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Review: Fear infects support for Morsy

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President Mohamed Morsy’s decision to retire the army’s top brass and to cancel the constitutional amendment giving the military wide powers is widely applauded by columnists across Egypt. Some fear his motives in reclaiming this power, hoping it will be returned to civilian oversight rather than being used to entrench the Muslim Brotherhood. And while Morsy may have managed to shift the blame onto the military for the recent Sinai attacks, by claiming unfettered power, he is now solely responsible for Egypt’s well-being.


Alaa Al-Aswani

Alaa Al-Aswani

Sincere happiness and justified fears

Alaa Al-Aswani

Al Masry Al Youm

Al-Aswani heralds Morsy’s recent decision to retire the army’s top brass and cancel the constitutional declaration as the end of military rule, claiming that all of those who supported the revolution should welcome such decisions. In his view, the second Egyptian republic can now be established following a transfer of power to elected civilian hands. However, he does point out that the joy of the Egyptian public is tainted by a number of apprehensions, and he goes on to identify these apprehensions.

Foremost among these fears is the fact that Morsy belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, a mysterious group that falls under no official regulation. Other fears include the President’s decision to claim for himself the power to form a new constitutional assembly, a notion which Al-Aswani views as undemocratic. Another is the preservation of the Ministry of Information, which the writer deems a hallmark of totalitarian regimes.

Al-Aswani is particularly keen to condemn what he perceives to be the President’s attempts to stifle and control print and broadcast media. While praising Morsy’s bold move in removing military heads, he says the question remains whether the President is attempting to reclaim power for the people or steal it for the Muslim Brotherhood. He appeals for decisions proving the former to be made.


Amr Al-Shobki

Amr Al-Shobki

A correct decision

Amr Al-Shobki

Al-Masry Al-Youm

Referring to the removal of Field Marshall Tantawi and Lieutenant General Sami Ennan from their posts, Al-Shobki views the change of hands long overdue. He claims that Tantawi’s tenure in his position created a generational gap between the head of the military and the rest of its leadership, adversely affecting the competence of the armed forces, as evidenced by the recent Sinai attacks.

Assessing the retired military leadership’s stint as rulers of Egypt, he criticises the prevalence of conspiracy theories during the transitional period, claiming that grand, all-encompassing conspiracies require a degree of leadership capabilities absent in the Mubarak-era military. He acknowledges mistakes made during the transitional period, but attributes them to minor conspiracies and a lack of political experience; he dismisses the notion that power ambitions were at work behind any of the Egyptian military’s actions.

Al-Shobki makes it clear that in his view, the military’s entanglement in politics has had a highly negative effect on the institution itself and its ability to properly play its designated role. He poses the question of whether Morsy’s decision to remove the heads of the military will be to serve the public good or to facilitate the penetration of state institutions by one specific group, but in either case he welcomes the fact that the military will no longer be mired in politics.


Khairi Ramadan

Khairi Ramadan

The finishing blow

Khairi Ramadan


The President’s decision to retire a myriad of the Egyptian military’s leaders and top officials, headed by the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the armed forces, is perceived by Ramadan to be the final blow in a high-stake political battle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.

He believes that Morsy has managed to effectively remove the Egyptian military as a threat to his rule, while simultaneously placing the blame for the recent Sinai attacks on the military leadership by timing their removal to frame it as a reaction to the attacks.

Ramadan claims that power is finally and fully in the hands of the elected President, who is in possession of legislative and executive authority in addition to having appointed the cabinet he deemed appropriate. The columnist declares it the right of all Egyptians to now demand a better life from the President and to hold him accountable.

He calls on Morsy to work on bettering living conditions and alleviating the burdens of the public, and expresses his hope that the President will choose to serve the Egyptian people rather than what he labeled ‘others’, in a clear reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.


 Emad Gad

Emad Gad

Egypt at the crossroads

Emad Gad


The episode of military leadership removals is viewed by Gad as a pre-emptive measure by Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood in preparation for expected protests on 24 August.

Gad argues that the Brotherhood realised the extent of the threat posed by the 24 August protests, which call for a revolution against the rule of the Brotherhood, and took a series of steps to entrench their authority in advance.

He claims there was a general perception of the Brotherhood’s popularity being on the wane in contrast to that of the military leadership, which was increasingly being viewed as a bastion of secularism and the savior the secularist forces will turn to.

There were murmurs of a planned military coup on 24August, taking advantage of public unrest and anger directed at the Muslim Brotherhood, and this, according to Gad, prompted the group and the President to take steps that included a crackdown on the media and culminated with the removal of military heads.

The writer opines that the events proved that the military leadership’s power was a mere illusion, labeling Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi and Lieutenant General Sami Ennan as “tree leaves that fell and withered.”


Wael Qandil

Wael Qandil

The Lamenters of the army’s return to the barracks

Wael Qandil


Qandil laments what he perceives to be the hypocritical and contradictory stances taken by many following Morsy’s decision to retire and remove the major leaders of the Egyptian armed forces from their posts.

The columnist expresses surprise that many of those who supported the revolution and chanted ‘down with military rule’ are now judging the latest events to be a ‘Muslim Brotherhood coup’ and a defeat for the prospects of the civilian state.

He also disparages contradictory arguments which he alleges have recently surfaced, arguments labeling the latest happenings as a fierce Brotherhood takeover, while simultaneously claiming that a deal was made with the military behind the scenes.

Qandil congratulates the military and the Egyptian people for the removal of the armed forces from the political scene. He blames the generals for dragging the army into politics in the first place, which he suggests has had a negative effect on the institution and was one of the reasons behind the failure to prevent the recent Sinai attacks.

He unequivocally praises the President’s move, and calls on the head of the Egyptian state to take another positive step by freeing political detainees and inmates who were convicted in military trials.


  • Milad

    The poll at the right of the page reveals the chasm of comprehension of the Egyptian street. Security is obviously the first important challenge at the moment as we’ve seen in Gaza. Given Morsi’s abiding love/fear of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, we should all be suspect as to what actually happened there and who must be held accountable. I see Morsi waving his hands about like a man pretending to not have set his own house on fire. That man needs to pretend he didn’t burn his own house down or he will not only not be able to collect the insurance $, he will also be formally charged a criminal. elBaradei is the only man in politics that I trust implicitly. He’s the only person the entire U.N. respects. What is going on here? Can we all be this stupid? We’re being taken over by zealots and everyone is standing around chewing their cuds like sheep before their slaughter.

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