Americans base their estimates on the results of the elections. A major part of this percentage is composed of sympathetic Egyptian voters. The Egyptians felt sympathy for people who had been humiliated and oppressed by the previous regime. They believed in their goodness, in their religious appearance, and they gave them their votes.
To many Egyptians, you are a hero. Will you run for president?
I am not a hero. I’m just a person who loves his people and country and felt hurt that the Egyptians were treated in such a way. The simple Egyptian people were crying in their homes. Heroism comes only from mutual sentiments. It’s not an epic deed that has been conducted.
Are you disappointed by U.S. reaction to the events of July 3rd? Do you feel it is unfair?
The United States was never far from anything that was going on here. We were very keen on providing very clear briefings to all U.S. officials.
Months ago, I told them there was a very big problem in Egypt. I asked for their support, for their consultation, for their advice, as they are our strategic partner and allies.
Months ago. The developments and complications of the situation were very clearly provided for the Americans many months ago.
Did you tell them before Morsi left that he was going to go?
Not even the day before?
In our statements, we said in clear words that the complications and developments on the ground would lead to a civil war here.
When these statements came out in March, in the U.S. there were a lot of question marks. They said, “Why is the General saying that the developments and complications on the ground will lead to a crisis?”
The numbers of the people who began to oppose the political leadership grew in size and continued to grow until there was that spectacular mass of the people. Throughout the different phases, we had our recommendations and proposed advice [to Morsi]. A lot of things could have happened – like, for example, forming a coalition government without having to touch the post of the president.
If Morsi had cooperated?
Cooperated with the people, not with me.
In order to stay as president, he would have had to agree to something?
He just used to listen to all recommendations and advice but never executed any of them. Yes. I believe it wasn’t him alone who was making the decisions. There was the organization of the Brotherhood behind him — the Guidance Office of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian people felt that he wasn’t the man making the decisions and that he wasn’t their president. He was the president of a certain faction, and he was not exercising command or leadership. The leadership was in the hands of the Brotherhood. And this is one major reason for his failure.
The United States is very concerned about the sit-ins at Rabaa [al-Adawiya mosque] and Nahdet [Misr Square], [two areas in Cairo where the Muslim Brotherhood has staged protests].
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? 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? What is your response to that?
You left the Egyptians, you turned your back on the Egyptians and they won’t forget that. Now you want to continue turning your backs on Egyptians? The U.S. interest and the popular will of the Egyptians don’t have to conflict. We always asked the U.S. officials to provide advice to the former president to overcome his problems.
What did the United States do?
The result is very obvious. Where is the economic support to Egypt from the U.S.? Even throughout the year when the former president was in office — where was the U.S. support to help the country restore its economy and overcome its dire needs?
The dynamics in the street here is very fast. The will of the people moves by the hour. Only 20 days before Morsi was ousted, the public was only calling for reshuffling the government. But ten days later, the demands changed to having early presidential elections. Five days later, the call was for Morsi to leave.
I want to remind you that we gave a 7-day grace period for everybody in Egypt before the 30th of June – a period for the key players to work the problem out. On June 30th, at the end of the seven days, I gave an extra 48 hours. I stated very clearly that with the end of the 48 hours, if nothing changes, there would be a road map declared between the military and political powers of Egypt.