Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi gave a speech on July 2, 2013, in which he laid out his case and turned down the request of millions of people and the military to step down. Source of photo.
Morsi just opened the doors of civil war in Egypt by declaring that the price of new political change in Egypt is his life.
In some ways, this is a respectable stance by Morsi. Anyone who is willing to die in the face of massive opposition, especially someone in his high station, has quality in him. But he is basically putting up the middle finger to millions of Egyptians. The opposition to Morsi is well over 50 percent. More than 22 million people signed a petition that calls for early elections. And the anger against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood has been building for quite some time.
Morsi told Assad to step down when only a fraction of the Syrian people went out into the streets to call for the end of his reign and the removal of the regime there, so for him to reject the will of the people in his own country is mystifyingly stupid and hypocritical.
Assad should immediately return the favour and get behind the Egyptian people and tell Morsi to step down. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood need to learn to stay out of the political affairs of other people's countries, especially when their presence is not wanted like in Syria.
Morsi would have more of a case if his administration was more inclusive and respected the grievances, aspirations, and opinions of all of the Egyptian people rather than just a hardcore minority of spiritually committed, politically organized, and military disciplined supporters who place no value in democratic dialogue and equal political representation.
Hopefully, the people of Egypt will not go down the road of civil war and will seek a better solution to their problems. Compromises will have to be made on both sides.
The Egyptian military bears a lot of the blame for the current heated atmosphere by giving Morsi a 48-hour ultimatum to leave office. That move was irresponsible, undemocratic, arrogant, and foolish. It only invited recklessness, and raised the temperature on the street. It would have been better if the army had not intervened and let the protests continue for another week or so and see how they turned out.
An excerpt from, "Defiant Morsi says he's not going anywhere, is 'willing to shed my blood'" by Julian Pecquet (The Hill, July 2):
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi delivered a defiant speech in the early morning hours of Wednesday during which he said he would not step down even as millions of protesters continue to fill the streets calling for his ouster.An excerpt from, "Morsi vows fight to death as Muslim Brotherhood prepares to defend him," by Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail (McClatchy, July 2):
Morsi called himself the “guardian of legitimacy” following his election last year and said he was ready to sacrifice himself just hours before the military's 48-hour ultimatum for a political settlement expires. He blamed remnants of the Mubarak regime for the political crisis that has paralyzed the country.
“If the price against safeguarding legitimacy is my blood, then I am willing to shed my blood,” Morsi said according to an English translation shown on al Jazeera.
With millions of Egyptians in the streets for a third straight day demanding his resignation, a defiant President Mohammed Morsi took to Egypt’s airwaves early Wednesday morning and vowed to fight to remain in office, even if “the price is my blood.”
In a 40-minute call to arms to his supporters, Morsi angrily declared his right to serve out his term as the first democratically elected president in Egypt’s long history.
“I am the president of Egypt,” he shouted at one point. “There is no substitute for legitimacy, no alternative.”
The speech seemed to augur the likelihood of violence when a 48-hour deadline issued by the military calling for Morsi and his opponents to find a solution to their impasse expires at 4:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. EDT).
“The price can be my life,” he said.