Egyptian military command meets as utimatum deadline approaches; Update: Army seized state TV?

posted at 8:01 am on July 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Mohamed Morsi insisted that he would sacrifice his life for his “constitutional legitimacy.” A few hours later, the Egyptian military upped the ante by pledging their own blood to free their nation from the Muslim Brotherhood’s autocracy:

According to CBS News, they’re not bluffing. Army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called a meeting of his general command with just hours to go before the deadline of his ultimatum to Morsi to either reach an agreement with the opposition for reform, or find himself and the Muslim Brotherhood ejected from power:

A Defense Ministry official said Wednesday that army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was meeting with his top commanders, hours before the military’s deadline to the president and opposition to resolve the nation’s political crisis was set to expire.

The official, who gave no further details, spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Even so, Morsi’s not budging. And the violence has already started, although so far it’s not gotten out of hand:

Sporadic bursts of automatic gunfire shut down streets in central Cairo overnight as supporters of President Mohamed Morsi clashed violently with opposition protesters outside Cairo University, where the president’s supporters had gathered. At least 16 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in the clashes that erupted late Tuesday night and carried into the early hours of Wednesday morning, as Morsi delivered a defiant televised speech that made clear he would not back down.

With only hours to go until the Wednesday deadline, Egypt was quickly hurtling toward a showdown between its powerful military and the Islamists, including Morsi, who swept to power in elections last year. Morsi’s backers in the Muslim Brotherhood have vowed that they will not go quietly if their president is forced out. …

The speech represented a direct challenge to the nation’s military and a signal that efforts to mediate the crisis have so far failed. Earlier on Tuesday, Morsi met with his defense minister, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, in an apparent bid to reach an accord.

Shortly after Morsi’s speech, a message was posted to an Egyptian armed forces Facebook page saying, “We swear to God that we will sacrifice even our blood for Egypt and its people, to defend them against any terrorist, radical or fool.”

Perhaps neither side is bluffing.  If that’s the case, the Muslim Brotherhood had better be prepared to deal with a hostile military — and ordinary Egyptians had better find ways out of the crossfire.  The questions may soon be how much discipline Sissi can expect from his military units and commanders, and how much backbone the Muslim Brotherhood rank and file have for a heavy-arms fight. Morsi and Sissi may be underestimating those capabilities in their enemies and overestimating them in their own forces, which would precipitate a violent resolution of those questions.  We’ll probably know sooner rather than later now that it’s clear that neither side will budge until the last moment, if at all.

Update: With an hour to go before the ultimatum expires, this report from Richard Engel shows how serious the army is — assuming it’s accurate:

If they’ve already seized the broadcast stations, that sounds like action is coming very soon.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Gingotts on July 3, 2013 at 12:55 PM

LOL I wonder where everyone is.

bluefox on July 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Smart power!!!

Latest news updates and pics.

Obama administration is still trying to get the Army not to act and to support Morsi, OF COURSE.

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Obama issues order to Egyptian army:

“Stand-down”

BobMbx on July 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Adviser to Morsi: A military coup is underway, that tanks are on the move outside Cairo, and that communication with Morsi has been been cut off.

AP: BREAKING: Egyptian troops, including commandos, have deployed near protest sites and key facilities.

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Obama issues order to Egyptian army:

“Stand-down”

BobMbx on July 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Egyption army issues order to Obama: “Shut up”

Not much chance of either of those happening though

simkeith on July 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

LOL I wonder where everyone is.

bluefox on July 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Smart power!!!

Latest news updates and pics.

Obama administration is still trying to get the Army not to act and to support Morsi, OF COURSE.

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 1:00 PM

New thread up.

Will check out your info RWM, but have to mow the yard before it rains again!! Rain for last 5 days!! Have to strike while the iron is hot, LOL

bluefox on July 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Al Jazeera:

National Salvation Front: Morsi was on his way to launch a coup against authorities.

National Salvation Front: The army statement will announce the lifting of legitimacy off of Morsi.

Newspaper sources: Sheikh Al-Azhar stressed to the Army chief the importance of Egyptian unity.

AFP: Army vehicles deployed near an Islamist gathering in Cairo.

Islamic Legitimate Body rejects deposing of Morsi ‘against people’s will.’ (The Islamic Legitimate Body must be full of Baghdad Bobs).

CNN: We do not know where Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is now, Morsi aide.

U.S. ‘very concerned’ about situation on ground in Egypt (D’uh, but keeping backing the MoFoBros over the people, stupid assholes. We have an opportunity here and you idiots are blowing it).

Just put up Part IV of updates.

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Thanks. These idiots in D.C. They throw a stick of dynamite into Egypt and try to figure out why someone lit it.

Not Bush’s fault.
Not the Tea Party’s fault
Not the Conservatives fault

Who is left?
Dems
Administration
RINOS

bluefox on July 3, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Comment pages: 1 2