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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Military Coup in Egypt

Posted by on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Al Jazeera reports that President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has been overthrown by the military.

Sharif Adel Kouddous, an Egyptian-American reporter who returned to Egypt during the revolution that ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak, has been predicting violence since yesterday. He just tweeted, "After two and a half years, Egypt just went back to square one in its post-Mubarak transition." This morning, he told Democracy Now!:

We saw a rejection of Hosni Mubarak that threw him out of office, a rejection of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruling Egypt, and now a rejection and a revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood. [The people] are revolting against these authoritarian elements that deny them political and economic agency.
For more, see his interview from earlier today, or check out the Reuters livestream here, which shows a packed Tahrir Square where protesters appear to be lighting fireworks in celebration of Morsi's ouster.


Comments (31) RSS

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raindrop 1
It's huge, every city is partying big time. Egypt just said no to Islamic extremism. It's a great day for humanity.
Posted by raindrop on July 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Fnarf 2
Some of them. There are plenty of pro-Morsi protesters too, and they're promising blood in the streets. Nancy Youssef reported "live gunfire" at the pro-Morsi rally in Rabaa. The Army's got the Coptic pope and the sheik of Al-Azhar mosque on their side, though, and apparently bigger numbers than the MB.
Posted by Fnarf on July 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
Islamist governments have overplayed their hands. Turkey, Iran, Somalia, Tunisia have rejected theocracies. Iran, for now remains an Islamic dictatorship, but not for long.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 3, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
The Striking Viking 4
I'm a little worried about potential violent backlash from the Muslim Brotherhood (from all reports they are piiiiiissed) especially because a good friend of mine, a petite American girl, is flying out for Egypt tomorrow :-/
Posted by The Striking Viking on July 3, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
merry 5
I am cautiously optimistic at this news. I pray the Egyptians can find their way to a true, non-wacko non-repressive non-fundamentalist TRULY representative government with a minimum of (or no!) bloodshed....

@ 4 - Sending good thoughts along to your friend!
Posted by merry on July 3, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 6
Did you read Kouddous' quote?
[The people] are revolting against these authoritarian elements that deny them political and economic agency.

To mistake this as an Islamic thing is to completely miss the point. The protests in Turkey & Brazil are similar, and the people aren't resisting "Islamic extremism." It doesn't matter what you cloak the authoritarianism in, whether it be Muslim or Teabaggery or selling public resources to corporations, it's still the same face. People don't want it anymore, they're seeing through the bullshit, and yes, it's going to get ugly.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on July 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Kinison 7
That was quick, Morsi should have taken pointers from the professionals (The Bush Family) when it comes to properly stealing elections.
Posted by Kinison on July 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
Note that the Nour Party, an ultra-conservative Salafist Islamist party that considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be too liberal and "religiously innovative", stood with the generals and supported the coup. It's not a straight anti-Islamist deal; it's more complicated than that. A lot of these people are only against authoritarianism because they want to be the authority. And it's not over.

And no, it's not remotely similar to Brazil or Turkey.
Posted by Fnarf on July 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 9
I maintain they want secular democracies. There may be Muslims that believe secular democracy is the answer. Why not? Even Muslims can see that a government that represents the people's well being over religious proscriptions is desirable. In Turkey, the hero Ataturk became a symbol for the protesters. He brought them secular democracy.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 3, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
I'm not sure this is good news. Say what you want about religion; a democratically elected government has been overthrown by military force. When's the last time a military (not rebel) coup has resulted in improved human rights and standard of living? Name me one, because I can't think of any.
Posted by floater on July 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 11
@10 The people were demanding it. Have you seen the streets? The country wasn't functioning anymore.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
Porcupine 12
@10: How about the carnation revolution? There are probably others but this one is not a bad example:…
Posted by Porcupine on July 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
@10 I agree. @11 are you saying if the anti-gay-marriage protesters in France had been able to shut Paris down, it would have been okay for the military to step in and remove the Socialists from power?

Morsi was the legitimately elected civilian leader of a democracy and the protesters, however valid their grievances, were not entitled to have a political dispute decided in their favor at gunpoint.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
venomlash 14
@10: Turkey has a time-honored tradition of the strictly Ataturkist military stepping in, dismissing the civilian government, and holding fresh elections when the politicians get a little too crazy.
Posted by venomlash on July 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
What I think all of this shows is how paper-thin democratic values are even in a country like the United States. People are celebrating Morsi's downfall because they disagree with his politics, and they don't care that he was removed at the whim of unelected generals.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
The last time the military took over they were in the streets to get them out and the time before that when the military took out Sadat, they got Hosni Mubarak.

Also, lol at this is somehow a outcry against islamic rule. This is about authoritarian, neoliberal economics.
Posted by Agrippa on July 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Fnarf 17
@10, Morsi and the Brotherhood were completely incompetent at running the country. They're in a shambles, everyone is starving and unemployed. The streets are overrun with rapist, murdering "security forces". They have to beg the IMF for billions just to keep the lights on, and the Saudis for food.

The vote for Morsi was a sham, because it was presented as a choice between a military dictatorship or an incompetent fool, you decide. Most people who voted for Morsi did so because they didn't want the generals and they hoped he wouldn't be that bad. He WAS that bad, and worse -- not "extremist" bad but "hasn't a clue how to do anything governmental at all".

The rebels had 22 million signatures -- a fourth of the population, and almost twice as many as Morsi got votes.

This is also not a straight-up military coup. They have called for new elections right away. Virtually every group in the country except the MB supports the ouster.

What they need is someone who can get the economy going, and reverse the flood of investment money out of the country. Stabilize the currency. Rebuild the banking system. And, mostly, create jobs, so all those people in the square have someplace to be during the day.
Posted by Fnarf on July 3, 2013 at 3:09 PM · Report this
@15, his attempt to seize broad, dictatorial powers after being elected might also have something to do with it.
Posted by GermanSausage on July 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
@17: These sound like excellent reasons to vote Morsi out of office.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
@18 please cite some examples.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 21
@15 Apples and oranges. Besides, I'm not saying this is a good thing. I would have much rather he just did his job and not threaten war and appoint terrorists to office. He's incompetent.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 3, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
@21 Yes I saw that line among his opponents yesterday. "Morsi can spare Egypt a military coup," someone tweeted. Indeed. Churchill could have spared England the Battle of Britain. The Korean War could have been avoided with just a little bit of surrendering on the part of the South Koreans. Morsi, you asshole, how could you force the military to do this thing?
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM · Report this
Fnarf 23

Morsi almost immediately declared himself above any other authority, including the courts, back in November. More recently, he pushed through a new constitution written by Islamist extremists.
Posted by Fnarf on July 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM · Report this
@23 I guess what I would like to see are specific examples of abuses. Retrying a few criminal defendants is no worse than what the U.S. has done and continues to do, and yet I assume you wouldn't be okay with the military issuing Obama a 48-hour ultimatum to step down.

Basically what I am saying is that the bar is pretty fucking high for driving a democratically-elected leader out of office at gunpoint. So far people are bringing up issues that don't sound remotely sufficient to clear the bar. Bad economy, surge in crime, constitutional amendments . . . the U.S. has experienced all these things and it's just very hard to identify a point at which it would have been okay for the military to take over.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Fnarf 25
@19, they don't have that luxury, or that time. The country is falling apart. They're on the verge of bread riots.
Posted by Fnarf on July 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
@24, I'm curious, have you been paying attention to anything at all in Egypt? Is "well he's democratically elected" always an excuse? Because that's basically what the homophobes are whining about now that Prop 8's over turned.
Posted by GermanSausage on July 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
@25 Things were pretty bad in India when Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency, and yet most people regard it as unjustified. I take it you disagree? (We don't have to get into its actual consequences, the question is just: under what circumstances is it acceptable to violate the existing democratic order?)
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Fnarf 28
@24, if you think our bad economy remotely compares to what is happening in Egypt, you're insane.

As for military intervention, the revolutionaries in Iran would have been thrilled if the military had intervened after Khomeini hijacked their revolution in 1979. They are somewhat similar cases, though Egypt is ten times the basketcase that Iran was.
Posted by Fnarf on July 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM · Report this
@26 "well he's democratically elected" is a pretty important thing. It doesn't excuse everything, but it matters a lot. You're allowed to be incompetent, you're allowed to be a Muslim. You might not get re-elected, but that's the risk you take when you run for office. The risk you shouldn't have to take is that when people don't like your decisions they will firebomb your offices, kill your supporters, stage a coup, and shut down your media outlets. That's what is happening in Egypt. It's a disgraceful violation.

By the way, Prop 8 was not overturned by the U.S. military, it was ruled unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
@28 I meant throughout U.S. history, but it doesn't really matter. The point is that it is hard to see how economic mismanagement is grounds for a coup. If Morsi were really setting up a Khomeini-style autocracy, then sure, by all means step in. I've seen no evidence that was going on.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 4:21 PM · Report this
More good news: the military has arrested Al Jazeera journalists, producers, and guests.…

This coup is turning out really well, guys.
Posted by minderbender on July 3, 2013 at 4:24 PM · Report this

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