Morsy, the Human Being

Originally Published
in the Daily News Egypt

During the first and second round of the presidential elections I always had a problem with regarding President Mohamed Morsy as a real human being with real dreams, real fears and ambitions. I always viewed him as something unreal and virtual, a construct representing the Muslim Brotherhood. It naturally didn’t help that he was an alternate candidate, always in the shadows, or that when he got presented to us he had no real personality to begin with. I had resigned myself to view him, like many others like me, as a puppet, a front to whatever unholy alliance the SCAF and the MB were creating. However, very recently, I started to ignore my prejudices and take a closer look, especially with the fiasco surrounding the reassembling of parliament.

Please don’t misunderstand; my rethinking had nothing to do with Morsy’s decision and its aftermath. Far from it. Something else entirely caught my attention, and I am sure many other as well, as to the timing of the decision and the reversal of it, also where Morsy was at this time, especially when recanting the decision. The presidency issued the decree cancelling the former decree bringing back the parliament and apologized around 6 pm last Wednesday. Did Morsy announce this very important and politically dangerous decision, after the political firestorm his first decision caused himself? Nope, it was the presidential spokesperson who did. Mr Morsy was in fact not in the country at the time, but rather in Saudi Arabia on an official visit. The question that everyone should ask is how did that happen?

The bringing back of parliament by presidential decree, and the constitutional court decision to strike that decree down, was a momentous stand-off, and one that cornered Morsy and galvanized many sides, for and against, meaning that the decision to take back that decree had to be politically calculated by advisors (political, legal, media) with the President himself being involved in drafting it. That didn’t happen. Instead, Morsy flew to Saudi (alone mind you – with no entourage of any kind) in the morning, and the decision came out of the presidency while he was in a meeting. Who took that decision? Who drafted it? We know that the original decree was announced the next day to a Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Council meeting, which means that they were the ones that drafted it, so if the one recanting it happened while he was away, then they drafted it as well. This means that the argument that Morsy has no powers due to the supplementary constitutional declaration by SCAF is false; Morsy has no power because the Guidance Council are the ones making all the decisions for him. This is why no government has yet been announced, with Essam ElArian, who has no official capacity in Morsy’s government, announcing its developments, instead of Morsy’s office itself. Morsy, literally, is the Guidance Council’s puppet and is being used by them during their continuous negotiations with the SCAF. Do you ever wonder what that must be like?

Imagine that one day a group of people you trust and are related to come to you with the proposal: they will start a huge company that will do great things, and they need you to be its CEO. They promise you a huge salary and all the prestige in the world, while assuring you that you won’t actually have to do any of the work, but rather that everything will be taken care of by very capable people, ones that they will choose. It sounds awesome at first: all the glory, none of the work, so you accept. And then those very capable people start managing things very badly, which brings the heat on to you. People start calling you, asking you how you could take this or that stupid decision, and urging you to use your power to fix things. But you have no power, so you call those who are under you, basically begging them to stop messing things up, and that’s the extent of your power. Everyone is mad at you, for reasons that are not under your control but are happening in your name, and there is nothing you can do about it. Doesn’t sound so great now, does it? If it was you, you would quit. But Morsy can’t quit. And he is not a CEO, he is the revolution’s president, and it has only been a month. Four more years of this – imagine.

Morsy is not a construct, no matter if that is how he appears to me. Morsy is a human being. He has a family. He has children. The children have friends, are on facebook and twitter, and watching the world asking daily why their father took this decision and didn’t take that decision, and they call him to tell him what’s going on, asking that he takes a decision, and he can’t. All the prestige, none of the power, in the middle of a war aimed at you. Slowly everything seems hollow to him, and he struggles with notions of self-respect and dignity. Morsy had a cause, he went to jail for that cause, and now he is being asked to be the martyr for this cause, but without any honourable death involved. Instead, it’s a death by a thousand paper cuts. And it has only been a month.

Did you know that Morsy was not officially invited to Saudi Arabia? That the Ambassador gave him a cordial diplomatic invite simply positing that Saudi is looking forward to his probable future visit, and that Morsy jumped on the opportunity and told him that he is coming tomorrow, alone, and without an entourage of any kind? Morsy was literally escaping to Saudi and while he was there he did an Umra, during which he was pictured crying. Again, it has only been a month. How long until Morsy, the human, cracks?

I wonder…

9 Comments on Morsy, the Human Being

  1. Carmen Gindi
    July 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Your portrayal of Morsy sounds pitiful, indeed. However….

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Anwar Sadat also start out as a weak “puppet” of some sort?

    Here is a quote from “Egypt Corrective Revolution 1971”.

    “Viewing him as having been little more than a puppet of the former president, Nasser’s supporters in government settled on Sadat as someone they could manipulate easily. Sadat surprised everyone with a series of astute political moves by which he was able to retain the presidency and emerge as a leader in his own right”.

    If their initial presidential journeys are analogous, could Morsy surprise everyone by implementing a series of political moves that actually change the country (albeit to the worse)? It took Sadat around 6 months in office before he started coming up with reformist policies that shocked Egypt.

    I’ve decided to suspend my pity of Morsy for another 6 months. Perhaps he’ll prove as clever as a cloaked snake.

    • Latifa
      July 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      You are correct in so far as he is in a hard place. However he doesn’t need to be a non-aligned president. Indeed the majority of his supporters voted for his party affiliation. It is the policies of the FJP they want and he is the elected representative to carry them forward. The tragedy is the undemocratic pressures of bith SCAF and “liberals” forcing him to represent their views and interests. even though they have no elected basis in the case of Scaf or only a very small electoral base in terms of the secular liberals. It is wise he acts slowly and gives their positions weight even if they do not desreve it for the sake of the nation. To criticise him for towing the FJP party line is pretty stupid of you as it is his line. It is what he stands for and what he stood in the elections for.

  2. Scotty
    July 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    It is just as you wrote in your earlier post: “it doesn’t matter who won or who got the most votes, in the end they [SCAF] are the ones who appoint the President, and they are the ones who hold all the cards.”

    Mubarak, Sadat and even Nasser were puppets of the one and only power that controls Egypt. Just nobody felt that control until Mubarak’s sons tried to hijack the Presidency and then the “revolution” came and provided a perfect scenario to the Generals to change the puppet.

    Are the MB and Morsi so naive and politically blind that they don’t see how the Egyptian system works? I can’t believe this. Morsi will not crack because he can’t have any illusions. Nevertheless within certain limits – as long as the military’s interests are untouched – he can act and decide.

  3. Caroline
    July 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Then, next question : what will happen when that human being in that position will crack ? Has anybody read Britannicus by Jean Racine ?

  4. Latifa
    July 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Well we don’t need another Nero.

    I think the shift to political beliefs rathr than personalities is becoming entrenched. There are many struggles ahead but neither Nasser, Sadat or Mubarak repreented any real ideology at least never really implimented it. It is the chance of “political Islam” for want of a better term and they have public support. let see if morals can be inserted into political life. God knows they are lacking in commerce, media, military and of course banking…worldwide. You know there is a lot to say for the…Islam is the solution slogan.

  5. P. H.
    July 24, 2012 at 7:24 am

    The fact that he wasn’t there to announce the decision has nothing to do with the decision being made “behind his back” and forced upon him

    He made he decision and left it to other to announce simply to say face and to spare his ego

  6. Ahmad Fahti
    August 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    The whole thing in the Sinai with the 16 Egyptian army soldiers, being murdered by alleged “extremists” was a set-up, from the very start, by the Muslim Brotherhood, who have always hated the army. The MBs intention was to create chaos and make the Army appear to be incompetent, and also to fool the Israelis into letting the Sinai become re-militarized. The Muslim Brotherhood needed to have a pretext, for firing Field Marshall Tantawi, and the other senior Army officers. They needed some “raison d’etre” of a very serious nature, to justify the sweeping actions against Tantawi and the military. They also needed something dramatic to convince the Israelis into believing there was good reason, for the introduction of tanks and attack helicopters into the Sinai. The 16 soldiers who were murdered, were considered to be expendable for the greater cause, by the MB. And the extremist fools who were ordered to murder them, have already been killed, and can not provide any testimony that would link them back to Muslim Brotherhood officials. It is the classic mafia set-up and the victims are the Egyptian people, who have now been taken over by this Muslim Brotherhood coup.

    • Karen
      August 19, 2012 at 3:53 am

      Good analysis of the situation.

  7. Carmen Gindi
    August 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Did I not tell you to wait and see? Morsy has morphed into Sadat–and a lot sooner than I thought, too.

    Within the last few days we have witnessed the shake-ups within the military ranks, the cancellation of the constitutional declaration, the formation of a new constitutional committee, and so many other surprising decisions that have given him the power over the three branches of govt.

    Rejoice: Our “Dickensian Revolution” has brought us a new dictator. SSDD.


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