Evan Hill writes: [T]here were signs in Friday’s protests that the coup, though it arrived on an unprecedented wave of popular support, had inspired anger beyond the insular Brotherhood and Islamist social networks. Some who came to the Republican Guards compound said that they were not Brotherhood members or committed Morsy partisans but simply angry that their votes had been usurped. They complained that Morsy had been hamstrung by uncooperative opposition parties and subversive ministries that laid traps to make governing impossible. Some pointed with suspicion to the rolling blackouts, petrol shortages and panic over the availability of basic foodstuffs that had wracked the nation in the weeks leading up to June 30. They noted with dark irony that the crises had suddenly stopped since Morsy’s fall — though many economic problems were likely to continue under any new government.
“We went down for five elections: [including] the People’s Assembly, the Shoura Council, a referendum, presidential, and in the end, the military council…threw them in the trash,” said Ahmed Hassan, the 35-year-old owner of an IT company.
Hassan claimed the June 30 protests had been fueled by an alliance of Christians, liberals and Mubarak regime sympathizers who could not abide the idea of an Islamist president. Others said they believed the demonstrators were mostly young people who had been brainwashed by an array of hostile television netwokrs. Some pointed out that almost none of the independent stations continued to cover protests in support of Morsy following the coup.
Hassan argued that one year had hardly been enough time for Morsy’s administration to correct Egypt’s path, after three decades under Mubarak. Whatever mistakes Morsy had made, his supporters argued, were the result of a conniving bureaucracy packed with Mubarak holdovers — hardly justification for the undemocratic removal of Egypt’s first elected president.
“Why do the liberals who talk about democracy not respond with democracy? They did it by force, why?” Hassan asked. [Continue reading…]
Tewfik Aclimandos, an associate researcher at the College de France in Paris, who specialises in the Egyptian military, told the Financial Times that within the military there was a fear that Morsi would remove the the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and put former army leaders on trial.
“I am almost certain the military did not want to intervene, but I think a decision was taken in March or maybe a month or two ago that if conditions were right they would step in,” Aclimandos said. “They were going to wait for a pretext. A trusted source told me if there was good mobilisation [by protesters on June 30] they would move.”
Aclimandos also said officers feared Morsi’s close ties with Hamas could drag Egypt into a war with Israel.