Egyptian Protests Against Morsi Turn Deadly

 

The spring bloom is off the Cairo rose. Egypt is locked in a heated standoff after millions of protesters took to the streets this weekend demanding that Islamist President Mohamed Morsi resign.

During the protests, the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters was set on fire and seven people, including a 21-year-old American college student, were killed in the clashes. Hundreds more were wounded, and at least 46 women, including a foreign journalist, suffered sexual assaults by gangs of men during the Tahrir Square rally.

Young revolutionaries united with liberal and leftist opposition parties in a massive show of defiance on the first anniversary of Mr. Morsi’s inauguration on Sunday, chanting “the people demand the fall of the regime.” While the demonstrations were largely peaceful, at least seven people died in clashes between the two groups.

The demonstrations, which brought half a million people to Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and a similar crowd in the second city, Alexandria, were easily the largest since the Arab Spring uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Mr. Morsi, the nation’s first freely elected leader, stayed out of sight but acknowledged through a spokesman that he had made mistakes while adding that he was working to fix them and was open to dialogue. He showed no sign of resigning.

The massive protests showed that the ruling Muslim Brotherhood has not only alienated liberals and secularists by seeking to entrench Islamic rule but has also angered millions of ordinary Egyptians with economic mismanagement.

Tourism and investment have dried up, inflation is rampant and fuel supplies are running short, with power cuts lengthening in the summer heat.

The army has remained neutral so far while some uniformed policemen marched among protestors in Cairo and Alexandria, chanting “the police and the people are one.” This cast doubt on whether Morsi could rely on security forces to clear the streets if he gave the order.

The demonstrators maintain that Morsi has become a power-hungry autocrat who wants to make the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt’s ruling party. They also blame the Obama Administration and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson for propping up Morsi and allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to grab power in Egypt.

“We are very critical of the Obama administration because they have been supporting the Brotherhood like no one has ever supported them,” Shadi Al Ghazali Harb, a 24-year-old member of Egypt’s Revolutionary Youth Coalition, told the Washington Free Beacon.

The White House is “the main supporter of the Brotherhood,” he said. “If it wasn’t for the American support this president would have fallen months ago.”

Al Ghazali Harb called Patterson “the first enemy of the revolution,” saying “she is hated even more than Morsi.” Activists hung pictures of Patterson with a red “X” drawn across her face at Egypt’s Defense Ministry Friday.BN3SUdaCUAA1_3A.jpg-large.jpg

“She’s done a lot to harm our relations with the United States,” Al Ghazali Harb said.

Pro-democracy activists such as Al Ghazali Harb said the June 30 demonstrations have even attracted the support of those who originally voted for Morsi in Egypt’s elections.

“We’re treating the Brotherhood as an occupation,” he said, noting that nearly 20 million Egyptians have signed onto an anti-Morsi petition. “Our whole country is at stake.”

The Obama Administration has also angered many Egyptians by siding with Morsi against the Coptic Christians, who have suffered under Morsi’s rule.

More troubling is that the U.S. ambassador to Egypt is also trying to prevent Egyptians from protesting—including the Copts. The June 18th edition of Sadi al-Balad reports that lawyer Ramses Naggar, the Coptic Church’s legal counsel, said that during Patterson’s June 17 meeting with Pope Tawadros, she “asked him to urge the Copts not to participate” in the demonstrations against Morsi and the Brotherhood.

Western experts say the Obama Administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Morsi and provide him with money and military aid have aggravated the pro-democracy activists.

“The administration believed that it could influence the Brotherhood to act democratically through friendly ‘engagement,’ and this meant not criticizing the Brotherhood too publicly or harshly when it began acting autocratically, including when Brotherhood cadres violently attacked opposition protesters in December,” Eric Trager, an Egypt expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Free Beacon.

“The opposition thus concluded that the administration was totally supportive of the Brotherhood’s behavior — which it wasn’t,” Trager said. “Ultimately, the administration failed to manage perceptions.”

Failed to manage perceptions indeed. The entire “Arab Spring” has been a failure. But will Obama be connected to it? Probably not. Like everything else, he’ll get a pass. He spoke of “a new beginning” when, after his election, he stood before an audience in Cairo like a god from on high and promised never to tolerate extremists. So much for new beginnings. So much for not tolerating extremists, particularly those who treat Christians like chattel. Egypt is repeating history and is probably heading for civil war.

There are 29 comments.

  1. DocJay Inactive

    The Obama foreign policy legacy is one of utter failure. The MSM is barely covering this, I wonder why.

    • #1
    • July 1, 2013, at 6:14 AM PDT
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  2. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    It really does make you wonder, “WHAT THE [Expletive] IS OBAMA THINKING?”

    Also, why was this American college student at the Muslim Brotherhood’s offices? Sounds suspicious.

    • #2
    • July 1, 2013, at 6:32 AM PDT
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  3. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister Post author
    Albert Arthur: It really does make you wonder, “WHAT THE [Expletive] IS OBAMA THINKING?”

    Also, why was this American college student at the Muslim Brotherhood’s offices? Sounds suspicious. · 10 minutes ago

    The article says he was just there taking pictures of the protestors with his mobile phone.

    • #3
    • July 1, 2013, at 6:43 AM PDT
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  4. Paul Stinchfield Member
    D.C. McAllister: He [Obama] spoke of “a new beginning” when, after his election, he stood before an audience in Cairo like a god from on high and promised never to tolerate extremists.

    And yet Obama has always chosen–preferred–to associate with and ally with extremists.

    • #4
    • July 1, 2013, at 6:44 AM PDT
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  5. Devereaux Inactive

    I believe there are several things to be noted here.

    First, there is the overall desire for freedom and democracy, something I would not have expected from what I saw earlier in the “Arab Spring” across Northern Africa.

    Second is the almost complete blackout of these kinds of news in our reportage. We now rely on Judith Levy to bring us Claire Berlinski’s insightful observations of what all is happening in Turkey, and this to bring Egypt out in the open.

    There is much comment about how badly the government is acting, but this kind of behavior coupled with the IRS, F&F, & NSA scandals should bring most to the conclusion that our “government” has now become our enemy. I exclude Benghazi because it has become patently clear that what we have there is gross incompetence.

    • #5
    • July 1, 2013, at 6:58 AM PDT
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  6. The Mugwump Inactive

    The Egyptian military has always been the real power behind the throne. Let’s hope the professionals haven’t been replaced by Muslim Brotherhood cronies. If the army comes down on the side of the Egyptian people, Morsi is done and it’s back to jail for the brotherhood.

    • #6
    • July 1, 2013, at 7:05 AM PDT
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  7. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member

    From what I read, these Egyptian demonstrations calling for Morsi’s resignation are the largest in all of recorded history.

    C’mon, America! Don’t let Egypt set the record! We can do one better than this!

    • #7
    • July 1, 2013, at 7:08 AM PDT
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  8. CuriousKevmo Member
    Devereaux: should bring most to the conclusion that our “government” has now become our enemy. 

    “Most” is the operative word. Sadly most just don’t seem to get it or don’t care. I hear None, zero, zip, nada outrage around here and I’m surrounded by Obama voters. Between the lame media coverage and people not wanting to admit their mistake suddenly everyone is just heads down working and apolitical. (pretending to be)

    • #8
    • July 1, 2013, at 7:35 AM PDT
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  9. Valiuth Member

    Wait! We sided against the Coptic Christians!? Why? They are the most likely to be friendly to us thanks to a shared religious tradition. Also how messed up is it for us to tell a minority that is being oppressed not to protest or speak out lest it rock the boat. 

    It seems like the lefts reflexive love of all anti american autocrats is really having a field day with our foreign policy. Incompetence does not even begin to describe this. America was not too long ago a nation committed to international freedom and democracy. Now we are a nation that doesn’t seem to stand for anything. 

    • #9
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:05 AM PDT
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  10. DocJay Inactive

    CuriousKevmo, that is a huge problem and I’ve seen it too. The enthusiastic Obama voters wanted the hopeNchange to smell like roses. Instead we have a bag of fresh turds and all I see are nose clips and blinders. Someone needs to light the bag and put it on the right doorsteps.

    • #10
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:07 AM PDT
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  11. DocJay Inactive

    Valiuth, Patterson told the Copts to stand down because Morsi’s henchmen will kill them faster and embarrass Obama. Obama wants a slow, controlled destruction of the Copts that our media can hide from their duty to report. Genocide sort of forces the media’s hands.

    • #11
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:10 AM PDT
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  12. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    Valiuth: Wait! We sided against the Coptic Christians!?

    That was clear the moment “we” threw one in prison for blasphemy against Mohammed.

    Remember: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    • #12
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:15 AM PDT
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  13. flownover Inactive

    Obama is behind the counter protests, the Morsi thugs in the street, the use of tear gas on the citizens of Egypt.

    How long until Morsi uses more military force to beat back his citizens ? Wouldn’t it be logical to use the new weapons that we have sent ?

    Now that Morsi has been implicated in the Benghazi attack does Obama have an even bigger stake in protecting him ?

    Will this have any effect on the NY Mayoral race ? While it may look like a stretch to tie that story in, it’s not.

    Do you think that the money Kerry dropped off the other day is being used for baby’s formula ? 

    17,000,000 in the streets by some counts, AP weighs in with it’s number and counts hundreds of thousands . You know where that number came from .

    (now six links is my limit, auf wiedersehen baby)

    48 hours.

    • #13
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:25 AM PDT
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  14. Valiuth Member
    DocJay: Valiuth, Patterson told the Copts to stand down because Morsi’s henchmen will kill them faster and embarrass Obama. Obama wants a slow, controlled destruction of the Copts that our media can hide from their duty to report. Genocide sort of forces the media’s hands. · 7 minutes ago

    I think you give our media too much credit. I think they can always lower to the challenge of ignoring Christians being massacred. Look at Sudan. 

    DrewInWisconsin
    Valiuth: Wait! We sided against the Coptic Christians!?

    That was clear the moment “we” threw one in prison for blasphemy against Mohammed.

    Remember: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”· 2 minutes ago

    What ever happened to the infamous Mohamed Video guy? Do we still have him jailed?

    • #14
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:26 AM PDT
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  15. WI Con Member

    The demonstrations against the Muslim Brotherhood are encouraging, US policy is not.

    Also, with all the assaults on women reporters that have been well documented – what in the world was a female reporter doing there. Did some one tape a sign on her back saying ‘assault me’? It’s not right but pretty stupid on her part.

    • #15
    • July 1, 2013, at 8:36 AM PDT
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  16. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    ~Paules: The Egyptian military has always been the real power behind the throne. Let’s hope the professionals haven’t been replaced by Muslim Brotherhood cronies. If the army comes down on the side of the Egyptian people, Morsi is done and it’s back to jail for the brotherhood. · 2 hours ago

    Well, here you go.

    Egyptian army issues all parties 48-hour ultimatum to reach resolution

    The head of Egypt’s Armed Forces issued on Monday a 48-hour ultimatum to all Egyptian political forces to reach a resolution or face a military “road map for the future” that “will not exclude anyone.”

    . . .

    “The armed forces must act, because they have always been on the side of the people who have expressed their will,” said Sabbahi, a candidate in the previous presidential elections.

    Gen. Sissi said the ultimatum was a “last chance” and described the mass protests on Sunday that brought out millions of Egyptians demanding Mursi’s ouster as “glorious.” It said protesters expressed their opinion “in a peaceful and civilized manner,” and that “it is necessary that the people get a reply… to their calls.”

    • #16
    • July 1, 2013, at 9:32 AM PDT
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  17. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    Valiuth
    DrewInWisconsin
    Valiuth: Wait! We sided against the Coptic Christians!?

    That was clear the moment “we” threw one in prison for blasphemy against Mohammed.

    Remember: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”· 2 minutes ago

    What ever happened to the infamous Mohamed Video guy? Do we still have him jailed?

    Yep!

    And the White House is still closed to tours.

    And the IRS is still targeting conservatives.

    And in spite of all the scandals coming to light, nothing’s changed. Which is, itself, a scandal.

    • #17
    • July 1, 2013, at 9:36 AM PDT
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  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher
    Paul Stinchfield

    And yet Obama has always chosen–preferred–to associate with and ally with extremists. · 1 hour ago

    No not extremist. Enemies of the United States. Obama is always associated with those that actively oppose what the US stands for.

    • #18
    • July 1, 2013, at 9:41 AM PDT
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  19. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    Fake John Galt

    No not extremist. Enemies of the United States. Obama is always associated with those that actively oppose what the US stands for.

    You might even say he “pals around with terrorists.” /bait

    • #19
    • July 1, 2013, at 9:48 AM PDT
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  20. DocJay Inactive
    Fake John Galt
    Paul Stinchfield
     

    And yet Obama has always chosen–preferred–to associate with and ally with extremists. · 1 hour ago

    No not extremist. Enemies of the United States. Obama is always associated with those that actively oppose what the US stands for. · 6 minutes ago

    Obama’s behavior is near treasonous.

    The media hasn’t even covered the Egyptian military’s challenges to Morsi. Obama won’t even comment on this. I doubt Carney will. Our country has become a joke!

    • #20
    • July 1, 2013, at 9:53 AM PDT
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  21. Douglas Inactive

    What Obama should do… and any other President, for that matter… is stay the hell out of it.

    • #21
    • July 1, 2013, at 10:18 AM PDT
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  22. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Fake John Galt No not extremist. Enemies of the United States. Obama is always associated with those that actively oppose what the US stands for. · 33 minutes ago

    I won’t argue; I was keeping my comment brief and understated. He chooses to ally himself with Chicago machine thieves, communists, fascists, racists, and unrepentant terrorists who longed to establish a Soviet-style regime and exterminate the tens of millions of Americans that they expected would resist “reeducation”. What does this tell us about the state of liberalism in America?

    • #22
    • July 1, 2013, at 10:22 AM PDT
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  23. Adam Koslin Member

    I’m not sure the Arab Spring can yet be judged atotal failure. 

    Granted, it did not produce a utopian blooming of secular westernism, but in retrospect expecting countries to pass straight from rigid despotism to liberal democracy was a fool’s dream, regardless of whether the galvanic spark was street protest or American invasion and reconstruction. However, if we can draw anything from history in this case, it is that the social peace, harmony, and order which make democracy and freedom workable are complex institutions which have to grow organically – often out of the ashes of prior, more hierarchical or repressive forms. 

    I am unabashedly cribbing this point from one of Thomas Ricks’s blog posts over at Foreign Policy, but the violence and instability that began during the Arab Spring and has since spread across the region, bears a more than passing resemblance to the beginning of Europe’s horribly destructive 30 Years War. The metaphor is strained at best – Sunnism as Catholicism? Shi’ism as Lutheranism? Secularism as Calvinism? Ick! – but just as the 30 Years War gave rise to the modern Westphalian system of nation-states, might not this conflict bring the Middle East modernity?

    • #23
    • July 2, 2013, at 8:21 AM PDT
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  24. Devereaux Inactive
    Taliesin: I’m not sure the Arab Spring can yet be judged atotal failure. 

    I am unabashedly cribbing this point from one of Thomas Ricks’s blog posts over at Foreign Policy, but the violence and instability that began during the Arab Spring and has since spread across the region, bears a more than passing resemblance to the beginning of Europe’s horribly destructive 30 Years War. The metaphor is strained at best – Sunnism as Catholicism? Shi’ism as Lutheranism? Secularism as Calvinism? Ick! – but just as the 30 Years War gave rise to the modern Westphalian system of nation-states, might not this conflict bring the Middle East modernity? · 12 hours ago

    See, I don’t see Catholic vs Lutheran in the 30 yrs war. Else why would France have been supporting Prussia over Austria.

    30 yrs war was nation-state over religion. Christianity died then, and we only now see the final results in Europe. France rose to pagan power there – ?do you see a parallel in the Mideast. I suppose Iran’s rise to hegemony might be called that.

    • #24
    • July 3, 2013, at 8:53 AM PDT
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  25. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Taliesin: I’m not sure the Arab Spring can yet be judged atotal failure. 

    Granted, it did not produce a utopian blooming of secular westernism, but in retrospect expecting countries to pass straight from rigid despotism to liberal democracy was a fool’s dream, regardless of whether the galvanic spark was street protest or American invasion and reconstruction. However, if we can draw anything from history in this case, it is that the social peace, harmony, and order which make democracy and freedom workable are complex institutions which have to grow organically – often out of the ashes of prior, more hierarchical or repressive forms. 

    This is true, but we can at least have a reasonable expectation that things will not get worse. Maybe full freedom of religion is a long term goal, but I think “Don’t stand by and watch while Copts get slaughtered” is a not unreasonable short term one.

    • #25
    • July 3, 2013, at 9:03 AM PDT
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  26. Adam Koslin Member
    Devereaux

    See, I don’t see Catholic vs Lutheran in the 30 yrs war. Else why would France have been supporting Prussia over Austria.

    30 yrs war was nation-state over religion. Christianity died then, and we only now see the final results in Europe. France rose to pagan power there – ?do you see a parallel in the Mideast. I suppose Iran’s rise to hegemony might be called that. · 12 hours ago

    Sure, there were dynastic and political components to the 30 Years War, but the current unrest in the ME isn’t devoid of areligious considerations. The protesters in Turkey are by-and-large secularists (or, at least, opposed to Islamism as a caesaropapist church-state fusion) as are those in Egypt. Additionally, the region isn’t large or powerful enough for two members of one bloc to have competing interests on the scale of France and the Hapsburgs. 

    I’d suggest that for all the trouble the fading of Christianity is doing in the present world, the secularization of the political realm is a good thing, and would be a GREAT thing in the ME. Freedom of conscience is desperately needed there, as is social harmony.

    • #26
    • July 3, 2013, at 9:36 AM PDT
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  27. Adam Koslin Member
    Umbra Fractus

    This is true, but we can at least have a reasonable expectation that things will not get worse. Maybe full freedom of religion is a long term goal, but I think “Don’t stand by and watch while Copts get slaughtered” is a not unreasonable short term one. · 32 minutes ago

    Well, the answer to that is fairly simple — if the Copts want out, then we offer them asylum, or send aid and comfort to the refugee camps. If they don’t, I fail to see a reason why we need to send in Marines to intervene in their affairs. They can’t have their cake and eat it too. Not on our dollar. As Colin Powell said, the world nowadays works on Pottery Barn rules: “You break it, you bought it.” And I don’t fancy being an American taxpayer, on the hook for putting Egypt back together because a religious minority was getting persecuted, but refused to leave when given the opportunity.

    • #27
    • July 3, 2013, at 9:40 AM PDT
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  28. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Taliesin
    Umbra Fractus
     

    Well, the answer to that is fairly simple — if the Copts want out, then we offer them asylum, or send aid and comfort to the refugee camps. If they don’t, I fail to see a reason why we need to send in Marines to intervene in their affairs. They can’t have their cake and eat it too. Not on our dollar. As Colin Powell said, the world nowadays works on Pottery Barn rules: “You break it, you bought it.” And I don’t fancy being an American taxpayer, on the hook for putting Egypt back together because a religious minority was getting persecuted, but refused to leave when given the opportunity. · 1 hour ago

    Uhm… the Copts are the original Egyptians. Their ancestors are the ones over whom the Pharaohs ruled. If the Islamists took over France, would you argue that the French should abandon country?

    • #28
    • July 3, 2013, at 11:37 AM PDT
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  29. Douglas Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
     
     

     

    Uhm… the Copts are the original Egyptians. Their ancestors are the ones over whom the Pharaohs ruled. If the Islamists took over France, would you argue that the French should abandon country? · 3 minutes ago

     

    Almost all Egyptians are the “0riginal Egyptians”. The difference between Copts and Muslims is religion, and that’s about it. Genetically, the majority of Egyptians are the direct descendants of classical Egyptian people. The Copts are simply the remnants of the Christian civilization that flourished before Islam. Egyptians “Arabs” are genetically Egyptian, for the most part. In theMiddle East, an “Arab” is anyone that that practices the culture and has Arab as their mother tongue. If you moved toEgypt orSaudi Arabia, converted to Islam, and raised your kids speaking Arabic and practicing Islam, they’d be considered Arabs. Arabization went hand in hand with Islamic conquest. Even today, there’s still a good deal of resistance to Arabization among the Berbers, Tuaregs, Egyptians, and Levantines. There’s a renewed “Phoenicia” movement inLebanon now.

    Now, the Coptic language is the direct successor to the ancient Egyptian language. But the people themselves are mostly genetically Egyptian.

    • #29
    • July 3, 2013, at 11:53 AM PDT
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