Protests Rock Egypt: Morsi's Out
Turmoil Rocks Egypt: Morsi's Out
by Stephen Lendman
Events are fast moving. Russia Today's live Cairo video shows huge Tahir Square crowds. They're nonviolent. They're expectant. The mood's electric.
Egyptian troops control key sites nationwide. Large contingents are deployed around Cairo.
Unconfirmed reports suggest Morsi's under house arrest. Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) gave him 48 hours to yield. Do so or step down, it said. The deadline came and passed.
Reuters reported that SACF said it's "ready to die to defend Egypt's people against terrorists and fools." It did so in response to Morsi. It headlined "The Final Hours."
It did so hours after Morsi rejected a power sharing ultimatum. It expired Wednesday morning. Reuters said Egyptian troops control state television. Shoukry Abu Amira heads it. He confirmed it. Armored vehicles patrol outside.
Publicly Morsi remains defiant. "If the price for legitimacy is my blood," he said, "then I am prepared to sacrifice my blood to legitimacy and my homeland."
Privately it's anyone's guess if he means it. Perhaps he yielded power. Ultimately he has no choice. SCAF has final say. Reuters suggested he'll resign or be sacked.
Late reports said he's out. SCAF forcibly removed him. Ahramonline is the government's official English language web site. It said military officials told Morsi he's no longer head of state.
Coup d'etat power rules. Opposition crowds expected it. Their numbers exceed anything Egypt before experienced.
SCAF head Abdul Fatah al-Sisi and key commanders have final say. They'll decide how things turn out.
Senior Muslim Brotherhood official Mohamed el-Beltagy said "(a)ny coup of any sort will only pass over our dead bodies." Perhaps he has other thoughts now.
On Monday, he called for "families in all Egyptian governorates and villages to be prepared to take to the streets and fill squares." He said do so to support Morsi. He's history. He no longer matters.
Crowds opposing him dwarf supportive ones. Millions upset with his rule left him no choice. He reflects leadership without authority.
Travel bans against Muslim Brotherhood officials were issued. Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and Morsi's ministers abandoned their offices.
SCAF's expected to install new provisional council officials. Interior Minister General Muhammad Ibrahim placed police, internal security and intelligence forces at SCAF's disposal.
Coup d'etat authority rules. Events remain extremely fluid. Separate incidents claimed 16 lives. Many injuries were reported.
Reports suggest SCAF plans a new constitution. New elections will be called. They'll be held soon as possible.
Morsi's election was tainted. His fate is unknown. Perhaps he'll remain a powerless figurehead. Maybe he'll stay that way until someone replaces him. Post-Mubarak, SCAF took power. It did so again.
Obama tried to save Morsi. So did Joint Chiefs chairman General Martin Dempsey. They urged SCAF not to issue a 48-hour ultimatum. They proposed leaving him in office, stripping him of power, and installing a transitional government ahead of new elections.
Reports said SCAF head al-Sisi rejected Washington's demands. Unconfirmed ones said Washington sent or plans sending hundreds of US troops to Egypt.
Perhaps special forces are there. On June 19, a Fort Hood press release headlined "6-9 Cav. to support peacekeeping in Sinai," saying:
"The 1st Cavalry Division announced today a battalion task force from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula this summer as part of the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force."
A 40+ US battalion is involved. Perhaps greater numbers are now. Sinai deployment maybe shifted to Cairo.
A so-called Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is composed of troops from 13 governments. It's trained in riot control. It's mandate is controlling violence. Its mission is serving US imperial interests.
Events continue fast moving. Updated reports follow others moments earlier. Tanks are deployed in central Cairo.
Morsi's government is crumbling. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned. So did military advisor General Sami Anan.
Senior judges and police officials joined anti-Morsi protesters. SCAF promises intervention if he fails "to heed the will of the people." His deadline passed to do so.
Muslim Brotherhood officials were arrested. Reports suggest they'll be tried for crimes in office. Morsi's last message was resist. He urged doing so peacefully.
Angry protesters want him out. They got what they asked for. The Military dictatorship replaced him. Expect final outcome to same old, same old.
Replacing Mubarak accomplished nothing. Expect nothing different this time. Democracy's verboten. Popular needs aren't addressed.
Nothing going forward looks promising. Expect festering anger to continue. In time it'll again erupt. Perhaps much more violently.
Revolutionary struggles aren't easy. They take time. Dozens died in recent days. Thousands may next time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.