A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, July 2, 2012

Is the Message Here, "We've Got Your Back," or "We've Got You Surrounded"?

Photo via Zeinobia
Friday's feel-good day in Tahrir Square, when Muhammad Morsi pledged to exercise full Presidential powers, gave way on Saturday to the real inauguration, where he had to take the oath from the Supreme Constitutional Court that had dissolved the Parliament. He's also had the awkward task of meeting with SCAF and seeming to offer obeisance and fealty like some feudal subordinate, though there were gratifying moments, such as when Field Marshal Tantawi saluted Morsi in a symbolic gesture acknowledging his loyalty to a civilian President (though under SCAF's own constitutional declaration, Morsi will not have the title of Commander-in-Chief). The photo above seems particularly two-edged: is this the Egyptian military handing power to a civilian after 60 years, or is this the Egyptian military making certain that the guy in the business suit knows who's in charge?

Later thought: The Air Force and Navy are looking a little lonely, there, too.

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