The 21st Century Phenomenon




Mohammed Mursi’s nomination, on 06/24/2012, came just three days after the ruling Military Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – SCAF, headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, 76, a long time pillar of Mubarak’s regime and the country’s defence minister for more than 20 years, dismissed the recently elected Parliament with a majority of 70% Islamic parties, allegedly because of legal reasons, and handed over a new constitutional draft aimed to consolidate the Egyptian Army as a state within a state with total sovereignty over its budget, final say over security and foreign affairs and general supervision on the civilian elected authorities.

Strangely USA did not comment publicly on the actually “silent coup” the army committed against genuine Egyptian democracy. Actually the army was trying to limit the civilian authorities in Egypt to the complicated and unpopular issues of feeding the 87 millions Egyptians, to restore the shattered economy, to policing and social affairs and the tension between the majority Muslims and the minority Copts, and to leave for themselves the security and international affairs (see – New Phase).

The move placed the Egyptian Army in a head on confrontation with the Muslims Brotherhood over the future relations between them and the elected civilian authorities.

The reputation and legitimacy of the Egyptian security forces, the army and the military leadership, was severely damaged by the June 5 attack on a border patrol which left 16 soldiers dead in the Sinai Peninsula (see – Kerem Shalom Raid), especially after the head of the General Intelligence in Egypt Gen. Murad Muwafi admitted he had preliminar warning (probably from Israeli sources) but he did not believe Muslims will kill Muslims in the Aftar (evening meal) dinner during the Ramadan. President Mursi seized the opportunity and sacked Gen. Murad Muwafi and the Governor of Northern Sinai Gen. Abdel Wahab Mabruk. In Egypt, where the culture of accountability is almost non-existent and people are not used to seeing officials resign, let alone be sacked, over wrongdoing, the move was supported overwhelmingly by the Egyptian media and senior civilian politicians and enpowered the stand of Mohammed Mursi against the military establishment.

No one saw this coming as President Mohammed Morsi quietly put an end to the political career of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and General Sami Anan, the Chief of Staff, and retired them on Sunday 08/12/2012. He also canceled all military privileges of the new temporary constitutional draft.

Despite many speculations it is not a Muslims Brotherhood takeover. The new Minister of defence General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, 57, is known for his good working relations with the USA and the new head of the Intelligence Gen. Mohamed Rafaat Shehata has good working relations with Israel. All new nominees are from inside the military and are not of designated supporters of the Muslims Brotherhood.

It is still too early to speculate whether the counter-coup of the Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi is a step toward democratisation of Egypt or toward islamization of the country but it is certain Mohammed Mursi has, now, the grip on Egypt (see – EGYPT’S DIRECTION).



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