ElBaradei Resigns as Egyptian VPPosted: August 14, 2013
When I woke up this morning, I heard about the violent displacement of pro-Morsy demonstrators in Egypt by the military-led government. I have been opposed to the military coup in Egypt from the beginning, and today the violent crackdown on essentially peaceful protesters who were unwilling to recognize the resulting military-led government, really brought the situation to a new low. It was in that state of mind that I wrote the following Tweet at 10:02 am:
How can ElBaradei, Nobel Peace Prize winner, justify participation in an unlawful military coup turned violent, repressive government?
Mohamed Elbaradei was, of course, the longtime Director General of the IAEA, who was proven correct in his approach to claims about Iraqi WMD, and who generally was a voice for reason, prudence, and the rule of law during his tenure (having previously served as the Director of the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs). These qualities and achievements led to his being awarded, jointly with the IAEA, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei is a man I have long respected. And the fact that he had joined the interim government in Egypt as Vice President was something about which I was increasingly dismayed.
Imagine my happiness, then, when I heard just a couple of hours later, that ElBaradei had resigned from his government post in protest of the violence against Morsy supporters. In his resignation letter, he said that:
the beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups . . . As you know, I saw that there were peaceful ways to end this clash in society, there were proposed and acceptable solutions for beginnings that would take us to national consensus . . . It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.
Now THAT is what I would expect from ElBaradei. Upon hearing the news, at 11:56am I Tweeted:
So glad to see that ElBaradei has resigned in protest of the gov’t’s violent crackdown on protesters!!! Respect restored!!!
I think ElBaradei has shown that his intentions all along were honorable, as is in complete harmony with his long-proven character. I don’t know all of the facts and considerations that led him to accept a post in the interim government, but I’m confident that he acted at all times in good faith, in furtherance of good principles, and in the best interests of the Egyptian people, as he perceived those principles and interests at the time. And now, in nobly standing up for similar good principles, he has fully restored any previously diminished respect that I have for him. I think he has made a powerful statement in today’s resignation – one that will have a significant effect on outside observers’ opinions of the interim government, due to his international stature. I applaud his actions today, and I think in light of them, the interim government needs to do some serious reflection, and change its course.