Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not forgetting Syria

More rough notes. Some of these events take on more significance in retrospect.

16/6  Egypt cuts off diplomatic relations with Syria (BBC WS)

17/6 Communism – at least in its powerful, Soviet style – was over. Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia – country by country cruel, pointless proxy civil wars ground to an end. It was no longer in the interest of capitalists or communists to stir up the tribal, racial and variously venal motivations the various sides had for fighting each other.
 Why Syria's conflict is turning from a just war into a cold war -- Blast at Damascus military airport

18/6 Two new videos out of the Syrian civil war show some of the clashes happening in the the city of Daraya in Western Gouta, outskirts of Damascus and shelling on the residential areas in Al Rastan,  the third largest city in Homs. first - second  -

20/6 MPs to have vote on arming Syrian rebels (C4N).  29/6 air and land offensives on rebel positions in Homs, fighting in Qaboun, Damascus; children, plastic balls, report Bernard Smith, inside Syria  (Al J, 14:00). Major offensive on rebel positions in Homs (BBC WS, 22:00)

Via Joshua LandisThe Awakening Sunni Giant – Weiss – Saudi Arabia is dead-serious about ending the Assad regime ... A day after the Saudi king returned to Riyadh, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi severed all diplomatic ties with Damascus and called for a no-fly zone in Syria, leaving no mystery as to reason behind this decision. “Hezbollah must leave Syria – these are serious words,” the Islamist president said. “There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.”

4/7 Russia vetoes resolution on Homs (BBC WS, 22:00).

5/7 Paul Wood (BBC WS, Newsday, 8:19) Face-to-face with Abu Sakkar, Syria’s ‘heart-eating cannibal’

9/7 Presence of al-Qaeda raises tension in Syria, Activists say dozens have been killed near Aleppo in fighting between al-Qaeda's branch and other opposition groups. Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Dana, Aleppo.
Syria's ruling party in leadership shake up

10/7 further airstrikes on rebel areas of Homs, civilians dying for lack of medical supplies (BBCWS, 9:00).
Syrians 'protest over rebel siege' Paul Wood, moral clarity of early days of uprising has been lost, now revolution itself has become corrupt. Civil war within civil war (BBC R4, PM, 17:19 - 17:24)
Kylie Morris, Syria = Bosnia 1995, Intervention ? James Rubin, for; Paddy Ashdown, against (C4N). Will Syria suffer like Bosnia? - video -
Syria's al-Nusra Front – ruthless, organised and taking control, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.

11/7 British jihadi youths 'doing their duty in Syria' - video -
12/7 Key Free Syria Army rebel 'killed by Islamist group' ...

13/7 Zeina Khodr @ZeinakhodrAljaz… #FSA "demands justice" after killing ; commander tells us "we want all foreigners to leave #Syria 
14/7  There has been another incident in which the Free Syrian Army and al-Qaeda-linked fighters, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, turned their guns on each other. On Saturday activists said they clashed for control of a strategic checkpoint in Aleppo. Tensions are on the rise especially after ISIL killed an FSA commander on Thursday. Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Aleppo.

17/7 Syrian official shot dead in Lebanon - Crossing Aleppo's 'no man's land' -
18/7 Army chief: We risk war with Syria General Sir David Richards, outgoing head of the Armed Forces, warns of perils UK faces if it implements a no-fly zone over Syria.  (BBC R3, 8:00)
 Momentum Shifts in Syria, Bolstering Assad's Position  -

19/7 Zeina Khodr tweet, Kurd party PYD tells us: we won't allow any group to impose their will and share power in Kurdish regions 

21/7 13 killed from family, coastal region Syria; (BBC WS, 21:00) Deal, Raqaa, Kurds and AQ, exchange of prisoners (21:30)
U.S. Intelligence Official Says Syrian War Could Last for Years - Egypt to Take New Look at Syrian Ties - 10 hours ago

22/7 Aleppo: how Syrians risk their lives to cross the divide - Jonathan Miller reports
Zeina Khodr tweet,   rebel group Ahrar al Sham tells AJE they will take a stance against any force if interests of people harmed

23/7 US general, Martin Dempsey, Syria options  (BBCWS, 9:00) US general outlines Syria options -
How British women are joining the jihad in Syria -

24/7 Hoshyar Zebari 24 July 2013, For HARDtalk, Zeinab Badawi speaks to Iraq’s foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari. He said he wanted to rehabilitate Iraq’s image after the fall of Saddam Hussein. But now sectarian violence in Iraq is arguably worse than ever before and is overlapping with sectarianism in neighbouring Syria. How can Hoshyar Zebari, himself an Iraqi Kurd, hope to have any coherent foreign policy, when his own country is in danger of slipping into civil war?

 Outlook - Wed, 24 Jul 13,  Amram Hadari, an Israeli doctor treating wounded Syrians;
Opposition coalition leader in Paris, meeting Francois Hollande (Al J, 22:30)

Zeina Khodr tweet -   : opposition takes strategic town of Khan al Assal but the fight for city has only just begun

25/7 Bernard Kouchner, former French foreign minister, speaks to John Humphrys. Today, 20130725: Syria, Kouchner - Opposition leader left Paris with nothing.

12h  ...: disillusioned rebels drift back to take amnesty via

28/7 Syrian army 'makes key Homs gains'  29/7 Khalidiya 'setback, but no defeat'

30/7 Kurdish politician killed in Syria

 Posted 10 Sep 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Morsi facing charges, street violence

24/7  Gen Sisi: 'Take to the street'  US delays delivery of 4 F-16  jets to Egypt (BBC WS, 22:00) US delays delivery of jets to Egypt

From France Inter: l'émission du jeudi 4 juillet 2013 - L'oxymore du putsch démocratique.

26/7 Morsi is facing charges in connection with his jailbreak in January 2011 and plotting with Hamas. Morsi's supporters "noted that court authorities had vetted Mr Morsi before he ran for president in 2012 and failed to note any pending criminal charges" (Financial Times). There were reports of another 48-hour deadline, this time to pro-Morsi (anti-coup) to clear the streets (Al Jazeera). According to The Times, they were told to go by the weekend.  

27/7 The Lede: Tahrir Taken, Some Egyptians Look for ‘Third Square’ to Resist Islamists and Army On a day of mass rallies by supporters of Egypt’s army and the rival Muslim Brotherhood, some activists were left wondering how best to register their disgust with both the military and the Islamists...." BBC WS, Newshour, 29/7, 13:00: Egypt's 'Third Square' Movement

 - 'Scores killed' at Egypt protest - After al-Sisi's call for demonstrations "against terrorists", clashes were all but inevitable. Morsi supporters were "incandescent",  according to one BBC correspondent, seeing the call as aimed clearly at them. The general making this speech openly showed the military, again, in control.  As Lindsey Hilsum ponted out, we have not heard much recently from interim President Adly Mansour  (BBC WS, Weekend, 28/7, 08:00; Al Jazeera did carry an address from interim PM Beblawi the day after the general's speech, where he repeated the line in slightly softer language).

General al-Sisi's call was to take to the street "against violence", but its real meaning was the exact opposite: that the turnout give the military legitimacy to carry out  violence.

Protesters appear to have been killed by sniper fire, the BBC reported. HRW says the evidence seems to show targeted killings (Al Jazeera, 28/7). The Financial Times speaks of plainclothes enforcers known as baltagiya and masked snipers (29/7).

(14:30) Al Jazeera carries a speech about shootings from the deputy Grand Imam of Al-Azhar mosque: where is ElBaradei ? The security forces should fire at legs not heads. Later, ElBaradei does condemn the excessive use of force (BBC WS, 22:00). He made his comments via Twitter, apparently (Channel 4 News). Al Jazeera's reporter says he did have a caveat: the pro-Morsi camp brought it on themselves, with incitement from their speakers (28/7, 15:00). Nonetheless, 2 figures that provided important cover for the 3 July coup are now expressing misgivings over the means used.  

Talk of the possibility of civil war on BBC R4's PM programme. This is unlikely: whereas the army was weak in Gaddafi's Libya and even to some extent in Assad's Syria, in Egypt it is strong and appears likely to remain united. There may be an increase in terrorist activity in places like Sinai. Al-Sisi's action is likely to have made this worse not better. But it seems to me that, for a substantial part of the Egyptian population, the attitude could be to say, echoing the words of the Spanish philosopher Unamuno in 1936, "you will win because you  have more than enough brute force. But you will not convince."

Egypt protesters 'to be dispersed'
28/7  Lindsey Hilsum suggests various other reasons why the military sought to remove Morsi: that over Syria he had first sided with Russia and Iran, before urging Egyptians to join the jihad to remove Assad; the failure to stamp out terrorism in Sinai. I don't see that Morsi could have hampered the army's efforts to deal with this.

Egypt protesters defy removal threat -
Egyptian minister urges restraint

29/7 Morsi backers stage defiant marches -
From The Guardian, Editorial: time to back down:
[On the jail break / Hamas accusations] How resistance to a dictator and the security forces he was deploying against protesters, with some help from abroad, could be so interpreted is difficult to see. A wiser hand than Sisi's would have stayed this process. Other "charges", such as "economic sabotage" and the like, are ridiculous. Political mistakes are not crimes in a civilised country. Indeed, if there has been sabotage of that kind, there is some evidence that anti-Morsi forces were the guilty parties.
[General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi] told Morsi that "his project was not working" six months ago, he said in his speech. Where, precisely, in this soldier's job description is it written that he can tell an elected president what to do? Advise, yes; suggest, maybe; but "tell"?
Wadah Khanfar, former director general of al-Jazeera television (Egypt must get back on the path of democratic change ):
Meanwhile, particularly in Egypt, the deep state – represented by the army, security and judiciary – allied with big business, began to recuperate. The Arab spring was not as radical as the French or Iranian revolutions. It did not pull out the deeply entrenched roots of the state. Instead, it was satisfied to replace the top of the pyramid with newly elected, but inexperienced, leaders. After a period of turmoil the deep state was able to breathe again, and it portrayed the transition to democracy as an abject failure. Ordinary citizens were angered by the deterioration of services and grew tired of the political crises, fuelled by doses of misinformation. The result was a military coup that had political cover and support from sections of the population, as well from regional states affected by the Arab spring.
The Arab spring confirmed that peaceful change is possible and so reinforced the vision of political Islam. The impact of this went beyond the Brotherhood to include the Salafist tendency in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya that had questioned the democratic path. This weakened the argument of the jihadists, and pushed their leader, Ayman al‑Zawahiri, to attack the democratic transformation. Today, Zawahiri is smiling as he sees the coup against constitutional legitimacy in Egypt.
Updated 10 Apr 2014: links updated.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

... and Morocco

From The Financial Times, 16 July:

  Morocco’s experience shows the persistence of the so-called deep state in Arab nations.
  Ostensibly, an elected government led by a populist Islamist political party shares power with the scion of a monarchical dynasty that dates back to the Middle Ages. But the king, the royal court and the security forces – collectively referred to as the makhzen – still hold sway over critical economic and policy matters.
  [... King Mohamed VI, who came to the throne in 1999,] liberalised the nation’s politics, allowing press freedom and launching a truth commission to assess the crimes of his father’s regime.
  Despite the economic reforms, substantive political change stalled after a few years. Just as in other Arab countries, shadowy figures in the deep state and security establishment feared their various privileges were under threat. The king’s zeal for reform threatened the makhzen.
  [... Following the 2011 Arab uprisings] rather than crack down on protesters with teargas and truncheons, authorities granted demonstration permits. Within weeks of the protests, the king said he would present a revised constitution. The document granted parliament more power, the courts greater independence and the prime minister added responsibilities.
  A crucial provision mandated that the king could choose a prime minister only from the biggest party in parliament. Crucially, the king retained authority over vital national security institutions and foreign policy.
  Banking on the king’s popularity, liberal and secular parties close to the royal court banded together in a general election for a new parliament and government based on the new constitution. In a stunning upset they lost to Mr Benkirane’s party [the PJD, the Justice and Development party..] His hand forced by his own constitution, King Mohamed chose [..] Mr Benkirane as the premier [..]  Lacking a majority of seats, the PJD formed a government with the Istiqlal party and two smaller leftist groupings.
  Tensions between Mr Benkirane and the country’s established order emerged immediately. The party imposed new rules on state television, demanding contracts be put out to tender. They cracked down on judges, government officials, educators and medical workers who drew pay even if they rarely showed up at work. They barred doctors earning state salaries from taking on private sector work.
  The new government’s publication of the names of those who had received licences to operate buses and dig sand from beaches for building materials caused a stir.
  “This was interpreted by the regime as a threat to a pillar of the regime,” says [Karim] Tazi [a businessman and political activist who publishes the weekly political magazine TelQuel]. “The regime was exceptionally angry. No one in 50 years had dared to do this. These are the favours the regime gives to its cronies.”
  The king countered the PJD’s rise by establishing a team of royal advisers who serve as a shadow cabinet. When the king wanted to protest about the US report on human rights in western Sahara he humiliated Saadedine Othmani, the foreign minister, by sending one of his own advisers to Washington instead.
  Last week Abdelhamid Chabat, Istiqlal’s leader, triggered the crisis consuming Morocco by announcing the resignation of its ministers over Mr Benkirane’s unilateral style.  
  Few believe the party would threaten to take so drastic a decision as to wreck the government without first gaining a nod of approval from King Mohamed [..]
 Morocco: Dance with the deep state  ..

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The deep state in Egypt ...

8/7 deaths of at least 51 people near a barracks in Cairo ... The Muslim Brotherhood says its members were fired on as they staged a sit-in for ousted President Mohammad Morsi, while the army said it had responded to an armed provocation.

(14:59) A curious moment: just at the point where they are normally showing trailers, Al Jazeera English cuts live to a police and  army press conference. A man in a striped shirt is on his feet, saying, "We request the Al Jazeera Arabic reporter be forced out." Maybe soemthing that will slip through the cracks.
(15:20) The army spokesman says that images displayed on the website of one of the religious political parties of children killed, were the same as those on a Syrian website of children killed in Syria.

9/7  The roadmap is announced (00:15) The exclusion of the Al Jazeera Arabic journalist is mentioned again, with a statement from the channel. The more I think about it, this is the scariest moment of the whole day.

(BBC WS, Newshour, 21:14) Journalists at Al Jazeera Egyytian have walked out. These include their TV news anchor, interviewed here. He accuses the station of bias in their coverage, towards the islamists, giving them an open platform to convey messages encouraging (not inciting) violence. Also interviewed, Al Jazeera Egyytian's managing director, now in Doha but a few days ago in custody in Cairo: juurnalists facing intimidation; he himself was arrested after the station aired the video of Morsi which followed the statement ... (end)

Three questions: Egypt's 'Zero-sum' politics, Marwan Bishara, the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera
Today, Egypt has a deposed president, an ousted president and a temporary president. And soon it will have another elected president.
Interesting use of language: what is the difference between a deposed president (Mubarak) and an ousted president (Morsi) ? 
By June 30, it became clear that, despite claims to the contrary, compromises between the old partners in the revolution were no longer realistic. Morsi's critics cried for revolution, and his supporters responded with counter-revolution. It became clear that the conflict would end with one side victorious and the other humiliated, if no real attempts were made to bridge the differences. It was then that the military intervened, ousting the president and preventing any last minute efforts that would save face and pave the way  for constructive change, such as holding a referendum over the presidency or the building of a national unity government, leading to early elections.
Fair enough, apart from getting "revolution" and "counter-revolution" the wrong way round.

Behind Egypt's media crackdown -- Egypt: Mayhem, Morsi and the media: Under Morsi’s 12-month presidency, outlets that supported the Brotherhood flourished while journalists who dared to criticise – or in the case of Bassem Youssef, satirise – the president faced an unprecedented number of lawsuits. The president’s ouster has begun with the closure of outlets sympathetic to the Brotherhood as well as a raid on the studios of Al Jazeera’s Egyptian channel, Mubasher Misr, once a favourite of the crowds in Tahrir, more recently vilified for a perceived pro-Morsi bias. ... Our feature focuses on the closure of Egypt Independent, Egypt’s first independent English-language weekly. Was it a case of financial pressure as its owners insisted or was it – as its staff suspect – a sign of the danger of pushing political boundaries?

10/7 Lindsey Hilsum reports that the "deep state" is in control (C4N) Are some Egyptians’ lives worth less than others?
Yesterday I interviewed a young woman from Tamarod, the movement that got Egyptians out onto the streets to overthrow Morsi, and which has its roots in the April 6 and Kefaya group that spearheaded the 2011 uprising. The Brotherhood collaborated with foreigners, they were traitors, she said, who should be excluded from Egyptian society. Well, that’s about a quarter of Egyptian society excluded then.
11/7 US to go ahead with supply of 4 F16 fighter jets (BBC WS, 09:00)

Sudden Improvements in Egypt Suggest a Campaign to Undermine Morsi
since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, life has somehow gotten better for many people across Egypt: Gas lines have disappeared, power cuts have stopped and the police have returned to the street.

The apparently miraculous end to the crippling energy shortages, and the re-emergence of the police, seems to show that the legions of personnel left in place after former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011 played a significant role — intentionally or not — in undermining the overall quality of life under the Islamist administration of Mr. Morsi.

And as the interim government struggles to unite a divided nation, the Muslim Brotherhood and Mr. Morsi’s supporters say the sudden turnaround proves that their opponents conspired to make Mr. Morsi fail. Not only did police officers seem to disappear, but the state agencies responsible for providing electricity and ensuring gas supplies failed so fundamentally that gas lines and rolling blackouts fed widespread anger and frustration. 
13/7 Roula Khalaf, Egypt’s unravelling threatens the democratic experiment, great first sentence: "To the surprise of the rebellious youth of Tahrir Square, Egypt’s military issued a constitutional declaration this week without bothering to consult them."
 Egypt probes anti-Morsi complaints

14/7 Egypt 'freezes Brotherhood assets'

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blair on Egypt

From the Observer, 7 July:
Tony Blair says the Egyptian army had no alternative but to oust President Morsi from power, given the strength of opposition on the streets. The military were confronted,writes Blair in the Observer, with the simple choice of intervening or allowing chaos.
"It [..] marks a striking development in the thinking of Blair ..." And one that leaves me behind, preferring Blair Mark 1.

"The economy is tanking. Ordinary law and order has virtually disappeared ..." Wasn't that because the police (and army where necessary) refused to enforce it on behalf of the Morsi government, notably in failing to defend the MB headquarters ? 

Here he is again: Egyptian army right to intervene, says Blair - video  - Tony Blair tells Channel 4 News that Egypt must "move back to democratic elections as soon as possible", but the army was right to take action or there would have been "total chaos" in the country. And again: on Al Jazeera, 9 July, Tony Blair said something like
of course governments govern well or badly or averagely, but the Muslim Brotherhood failed to govern at all competently ... 

I much preferred David Miliband who insisted, this was a coup (BBC WS, Newshour, 14 July, 21:50; Mr Miliband said: “I think we’ve got to be clear this was a coup.”,  The Financial Times),  though he did go on to say  that the MB staged their own coup last November, with Morsi putting himself above the constitution (The Andrew_Marr Show, 9:37 - 44). 

More reactions:

The failure of this Islamist experiment poses a danger far beyond Egypt, Jonathan Freedland:  But there are coping mechanisms available to deal with such contradictions, denial chief among them. Note the message in English on the front of the al-Tahrir newspaper – "It's a revolution … not a coup, Mr Obama!" – or the delicate term chosen by the Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif, who insisted this was not a coup, but a "deposal".

Fawaz Gerges: the military has not just ousted Morsi. It has ousted democracy

Guardian Editorial Egypt: on the brink of disaster: Once parliaments are dissolved and constitutions suspended, the street becomes the only arbiter of legitimacy. It is, to say the least, ironic that the African Union called the coup for what it was and, notably, the European Union did not.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Egypt: the coup's defenders

6/7 Hostility towards the Muslim Brotherhood certainly runs deep in Egyptian society, not only in the political classes (Amr Moussa and "respected international figures" like Mohamed ElBaradei), but also among intellectuals, all joining in the chorus, "this was not a coup".

Novelist Alaa-Al-Aswany defends the coup on the grounds that the opposition gathered more than 22 million signatures calling for Morsi to step down, whereas only 15 million voted for Morsi as president. He also justifies the arrest of  Muslim Brotherhood leaders, saying they are accused of calling for violence (BBCWS, Newshour, 21:51).  It seems their hatred of islamism is greater than their love of democracy.

This 12-year-old boy, in a much-linked video, complains that there are only 7 women in the consituent assembly, 6 of whom are islamists.

Well, that's because the islamist parties did well in parliamentary elections and the parliament elected a large part of the consituent assembly. Whatever the criticism of the process of drafting (or revising) the consitution, do we really think it is better that this be done by people appointed, effectively, by the army?

He says that the constitution says that women are equal to men, except in matters that contradict islamic law, but islamic law allows men to discipline their wives: 'I can't beat my wive up and almost kill her and then tell you this is "discipline".

This is a delicate matter, but the secularists position seems to be that there are some fundamental values (their values) that just have to be written into the constitution (of course, they are my values as well and there are some values, such as freedom of expression and assembly without which democracy is meaningless). The secularist 'liberals' often say that islamists take their positions from God or their religion, so there is no arguing with them, but here it is the secularists who seem to be claiming their values as absolute.

This is an uncomfortable position for 'liberals' to be in, which may explain their contortions of language and sheer denial of reality. It seems that their bluff has been called by the islamists who took part in the process of democracy over the last 2 years. That's just a working hypothesis.


7/7 Egyptian presidency denies ElBaradei is to be PM following opposition from al Nour (BBC WS).

Exclusive interview with Amr Moussa - video -  The former Secretary-General of the Arab League tells Channel 4 News that deposed former president Mohammed Morsi is "not under arrest but in a safe place".

 Updated: 16 July 2013

Egypt: calling the bluff?

A Google search of at one time gave a hit to one of my previous posts. The top 2 for this search now are worth reading, a couple of accounts of events leading up to the coup: The Wall Street Journal's ("U.S.'s Stance Was Product of Yearlong Shift") and the one from the Associated Press, carried in The Guardian.  

Key points from the WSJ's: the US Department of Defense, with its contacts to the Egyptian military, urged them not to carry out a coup, while the president and State Department tried to persuade Mr. Morsi to make his government more inclusive. "In December, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson started making detailed suggestions to Mr. Morsi and his advisers about cabinet changes ...  In their final calls to Mr. Morsi and his aides, the U.S. again made specific suggestions, including appointing a new prime minister."

From the Associated Press: the MB believed the military had already taken its decision long before 30 Jun, when the protests began.
A [Muslim] Brotherhood spokesman, Murad Ali, said the military had already decided that Morsi had to go, and Sisi would not entertain any of the concessions that the president was prepared to make. "We were naive ... We didn't imagine betrayal would go this far," Ali said. "It was like, 'either we put you in jail, or you come out and announce you are resigning,'" Ali added. Brotherhood officials said they saw the end coming. "We knew it was over on 23 June. Western ambassadors told us that," said another Brotherhood spokesman. US ambassador Anne Patterson was one of the envoys, he added.
Jeff Weintraub, Adam Garfinkle ponders some continuities and disco... :
Once Morsi called the military's bluff by rejecting their ultimatum, they had to call Morsi's bluff or back down in a way that would have looked like a humiliating defeat.
Again, refer to the accounts from The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press / Guardian

Even in Garfinkle's account Morsi did "offer a dollop of conciliation", even if it was "too little too late". He did not definitively reject an ultimatum (*). All he did was make a "rambling fulmination" the previous evening before the coup. Or according to the WSJ, '[State Department spokeswoman] Jen Psaki said Mr. Morsi's defiant Tuesday night speech vowing to stay in power was at the heart of the problem. "He had the opportunity to lay out certain steps," she said about Mr. Morsi's address. "And he didn't take the opportunity to do that." '
 I assumed that the military would invite the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party, into its planned transitional government arrangement. It did. But the MB, led in this case, I assume, by a decision taken together by Mohammed Morsi, Khaitar al-Shatar and Mohammed Badie, vehemently rejected that invitation and engaged instead in what one organizer of the Tamarod movement has termed “incitement to civil war.”
I presume this relates to events after the coup. With their president overthrown and their leaders facing arrest, it is hardly surprising that the MB turned down this offer.
 an effort to control and reshape Egyptian society
Don't all political parties try to do this? As for the MB’s authoritarian schemes, the evidence that they were worse than, or even as bad as, the post-coup regime has been is pretty thin.
 JW:  This would have amounted to what is sometimes called a "soft coup".
So it would have provided a cloak of legitimacy for the coup if Morsi had accepted to stay as a figurehead president temporarily during a transition (not that there is any evidence that any such offer was made to him).
MB’s mistake was to rush much too fast to consolidate its authoritarian, if not totalitarian, schemes - See more at:
MB’s mistake was to rush much too fast to consolidate its authoritarian, if not totalitarian, schemes. - See more at:
It is unfortunate, first, because it forces Congress’ and the Administration’s hand to suspend aid to Egypt, and doing that right now, either to the military ($3.1 billion) or the paltry sum we give to the rest of the Egyptian government ($250 million), is a bad idea.
The WSJ:  Former U.S. officials and Arab diplomats say American influence was blunted by Washington's failure to deliver economic aid to the civilian government in Cairo. Assistance was held up by congressional concerns and legal problems tracing back to Mr. Mubarak's 2011 overthrow. As a result, while the Egyptian military was receiving the $1.3 billion aid package the U.S. promised, only $190 million in economic aid went to Mr. Morsi's civilian government. Qatar, by contrast, gave around $5 billion to Mr. Morsi's administration over the past year.

It now looks as if Qatar's aid will be replaced by aid from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 
what General al-Sisi has set in motion could in time be seen as a “corrective movement”, a very popular locution in Arab politics
There are even less encouraging precedents than Turkey and Pakistan: the coup that brought the Ba'ath party to power in Syria in 1963 was described in similar terms. 

* From an earlier post, Egypt on the edge? :
Foreign Policy's "Morning Brief" sums up where things stand right now: Egypt's President Rejects Military Ultimatum
Egypt's military delivered an ultimatum to Islamist President Mohamed Morsy on Monday, saying he had 48 hours satisfy the public's demands or else it would impose its own "road map." The communiqué, which was interpreted by some members of the Muslim Brotherhood as a military coup, comes on the heels of massive anti-government protests over the weekend that brought the country to a standstill. But with the streets relatively quiet on Tuesday, it seems Egyptians have largely left the fate of the country in the military's hands.

Morsy rejected the military's timeframe in a statement on Monday, saying he had not been consulted and that the ultimatum could "cause confusion in the complex national environment." The statement read further: "The presidency confirms that it is going forward on its previously plotted path to promote comprehensive national reconciliation ... regardless of any statements that deepen divisions between citizens."
It's important to read past the headline.

The WSJ again:
 "The military looked at the crowd in the streets. They said, 'We will not have crowds in the street.' We just can't have that. What does the crowd want? We're going to give it to them," a former official said.
So they ended up with a different crowd in the street, that was just as angry.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Coup D+1 (Egypt's counter-revolution?)

The debate as to whether this was a coup or a popular revolution (continuation of the 2011 revolution) goes on. To my mind, it can objectively be described as a counter-revolution. The major gains of the revolution were freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners; now TV channels have been taken off the air and warrants for the arrest of 300 Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been issued. If the revolution meant anything, beyond the removal of one man, Mubarak, it was surely the bringing to an end of almost 60 years of dominance of the government by the army.

I later happened to notice on the BBC's World Business Report's feed, "Egypt's counter-revolution 04 Jul 13" ...

Some more snapshots:
4/7 Qatar now "on side" in supporting the overthrow of Morsi (BBCWS, Newshour, 13:00).

Amr Moussa: this was not a coup, the overthrow of the president was necessary (Al J, 22:30)
Frank Gardner, bullets not ballots, cf. Algeria 1992 (BBC R4 18:00, WS, 00:00).

As it happened: Crisis in Egypt
08:46: [British Foreign Secretary William] Hague said: "This is a military intervention in a democratic system, we have to understand it's a popular intervention - there is no doubt about that in the current state of opinion in Egypt - so while warning of the precedent it sets for the future, of course we have to work with the Egyptians, with the majority will in Egypt, and that's what we will do."

09:22: Saad al-Katatni, head of the Brotherhood's political wing, was among those held in prison, Mena reported. In the immediate aftermath of the army's move, arrest warrants had been issued for 300 leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported.

09:27: After days of clashes between anti-Morsi protesters and his supporters that have left dozens dead, the Armed Forces said they would not tolerate insulting, provoking or attacking Islamists, especially their youth, Mena news agency reports.

10:13 Breaking News Adly Mansour is being sworn in as interim leader of Egypt

10:46: According the judicial and army sources who have spoken to Reuters, the Egyptian prosecutor's office has issued arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater.

11:21: British Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken about the situation in Egypt: "We never support in countries the intervention by the military but... what we need to happen now in Egypt is for democracy to flourish, and for a genuine democratic transition to take place, and all parties need to be involved in that, and that's what Britain and our allies will be saying very clearly to the Egyptians."

11:42: There are further unconfirmed reports about the arrest warrants of top members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Reuters news agency said Mr Shater and Mr Badie were ordered to be arrested for allegedly inciting violence in which at least eight people were killed outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters this week.

12:20: UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed said: "We followed with all consideration and satisfaction the national consensus that your brotherly country is witnessing, and which had played a prominent role in leading Egypt peacefully out of the crisis it had faced," Reuters reported.

12:22: Kuwait's ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah praised Egypt's armed forces for the "positive and historic role" it played in preserving stability, the state news agency Kuna reported.

12:48: The African Union is likely to suspend Egypt from all its activities, a source has told Reuters. Members of the AU's peace and security council would meet on Friday to discuss the situation. Suspension is the usual action when a member country makes an "unconstitutional change".

12:57: BBC Monitoring has compiled a press review, with many Egyptian newspapers expressing relief and delight over the ousting of President Morsi. However, the paper of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice party insisted on the need for "constitutional legitimacy".

The International Crisis Group, A difficult way forward in Egypt, 3 Jul 2013, is worth reading, but here is the core passage (if I highlight below some of the passages critical of the anti-Morsi forces, it does not mean that the criticisms of the Muslim Brotherhood are not also valid):
As Egypt moved from one electoral contest to another, Islamists perceived their successive, though sometimes narrow, victories as mandates to shape the nascent polity as they deemed fit, overlooking the need to share power. Dismissing their admittedly ineffective opposition, they instead focused on trying to either sideline (in the case of the judiciary) or co-opt (in the case of the security sector) state actors they deemed more important, and thus potentially more threatening. [..]
Non-Islamists suffered from the opposite malady, viewing election results as altogether meaningless, demanding oftentimes disproportionate representation in decision-making bodies; challenging the basic principle of popular will; and yielding to the growing temptation of extra-institutional means, be it street agitation or calls for judicial or military intervention. All of which gave rise to this most incongruous of sights – a purportedly liberal, democratic opposition openly calling on the army to step in and cut short the term of the country’s first democratically-elected leader.  [..]
It is hard to know what ultimately pushed the military – which for some time had sought to avoid direct political involvement – to enter the fray as blatantly as it did on 1 July when, though ambiguous as to precise meaning, it essentially ordered the president to yield to critics’ demands or face the consequences. The president’s inability to achieve political consensus, address the economic mess, reassure the judiciary or establish law and order all played a part as might have signs – such as the appointment as governor of Luxor of a member of a militant group or Morsi’s overt support for calls for jihad against the Syrian regime – that the president was veering toward a more overtly Islamist agenda. At bottom, however, the army and security sector as a whole never felt fully at ease with an Islamist commander-in-chief, the president’s efforts to placate them notwithstanding.  
Other state institutions have long awaited a chance to settle scores, and the massive 30 June turnout provided it. This was the case for the judiciary, which the president and his allies repeatedly had sought to reform and restructure, notably by threatening judges with early retirement on grounds that they were Mubarak-era holdovers. Anger at the Brotherhood ran even deeper within the police, which from the start has seen itself as the unjust victims of the 2011 uprising and could not fathom being ruled by the Islamists they used to suppress and arrest. As a result, a president routinely accused by his critics of engineering a power grab ended up with little power over any of the state institutions that really mattered [*].
Indications strongly point in the worrying direction of heavy-handed military intervention that, at a minimum, is reversing gains made in terms of a free press and rights of political participation. It reportedly has taken control of state media outlets, censoring footage of pro-Morsi demonstrations aired by private satellite channels. Muslim Brotherhood offices have routinely been torched and vandalised without any effort by the police to defend them and pro-Morsi rallies have come under repeated armed attacks by unknown assailants.
* On Channel 4 News, 4/7, Dr Azzam Tamimi, speaking for the MB point of view, also stresses Morsi's powerlessness. He also rejects as bogus, allegations that Morsi threw protesters into prison and tried to shut down journalists.

Juan Cole :
anti-Brotherhood figures pointed to the attempt to prosecute popular comedian Dr. Bassem Youssef for criticizing Morsi as typical of the Brotherhood’s intrinsic intolerance.
Is that the worst they could come up with?
The military appears to intend press charges against Morsi, Elarian and Katatni dating back to the late zeroes, when they were imprisoned. It was the January 25, 2011, revolution that allowed their supporters to break them out of jail. The military seems to want to insist that they were justly imprisoned for real crimes and that their jailbreak was a further act of illegality -
Egypt unrest: Morsi marchers die as army fires
Robert Fisk, The Independent: When is a military coup not a military coup? When it happens in Egypt, apparently
 No one is happier – no one more satisfied nor more conscious of the correctness of his own national struggle against ‘Islamists’ and ‘terrorists’ -- than Assad. The West has been wetting itself to destroy Assad – but does absolutely nothing when the Egyptian army destroys its democratically-elected president for lining up with Assad’s armed Islamist opponents.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Egypt: mechanics of a coup

This will no doubt be hotly debated for some time, but in my view it is foolish for supposedly leftist, liberal people to call for and celebrate the intervention of the army to overthrow a democratically elected president, however badly you think he has governed, or however much, as a secularist, you hate islamism.

But first, how events unfolded, from some TV and radio reports.

3/7 Cairo, increased presence of military in state TV building (BBC24, 15:00). Tanks on the street, Morsi supporter: comms to president have been severed, no doubt coup under way (BBCR4, 17:00). Increased presence of military  Al Jazeera Arabic reporting that presidential aides have left, leaving only Morsi (BBCR4, 17:55). Morsi adviser says what is happening is military coup (BBCWS, 18:00). Army says it is providing security, keeping anti- and pro-Morsi protestors apart (Sky News, 17:50) Military presence most noticeable around Cairo University, where the pro-Morsi protestors are. Video of APCs on back of trucks (Al J, 18:30) Bread, economy, Morsi refused IMF, accepted aid from Saudi and Qatar (Sky News, 18:20)

Syrian government calls on Morsi to stand down in accordance with his people's wishes (BBCWS, 18:30). According to Lindsey Hilsum on Channel 4 News, one of Morsi's mistakes was to call on Egyptians to join the fight in Syria - the army feared the creation of jihadists. Jonathan Rugman reports that during the night of 2-3 July around Cairo University, there were 23 deaths and hundreds injured,  in violence between pro- and anti-Morsi protestors. Rocks and fireworks were thrown, but those killed were apparently shot by a sniper on the library roof (Military coup in Egypt signals Morsi's exit, 2:25-2:50)

Anti-Morsi people, including ElBaradei, say the overthrow of the president was in the spirit of the 25 Jan (2011) revolution (BBCWS, Newshour, 22:00).

4/7 Religious TV stations, and Al Jazeera Egyptian, blacked out.
Al Jazeera English has yet another interview with anti-Morsi leader, Khaled Dawoud. He justifies TV stations being taken off air, saying it is regrettable, but necessary "for a short time", since Morsi in his statement had called for a holy war and in any case it does not matter what with the the internet; he said Obama had said he was deeply concerned, but did not call it a coup. Marwan Bishara, their political analyst, speaking of the Tahrir crowd, says they got what they wanted, but will they want what they got (00:15).
02:37: World powers are weighing in on the news. Here, Al-Jazeera rounds up reaction from around the world, from Syria to the UK (BBC Live: Crisis in Egypt).
(9:03) Ambassador Becomes Focus of Egyptians’ Mistrust of U.S. - 3 hours agoAnne W. Patterson, a press-shy career diplomat who has been American ambassador to Cairo since 2011, has suddenly found herself a target in a dangerous political upheaval.  

Obama has not described it as a coup, US law would then not allow aid ... (BBCWS, 9:00)
Egypt crisis: Interim president to be sworn in after Morsi ousted -

To fill in a few gaps, from the BBC's Live: Crisis in Egypt (obviously with my own selection and bias).
09:21: An Islamist TV station, Al-Nas, reports that the death toll from last night's violence at Cairo University has risen to 18 with 367 people injured. People were killed when unknown gunmen opened fire on a crowd of Morsi supporters.
10:04 Samer Shehata University of Oklahoma writes in the New York Times: "Egypt has a dilemma: its politics are dominated by democrats who are not liberals and liberals who are not democrats. The Muslim Brotherhood, Mr Morsi's Islamist movement, accepts - indeed excels at - electoral competition... Many in the opposition, on the other hand, believe fiercely in minority rights, personal freedoms, civil liberties and electoral coalition-building - as long as the elections keep Islamists out of power."
11:36: The UK's Guardian newspaper reports that Gen Sisi rejected concessions offered by President Morsi when the two men met on Tuesday. Mr Morsi had reportedly suggested forming a government that would include all parties, and hinted he would agree to a referendum on his presidency.
11:57: In this photo, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood shows a spent bullet found at the scene of Tuesday's fighting at Cairo University. Party members have accused the security forces of failing to protect them at rallies, or even colluding in attacks.   

13:03: Former Brigadier General Ayman Salama, who teaches at Cairo's military academy, has told BBC World Service's World Update programme that the army is "protecting the whole nation from falling down into a dark and unprecedented tunnel". But surely Mr Morsi is the country's elected president? "The cries, the shouting of the people demonstrating downtown, the millions of people, is above any institution, any voting boxes," he argues.
13:14: Senior Sunni Muslim and Christian clerics are reportedly meeting Gen Sisi along with opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei.
The Muslim Brotherhood has turned down an invitation to meet Gen Sisi - Reuters.
13:28: It would be better for President Morsi to die in defence of democracy than be blamed by history, his spokesman says (Reuters).
13:53: That quote from Mr Morsi's spokesman in full (via Reuters): "It is better for a president, who would otherwise be returning Egypt to the days of dictatorship, from which God and the will of the people has saved us, to die standing like a tree, rather than be condemned by history and future generations for throwing away the hopes of Egyptians for establishing a democratic life."
14:21:  Aleem Maqbool, BBC News, Cairo tweets: Staff at Egypt state TV building say an army officer went round this morning telling non-essential staff to leave.
14:43: Breaking News: Military officers are present in Egypt's state TV newsroom, monitoring content before the ultimatum deadline, according to Associated Press.
14:49: Claire Read BBC Arabic tweets: Confirmed: The Salafi Nour party has also met with the Defence Minister #Egypt

15:18: Dr Imad el-Anis Middle East expert at Notting Trent University emails: A tipping point for the opposition to Mohammed Morsi may have come on June 15 when Morsi attended a rally held in Cairo by hard-line Islamists and Salafists calling for a holy war against the Assad regime in Syria. He openly called for foreign intervention in Syria to topple the government. The opposition and the military are equally unhappy with this level of attention on regional politics and disregard for getting Egypt itself back to business

16:45: Essam al-Hadded, a senior Morsi aide, says a "military coup" is taking place.
16:48: "As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page," Mr Hadded wrote on Facebook. "For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let's call what is happening by its real name: military coup."
16:50: Egypt's security services have placed a travel ban on President Morsi and senior Islamists - AFP. 
17:09: A Morsi aide has said the president's message to all Egyptians is to resist a military coup peacefully and "not use violence", Reuters reports.
Breaking News - Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad says in a tweet a "full military coup" is under way in Egypt. "Tanks have started moving through the streets," he writes.
17:45: Al-Jazeera Arabic is reporting that all presidential aides have left the presidential palace, and that only President Morsi is still around.
17:55: Shashank Joshi Royal United Services Institute tweets: Anyone who thinks that a coup was a necessary evil to end Morsi's overreach clearly has a very short memory of the Egyptian military's conduct.
Presidential aide Yasser Haddara says Mr Morsi spent Wednesday working normally at a regular presidential office in a compound of the Republican Guard in suburban Cairo. He adds that it is unclear whether the president will be allowed to leave later and return to the palace - Reuters
Claire Read BBC Arabic tweets: Ambulances are trying to make their way through the crowds in Tahrir at the moment but there's just too many people!

18:02: An official source at Cairo's airport tells BBC Arabic that the authorities have been told to forbid any politicians who belong to religious parties from leaving the country, without referring to "sovereign entities".
18:19: The Egyptian army has erected barbed wire around a barracks where President Morsi was working and deployed armoured vehicles and troops to prevent his supporters marching from a nearby rally to his palace - Reuters
18:28: The Syrian government, which is seeking to crush a more than two-year revolt against its own rule, has urged President Morsi to step down in line with his people's wishes. Last month, Mr Morsi announced Cairo was cutting off diplomatic ties with Damascus.
18:39: Claire Read BBC Arabic tweets: [Freedom and Justice Party's] Amr Zaki confirms Morsi is at the Republican Guard building #Egypt
 18:58: The BBC Monitoring team says Egyptian private TV channels are siding with the anti-Morsi protests, while state TV is running laudatory footage of the armed forces.
Breaking News - Political roadmap to be announced shortly by Egypt's leading Islamic institution, the Sheikh of al-Azhar University, with key opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei and the Coptic Pope - Egyptian state news agency MENA

19:23: Egypt's army has posted a statement on Facebook denying that troops fired on pro-Morsi demonstrators earlier today. "These allegations are entirely false, mere lies and fabrications", the statement reads.19:27: A security source confirms to BBC Arabic that Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie was prevented from crossing into Libya via the Saloum crossing. They denied reports he was arrested.
19:52: Egypt's state-run al-Ahram newspaper quotes an unnamed source as saying the army told Mr Morsi at 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) that he was no longer president - Reuters
20:16: Breaking News - The head of Egypt's army, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, suspends the constitution and announces the formation of a technocratic interim government ahead of new presidential elections.
20:17: Tahrir Square has erupted in cheers and fireworks after the statement of the head of the army. 
20:22: Egypt's most senior Sunni authority, The Sheikh of al-Azhar, said on state TV the military and others had chosen the lesser of two evils.
20:25: There are reports of heavy firing at a Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo's Nasr City.
20:34: Egypt's new interim leader is 68-year-old Adly Mansour, Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
20:36:Local media reports that Egyptian Islamist channels Al Hafez, Al Nas and Misr 25 have gone off air.
20:46: In a statement on social media, Mohammed Morsi has denounced the army's announcement as a military coup and called for the restoration of the constitution.

21:15: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an opponent of Mr Morsi, has said "whoever uses religion for political aims, or to benefit some and not others, will fall". Speaking to a Syrian state newspaper, he said: "You can't fool all the people all the time, let alone the Egyptian people who have a civilisation that is thousands of years old, and who espouse clear, Arab nationalist thought."
21:22: Unconfirmed reports are emerging of police arresting crews of local TV stations affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad has said in a tweet: "First military decision: cutting the feed of all #Pro_Legitimacy satellite channels feeds. #Freedom_of_Expression ! #Egypt !!"
21:42: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood TV station has been taken off air and its managers arrested, state media reports.
21:59: here is the army's earlier televised statement announcing the suspension of the constitution.

22:07: Police are trying to separate fighting groups in the southern city of Aswan amid gunfire exchanges, a source has told the BBC. They added that people are also looting gold shops there and two police cars have been wrecked.
Susannah George NPR tweets: Senator Leahy says US law is clear: "aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree." #egypt
22:13: Graham Boyce Former British Ambassador to Egypt told the BBC: "Whatever else you say about President Morsi, he was elected in a fair election. And there is a great danger that if you can depose a president on the basis of a big popular uprising, who's to say that isn't going to happen to other presidents who are democratically elected in the future."
22:18: Egyptian military leaders have assured the Obama administration that they are not interested in long-term rule, in an apparent bid to forestall potential US sanctions, US officials have said. - AP
22:28: A key US Democrat, Senator Leahy, has said US law mandates cutting off aid when an elected government is deposed by a coup. He said Washington will review aid to Egypt as the administration waits for a clearer picture on the unfolding events - Reuters22:31: Four people have been killed in clashes in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh. Early reports suggest they were supporters of ousted President Morsi.
22:44: In a new analysis piece following the ousting of President Morsi, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace asks: "Where does the Muslim Brotherhood go from here?"
22:54:Calling the situation "clearly dangerous", British Foreign Minister William Hague urges "leadership and vision" to restore "democratic transition" in Egypt.

23:02: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has sent a message of congratulations to Egypt's new caretaker president, saying his appointment comes at a "critical" time in the nation's history. It is the first message of congratulations by an Arab leader to Adly Mansour - Saudi Press Agency
23:03 :Many women were among the crowds celebrating the ousting of President Morsi in Tahrir Square on Wednesday evening. Some women's rights groups felt that the Muslim Brotherhood's rule had failed them.
2310: Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mona al-Qazzaz tells BBC Newsnight: This is a coup and the world has to stop this coup from happening. 
23:16: Al Jazeera's Egyptian channel was reportedly raided by security forces on Wednesday. Karim el-Assuiti from the Mubashr Misr station said the journalists were prevented from broadcasting a pro-Morsi rally and five staff were detained. The channel is seen in some quarters as sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood - Reuters
Ayman Mohyeldin NBC tweets: Just had a group of men come to our office overlooking #Tahrir looking for Al Jazeera journalists 
23:35: Egyptian security forces have arrested two senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, officials say. Saad al-Katatni, who heads the Freedom and Justice Party - the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood - and the Islamist movement's deputy head, Rashad al-Bayoumi, have been detained - AFP
23:53: Armed clashes have broken out in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Local officials told Egyptian state news agency Mena that one person had been killed and at least 50 wounded amid gunfire and rock throwing. 
23:55: US President Barack Obama has said he is "deeply concerned" by the Egyptian military's decision to remove Mr Morsi and called for a swift return to civilian government - Reuters

4/7 00:05: US President Barack Obama: "Given today's developments, I have directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under US law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt." Read his full statement on Egypt here

Following reports of tanks heading in the direction of a pro-Morsi rally near Cairo University, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper says that Egyptian security forces are preparing to clear the protest.

Aleem Maqbool, BBC News Cairo correspondent tweets: (Deposed) Investment Minister speaks at pro-Morsi rally at Nasr City. Says he was with Morsi few hours ago & wants to convey 2 messages...
Aleem Maqbool tweets: Former minister delivers messages from Morsi to supporters: 1.Patience will lead to victory 2.Continue sit-ins in squares across the country

Gehad El-Haddad, works for Muslim Brotherhood, in Cairo tweets: And #Egypt enters another military coup cycle. Will the ppl of #Egypt take it, AGAIN !!
00:47: Reuters news agency reports that clashes have claimed three lives in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria; four in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh; and reportedly three more in the southern city of Minya, including two police officers.
00:57: Meanwhile, senior commanders in Egypt's military have reportedly had phone conversations with their US counterparts. Unnamed US officials told the Associated Press that Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, had been reassured that a civilian government would be put into place swiftly.

01:06: In addition to reports that Mohammed Morsi has been detained, state-run Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram says there are arrest warrants out for 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
01:55: Saudi Arabia and the UAE have welcomed the news. There have been diplomatic tensions between Cairo and Riyadh, while the UAE was said to be worried the success of Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood might rouse Islamists at home. No word yet from Qatar, the only Gulf Arab country to have backed Mr Morsi.
Some more odds and ends: 
Egyptian state-owned Channel One TV adopted critical tone against President Morsi in morning show, previously was balanced 4:54 AM - 3 Jul 13

Leading protester Khaled Dawoud told Channel 4 News in Cairo, that the president was "living in a bubble" and called on the Muslim Brotherhood to refrain from violence. "We ask them, we appeal to them, to save the blood of the Egyptian people and to think long-term," he said. "They still have a political role to play, but not at this particular stage." 02 July 2013 Morsi clings to office amid protests and resignations

Update:  filling in some gaps between 18:39 and 4/7 01:55.