Introduction by Roger Annis
July 7, 2013–Enclosed below are four newspaper articles providing news and useful background to understanding the military coup in Egypt.
Green Left Weekly has published today a first, cautious, look at the events in Egypt. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/54461 Tony Iltis writes:
In the Western media, there has been some debate about whether the overthrow of Morsi was a democratic revolution or a military coup. Western governments have not been entirely unanimous in their response.
For the Western rulers, this issue is mainly technical. Under US law military aid must, at least temporarily, cease to any army that has carried out a coup and as the annual US$1.3 billion direct aid to the armed forces is the main leverage the US has in Egypt, US President Barack Obama is unlikely to call what happened a coup.
To the extent it is held by anyone, governmental power is now held by the repressive US-funded military that the Mubarak dictatorship was built around.
However, Morsi was brought down by a genuinely popular mass uprising. The size of the petition and the protests suggests that some people who voted for Morsi in June last year were calling for his overthrow one year on.
Of course, it’s not only the Western media that is debating the coup and taking sides. So is the political left in Egypt and internationally. Iltis cites the Tamarod movement, the Communist Party and the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt as denying that a coup has taken place and simultaneously saying they oppose the government–military rule–that has come into power as a result of whatever-one-calls the military’s action.
Iltis quotes a Tamarod activist: “We affirm that there are clear attempts to smear our glorious revolution, attempts that seek to portray the people’s will as a military coup, which may lead to intervention by foreign forces in Egypt’s internal matters and which we won’t accept.”
To my eyes, the article is disappointing for not squarely opposing the coup. “To the extent it is held by anyone, governmental power is now held by the repressive US-funded military…”??? I’ve seen no news report to suggest anything but that Egypt’s military is firmly in power. And the impulse to dislodge it is not coming from those who backed Morsi’s overthrow but rather from those it overthrew.
In the highly-charged political atmosphere and with a mass, democratic movement capable of bringing astonishing numbers of people into the streets, the military’s grip on power is less firm than it would otherwise appear. But the pro-democracy movement in the country has been dealt a blow by the coup and is deeply divided in assessing it.
The components of the former International Socialist current all appear to agree that the overthrow of the Morsi government in Egypt is part of a “Second Revolution”, ie a good thing. The ISO, British SWP, Canada IS and Socialist Alternative (Australia) are all publishing the statements of the Revolutionary Socialists of Europe. To my knowledge, only the ISO has made supplementary comment.
In France, I noted yesterday in my brief commentary and news compilation (now online here) that the NPA correspondent in Egypt is voicing similar views to the Revolutionary Socialists. Nothing new has been published in the past several days by the party.
In Algeria, the Parti socialiste des travailleurs (Fourth International) has issued a brief statement that simultaneously welcomes the overthrow of Morsi and says the army has stolen the fruits of the popular mobilization. Algerians know something of the consequences of the violent overthrow of elected Islamist movements. In 1991, the country’s military cancelled elections that the Islamist Salvation Front was due to win and then it launched a years-long civil war that cost as many as 200,000 lives. The coup and civil war were key to the regime winning close-ally status with the U.S. and France following September 2001, where it has remained ever since.
1. Six killed in clashes amid crackdown on Morsi loyalists
Patrick Kingsley and Martin Chulov, The Guardian, July 6, 2013
Cairo–The crackdown against Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood escalated last night as security forces guarding the country’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi shot and killed at least three of his supporters protesting outside the building in which he is being held and injured 15 more. It was reported that at least three more people were killed elsewhere in Egypt.
Clashes also erupted in central Cairo as pro and anti-Morsi supporters faced off near Tahrir Square for the first time since the elected leader was removed from office in a coup on Wednesday night.
The shootings came as a Brotherhood official claimed that every single member of the organisation’s leadership group – of which Morsi was once a senior member – had been arrested or was wanted by police, after new warrants were issued yesterday. A senior party official claimed they were now being accused not just of insulting the judiciary, but of inciting murder.
The Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, who had reportedly been arrested on Thursday, appeared at a pro-Morsi rally where he remained defiant and called for followers of the former leader to stay on the streets until he is returned to office.
Tensions continued to rise across the country, with the Sinai peninsula placed on a state of emergency after gunmen attacked an airport – in an incident linked to rising Islamist fury at Morsi’s removal. There were also clashes reported in Luxor, Damanhour and Beni Suef, as Islamists protested across the country in what the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups had billed as a Day of Rejection.
In the evening, pro-Morsi protesters attempted to march from west Cairo to Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands of Morsi opponents have gathered since Sunday – and security forces fired shots to break up the ensuing confrontation.
The violence outside the Republican Guards’ building, where Morsi is being held, confirmed the worst fears of Islamists, who warned this week that they would face renewed violent oppression under the new military-backed regime.
Demonstrators at the scene said they had initially wanted to rescue the former president and escort him back to the presidential palace. But once the protesters – who marched on the site from two different mosques – arrived at around 3pm, they claimed that in fact they stayed back, chanting their support. According to one eyewitness, the shootings began half an hour later, after a man left the crowd, approached a barbed-wire fence protecting the compound – and fixed a Morsi poster to it. “Then he walked back,” said Anas Abdel Rahim, a 19-year- old salesman whose hands were covered with blood after a teenager was later shot in his arms.
“Then someone wearing civilian clothes [on the army’s side of the line] came to take the poster off the fence. People started shouting. He left it. He went to a soldier. They had a conversation. After the conversation the guy in civilian clothes started shooting.”
Following the shots, protesters started running and security officials fired teargas and birdshot into the crowds – many of whom were caught unawares. “They starting shooting, people started running, I was praying, and I got shot,” said Ahmed Mohamed, bent over by an ambulance as medics plucked birdshot pellets from his back.
The Guardian photographed live ammunition marked with army insignia at the scene. An army spokesman denied it was involved in the shooting.
A 50,000-strong pro-Morsi rally was held a short distance away, where Brotherhood officials admitted that the immediate operational future of the party, a strictly hierarchical group that relies heavily on its leaders, was in disarray. With all the members of its top-level Guidance Office likely to be arrested soon, and most of its 200-strong, second-tier Shura Council seemingly also sought by police, the Brotherhood faces the most serious disruption to its operational capacity in decades.
Senior Brotherhood officials appeared uncertain of who could take over in the event of Badie’s arrest.
Asked who could succeed the organisation’s spiritual leader, Mohamed Beltagy, a Brotherhood “guidance officer”, replied: “Whoever remains in the Guidance Office.” He said he expected to be arrested once he left the rally. After it was pointed out that no guidance officers might soon be left at liberty, Beltagy said: “These questions should be asked of the person that decided to leave the Brotherhood without leadership.”
Beltagy also said that Brotherhood leaders had started to be accused of “provoking murder”. But he said the Brotherhood would survive. “Attempts to destroy [us] have been going on for 80 years and have never succeeded.”
Salah Sultan, a senior Brotherhood official and Egypt’s deputy minister of Islamic affairs, said: “We will go underground if we have to.”
Egypt’s new interim president, Adly Mansour, is expected to move into the country’s presidential palace in north-east Cairo today – a compound occupied by Morsi aides only a few days ago. Mansour is expected to name the prime minister and may also name a cabinet, diplomatic sources said.
It was also announced that Egypt had been suspended from the African Union because of the circumstances of Morsi’s departure.
Cairo turned the major winner of the Arab uprisings into a loser this week. And as Egypt goes, so goes the Middle East.
2. BBC editor shot
By Josh Holliday, The Guardian, July 6, 2013
The BBC’s Middle East editor was wounded by shotgun pellets while covering escalating violence in the Egyptian capital. Jeremy Bowen was pictured with what appeared to be dried blood on his left cheek while being bandaged around his head following the incident in Cairo yesterday.
He later tweeted that he was fine and returned to cover the unfolding shooting outside the Republican Guards HQ. “Thanks for the messages. I’ve been hit by a couple of shotgun pellets. Am fine and heading out,” he wrote on Twitter. The BBC said it was aware of the incident.
Bowen has been at the heart of the action in Cairo as a military coup has removed Mohamed Morsi as president. Yesterday he was near demonstrators in the capital as Egyptian troops opened fire at Morsi’s supporters.
In his afternoon report he said: “I saw it all. There was a large demonstration outside the officers’ club of the presidential club, a compound which Morsi, the deposed president, they believe he is being held at.
“As the crowd got angrier and angrier, it started to surge forward and someone opened fire straight away from the military side. Before they had used any kind of teargas, they resorted to live fire. Initially I thought it was in the air and then I saw the weapons were levelled. After that, I saw a man went down. I saw the body, bloodied, being carried away.”
Bowen became the BBC’s Middle East editor in 2005 having been Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem, from 1995 to 2000. In 2000 he was covering the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon when an Israeli tank commander fired a round of bullets into his car. Bowen was unharmed, but Abed Takoushm, his friend and fixer, was killed
3. What spring wrought
Patrick Martin reflects on the fate of political Islam
By Patrick Martin, global affairs writer, Globe and Mail, July 6, 2013
Tahrir Square is packed with people hugging each other, waving Egyptian flags, weeping in joy at their success. Their pharoah has fallen, and they can claim credit. This scene is from two years ago, at the start of the Arab uprisings – a string of mass protests that shook the region and, in some cases, led to new governments in Tunisia, Libya and Yemen as well as Egypt.
But this week, Cairo was once again was awash in flags and beatific masses. And it’s as if the revolution is running in reverse: The crowd has been celebrating the ouster of the new leadership they once cheered. Instead of fighting supporters of Hosni Mubarak, angry mobs have stormed and burned the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters. Another crowd broke into their more secretive offices, located in a nondescript building on an island in the Nile, and now shows scars of forcible entry and a spot where a proud party plaque has been ripped off a door.
“They’re gone,” the building’s security guard told me, referring to Brotherhood members who had fled just ahead of the mob. “They won’t be back.”
Don’t be so sure. All this is part of a larger see-saw battle between the forces of political Islam on the one hand and the military forces of autocratic regimes on the other – a battle that has held this country, and much of the region, in its grip for nearly a century.
Egypt is not only the most populous and powerful country in the Middle East, it is a bellwether for the state of the Islamic politics. The Muslim Brotherhood formed here in 1928 and has since influenced countless groups in their struggles against colonialism, European influence and their own countries’ autocratic regimes.
Look behind the Iranian revolution of 1979, for example, and you find the writings of Sayid Qutb, a leading figure in the Brotherhood. See the movement’s sway in the Palestinian intifada of the 1980s, in Algeria of the early 1990s, even in Turkey’s shift to the Justice and Development Party a decade ago.
Now, however, the ousting of this group raises questions about whether political Islam can be trusted to remain democratic. And how Egypt responds to the current backlash will set the agenda across the Middle East for a generation to come.
The appeal of political Islam is simple: Movements inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood – whether in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia or Palestine – offer solace and support to those who see themselves as victimized by colonial or European influence, or occupying powers. They speak to people who feel unempowered, even unwelcome, in their own countries.
In December of 1991, amid Algeria’s first free and open election, I met Sebti, a 33-yearold engineer who epitomized this trend. Sebti joined me for breakfast one day at Algiers’ most elegant hotel. In his old buttonless overcoat, which he refused to remove, no doubt because of his shabby sweater underneath, he felt distinctly out of place. He was a professional but felt uncomfortable in a hotel that had been the built for the French and used by the European Allies in the Second World War.
He had been among the thousands of people who had kneeled in the streets of Algiers outside mosques that were too crowded to hold everyone for Friday prayers. He had learned English at the British Council, but for all his adult years, Sebti had struggled to gain an education and international awareness.
He joined the the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), a group that took its cue from the Brotherhood’s success – and the kind of movement that had been banned by corrupt Algerian regimes since shortly after the country fought a bloody war to oust the French in the early 1960s – because it offered people like him a real chance at success.
The FIS, allowed to run by an enlightened president, Chadli Bendjedid, campaigned on a message of honesty, the free market and respect for women. The party triumphed in the first round of parliamentary elections, and stood poised to win the second round of voting to form a government.
Identifying and supporting professionals is a hallmark of Brotherhood movements not only in Algeria but across the region. Often, the movement has fielded candidates for leadership from professional associations.
In Gaza, in the early 1990s, for example, I met more people like Sebti – mostly aspiring doctors, pharmacists and lawyers – who had joined the relatively new Hamas movement, an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood that had been active in the territory since well before Israel occupied it in 1967.
Many of these Gazans had turned to the mosques in the wake of the war that year (mosques tripled in number in the next decade) seeking some comfort from the shame of defeat and occupation. And many, especially in the Palestinian refugee camps, turned to the Brotherhood too.
The Brotherhood, with Israeli support, of all things, founded a university in Gaza, a hospital and several other health centres and schools. (Israel saw these conservative religious followers as much less threatening than the Palestine Liberation Organization and its various military groups.) All of which helped to cement the Palestinian community and its religious bonds.
Ahmed Yousef, a senior Hamas official who was born in the Rafah refugee camp on the Egyptian border, described his joy in discovering the Brotherhood in a Globe and Mail documentary. His life in the camp had been pretty rough, and the movement encouraged him to study.
In 1987, Palestinian youths spontaneously staged relatively peaceful marches against Israeli military forces, and senior members of the Brotherhood formed Hamas as a means to manage the growing uprising.
Initially armed with nothing but rocks, waves of young people faced Israeli soldiers and tanks. About 100 were killed in the first 100 days, but they achieved more by their passive resistance than by all the airplane hijackings and terrorist attacks carried out by other Palestinian groups.
The campaign stunned Israelis, who couldn’t believe the willingness of the youths to face down the tanks. (It was a lesson that was not lost on Hamas, which recognized that sensitivity could be a weakness to be exploited.)
The intifada would lead to the Oslo peace process, an outrage as far as Hamas was concerned because it represented a compromise with the Israeli occupiers who, they noted, still held Jerusalem and a lot of other Islamic territory. Nevertheless, on Sept. 13, 1993, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shook hands with Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House and PLO supporters celebrated in the streets in Gaza.
The advice given by the Hamas preachers that day to their downcast congregations was memorable. They told them to stay calm; that time was on their side.
Next door in Egypt, the Brotherhood was already familiar with long timelines. Their struggle had already been under way for decades – and it would be decades more before they came to power.
“Our approach is to be risk averse,” a member of the Muslim Brotherhood said this week in Cairo as the movement faced one of its greatest challenges. There is little to be gained by violent defeat, he added. “We must build institutions, build public trust and bide our time.”
Action and reaction
Not surprisingly, many in the Arab world have grown impatient with this long-term approach to winning power. Mass communications show off how well others live, and the desire for immediate change is strong.
Some have found a faster path in Sayid Qutb’s more radical call to form a vanguard and fight the oppressors, a call answered by Islamic jihad. Born out of the Brotherhood in the late 1970s, the group’s first move was action, not waiting, with the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981.
The group did make its mark, but the result was not power or greater freedom. Instead, the assassination led to the threedecade rule of Hosni Mubarak and repeated crackdowns on all Islamist groups.
The crackdowns were fierce. By the early 1990s, another group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri – a disciple of Sayid Qutb and now a leader of al-Qaeda – had become prominent. The group was called Gamaa Islamiya, and their approach was to take the fight to the enemy. They barricaded themselves inside their mosque in the Upper Egypt city of Assiut in 1993.
I sat with them in that mosque, and listened to the sermon of a Gamaa preacher announcing that president Hosni Mubarak would meet the same fate as Mr. Sadat. On leaving the mosque, I was arrested for being inside a closed military zone, and taken out of the city. Two days later, the army closed in on the mosque and killed the young leaders.
In that case, violence was met with violence. In others, violence has been the response to attempts at peaceful, democratic change.
In Algeria, the FIS, the overwhelming victor in the first round of the 1991 parliamentary election, never got to run in a second round. The military dismissed the president and cancelled the election entirely. The move was supported by France, the United States and Canada, among others. The result: a civil war, quickly joined by much more extreme Islamic militants, which left more than 100,000 people dead.
In Turkey, a series of attempts by moderate Islamic-oriented parties to join or form a government have been struck down by the judiciary, backed by the country’s military. Only in 2002 did Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-oriented AK Party succeed in forming a government. The country’s first practising Muslim President, Abdullah Gul, was not elected until 2007.
In Palestine, Hamas won the territories’ first free and open legislative election in 2006. But Israel, the occupying power, refused to deal with it, as did the U.S. and Canada. The Palestinian Authority president suspended the legislature.
All of this makes it increasingly difficult for moderates to advise political Islamic groups to trust in democracy.
The downside of victory
Even when democracy has brought political Islam to power, as the results of the past two decades have shown, it can be a pernicious victory.
In Turkey, it took three attempts before an Islamic-oriented government would be allowed to govern.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won parliamentary and presidential elections with about 50 per cent voter support – but has still been ousted by the military responding to an angry populace.
Brotherhood members here in Egypt say it’s no coincidence that these protests are taking place at the same time as unrest has rocked the Islamic government in Tunisia and the Erdogan government in Turkey. They think Saudi Arabia is backing those behind the unrest, that the country wants to contain the Brotherhood’s influence.
But liberal critics of political Islam fear that Islamic-oriented governments will advance a religious agenda at the expense of other issues, such as economic development, and that they will find every opportunity to put an end to the democracy that got them elected.
These critics question whether observant Muslims can ever be democrats. At its root, doesn’t Islamic law ultimately trump any man-made law?
The better question might be whether Western liberals are prepared to accept the outcome of democracy in Muslim society.
Meanwhile, many are wondering whether the backlash against Egypt’s Islamic government will spur an abandonment of democracy altogether, or more violence.
Certainly, the Muslim Brotherhood that has been described as the biggest winner of the Arab Spring, is no longer enjoying such a reputation.
That will make things more difficult in Palestine, where Hamas has been comforted by an affiliated organization running the country next door, which has allowed for freer travel in and out of the constricted Gaza Strip. Qatar, a great supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, will likewise feel bruised by recent developments.
Turkey, which remains the only country in the region where political Islam has a secure foothold over previously autocratic administrations, must be worried by what is essentially a military coup in a friendly country. (Mr. Erdogan’s government went so far as issuing a statement this week denouncing the ouster of Mohammed Morsi as an illegal act.) And who gains from all this? In Egypt, despite the fiery rhetoric of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohammed Badie, and the large numbers of Morsi supporters who took to the streets on Friday, it appears that the military will rule for some time to come.
Its day-long show of air power – streaking jet fighters, many in formation, and big lumbering helicopters – succeeded in conveying to the people that there was little point in learning the name of the constitutional judge who is, officially, Egypt’s interim President. The real power rests with the generals.
It probably won’t be long before Egypt’s liberals and even the general public come back to support the currently deposed Muslim Brothers.
The rise of the rebel movement – how Morsi fell
A born-again opposition and a president who consistently failed to see his errors were key elements of the 3 July coup d’etat
By Martin Chulov Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian, July 6, 2013
CAIRO–On Wednesday morning, as Mohamed Morsi sat discussing his plight with a small coterie of aides at a base in the east of Cairo, a senior adviser reassured him that the presidential guard would protect him no matter what. But, as the Egyptian troops moved in on the base following the orders of army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sissi, even this elite unit slipped away, so Morsi could be easily detained. As with so many of the political errors that dogged his presidency, Morsi hadn’t seen it coming.
The 3 July coup may have been executed by the military, but its roots lie in a civilian movement. On the evening of 15 April, Mohammed Abdul Aziz and five other friends sat down in Borsa coffee shop in central Cairo to plot ways to invigorate Egypt’s tired civil opposition.
According to Aziz, the group’s aims were simple at first; to reignite support for a movement that had ground to a halt almost a year into the increasingly unpopular presidency of Morsi. “In the beginning all we wanted to do was gather petitions to renounce Morsi,” he said. But the group soon got a name, Tamarod (Rebel). Within weeks it had also gained a momentum that propelled it to centre stage of a defining period – the ousting of the country’s first democratically elected leader.
“I was sure by the number of petitions flowing that Tamarod was going to transform the Egyptian political scene,” said Aziz.
The means seemed simple enough, not dissimilar to the campaign that led to the toppling of the previous president, Hosni Mubarak, 30 months ago. Smartphones, Facebook and other forms of social media were critical organising tools, but this time the boot leather of volunteers and old fashioned petitions also played a pivotal role. “We had a website with an electronic petition and a space for people to put their name down and fill the form out,” said Aziz. “They would then print the form out and give it to a volunteer.”
By mid-May, he said, there were 8,000 volunteers in 15 of Egypt’s 22 governorates. “That’s when it became a popular movement. That’s when the idea became a reality.”
Egypt’s problems had been piling up since November, little more than three months into the four-year term of Morsi’s government. Morsi had enjoyed the briefest of political honeymoons. The economy was in torpor, the body politic barely functioning and society deeply polarised.
On one side of a by now gaping divide was the Muslim Brotherhood, the powerful Islamic group that had largely been responsible for sweeping Morsi to power in elections last June. On the other was the rest of the country — about 48% of voters, according to the poll, which gave Morsi the presidency with close to 52% of the popular vote.
The disaffected included a band of unlikely allies, who sit uneasily even now; at one end were the leftists and secularists, who had been squeezed in January 2011 by the Islamists, at the other those who resented the toppling of Mubarak.
The latter had been a formidable foe-in-waiting. Away from the sweeping scenes of Tahrir Square in January 2011, many millions of Egyptians were uncomfortable with Mubarak’s demise. They had been safe under the dictator and some of them had prospered.
The 17 months after his ignominious exit had been unsettling for the Mubarak faithful. But the year since Morsi’s inauguration had been even worse. “It was becoming clear that everything that the state had built, everything that it had stood on, was coming crumbling down,” said Ahmed Badawi, a mid-ranking police officer who was unhappy to see Mubarak go. “It was a case of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend, so we joined them in Tahrir Square this time’,” he said of this week’s revolts.
A senior western diplomat who had spent time with Morsi, his inner court and Brotherhood leaders said the writing was on the wall for his presidency by early this year. “We had noticed particularly in the past nine months that they had become increasingly disconnected from reality. The army had become more and more worried by the [Brotherhood].
“The economy was being wrecked by the movement. They were spending at least $1.5bn per month more than they should have. They were using months and months of reserves at a critical level. You couldn’t deny the underlying trend that the government was heading for bankruptcy.
“Whatever mess they had created was going to lead to civil revolt. Soon they wouldn’t have been able to pay for civil servants’ salaries.”
By March, serious diplomatic efforts had started to convince Morsi to form a government of national unity. “We were trying to convince them to broaden the base of political participation,” said the diplomat. “After much negotiation, they declined and then went about making it even worse by maintaining a technocratic government run by newly promoted lower-grade officials with bad ideas. What did it for me was the appointment of the culture minister.”
The nomination of Alaa Abdul Aziz led to the sacking of five key cultural figures, including the head of the opera house and the National Library and Archives, and a view that he was trying to impose an Islamist agenda on cultural institutions which had always been avowedly secular.
From every angle, Morsi was increasingly being seen as, a captive of his constituency. “By that time, the Tamarod movement was really becoming something,” said the diplomat. “And that added a dynamism and sheer scope to what had been taking place.”
By mid-June, with other state institutions now sharing the military’s alarm, the tide was clearly turning against Morsi. Tamarod claimed to have received more than 20m petition signatures. Within a week, citizens experienced shortages of essentials, especially food and fuel. Long queues for fuel are rare in Egypt, where the military has a significant stake in the gas and oil sector and is usually a guarantor of supply. But in the leadup to the first anniversary of Morsi’s swearing in – June 30 – the date chosen by Tamarod for a march en masse to the place where it all began, Tahrir Square, the shortages seemed especially severe.
By then, the army had given Morsi the first ultimatum: find ways to end the crisis within a week. Unable to deliver, Morsi watched as the large crowds hoped for by the born-again opposition materialised.
The army posted statements on its Facebook site acknowledging “huge crowds of protesters” on the streets. Things were moving quickly now; when the first deadline expired, the Egyptian military chief, Abdul Fattah al-Sissi gave Morsi another deadline, this time 48 hours. It was to be his last as leader.
Last Saturday, with his political legacy crumbling, Morsi cut a serene figure when the Guardian met him in his office in Quba Palace, Cairo. The streets of the capital were tense, but Morsi appeared cocooned, even oblivious to what had begun to take shape. “How confident are you in the army?” the Guardian asked him. “Very,” he replied. How wrong he was.