Political Earthquake in Egypt: Military Takeover Imminent

Egypt army statement in full

Following demonstrations larger than those at the peak of the 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak, estimated by the Interior Ministry to involve some 14-17 million people according to Al Jazeera, the Egyptian Army issued the following statement on Monday, July 1, 2013 (text in full):

Egypt and the whole world witnessed yesterday demonstrations by the great people of Egypt expressing their opinion in an unprecedented, peaceful and civilised way.

Everyone saw the movement of the Egyptian people and heard their voices with the greatest respect and concern. It is necessary that the people receive a reply to their movement and the call from every party with any responsibility in the dangerous circumstances surrounding the nation.

As a main party in the considerations of the future and based on their patriotic and historic responsibilities to protect security and stability, the armed forces state the following:

• The armed forces will not be a party in the circles of politics or governance and are not willing to step out of the role defined for them by the basic ideals of democracy based on the will of the people.

• The national security of the state is exposed to extreme danger by the developments the nation is witnessing, and this places a responsibility on us, each according to his position, to act as is proper to avert these dangers. The armed forces sensed early on the dangers of the current situation and the demands the great people have at this time. Therefore, it previously set a deadline of a week for all political forces in the country to come to a consensus and get out of this crisis. However, the week has passed without any sign of an initiative. This is what led to the people coming out with determination and resolve, in their full freedom, in this glorious way, which inspired surprise, respect and attention at the domestic, regional and international levels.

• Wasting more time will only bring more division and conflict, which we have warned about and continue to warn about. The noble people have suffered and have found no one to treat them with kindness or sympathize with them. That puts a moral and psychological burden on the armed forces, which find it obligatory that everyone drop everything and embrace these proud people, which have shown they are ready to do the impossible if only they feels there is loyalty and dedication to them.

• The armed forces repeat their call for the people’s demands to be met and give everyone 48 hours as a last chance to shoulder the burden of the historic moment that is happening in the nation, which will not forgive or tolerate any party that is lax in shouldering its responsibility.

• The armed forces put everyone on notice that if the demands of the people are not realised in the given time period, it will be obliged by its patriotic and historic responsibilities and by its respect for the demands of the great Egyptian people to announce a road map for the future and the steps for overseeing its implementation, with participation of all patriotic and sincere parties and movements – including the youth, who set off the glorious revolution and continue to do so – without excluding anyone.

• A salute of appreciation and pride to the sincere and loyal men of the Armed Forces, who have always borne and will continue to bear their patriotic responsibilities toward the great people of Egypt with determination, decisiveness and pride. God save Egypt and its proud, great people.

–“Egypt army statement in full; Military says it will not stand idle as “the national security of the state is in severe danger; The Egyptian army on Monday gave politicians 48 hours to resolve the country’s political crisis or face intervention by the military,” Al Jazeera, July 1, 2013 (last updated 19:14)

The demonstrations and the Statement by the Egyptian army represent a political earthquake signaling an imminent military takeover of control of the government, whose impact will reverberate throughout many countries in the Middle East for years to come.

The Obama administration has provided shameful support to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as Morsi launched a coup against the Constitutional order on November 22, 2012, assuming all power, then using dictatorial powers to block action by the Constitutional Court which would have held the election of the Upper House of the National Assembly unconstitutional.  He did so through the use of Hitler-style “Brownshirt” tactics to block access to the court by its members, who also reported receiving numerous death threats.

Morsi then pushed through a draft constitution which was illegitimate because the body that drafted it was elected unconstitutionally, calling a forced national referendum on what was—hidden in its provisions–an extreme Islamist constitution, on December 15 and 22, under circumstances where opponents had no time or effective opportunity to analyze its provisions or to organize campaigns against its approval in the referendum.

Latest New Reports

For news reports on these late-breaking events, see

Ulrike Putz (Kairo), “Machtkampf in Ägypten: Militärputsch mit Ankündigung;Ägyptens Militär setzt der Politik ein 48-Stunden-Ultimatum – und hat Präsident Mursi damit wohl praktisch des Amtes enthoben. Nun muss die Opposition nur noch zwei Tage lang einen Kompromiss verzögern, schon müssen die Generäle einschreiten. Fraglich ist nur, wie die Islamisten auf einen Putsch reagieren würden,” Der Spiegel, 1 Juli 2013 (20:11 Uhr).

Bel Trew, “Millions of Egyptians turn out nationwide for anti-Morsi rallies; 7 dead in violence,” Al-Ahram (alahramonline) (Cairo), July 1, 2013.

Egyptian Newspapers

For the latest news from Egyptian newspapers in English, see (in addition to Al-Ahram, above), the following:

Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt Independent

Egypt Daily News

Aswat Masriya

CoptsUnited: A Newspaper for All Egyptians

Egypt Online (Egyptian State Information Service. The site contains the official text of the army statement of July 1, 2013.

Daily News Egypt

Obama and the Struggle for the Rule of Law in Egypt

As noted above, by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood at the critical moment when Morsi was carrying out a coup d’état on November 22, 2012, Obama and the United States–through excessive caution in revolutionary times–got on the wrong side of history.

It is now time for the president to get out from under the wheel of history, and to get out in front of the struggle for democracy, by voicing his strong support for constitutional government and the rule of law in Egypt, and all those who support these goals. 

This means, at a minimum, abrogation of all of the elections and legal changes, including Morsi’s imposed constitution, that followed his dictatorial decree of November 22, 2012, and erasing their effects. 

What is required as a minimum, in short, is the restoration of the status quo ante before Morsi’s coup on November 22, 2012.

If Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are unable to lead the nation to this result, as is likely, it appears that the Egyptian people will insist that Morsi himself leave the scene, and that the Muslim Brotherhood withdraw from all government positions they may currently hold.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.