U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shuttled back and forth between Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo to help achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Less than 24 hours after it is reached Egypt’s President Morsi declares Dictatorship.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is eating her words, or perhaps I should I say leather. Open mouth insert foot. Or in this case open mouth insert sandaled feet.
After meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and others to bring about a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, she stated,
“I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence.”
“Egypt’s new government is assuming responsibility and leadership that has long made it a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.”
Exactly what is Clinton’s definition of the word “long”, the 33 years of peace with Israel since the signing of the treaty with Sadat or the less than 24 hours that it took Morsi to name himself the new Pharaoh?
Once again the U.S. chooses the wrong side to align itself with. This is a re-run of the U.S. stance on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) from June of last year when Secretary Clinton announced the formal recognition by the U.S. of the MB.
June of 2011 saw the reversal of a five-year-old U.S. policy banning contact with the Muslim Brotherhood organization in Egypt and was reported by Reuters,
While Clinton portrayed the administration’s decision as a continuation of an earlier policy, it reflects a subtle shift in that U.S. officials will be able to deal directly with officials of the Islamist movement who are not members of parliament.
“We believe, given the changing political landscape in Egypt, that it is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful, and committed to non-violence, that intend to compete for the parliament and the presidency,” Clinton told reporters at a news conference.
“Now in any of those contacts, prior or future, we will continue to emphasize the importance of and support for democratic principles and especially a commitment to non-violence, respect for minority rights, and the full inclusion of women in any democracy,” she added.
Now, just after the U.S. and Clinton praising of Morsi, less than 24 hours later to be exact, Morsi felt there would be no better time to announce his true intentions. As reported by Al-Jazeera,
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has issued a declaration giving himself greater powers and effectively neutralising a judicial system that had emerged as a key opponent by declaring that the courts are barred from challenging his decisions.
“The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution,” according to a decree read out on television by Yasser Ali, a presidential spokesman.
The situation would be funny if it weren’t true. CBS News just reported on November 21, the day the ceasefire was announced,
Morsi emerged as a major regional player. He won the trust of the United States and Israel, which once worried over the rise of an Islamist leader in Egypt…
One does have to laugh that within hours of CBS writing this, Morsi did exactly what everyone was “worried” about, the “Islamist” gave himself full and total power above the law as well as the courts and judges.
What could possibly go wrong there?
The people of Egypt, those that voted this Muslim Brotherhood man into power have now taken to the streets yet again. The site where the downfall and ouster of the former President Hosni Mubarak started, Tahrir Square, is now the scene yet again of protesters and police clashing. Only now, the demonstrators are calling for Morsi to rescind his decree of “absolute” power.
Police and demonstrators in Tahrir Square
It went far beyond protests. Firebombing of buildings and offices also occurred as reported by the Telegraph UK,
On Friday, demonstrators ransacked and burned down offices of the Brotherhood’s political front, the Freedom and Justice Party, in Alexandria, Port Said and Ismailiya.
In Cairo, the biggest demonstrations for months filled Tahrir Square, reviving the spirit and chants of last year’s revolution against former leader, ex-President Hosni Mubarak.
“Out, out,” the crowd chanted. “The people want the downfall of the regime.”
The U.S. wasn’t pleased with Morsi’s decision either. The State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, released the following statement on Friday as well,
The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community. One of the aspirations of the revolution was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution. The current constitutional vacuum in Egypt can only be resolved by the adoption of a constitution that includes checks and balances, and respects fundamental freedoms, individual rights, and the rule of law consistent with Egypt’s international commitments. We call for calm and encourage all parties to work together and call for all Egyptians to resolve their differences over these important issues peacefully and through democratic dialogue.
On Sunday, the Jerusalem Post reported that “Egypt stocks plunge as anti-Morsi protests grow”,
Egypt’s stock market plunged on Sunday in its first day open since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s seizure of new powers set off street violence and a political crisis, unraveling efforts to restore stability after last year’s revolution.
Explaining the violence that has come with the protests, the article continued,
More than 500 people have been injured in protests since Friday, when Egyptians awoke to news that Morsi had issued a decree widening his powers and shielding them from judicial review.
What I find to be most interesting, yet not really that surprising, is Morsi’s handling of the situation.
Those opposing Morsi and his ‘decree’ have called for a “million man march” in Tahrir Square for this Tuesday. Rather than letting them have their march or even the opposite, threating arrest for those that participate, Morsi, in his Muslim Brotherhood wisdom calls for a counter march.
As I stated before, what could possibly go wrong there?
The Daily News Egypt reports,
In a statement released on Saturday, the Muslim Brotherhood called for protests in all governorates on Sunday, as well as a million man march on Tuesday in Abdeen Square.
The MB calls for protests come after anti-Morsy demonstrators made calls for protests on Tuesday. Several tents are already up in Tahrir Square and 14 political groups have so far announced that they will take part in Tuesday protests. The protesters are demanding the reversal of the constitutional declaration, which Morsy announced on Thursday.
Abdeen Square is only a few kilometres from Tahrir Square, sparking fears that clashes may erupt between the two groups.
Such brilliance, such leadership, Morsi is living up to everything I have said and written about him since he won the Presidential election in June, this is just more icing on my pyramid shaped cake.
I predicted that the takeover of power in Egypt would be won by the MB way back in February 2011,
The Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting for an opportunity like this for over 60 years and it is not something they are going to let slip by. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1924 and the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood only 4 years later in 1928 there has never been an opportunity such as this for a return of a Caliphate and you can bet your life the Brotherhood is working harder than any other group or government to see that this happens.
Over a year ago in my article “So Much for Middle East Democracy” I wrote about the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt,
After Mubarak of Egypt was ousted the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) stepped in. Initially it was repeatedly claimed that the MB had nothing to do with the uprising in Egypt. We were told that it came from the “people” and they wanted freedom and democracy.
After it was obvious that MB was indeed pulling the strings of the uprisings, we were told from our own U.S. Government by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, that the MB was “mostly secular”.
Almost immediately following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak it seemed that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt followed him right out the door. Yes, once again, Israel was the “enemy”.
Later, after the MB announced that they would be running in the upcoming elections in Egypt with the newly unveiled “Freedom and Justice Party.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated the U.S. ‘would welcome’ dialogue with Muslim Brotherhood.
Now that the MB has ‘absolute’ power in Egypt it will be a wait and see game.
Wait and see how the people of Egypt handle the decree and the protests, wait and see how the MB will handle the protesters, wait and see how many are injured or die, wait and see how the U.S. continues to try and back pedal away from Morsi, wait and see how this all will inevitably effect the Hamas Israel ceasefire.
But then again, I could be wrong, after all as Clinton stated, “Egypt’s new government is assuming responsibility and leadership that has long made it a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.”
Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and
counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after
surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning
to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high
schools and colleges. His articles have appeared in The Jerusalem Post, Frontpage Mag,
Family Security Matters and dozens of other sites. He can be heard every Thursday night
at 8PM est. on his own radio show “American Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be
reached through his website gadiadelman.com.