Nearly two months after Egypt’s June 30 Revolution, it is interesting to note how the final dialogue between ousted President Morsi and General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—full of threats and vows of determination on both sides—have all come to pass, including in the very details, specifically the U.S. government’s role. On July 5, the Arabic language, Egyptian newspaper El Watan published what it said were the final words between the two Egyptian men, as transcribed by an eyewitness, before the general put the president in prison. (Original and complete English translation here.)
The relevant portions of the dialogue between Sisi and Morsi follow, interspersed with my retrospective observations where appropriate:
Abridged Exchange Between Morsi and Sisi
Morsi: What’s the military’s position concerning what’s going on? Is it just going to stand by watching? Shouldn’t it protect the legitimacy?
Sisi: What legitimacy? The entire army is with the will of the people, and the overwhelming majority of people, according to documented reports, don’t want you.
Morsi: My supporters are many and they won’t be silent.
Morsi’s first threat is generic and subtle. Not yet pushed to the brink, Morsi simply alludes to his “supporters,” who “are many and they won’t be silent.” No word yet as to who these supporters are or what they will do.
Sisi: The army will not allow anyone to destroy the nation, no matter what happens.
An early indicator of military resolve, one that, to this day, does not appear to have diminished.
Morsi: What if I don’t want to leave?
Sisi: The matter is settled and no longer up to you. Try to leave with your dignity and tell those whom you call supporters to go back to their homes in order to prevent bloodshed, instead of threatening the people through them.
Morsi: But this way it will be a military coup, and America won’t leave you alone.
While technically a military coup, the military was reacting to a popular revolution: tens of millions of Egyptians—many more than in the original 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak—took to the streets for several days demanding new elections (as many Egyptians from the very start insisted that Morsi never even won the presidential election). And nearly two month later, months of intense pressure and threats, the U.S., in Morsi’s words, certainly shows no signs that it will “leave you [Egyptian military] alone.”
Sisi: The people concern us, not America. And since you’ve started to talk this way, I’ll talk to you candidly. We have evidence to condemn you and to condemn many governmental officials of compromising Egypt’s national security. The judiciary will have its say and you will all be judged before the whole people.
Once Morsi becomes more specific about who his supporters are—the United States, a foreign entity—Sisi also becomes candid, pointing out to him that the military has evidence to condemn Morsi and his Brotherhood cabinet. In recent weeks and days, talk of this evidence has become more widespread. According to many Egyptian political activists, the Brotherhood and the Obama administration made a deal, which has seen the exchange of vast sums of money, possibly at the hands of President Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama. Add to this the recent assertions of Tahani al-Gebali, Vice President of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Egypt: “Obama’s brother is one of the architects of investment for the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Moreover, that the U.S. government, including ambassador Anne Patterson and Senators Graham and McCain, has been pressuring Egypt to release Morsi and other key Brotherhood figures, such as multimillionaire Khairat al-Shatter—even though they are also being held in connection to incitement and terrorism against Egyptian civilians—only validates the idea that imprisoned Brotherhood leadership, when tried, may well spill the beans as to the nature of the relationship between Morsi’s ousted government and the Obama administration, hence the reason the latter is so adamant about getting them released.
Morsi: Don’t think the Brotherhood is going to stand by if I leave office. They will set the world on fire.
True, indeed. While the Brotherhood’s media wing in Qatar, also known as “Al Jazeera,” has been blasting a 24/7 media propaganda campaign dedicated to demonizing the military and garnering sympathy for the Brotherhood—often by flagrantly lying—the Brotherhood and its supporters have quite literally been “setting the world on fire,” most visibly in Egypt, where some 80 churches and other Christian institutions, not to mention government buildings, etc., have been set aflame.
Sisi: Just let them try something and you’ll see the reaction of the army. Whoever among them wants to live in peace, he’s more than welcome; otherwise, [if they try anything] we will not leave them alone. We will not single anyone out, and the Brotherhood is from the Egyptian people, so don’t try to use them as fuel for your disgusting war. If you truly love them, leave office and let them go to their homes.
Morsi: Anyway, I’m not going, and the people outside of Egypt are all with me, and my supporters are not going.
Again, Morsi indicates who his two main supporters are: “the people outside of Egypt,” that is, the United States, and “my supporters,” the Muslim Brotherhood and its many Islamist sympathizers in and out of Egypt.
Morsi: Okay, if I agree to be removed, will you allow me to travel abroad and promise not to imprison me?
Sisi: I can’t offer you any promises. It’s the justice [department] that will pass its verdict.
Morsi: Okay, if that’s the case, I’ll make it war, and we’ll see who will prevail in the end.
Sisi: Naturally the people will win.
The verdict is still out concerning the fate of Egypt. For true to Morsi’s threats, the U.S. and the Brotherhood and its allies—from church-burning thugs in Egypt’s streets, to Al Jazeera’s media manipulations—are still trying to undermine the Egyptian people’s June 30 Revolution against the corrupt, Islamist rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.