On Monday, the Egyptian army gave Islamist President Mohamed Morsi 48 hours to meet the demands of the citizens else the military threatened it would “announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation”.

From an oil perspective, this flareup should have little bearing as Egypt is not an oil exporter. However, as we have seen in the past, any flareup of any kind in the Mideast tends to drive the price of oil higher.

This time is no different. In the past week Crude has risen from $93 to $102 and is up from $86 since mid-April. To be fair, correlation is not causation, and part of the rebound came before news of trouble in Egypt.

Brotherhood Defiant

With that backdrop, please consider the Financial Times report Egypt: Brotherhood defiant as deadline approaches

They have been jailed and tortured, hunted in the streets and blacklisted from public life. But a year after winning the presidency and reaching the pinnacle of their 80-year quest for power, Egypt’s Islamists are again facing a threat to their existence.

President Mohamed Morsi was fighting back yesterday against what his supporters have dubbed a military coup against his democratically elected government.

In a defiant late-night speech, Mr Morsi made clear he would make no concessions to his opponents and said he was prepared to shed his blood to defend “legitimacy” in Egypt. He warned repeatedly that any moves against him could lead to bloodshed – an assertion that his opponents interpreted as a threat of civil war.

But this time, the president’s Muslim Brotherhood and his millions of supporters made clear, they are not about to give up.

“If the military takes any street action, we will stand in front of the tanks,” vowed Gehad Haddad, an official in Mr Morsi’s Freedom and Justice party.

Following huge street protests on Sunday against what critics see as the president’s ever more autocratic and erratic rule, Egypt’s military leapt back into politics on Monday and demanded that the president and the opposition negotiate a compromise by today or submit to the army’s own political “road map”.

Under a draft of that road map, leaked to the to official MENA news agency yesterday, the constitution would be suspended and the Islamist-dominated legislature dissolved, if a power-sharing agreement were not reached.

One Picture Says It All

For the third consecutive day, anti-Morsi protesters packed Tahrir Square in central Cairo.

Image courtesy of Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters as posted on the New York Times.

Morsi Defies Egypt Army’s Ultimatum to Bend to Protest

Also courtesy of the New York Times, please consider Morsi Defies Egypt Army’s Ultimatum to Bend to Protest

President Mohamed Morsi rejected an ultimatum in an angry speech Tuesday night as Egypt edged closer to a return to military rule.

Mr. Morsi insisted he was the legitimate leader of the country, hinted that any effort to remove him by force could plunge the nation into chaos, and seemed to disregard the record numbers of Egyptians who took to the streets demanding he resign.

But before the president’s speech, Egypt’s generals took control of the state’s flagship newspaper, Al Ahram, and used it to describe on Wednesday’s front page their plans to enforce a military ultimatum issued a day earlier: remove Mr. Morsi from office if he failed to satisfy protesters’ demands.

As both sides maneuvered, tensions rose on the streets of Cairo and other cities, where violence erupted between groups of protesters and Mr. Morsi’s defenders, primarily members of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least 11 people were killed — four shortly after Mr. Morsi’s speech — and dozens more were wounded as gunfire broke out in at least two neighborhoods of the capital. Angry Islamists gathered in the street with a sheet stained with the blood of one of their allies.

Mr. Morsi refused to back down. In an impassioned, if at times rambling, midnight address broadcast on state television, he hinted that his removal would lead only to more violence.

“If the price of protecting legitimacy is my blood, I’m willing to pay it,” he said. “And it would be a cheap price for the sake of protecting this country.”

At a demonstration in support of Mr. Morsi near Cairo University, assailants firing birdshot wounded at least 40 Islamists. A further 35 pro-Morsi demonstrators were wounded with rocks, police officials said. Groups of Islamists began seeking the attackers, beating suspects and dragging a person along the street.

In Alexandria, 33 people were wounded by pellets in clashes between Mr. Morsi’s opponents and supporters, with gunfire from both sides, police officials said.

Mr. Morsi’s government appeared to crumble around him. Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned. Six ministers have now announced their resignations since the mass anti-Morsi protests began Sunday.

Did We Learn Anything?

  • Please note that the US gives billions of dollars every year to Egypt.
  • Recall that president Obama supported the movement that put Morsi in power.
  • Recall that a US installed puppet president in Iran led to the Islamic revolution.
  • Recall that US troops on sacred Mideast soil was a primary reason behind Osama Bin Laden’s 911 attack on the US.

So what do we do now?

I expect more meddling with similar results. And when the negative results come home to roost, expect more government surveillance, more wiretappings, more phone eavesdropping, more loss of freedoms, and more trashing of the constitution as we become more like them, all in the name of freedom.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock