AND IN DEAR, BROTHERLY EGYPT – AT 11:07 A.M. ET: Ah, the Arab Spring continues in Egypt, as Barack Obama's new best friend, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Mursi, reigns, and apparently wants to reign supreme. Who needs courts? Who needs Christians? Who needs freedom fighters? All those annoying people.
(Reuters) - Protests by Islamists allied to President Mohamed Mursi forced Egypt's highest court to adjourn its work indefinitely on Sunday, intensifying a conflict between some of the country's top judges and the head of state.
The Supreme Constitutional Court said it would not convene until its judges could operate without "psychological and material pressure", saying protesters had stopped the judges from reaching the building.
Several hundred Mursi supporters had protested outside the court through the night ahead of a session expected to examine the legality of parliament's upper house and the assembly that drafted a new constitution, both of them Islamist-controlled.
The cases have cast a legal shadow over Mursi's efforts to chart a way out of a crisis ignited by a November 22 decree that temporarily expanded his powers and led to nationwide protests.
The court's decision to suspend its activities appeared unlikely to have any immediate impact on Mursi's drive to get the new constitution passed in a national referendum on December 15.
Three people have been killed and hundreds wounded in protests and counter-demonstrations over Mursi's decree.
At least 200,000 of Mursi's supporters attended a rally at Cairo University on Saturday. His opponents are staging an open-ended sit-in in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the cradle of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled him to power in a June election, hope to end the crisis by pushing through the new constitution hastily adopted by the drafting assembly on Friday. The next day the assembly handed the text to Mursi, who called the referendum and urged Egyptians to vote.
COMMENT: The "constitution," if you want to call it that, was drawn up entirely by Islamists. Christians, secularists, and women had no part. The constitution permits slavery, and has no provisions for modern women's rights. Hey, that's real progress, President Obama.
This could explode, at a time when our influence in the Mideast has hit rock bottom. The Obamans, waving their College Board scores around, came into office promising "smart" diplomacy, apparently a dig at the fashionably described "stupidity" of BUSH (!!!!) and CHENEY (!!!!!!). If our current diplomacy gets any smarter, we'll be out of business entirely.
December 2, 2012