Egyptian army chief in interview says Defense Secretary Hagel calls him almost every day, but Obama has not called.
US President Barack Obama appears to have angered supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, as well as supporters of the army coup that toppled him on July 3.
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Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is at the vanguard of the street protests against Morsi’s ouster, claim the US supported the coup. Those opposed to the Brotherhood claim Washington has been and still is supporting the Islamists.
An example of the vitriol in the country can be seen in a new video clip featuring a song by Egyptian performer Sama Elmasry. Titled “You Obama, Your Father, Mother,” it attacks the US president for allegedly preferring Islamic radicals over the army. It has gone viral, with over 160,000 views since last week.
The clip features Obama in traditional Islamic dress. Elmasry curses him while mentioning that he had called for former president Hosni Mubarak to leave immediately, seeming to imply that this proved he was pro-Brotherhood.
The song also mentions Obama’s support for Islamistled Turkey as well as Israel. It is highly nationalistic in tone and ends with a photo of Gen.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the anti-Morsi coup.
In an interview with The Washington Post published on Saturday, Sisi said Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party had been seeking to restore the Islamic empire. He added that the ousted leader had not acted like a president for all Egyptians, but only for his supporters.
Sisi said he had noticed this from the first day Morsi took office, by the way he offended the judiciary at his inauguration.
The general went on to explain that Morsi “picked fights with almost all the state institutions.” He also claimed that the army had been “keen and predetermined on his success,” but his failure in leading the country had led the army to intervene.
The United States, he said, did not give adequate weight to the millions who turned out to call for Morsi’s overthrow.
“We really wonder: Where is the role of the United States and the European Union and all of the other international forces that are interested in the security, safety and well-being of Egypt?” Sisi asked. “Are the values of freedom and democracy exclusively exercised in your countries but other countries do not have the right to exercise the same values and enjoy the same environment? Have you seen the scores of millions of Egyptians calling for change in Tahrir [Square]? What is your response to that?” Asked if he had plans on running for president, the general responded: “You just can’t believe that there are people who don’t aspire for authority.”
Sisi also said there would have been a “civil war” if the army had not intervened.
“What I want you to know and I want the American reader also to know is that this is a free people who rebelled against an unjust political rule, and this free people needs your support,” he said.
Sisi went on to note that the US administration “has a lot of leverage and influence with the Muslim Brotherhood,” and that he would like Washington to use this leverage to end the current standoff with Morsi supporters.
He also said that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had been calling him almost daily, but that Obama had not called since July 3.