Egypt's Mohamed Morsi Cleans House

New Leader Surprises U.S. by Firing Military Brass

By Nathan Guttman

Published August 18, 2012, issue of August 24, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

But Morsi’s choice of a replacement for Tantawi indicates that America might not be at a choosing point yet. Sissi gained notoriety after defending the practice of “virginity tests” conducted on female protesters in Egypt who were arrested during the Tahrir Square demonstrations that led to Mubarak’s ouster. But for Americans he was a well-known figure years before, thanks to the Pentagon’s close cooperation with Egyptian military intelligence, which Sissi headed. Prior to that, he spent several years training in the United States, as had many other top Egyptian military commanders.

“These new appointees, the new leaders of the military, are all people that we have worked with before,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in an August 13 press briefing.

Statements by officials such as Nuland and others following the events in Egypt made it clear that the Obama administration still viewed the SCAF and the military chiefs as its main interlocutors in Cairo. Most of America’s $1.5 billion in annual assistance to Egypt is given for military purposes and managed by the army.

But while trying to put a positive face on Morsi’s latest move, the administration is watching with concern other moves by the Egyptian president. Morsi took away many of the SCAF’s authorities, which were granted to the military council in a March referendum and were meant to expire only after the nation’s new constitution is adopted.

“Essentially, Morsi has changed Egypt’s constitution by fiat,” David Schenker, director of the program on Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote in a recent article. “[I]n the process, [he] afforded himself control over the military, all legislative powers and the makeup of the assembly that will write the new constitution.”

Schenker further noted that while “curtailing military power may prove popular in Tahrir Square, the constitutional ramifications will likely prolong instability in a country already beset by significant economic, security and political challenges.”

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.