‘The Day the Revolution Died': Amid Protests, Egypt’s Military Makes Its Move

Here is what experts, journalists and local bloggers are saying about the situation in Egypt

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Nariman El-Mofty / AP

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi wave national flags during a protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo on July 1, 2013

The Egyptian military issued a 48-hour ultimatum for President Mohamed Morsi to put an end to the massive showdown ongoing in the streets of Egypt between the opposition and Morsi’s supporters. The move was interpreted by many as the first stage of a coup, with the country’s military intervening against an elected Islamist government that has controversially held sway during Egypt’s current short fling with democracy. Here is what experts, journalists and local bloggers are saying about the situation.

Steven Cook, Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, says the military has always been angling to retain power.

Despite [authoritarian former President Hosni] Mubarak’s departure and all that has changed in Egypt, the military remains the ultimate source of power and authority in a system that was not actually overturned when Mubarak sought refuge in Sharm el Sheikh during what seems like another era. If anyone doubts this, events of the last few days should convince him or her otherwise …

The tone the military has struck up until this moment is perfectly suited for the officers’ ultimate goal which is, and has been, to salvage what they can from the wreckage of the January 25 uprising and preserve their place in Egyptian society.

Evan Hill, a Cairo-based journalist, details the rise of the opposition forces that culminated in this weekend’s massive protests against Morsi:

Egypt is more polarized than at any point since the revolution. Figures from the old regime — Omar Suleiman’s aide, the son of one of the Nile Delta’s longtime Mubarak power brokers — have re-emerged to rally supporters against the Brotherhood. The irony is not lost on many of the most dedicated revolutionaries, who wonder whether their causes have been hijacked and their voices marginalized once again. Others have set aside such concerns, saying the Brotherhood represents the more clear and present danger. The enduring legacy of Mr. Morsi’s presidency, if he does not survive his four-year term, may be his inadvertent facilitation of the counter-revolution.

Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, calls out Morsi’s “arrogant and high-handed style of governing” on Truthdig.

Morsi, from the Muslim Brotherhood, represents the equivalent of the American Tea Party in Egyptian politics — captive to the religious right, invested in austerity and smaller government, and contemptuous of workers and the political left. In his first year in office, the nation’s first freely elected head of state has squandered Egyptians’ willingness to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has acted like the President of the somewhat cultish Muslim Brotherhood, rather than like the President of the whole country.

Middle East–based journalist Patrick Galey writes in his blog post “The Day the Revolution Died” that the military’s ultimatum is a step backward for democrats.

I’ve learned a basic and terrifying truth today: That many would rather see a military junta rule with impunity and autocracy than see a democratic [administration] govern with fecklessness and error. That many people who call themselves revolutionaries and advocates of democracy simply hate Islamism more than they love freedom. That people are fully prepared to welcome the army back to political life, cheerily, with a cheer, two fingers up to those killed since 2011, and a good riddance to Egypt’s first experiment with democracy.

H.A. Hellyer, a nonresident fellow at Brookings Institute, writes on Foreign Policy that the military’s ultimatum is effectively a coup to ensure stability.

The Egyptian military is not, and never has been, an ideological institution. Its main concerns have been to maintain its independence vis-à-vis the rest of the state, and to ensure the stability of Egypt — without which it would be forced to involve itself in the mess of governing tens of millions of Egyptians …

The statement today can be summed up, perhaps a bit unkindly, as: “We’ve chosen no one’s side but our own in this mess, and we’re rather annoyed that you (the political elite) could not sort out things on your own.”

Mahmoud Salem, an Egyptian blogger and political activist, writes that Sunday’s showing in the streets was sufficient to discredit Morsi’s legitimacy.

While we are at it, dear Western analysts and pundits: please don’t tell us that we shouldn’t take to the streets and overthrow a regime that violates our rights, kills us, places itself above all accountability (popular or judicial) and fails at providing even the most basic functions of the state due to its insistence on resorting to nepotism over efficiency and experience. You have institutions, we don’t.

Caroline Freund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, writes in Bloomberg View that beneath the protests and beyond the politicking, it’s the economy, stupid.

The need for reform is growing more urgent by the day. Unemployment is above 13 percent, from 9 percent in 2010. The most recent data show that one-quarter of the population is living in poverty, and the share is rising. Foreign reserves had plummeted from $36 billion before the revolution to about $13 billion in March of this year before funds from Qatar arrived. The black markets for dollars and fuel are thriving.

11 comments
RainAdel
RainAdel

would also like to make it clear the same thing happened in 2011 revolution the army interfered to make agreements with mubarak to apply the will of people because this what our army vowed to protect "to protect egypt and the will of its people" but mubarak listened and saved the army to interfere against his will and he resigned and if he didn't the army was going to do the same as now "not a coup" but to stand to defend the demand of the majority of egyptians ,the army went to convince morsy to listen to people's revolution many times and made great efforts to save the country a civil war but morsy dictatorship and maniac love for power made him insist and encouraged his MB group to defend him to the last drop of blood which was a direct encouragement from him to use violence against the people so the army had no choice but to save us from death of millions who were in the street against morsy and as u can see now we have no army ruling they are just securing the country against the MB terrorists attacks,and we have a new temporary president ADLY Mahmoud Mansour who was agreed upon from all the parties except MB who were invited to the meeting but they are the ones who refused to attend,this meeting included the salafists nour group and other islamic parties and the youth of Tamarod movement ( who gathered 22 million signatures in the petition to resign morsy regime) and who speak on behalf of the revolutionist and the representer of the liberal and civil parties mohamed el baradee ,the azhar supreme sheikh and the church pope all these put the points of the road maps and who will be the temp. president.and it was anounced,so how u call this a coup.this is the most democratic movement that speaks directly to the voice and will of the nation.



RainAdel
RainAdel

don't know why the press and media are misleading people with wrong data ,this is a revolution of the Egyptian against a fascist dictator and a terrorist group who were turning Egypt to an afghanestan and a terrorist power they spread their people in all the positions in the country and made a constitution that non of the liberal parties were involved in nor agreed to they forged the results and morsy turned out to be involved in treason in the time of the 2011 revolution by calling for hamas group who came freed him and his group from prison by force and they killed police officers during this process,this case is in court and was proved with evidence after investigations and u can check our media for the video of the court, also u can check in bany ghazy investigations about the american embassy assault that morsy was involved in funding it,how do u deffend a terrorist and america pays to fund him and his group ,the reason usa media are doing this is to blind its people to not accuse obama of supporting with 1.5 billion dollars a terrorist group but all these trials will be announced to the world in the coming days and we will prove to the world how u mislead and lied to the people,shame on you .we went out 33 millions in the streets all around egypt in a revolution that exceeded in numbers 5 times the numbers who came out against mubarak regime which u did not object at that time though he too was elected democratically in 2005 and wasn't as dictator as this regime but it seems u only applaud to only what is in ur benefit and the benefit of israel,although no matter who will come next as a president will never have bad intentions against usa nor israel we respect all our treaties through history and we never break our word so relax please and stop supporting terrorists MB . we made a revolution to correct the track of our previous revolution and the only people who are with morsy are his MB group which are few thousands and not millions even the main salafist group "el nour" and other islamic groups took the side of the revolution so i don't think it is democratic that a whole country 90 million should follow the will of 5000 people minority are respected to express their opinion but not force it by violence as they do now attack sinai and the protestors with weapons that they got from hamas and they want to plant a gihadis movement inside our country,i am surprised of the USA media and government who support a terrorist group with the money of innocent americans then send young americans to go in war to fight terrorism what a policy of double standards?!!!


Hxtext
Hxtext

In this article some claim that the Egyptian people would rather have a military junta rule over Islam, that the protesters hate Islam, that the whole movement has been highjacked by former Mubarak people and supporters, that it's about Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood vs. everyone else, and so on. Looking at the big picture, there is the masses of the Egyptian people that have come to a point in their history when they know that they can shape their destiny and that they alone are the real power behind the State. Ultimately, even above their military of whom Mubarak was an extension. Their revolution didn't end with Mubarak stepping down and the elections and this is only the continuation because the system hasn't changed at all. The Egyptian elite still rule through use of the military in a police state. That is what it is..happening in Egypt that is feared so much by other power elitist regimes of the Middle East but kept mostly on the under by the media.

TheRoosha
TheRoosha

@amrazim2808 International isolation too....he won't last a chnce for sure, not matter what he tries.

meddevguy
meddevguy like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Current fling with democracy?" There has been no democracy in Egypt! Theocracy, particularly with a religion that has gained so much political power through force is not the rule of the people. Self-appointed religious leaders, who preach that the afterlife is where the good stuff happens, will never let mere parishioners have any say in their own daily lives and certainly not in how a country's forces are used.

Why exactly do you think the Roman Catholic Church was "given" Vatican City to rule after centuries of stupid 'crusades'.? I hope the Muslim world does not have to go through centuries of that!

hamood120674
hamood120674

@TIME @TIMEWorld : MAYBE RUN FOR SNAP ELECTIONS. BUT WONT END THE BITTERNESS BETWEEN THE RIVALS. STABLE EGYPT ONLY BY THE ARMY RULE. SORRY!

gazultrav
gazultrav like.author.displayName 1 Like

@State_Control Lesser of two evils? Last time I checked Isalmism loathes freedom or anything which might liberate an individual from Islam.

Hxtext
Hxtext

@gazultrav @State_Control  Not only true of Islam but very much so of the other Judeo-Christian religion that Islam is based on.  Have you forgotten the cruel tortures and burnings at the stake and the many other unbelievable and hideous crimes committed by the West's religious institutions on all those whom it saw as a threat?

AliHassan
AliHassan like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Misleading Title, flawed article, shame on you!

First the Title: ‘The Day the Revolution Died’ claim is wrong in statement and reasoning

This is not a military coupe but rather a warning from the armed forces to the political forces to work out a peaceful resolution and avoids the bloodshed. The Muslim Brotherhood has had a history of using violence to achieve its goals and the armed forces would not set by and see its people been butchered by such extremist group that had been banned by law under all previous governments.

Second the article (or lack of) is nothing but some hit and miss sound bites that lack originality and factual contents. Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood had high jacked January 25th 2011 Revolution that was originated by the Youth Movement to come to power. The Oppositions were divided and lacked the assembly, organization, and mobilization skills and that is why the Brotherhood won the June 30th 2012 election.

At the time many Egyptian had accepted Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood as to open a new page in the Egyptian political history. But soon after the Brotherhood have made many mistakes. Mr. Morsi gave himself authorities above the laws, the Brotherhood rushed through with an Islamic filled constitution, an inept government unable to serve the public, high prices, shortage of gasoline, and last Mr. Morsi have started replacing governors with unqualified Islamic loyal ones.  

The June 30th Revolution is organized by the youth movement Tamarod (Rebellion) have gather steam and momentum never seen before on the Egypt Street, and it is only natural for the armed forces to join and guard the will of the people.

SMG
SMG like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@AliHassan  Thank you. What's happening in Egypt now is the real Arab spring.