Photo of protesters signs with x’s through Morsi’s and Patterson’s faces
Tens of thousands of pro and anti-Morsi protesters have taken to the Cairo streets with the largest demonstrations to take place nationwide on Sunday. Much of the anger is now also directed at the US who are seen as Morsi backers.
Violence in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, left two dead and 143 wounded. A young American teach was among the dead. He was stabbed to death. Muslim Brotherhood offices were set on fire. By evening, thousands of anti-Morsi protesters filled Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Anti-Morsi citizens say they collected 15 million signatures in a country of 83 million demanding Morsi’s removal.
The tension has been building since November and some see Sunday as the climax. In November, Islamofascist Morsi wrote a decree giving himself power over the judiciary. Prior to that he shut down the nation’s free presses and filled the military ranks predominantly with Brotherhood members.
Adding to that is the increasing poverty. The country is suffering from extreme food and fuel shortages.
The Brotherhood says the protesters are Mubarek thugs.
The Morsi opponents are revising anti-Mubarek slogans and using them against Morsi, one being – “the people and the army are one hand.”
Hanging from light poles are photos of Mohammad Morsi, Barack Obama, and Anne Patterson, US Ambassador to Egypt. Obama and Patterson are seen as sympathetic to Morsi and the Brotherhood.
Patterson has been urging Egypt’s opposition groups to re-enter the system and make the transition from street action to organizing for elections.
Patterson, in an effort to “set the record straight” about the U.S. relationship with the Brotherhood at an Egyptian pro-democracy organization, said the White House supported Mr. Morsi because he was fairly elected.
“Some say that street action will produce better results than elections. To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical,” Ms. Patterson told the audience of mostly activists. “More violence on the streets will do little more than add new names to the lists of martyrs. Instead, I recommend Egyptians get organized.”
Protesters had hoped to oust Morsi this Sunday and were very unhappy after this speech. Democracy leader, Egyptian Christian, George Ishaq, said, “She [Patterson] is an evil lady who is creating divisions. How is this any of her business? If I saw her walking down the street I would tell her, ‘shut up and mind your own business.’ ”
The US went from decades of Brotherhood opposition to backing Islamist Morsi in what is a very confused foreign policy. Americans don’t understand it. Egyptians now see the US as the puppet-master behind Morsi.
Signs in Tahrir Square read, “Obama Supports The Dictator Mursi.” A sign on the speakers’ platform adds: “Down with Mursi, America’s agent.”
Egyptians believe that the US put Morsi in power. We certainly helped. Obama insisted that the Brotherhood be involved in all talks when the government was being formed.
Obama took credit for the uprising in a 60 minutes interview with Hillary Clinton.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in June 2012 called on Egyptian authorities to “support the democratic transition” and yield power to an elected president. Anti-Islamist politicians were infuriated with her afterwards.
Obama who claimed he would foster better relations with the Arab world now receives a 62% unfavorable rating according to a March Gallup poll.
It has been reported that the US is sending 400 unarmed Army soldiers to help Egypt strategize on how to put down protesters.
The fear is that Egypt could descend into chaos but someone needs to tell Morsi to back off. He has made known his plans to take over control of the entire government. He wants control of labor unions and has taken to punishing journalists.
The US State Department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, called for restraint and peaceful protests. One has to wonder why we are sending them F-16’s and Abrams tanks instead of food and support to grow businesses. Egypt is the fifth largest recipient of US largesse but more than 80% of the $1.56 billion total U.S. aid goes to the Egyptian military.
US taxpayers are also growing increasingly discontent over the way the Morsi government describes the US and Israel. They take our funding and military support, which they might one day use against Israel, and they rail against us as the enemy.
The dissidents include Islamists as well as liberal protesters who say Morsi has ignored their voices and he has. Both groups believe that the only thing Morsi is interested in is political control. Islamists say he makes unilateral decisions like a dictator.
The battles are over the way Morsi has ruled and it is not against his version of “modern” Islamic rule.
Morsi has the unenviable position of trying to bring secularists and Islamists together under one roof and has seemingly found that ignoring them and using Murbarek’s methods has its charms.
The Brotherhood thinks their dictatorship is a model of democracy. It probably doe resemble Obama’s vision.
Military forces have dispersed across the country to avoid the violence that took place in Alexandria and elsewhere on Friday.
Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the National Salvation front, said, “I only wish that the Americans would leave the Egyptian people to settle their differences on their own.”
Sourced from the Wall Street Journal, 6/29/13