Morsi: Obama Version 2.0?

Last Wednesday, the President of these United States, Barack Hussein Obama, let the world know his feelings concerning the ruler of Egypt:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday spoke with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, praising his efforts to help broker a ceasefire in the conflict flaring in the Middle East, the White House said.

Under the Egyptian-brokered agreement, Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire after more than a week of fighting in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis. (Reuters)

Unfortunately for Morsi, his own countrymen don’t feel the same way about him.

The Jerusalem Post Reports

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Alexandria on Friday, throwing chairs and books into the street and setting them alight, after the Egyptian president granted himself sweeping new powers.

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and opponents also threw stones at each other near a mosque in the city, Egypt’s second largest, a witness said.

Two cars had glass smashed as the clashes moved away from the area.

In Port Said, another port on the Mediterranean, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party headquarters and pelted it with rocks. Some tried to storm it but did not enter, another witness said.

In Cairo, thousands demonstrated against the decree issued on Wednesday night.

Morsi’s decree exempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected caused fury amongst his opponents on Friday who accused him of being the new Hosni Mubarak and hijacking the revolution.

Morsi’s aides said the decree was to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Morsi’s rivals were quick to condemn him as a new autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his Islamist vision on Egypt.

“Morsi a ‘temporary’ dictator,” was the headline in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm and hundreds of protesters in Tahrir Square, the heart of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, demanded Morsi quit, accusing him of launching a “coup”.

Buoyed by accolades from around the world for mediating a truce between Hamas and Israel, Morsi on Thursday ordered that an Islamist-dominated assembly writing the new constitution could not be dissolved by legal challenges.

Morsi, an Islamist whose roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood party, also gave himself sweeping powers that allowed him to sack the unpopular general prosecutor and opened the door for a retrial for Mubarak and his aides.

The president’s decree aimed to end the logjam and push Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, more quickly on its democratic path, the presidential spokesman said.

“President Morsi said we must go out of the bottleneck without breaking the bottle,” Yasser Ali told Reuters.

The president said any decrees he issued while no parliament sat could not be challenged, moves that consolidated his powers but look set to polarize Egypt further, threatening more turbulence in a nation at the heart of the Arab Spring.

“The people want to bring down the regime,” shouted protesters in Tahrir, echoing one of the chants that was used in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down.

So, who is this Mohammed Morsi, anyway? According to The Times of Israel:

The bespectacled and bearded Morsi squeaked to victory in the freest election in Egypt’s history, and now the 60-year-old university professor must prove his mettle by standing up to the ruling generals who in recent days have stripped the presidency of real power.

For 35 years, Morsi obediently followed the Muslim Brotherhood’s strict rules, abiding by the principle of unquestioned obedience to its supreme leader — a position that changed hands five times during that period and currently is held by Mohammed Badei.

Morsi has dutifully mirrored the group’s strategy of couching a hardline doctrine with short-term pragmatism. In an example that looms large now that he has been elected, Morsi is anti-Israel but he does not call for annulling Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty.

His history makes clear he will not be the comfortable interlocutor for Israel that Mubarak was. His first active role in the Brotherhood was through membership in an “anti-Zionist” committee in his Nile Delta province of Sharkiya in late 1980s, promoting rejection of normalization with the Jewish state. Brotherhood officials have said he will not meet with Israelis, but also will not prevent other officials from doing so.

Morsi helped build the Brotherhood constituencies in Nile Delta provinces at a time the group’s meetings were held in secret, away from the eyes of security forces that waged crackdowns and sent thousands to prison for “belonging to prohibited group” during Mubarak’s three-decade rule. To this day, the 84-year-old organization relies on a disciplined network of cadres backing a leadership whose strategies are formulated behind closed doors.

Unlike other group members who spent years in prison, Morsi was only detained for eight months in 2008 along with 800 Brotherhood members for showing solidarity with independent judges. He was also rounded up along with 34 other Brotherhood members in the first few days of the 2011 uprising. He says he fled the prison with the help of people who helped demolish its walls.

Morsi, who served in the parliament, is said to have never been the ideas man in the Brotherhood. Instead, he served as an implementer of policy. Critics say Morsi is solidly part of the hard-line wing of the Brotherhood that has shown little of the flexibility or willingness to compromise. Throughout his rise in the group, Morsi has been closest to the two figures who are now the Brotherhood’s powerful deputy leaders, Mahmoud Ezzat and Khairat el-Shater.

“Morsi has no talents but he is faithful and obedient to the group’s leaders, who see themselves as above the other Muslims,” said Abdel-Sattar el-Meligi, a former senior Brotherhood figure who broke with the group, particularly because of el-Shater’s grip on the organization. “Morsi would play any role the leaders assign him to, but with no creativity and no uniqueness.”

As a result of this reputation, Egyptians widely assume Morsi’s presidency will be unofficially subordinate to the Brotherhood’s strongman and chief strategist, el-Shater, who was the group’s first choice for pesident. But he was disqualified by election authorities because of his prison conviction during the Mubarak regime. Morsi served only as a backup candidate, earning him the unflattering nickname, “Spare Tire.”

So, basically the Egyptian people are upset that the fella that they elected to be in charge of their nation, who promised them “Hope and Change”, turned out to be a lightweight, is now in the process of passing executive orders and taking all of their freedoms away, and has become a despot.

No wonder Obama likes him.

Until He comes,

KJ

2 thoughts on “Morsi: Obama Version 2.0?

  1. I am for replacing John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Our leaders are stale and have no clue what is coming.This is just my opinion. This is not the time for StatusQuo. It is the time for courage to do what is right. There is no virtue in Washington DC, There is a “boardgame” going on. Those who can lead are not “seeing and admitting” what they see and know. Somehow our party leaders have fallen into mediocracy. We need some Scots in control of our leadership.

    Like

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