The “bystander President”, (as Charles Krauthammer calls him) had been backing the Muslim Brotherhood led government of Egypt, and discouraging dissent, but now that Morsi is apparently under military house arrest, and tanks are rolling into Cairo, “he’s not taking sides.” Morsi gave a bad speech, yesterday, apparently….
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. “felt there was an absence of significant, specific steps” in Morsi’s Tuesday night speech. “Unfortunately, that was not a part of what he talked about in his speech…..There’s more that he needs to do,” she added during a daily briefing for reporters.
The comments expressed a greater degree of U.S. dissatisfaction with Morsi than previously acknowledged by U.S. officials. However, Psaki insisted that the criticism did not reflect a U.S. decision to back the opposition or the military.
“We haven’t taken sides and don’t plan to take sides,” Psaki said. She acknowledged that she had no criticism to offer of the Egyptian military, despite a warning from military leaders that they would step in if Morsi’s government and protesters did not come to an accomodation.
Debka File reports that up until just yesterday, Obama and Co were scrambling to diffuse the situation and keep Morsi in power:
US President Barack Obama and Chief of US General Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey intervened in the Egyptian crisis early Tuesday, July 2, in an attempt to save the besieged President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Obama called the Egyptian president and Gen. Dempsey phoned Chief of staff Gen. Sedki Sobhi, hoping to defuse the three-way crisis between the regime, the army and the protest movement before it gets out of hand.
The crash of Morsi’s presidency would seriously undermine the objectives of the Arab Revolt pursued by the Obama administration as the arch-stone of his Middle East policy.
The administration had earlier sought unsuccessfully to persuade the heads of the Egyptian army not to issue its 48-hour ultimatum to Egypt’s rulers “heed the will of the people” by Wednesday afternoon – or else the army would intervene. The Americans proposed instead to leave Morsi in place after stripping him of presidential authority and installing a transitional government to prepare the country for new elections to the presidency and parliament.
DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that the army chiefs led by Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi rejected the American proposal.
Obama promised to back steps taken by President Morsi to show he is “responsive to the opposition’s concerns,” while Gen. Dempsey asked Egyptian generals to moderate their stand against the Muslim Brotherhood. The underlying message was that if they failed to do so, Washington might reconsider its $1.3 billion annual military assistance package which is the main source of income for the armed forces.
Heartened by the US president’s vote of support, Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic allies, rejected the army’s ultimatum for resolving the country’s deadly crisis, saying it would sow confusion and ran contrary to the Egyptian constitution.
CAIRO — Armored cars, tanks and troops deployed in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday, and advisers said they had lost contact with President Mohammed Morsi in what they described as a military coup.
In a scene reminiscent of the earliest days of the Arab Spring, tens of thousands of Egyptians who had demanded the president’s ouster staged a jubilant celebration in Tahrir Square — dancing, cheering and setting off fireworks.
Earlier in the day, the president and the military each swore to fight to the death for control of the country, and a military deadline for Morsi to step aside came and went with no statement from the president.
“We swear to God to sacrifice with our blood for Egypt and its people against any terrorist, extremist or ignoramus,” the military said in a statement. “Long live Egypt and its proud people.”
the military said in a statement. “Long live Egypt and its proud people.”
“Obama’s Bitch”, Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders have reportedly been slapped with travel bans.
Egyptian security forces slapped a travel ban on Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Morsi and top Islamists.
Egyptian security forces on Wednesday imposed a travel ban on President Mohamed Morsi and several top Islamist allies over their involvement in a prison escape in 2011, security officials said.
Airport officials confirmed to AFP that they had received orders to prevent the leaders — including Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater — from travelling abroad.
UPDATE: FOX News just reported – Muslim Brotherhood officials say their members are being arrested.
UPDATE: Arab leaders called on President Morsi to step down today.