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Washington Islamist strategy in crisis as Morsi toppled

The swift action by Egypt’s military to arrest Mohamed Morsi and key leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood organization on July 3 marks a major setback for Washington’s “Arab Spring” strategy of using political Islam to spread chaos from China through Russia across the energy-rich Middle East.

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Morsi’s own defense minister, armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announces the Islamist President’s overthrow after a week of bloodshed that killed nearly 50 people.

Morsi rejected the Defense Minister‘s demand that he quit to avert a bloodbath. He said he stood by his “constitutional dignity” and demanded the army’s withdrawal of its ultimatum. It may become the major turning point of America’s decline as world Sole Superpower when future generations of historians view events.

One year after the secretive Muslim Brotherhood seized power and put their man, Mohammed Morsi in as President and dominated the Parliament, Egypt’s military has moved in, against a backdrop of millions of people on the streets protesting Morsi’s imposition of strict Sharia law and failure to deal with the collapsing economy. The coup was led by Defense Minister and army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Significantly, el-Sissi was appointed as a devout Muslim younger general by Morsi last year. He was also trained and well-regarded in Washington by Pentagon leadership. That he leads the coup indicates the depth of the rejection of the Brotherhood inside Egypt. Al-Sissi announced Wednesday night, July 3, that the head of the Constitution Court will act as provisional president and form an interim government of technocrats to run the country until early presidential and parliamentary elections. He was flanked by Christian, secular opposition and Muslim leaders. Al-Sissi said that all the army’s efforts to affect a national dialogue and reconciliation were welcomed by all factions and blocked by President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

Outrage aimed against US

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the mass mobilization of protesters in recent weeks that culminated in the decision by the military to actively take control was the clear anti-Washington character of the street protests. Demonstrators carried hand-made posters denouncing Obama and his pro-Muslim Brotherhood Cairo Ambassador, Anne Patterson.

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Egypt’s Cairo Ambassador, Anne Patterson was a special target of the protests. Patterson made remarks June 18 to discourage the anti-Morsi protesters. She told Egyptians, "Some say that street action will produce better results than elections," Patterson said. "To be honest, my government and I are deeply skeptical." Then in an even more explicit interview with the Egyptian Ahram Online in May, the US diplomat refused to be critical of Morsi and stated, "The fact is they ran in a legitimate election and won. Of course it is challenging to be dealing with any new government. However, at the state institutional level, we are for instance still liaising with the same military and civil service personnel, and thus have retained the same long-established relations." [1]

The military action also came against the explicit intervention of US President Obama and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. Obama called the Egyptian president and Dempsey phoned Chief of staff General Sedki Sobhi, hoping to defuse the three-way crisis between the regime, the army and the protest movement. Now Obama stands with more than egg on his face. [2]

Significantly, Saudi King Abdullah and leaders of the conservative UAE emirates, with notable exception of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Emir of Qatar, have openly greeted the military action in Egypt. Saudi state news agency SPA reported, "In the name of the people of Saudi Arabia and on my behalf, we congratulate your leadership of Egypt in this critical period of its history. We pray for God to help you bear the responsibility laid upon you to achieve the ambitions of our brotherly people of Egypt," as official statement from the King. [3]

A news blog reported close to Israeli military and intelligence circles, says that the Egyptian military acted with quiet backing by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Gulf nations. According to these reports, should the Obama administration cut off the annual US aid allocation of $1.3 billion to Egypt’s military, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would make up the military budget’s shortfall. As well, they state, Saudis, UAE and other Gulf nations, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, “would immediately start pumping out substantial funds to keep the Egyptian economy running. The Egyptian masses would be shown that in a properly managed economy, they could be guaranteed a minimal standard of living and need not go hungry as many did under Muslim Brotherhood rule. According to our sources, the Saudis and the UAE pledged to match the funds Qatar transferred to the Muslim Brotherhood’s coffers in Cairo in the past year, amounting to the vast sum of $13 billion.” [4]

Whether the report of pledged aid materializes or not, the military intervention in Egypt is sending tectonic shock waves across the entire Islamic world. A week ago as mass protests in Egypt swelled, Qatar’s openly pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Hamad al-Thani surprisingly turned rule over to his 33-year old son, reported a moderate. The son immediately fired the pro-Brotherhood Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim. Qatar had given Morsi’s Egyptian Btotherhood some $8 billion and Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has lived in Doha for decades, using it as a base to project his often controversial sermons. Qatar’s government-owned Al Jazeera channel has also been criticized for shifting in recent years from being a respected independent Arab news channel to becoming the partisan voice of the Muslim Brotherhood. [5]

Significantly, one of the first acts of the Egyptian military was to close the Al Jazeera studio in Cairo.

The major defeat of the Brotherhood in Egypt will also have major shock waves in Turkey where the pro-Brotherhood AKP party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mass protests have been brutally put down by Erdogan with police using tear gas and powerful water cannons. Erdogan had allowed Turkey to be used as a major staging ground to send mercenaries, financed largely by Qatar, into Syria to try to topple the government of Bashar al-Assad and replace him with a Muslim Brotherhood regime. Egypt’s Morsi shortly before his fall, called for a Jihad to topple Assad.

The crucial question now will be what Obama’s response to the collapse of Washington’s "Arab Spring". The "Arab Spring" of yesterday has just become Washington’s Siberian Winter nightmare.

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