Moral Outrage
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Mohammed Hussein Tantawi now in charge of Egyptian Government

Mohammed Hussein Tantawi is Egypt’s deputy prime minister, defense minister and commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces. In the West, little is known about him, or how he intends to lead the Egyptian military, now that it’s in charge of the government.

Tantawi was only recently made deputy prime minister, appointed by former President Hosni Mubarak during the early days of the protest movement that eventually forced Mubarak from power.

Tantawi was born on October 31, 1935. He took part in the Sinai War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, all against Israel. In 1990/1991 he also took part in the Gulf War against Iraq. He held various commands and was assigned as military attaché to Pakistan.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen knows Tantawi and worked with him at the Pentagon. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “the question is whether he will continue to be the head of the military, as such, or whether that will pass on to a younger generation.”

WikiLeaks reveals a diplomatic cable stating the following opinion about Tantawi [bold text added for emphasis]: “In the cabinet, where he still wields significant influence, Tantawi has opposed both economic and political reforms that he perceives as eroding central government power. He is supremely concerned with national unity, and has opposed policy initiatives he views as encouraging political or religious cleavages within Egyptian society.” (Cable dated: 2008-03-16)

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2 Responses to “Mohammed Hussein Tantawi now in charge of Egyptian Government”

  1. Update June 2012 – Mohamed Morsi, 60, was declared president after he took 52% of the vote to 48% for former Hosni Mubarak official Ahmed Shafik.

    Morsi leads the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest and best-organized political movement.

    The first leader in Egypt’s history to win a democratic election is a study in contrasts: a strict Islamist educated in southern California, who vowed to stand for women’s rights yet argued for banning them from the presidency.

  2. July 2012 – During her unpopular visit to Egypt when her motorcade was pelted with tomatoes and shoes, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a closed-door meeting with the head of Egypt’s military leadership, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, whose military council is in a political tug of war with new President Mohamed Morsy.

    Clinton and Tantawi discussed the political transition and the military ruling council’s ongoing dialogue with Morsy, said a senior State Department official, who described the meeting on condition of anonymity.


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