism and in 1996 he founded the Nasserist Karama (Dignity) Party.[3][4] Sabahi ran as an independent and not as the Dignity Party's candidate. One of the few secular figures without any ties to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, Sabahi has attracted the support of several leading Nasserists. Sabahi is running under the slogan "one of us" which highlights his strong ties with the working class and advocates his socialist aspirations. Sabahi also gained the support of prominent Egyptian figures including writer and political activist Alaa Al Aswany and director and film-writer Khaled Youssef.[3][5]

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2012 17:50 utc | 83

If by ancien régime you mean the Egyptian military and the economic and financial powers to which its top brass is tied; then the power Morsi has, and the further illegitimate powers he may assume, only advances with the accord of the generals. The apple of power in Egypt doesn't fall far from that tree.

And as far as Morsi's claim to be defending the revolution is concerned, let's remember that those in the Generals' rank were willing to carry out Mubarak's order to fire on the protesters; and only a rebellion down through the ranks prevented that order from being carried out. Morsi's assumption that he is brandishing the new power to defend the revolution, is suspect, to say the least.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 24 2012 18:00 utc | 84

@somebody 83 -- Well it is obvious that he [who?] is not taming the ancien regime

OOOH -- sounds bad.

from the link -- "a lawyer has filed a lawsuit" wow

Move along, nothing to see here. This is another of those distracting inflammatory quotes that turns out to be all smoke and no fire.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 24 2012 18:00 utc | 85

Don Bacon, it is a sympton, from now on it is sedition to demonstrate against the president as what he does are "necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution"
The only organisations that are capable of saving Egyption democracy are the trade unions now.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2012 18:13 utc | 86

Only a few know exactly who and/or what has decided that the time has come for an MB member to become Egypt's PM. - Daniel

Morsi as ‘the top bottle washer’ was a natural result of the political landscape in Egypt.

Ups and downs, imponderables: only the MB could aspire to leadership with at least some ‘popular’ support.

Because, a) it was in the oppo for ages, and has credentials there, also in other parts of the ‘arab’ world, b) it was the only ‘faction’ that had some pol/social grip on the country, other strands or factions being basically non-existent nationally, no/little on-the-ground organization, and very weak (communists/socialists, unionists, secularists, women, workers, etc. but also others like the army who act from above, which was one of the main reasons for ‘revolt’ discredited and working behind the scenes with great power imho but that is another story).

Basically, there wasn’t much choice. All that though leaves the economic organization of Egypt completely in the shade - for the people of Egypt this is the main or even only point: jobs, education, re-distribution, housing, agri, price of food .. - that may be part of the purpose.

All over the “Arab Spring countries” various factions are jockeying for power and monies. After ww2 and in the post colonialist era, nationalist and socialist, and secular in a way, yet oppressive, rapacious, highly controlling - other forces are now taking hold. They will not differ much from the previous, except in discourse.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 24 2012 18:30 utc | 87

@Pirouz: Thanks for the Monthly Review link. I've long suspected that the Muslim Brotherhood's vision of utopia is something like Dubai--a place where slavery and rape are are tolerated because they're traditional, while "social crimes" such as homosexuality are punished. A place with plenty of "economic freedom" for the haves...and the Protocols for the have-nots.

Posted by: E | Nov 24 2012 18:55 utc | 88

the Egyptian situation has become intractable by our normal standards of judgement the moment "freedom-lovers" allied themselves with the military against the prospect of an Islamic state; ultimately they'll sort it out by themselves

@somebody 86 -

The only organisations that are capable of saving Egyption democracy are the trade unions now.
The reference to trade unions is important, but not in terms of "saving democracy" as in the sense of changing the regime's neoliberist policies

Posted by: claudio | Nov 24 2012 23:17 utc | 89

Claudio, trade unions have real power when they go on a political general strike. They saved the Weimar republic a few times until they became too exhausted by the economy and their membership too split. They could have done it when it counted most.

I think Morsi has a deal with the military - he would not have been able to come to power otherwise. The Muslim Brotherhood always had had a deal with the Egyptian "regime" it was not them who started the "revolution".

That deal does not mean the military will support the Muslim Brotherhood power grab. They seem to stay neutral and leave it to the police.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25 2012 7:32 utc | 90

Morsi seems to be persisting in his righteous moves.

The controversy centers on Morsi’s attempt to exempt both himself and the originally 100-member constitution-drafting body, the constituent assembly, from judicial review by Egypt’s higher courts which are controlled by Mubarak-era people allied with the Mubarak-era Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The Supreme Council issued a supplementary constitutional decree in June which gives several parties, including the head of SCAF, the right to veto any clause the assembly drafts.

This is interference, suspiciously allied with US aims.

What if, in 1775, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia had been made subordinate to King George's court in their drawing up of the Articles of Confederation?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2012 14:55 utc | 91

Well, Mursi seems to loose his advisers, fast

Waleed Rashed ® ‏@waleedrashed Breaking:- Mohammad Salim Al-Awa Egyptian president adviser has Resigned over the latest decisions ,4nd resign till now and expecting more

Don Bacon, the democratic alternative would have been to form a transitional national unity government, at present everybody seems to unite against Mursi/the Muslim Brotherhood.
The issue is not so much the dismissals - he could have got away with it - the issue is I guess the unreformed security apparatus and police which basically have been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood plus the fact that Mursi granted himself absolute powers.

In your example you talk about a congress representing different parts of an electorate not one person who was elected by 51% of 50% of voters and who is representing a freemasonlike organisation.

Mursi was elected to moderate the transition process instead he tries to govern without a constitution.

To grant anyone absolute powers without controls is a "no", no matter how democratic it is done. From that point onwards you have got a dictatorship.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25 2012 15:27 utc | 92

No it's not one person alone, it's one person defending the constitutional formation process against the old guard which wants the status quo ante.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2012 16:02 utc | 93

Don Bacon, I count - at least - three parties in Egypt now.

The "old guard" - still very much there minus the exposed members they wanted to get rid of, as it was a putsch and not a revolution.

The Muslim Brotherhood - having coexisted for a long time with the "old guard" and not that involved in the "revolution"

The "young generation" - Muslim Brotherhood and otherwise - supported by Al Jazeera - who chanted "we want the downfall of the regime" - united as the script did not spell out what the fight was for. So the fight might have been for Sharia Law, for democracy whatever you could dream of.

Plus the opposition movements and politicians Egypt always has had being more or less involved in the "revolution".

Of the third group a large part did definitively not dream of replacing a corrupt dictator which a religious dictator (who might also turn out to be corrupt)

An Egyptian Islamic Group spells out what a democratic constitution formation process would be - it is not rocket science - how come Mursi tries to get emergency absolute powers instead?

The Islamist group Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya on Sunday warned of increased violence and divisions in Egypt following President Morsi's Constitutional Declaration.

The group offered a number of recommendations:

Firstly, a discussion should be held amongst all members of the Constituent Assembly in order to reach a consensus over articles in the draft constitution. If significant disagreements arise over a limited number of articles, a nationwide referendum should be held on each article separately.

Secondly, there should be a reduction in the powers of the president which he gave himself and guaranteed from oversight in Thursday's Constitutional Declaration. The group called for the completion of the constitution by 30 November and for it to be presented to the president by 1 December.

Thirdly, it called for a new Constitutional Declaration assigning legislative powers to the Shura Council (upper house of parliament).

It also called for all political parties involved in the current impasse to call on their supporters to abstain from violent protests.

The group warned against the dangers of mixing "violent elements with peaceful protests in an attempt to create chaos and achieve certain political demands."

As is Mursi is leading his country into civil war and "revolutionary cleansing".

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25 2012 16:53 utc | 94

But maybe it will be more a joke than a catastrophe - guess what - journalists are on strike

Waleed Rashed ® ‏@waleedrashed

Breaking :-Egypt State TV stopped broadcasting . !!

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25 2012 17:20 utc | 95

Mursi really means business - executive, legislative all of it

hossam bahgat ‏@hossambahgat

Morsi just amended Labor Unions Law by decree. Amendment has been opposed by both official and independent unions since October

Background: Brotherhood Targets Trade Unions unions

Posted by: somebody | Nov 25 2012 19:23 utc | 96

We sit behind our keyboards watching the doings of our society's scum, who are collectively referred to as 'the political elite' as someone commented up thread we are never privy to what is actually being done/said so we're forced to read smoke signals and reverse engineer the intelligence to try and grab ahold of the motives and actions of the criminal elite. Realisation that the whole stinking mob of 'leaders' are self-interested criminals provides the necessary freedom to objectively analyse their 'works' and releases any idealists from an obligation to apologise for the times when one of the idealist’s heroes appears to not be 'walking the talk'.
So bitter cynicism does have its advantages except when one tries to analyse what the pols are really up do one no longer has a reference point or framework to logically conclude what the pol will do next. If the pols have no permanent objectives it becomes impossible to deduce their future actions even if you hold the leaves from every cup of tea the pol has ever drunk.

Which brings us back to Morsi; how do we deduce his motives? I am a great believer in contrarianism in these moments when there appear to be nothing tangible to indicate a leader's underlying motives.
B began this thread with an article from NYT which praised Morsi for getting those Palestinian ragheads back into the corral god designed for em.
B was doing as many of us do - if we don't know our friends we sure as shit know our enemies & the enemy is oblamblam and netanyahoo who are principal enemies of every human on the planet. Since Morsi and oblamblam are praised for being good mates, by applying contrarianism (whatever the NYT says the opposite is true yada yada) we can deduce Morsi is indeed one of them.

Or we could - but right now more and more of the bastions of neo-liberalism the NYT, grauniad etc. castigate Morsi for passing the decree and all but openly criticise him being just another raghead 'dictator'.

So we apply contrarianism to those angles and adduce that if the NYT & the grauniad hate Morsi's decree, what Morsi is doing must be a good thing.

This is tricky stuff. An obvious employee of the empire, a so called agent of influence such as tony bliar was much easier to analyse. Everything bliar did was for the benefit of the amerikan empire and their primary lever for maintaining control in the ME, zionism.

Morsi has always been his own man and while he has undoubtedly done business with agents of imperial intelligence, everything points to him doing so only when there has been a commonality of interests. If he ever decided his long term best interests would be served by jamming a shit-smeared spear into oblammer & co's eyes, Morsi would do so in a heartbeat.

I can run just as good an argument for Morsi passing his decree in order to fix egyptian democracy as anyone can argue that Morsi is all about fucking the revolution.

Or have we all forgotten the Egyptian judiciary's tyrannical pre-election decrees NB the bastions of neo-liberalism seem to be much less condemnatory of the courts stomping all over 'the will of the people' than they are of Morsi's effort to force his will upon the courts -if that is what Morsi is doing.

So where are we? Back to tossing coins to guess what is really going on?
Nah lets apply what we do know.
Whatever any pol says or does the vast majority of Arabs like the vast majority of muslims, loathe zionism and the barbarous acts zionists wantonly commit to enforce zionism.
This will never go away. Sure the indigenous peeps of latin america eventually accepted their spanish and portugese invaders, as have native north americans (albeit reluctantly) come to terms with the english & germans who invaded their nation.
The thing is though those acts of 'resignation to reality' only happened because the locals were stitched up by weight of numbers - invaders vastly outnumbered the locals.
That is never gonna happen with Palestine. Since the initial post ww2 migration, the only other 'hordes' have been the refuseniks who ended up in Israel after Carter n Reagan blocked their entry directly into amerika once they obtained soviet exit visas.
Even if every jew on the planet could be persuaded to relocate to Palestine, root like rattlesnakes and breed flat out, Israel would still be on the wrong side of the people divide.

Morsi is no fool and he knows that repeating Mubarak's errors by backing an overt enemy of the people such as israel, will inevitably bring him down.

If Morsi is doing what I think he is doing, he has played a very good game and left the empire - along with its zionist client fucked flatfooted.

I don't believe Morsi's move on the egyptian legal system coming so soon after amerika praised him for keeping the peace in Palestine is a coincidence.
Morsi may be a newbie playing poker at the top table but he's winning.

amerika was reasonably content for a pol like Morsi to be the new boss cause they thought they could play him; now that he has played them they are nervous.

Cause a prez under the rules that had been devised was always gonna be just one force among three the other two being the military and the general's long term support network, the judges.

Morsi has put alla that in doubt. He's too smart to go straight for the generals, admirals and wing commanders, which would be an open declaration of war. So he takes out their supports and will over time carefully dismantle Egypt’s old power structure, building a new framework, one that is more directly responsive to Morsi and the MB.
Does this bode well or ill for the Palestinians?
Well it won't be designed to cater to Palestinians but if it provides Egypt's pols with more say in their decisions by reducing imperial influences, it is likely to be more advantageous to Palestinians that that which went before.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 26 2012 0:54 utc | 97

whats the latest hoop u hfta jump thru to post here?
I posted a message the system saw it told moi it was posted -I could read it yet after I left n came back it it was gone - is as if the post never existed.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 26 2012 5:16 utc | 98

somebody wrote: “The only organisations that are capable of saving Egyptian democracy are the trade unions now.”

I would say they are too weak, that is an illusion. Morsi seems to perceive the danger:

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has amended the country's labour union law allowing the government to appoint its loyalists to the country's sole trade union federation. ...This is the first law to be decreed by Mursi following his 22 November declaration, which granted his decisions immunity against challenges.

From a W. pragmatic pov, the ultimate danger or creepoid dictatorial move, is the take over of the judiciary. No independent judiciary, the cake is cooked. Note, even with a change in Constitution, or a limbo, the penal and ‘serious’ admin. judiciary can continue to work and be at least semi-functional and ‘fair’ (whatever that means in the present society - it may be more appearance than deep reason...) Also, pressure can be put on it, funds can be allocated, to keep this part of the State apparatus moving on somewhat briskly or at least reasonably, stressing something like ‘an equal rule of law’ for all citizens. One can bend over towards the little guy.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 26 2012 17:36 utc | 99

I read a current Eric Margolis' piece yesterday somewhere online on this subject. I recommend you find it and read it. ...for his sensible perspective.

There have to be people in politics whose motives are mostly pure - I’ve read the evidence in our history books.

Seriously - cut him some slack. Let him Clean House! If you go by his so-far accomplishments and ignore the stuff the media are screeching at you, it looks like he's doing a creditable job early in. Why not let him finish sweeping out the previous corrupt regime’s supporters from positions from which they can sabotage his reforms? I’d want to do that too.

One More Thing…

It's important that you remember Obama has powers well beyond those asked for by Morsi - powers he took without asking for Congressional approval. He's much more a despotic dictator than Morsi could ever expect to be in his attempts so far in remaking Egypt.

Final Question:

Why aren’t Americans burning down the Democrat’s offices? And rioting in the streets? Who’s paying for the violence in Egypt? Because somebody is.

PS: What the hell is the correct spelling for this man's name? There are 3 versions that I've seen, 2 of them in the original post!

Posted by: arthurdecco | Nov 27 2012 1:33 utc | 100

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