Following the Will of Their People, the Egyptian Military Deposes President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt

This is live from Tahrir Square.

The head of Egypt’s armed forces issued a declaration on Wednesday suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state.

In a televised broadcast, flanked by military leaders, religious authorities and political figures, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi effectively declared the removal of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups.

Why has the Egyptian military become “the kingmakers” during this time?  While it is true that the United States funds a lot of Egyptian military hardware, training and foreign aid, you must remember that Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat came from the Egyptian military.  Their Free Officers Movement basically got rid of British domination and puppet leaders like King Farouk in the 1950s.  All the first four presidents of Egypt came from the Egyptian military: primarily the army and the air force.  It is where leadership can reside.

This removal also fits in with American aims: that in case of social unrest or democratic collapse, that the military would take over and stabilize countries that are U.S. allies in any region.  I don’t necessarily approve of this, because in other situations it made the lot of people all the harder (Haiti, Chile, El Salvador, Panama).  However, I approve of the military in Egypt taking a leading role in promoting democracy, if not order, for the short term.

That is, even if the elected government is going against the will of the majority of the people, that they will listen and take action, and not use it as an opportunity to consolidate power under one general or a junta. Unfortunately, Egyptians did have to take to the streets previously to loosen the hold that the military held during the 15-month period before Morsi took power.  The people trust the military only so far.

We’re talking about upwards to 50 million people taking part in mostly  peaceful demonstrations in the days leading up to this moment across the country, of which Tahrir Square is only one part.  There are other areas of Egypt where it is almost civil war between anti- and pro-Morsi groups.  However, this mass rejection of Morsi and his policies was something that no one could not ignore.

HuffPo was reporting that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as well as Secretary of State John Kerry had been in conferences with the Egyptian military regarding just such a move.  Mohamed Morsi is being replaced temporarily by Adly Mansour, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court as interim president, says another report.  This court is known by Egyptians as being even-handed, incorruptible, and respect-worthy, even during the reign of Mubarak.

There is great joy being shown here, comparable to our Independence Day celebrations coming up, but 23 people lost their lives yesterday, and are not here today.  Let us hope that these people finally disperse quietly and peacefully to their homes, and renew their vows and activities to save and rebuild their country.  They are an example to the entire planet.

From what I understand, new elections will be called.  The Muslim Brotherhood is on the run right now; Morsi, it is said, has been brought to a presidential palace under guard.  The military is moving towards calming other parts of the country; however, in the rural parts of Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood had support, there is going to be anger.  It is debatable whether the Muslim Brotherhood and their other radical Islamist allies in Egypt will continue to make trouble or will participate in these elections.

More later.

~ by blksista on July 3, 2013.

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