As with so much else about this war, the timing is “intriguing”.
A day after the ceasefire, Morsi assumed near-dictatorial powers in Egypt. The timing of that is not likely to be a coincidence.
Either Morsi had cleared the assumption of such powers beforehand with Obama or assumed that he had demonstrated his importance to such an extent that Obama would not dare protest this action. It’s likely to be one or the other. And that raises one more troubling question.
Did Morsi give Hamas the go-ahead to launch a conflict with Israel in order to be able to broker a ceasefire and then use that as leverage for seizing domestic power?
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi assumed sweeping powers on Thursday, putting him on a collision course with the judiciary and raising questions about the country’s democratic future.
The move, just a day after Morsi took diplomatic centerstage in brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers, earned him the same derisive monicker of “new pharaoh” leveled at veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak before his ouster in a popular uprising last year.
“The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution,” according to a decree read out on television by presidential spokesman Yasser Ali.
“The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal.”
The move is a blow to the pro-democracy movement that toppled Mubarak last year, and raises concerns that Islamists will be further ensconced in power.
It might be a good idea to watch for a State Department response as a test of the administration’s pulse. If there’s no condemnation, then we know how this turkey was cooked.
And oh by the way the Jan 25 Revolution is now becoming more and more explicitly an Islamic Revolution, just like in Iran.