Just one day after a fragile truce was brokered (largely by Egypt) between Hamas and Israel – Muhammed Morsi put the region back into instability when he granted himself sweeping new powers that would make his rulings and judgments irreversible even by Egypt’s courts. Morsi's decree ignited protests across Egypt through the weekend. Critics accuse Morsi, the first president since Mubarak's removal, of having seized dictatorial powers that make him immune to judicial oversight and give him authority to take any steps against "threats to the revolution." Supporters clashed with protesters and lauded Morsi for taking steps to oppose those who seek to block their goals.
Morsi's decree and the subsequent response in Egypt puts the U.S. in an awkward spot. With the fall of Mubarak and a democratic presidential election, the Obama administration said it would let the Egyptian people chart their own course. But how much longer can they watch Morsi--who has ties to Islamist groups--dissolve checks on his power and make himself essentially the same autocrat as Mubarak but less secular and less friendly to Israel? Is Egypt on its way to becoming the new Iran?
Watch a clip below from Monday's "Real News" with guest Eric Trager discussing Morsi's actions in the last week: