Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Is Egypt Preparing for War?

Western foreign policy experts, left and right, applauded the fall of the House of Mubarak. They have been happy to vouch for the moderation of the radical Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections, the Brotherhood’s candidate is Muhammed Musri. Recently, Egyptian television aired a tape of a campaign rally for candidate Musri.

In it, Musri supporters fulminate against Israel and swear to march all the way to Jerusalem. In their minds Jerusalem is the true capital of the United States of Arabia.

To which the estimable Caroline Glick, columnist for the Jerusalem Post, responds:

…all the enthusiasm over "Arab democracy" by Westerners, and particularly by conservatives desperate for a way to make war seem like a redemptive experience or something was irresponsible to the point of maliciousness. 

We warned you over and over again that this would turn out badly. But you said we were wrong and indeed, somehow immoral to prefer Mubarak to "the people."

 Now I just have a little request for all of you brilliant ones who lobbied Obama to dump Mubarak. No, I don't expect you to apologize. All I ask is that next time you hug your kids, think about the Israeli children whose lives you placed in danger with your irresponsible pontifications.

As the eyes of the world are focused on the threat posed by the Iranian regime, it feels like a good idea to keep the looming threat from the new Egypt firmly in mind. You know about the new "democratic" Egypt, the one that was engineered by the crack Obama/Clinton foreign policy team, with the support of no small number of conservatives.


flynful said...

"and particularly by conservatives desperate for a way to make war seem like a redemptive experience or something"

I must be missing something. As a conservative I was very wary of the manner in which Mubarak was ousted with the connivance of our president. My concern was (and still is) that there was no road to prosperity in this phony democratic spring. All that will come of it is massive hunger and more despair. The drumbeats for war emanating from the Muslim brotherhood are intended to deflect attention from their inability (and the inability of any government in Egypt) to step out of the way and permit private investment to bring some measure of self sufficiency to the country. The revolution scared those few crony investors out of the country and they will not be returning any time soon.
I have no idea what she is talking about with regard to conservatives in the above quote. We did not lose our collective heads. My recollection is that the left in this country took heart at Mubarak's fall and dreamt of some sort of fantasy democracy coming to all of the Arab countries, starting with Tunisia and Egypt. The dream is now a nightmare from which there is no awakening.
Steve Goodman

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I agree with you and have always taken the same position as you have on the Arab Spring.

I don't think she is totally wrong, since, if I recall correctly, Krauthammer, Kristol, and Ajami were far more positive about the developments than you or I or many other conservatives.

JP said...

I think Spengler's spot on with Egypt, moreso than some of his other random thoughts.

I once thought that vacationing in Egypt would be fun to see the pyramids, etc.

Looks like I will have to wait 20 to 40 years.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I agree with your assessment about Spengler. I have tried to report on his views from the beginning of the rebellion in Egypt.

anna said...

no, they are having internal problems, but none of the parties is running on a promise of war.

JP said...

Anna says:

"no, they are having internal problems, but none of the parties is running on a promise of war."

Yes, they are having internal problems. However, these "internal problems" are likely pre-revolutionary (the bad kind) in nature. As Goldman notes:

"As the main opposition body to military misrule during the past six decades, the Brotherhood harbors parliamentarians as well as firebrands. But the revolutionary dynamic in Egypt favors the firebrands. As critical shortages spread through Egypt's fragile economy, Islamist street justice already is replacing the corrupt and crumbling institutions of the military regime. There is a second analogy to revolutionary Leninism, in the form of the Brotherhood's international ambitions.

"In effect, the Muslim Brotherhood has chosen to push the country towards chaos. "North Africa's biggest economy has imploded since a democratic uprising last year and the country will run out of money to meet basic subsidies including wheat and oil by the summer," the Daily Telegraph reported April 16.

The proposed $3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, the newspaper added, was part of a $12 billion emergency financing package from the IMF and European Union to save the Egyptian economy from collapse. "Brussels is most worried about the popular backlash that would result from deep cuts in public spending," the Telegraph reported"

anna said...

pre-revolutionary is your guess, they already did one revolution and they're working out the power situation. I do not think it's on anyone's agenda to attack Israel, Obama is on record that he'll defend them with our military but mainly it's not the biggest item on anyone's list. In fact many middle easterners want the kind of democracy they see in Israel, which is a Jewish state.

The greatest power in Egypt, for the foreseeable future, is the military, and they don't want to attack anyone, they want to keep their businesses going without competition and with free conscripted labor. they have close ties to our military.

I think our worries should be more about securing unsecured weapon's grade nuclear stuff. JMO

JP said...

Anna says:

"pre-revolutionary is your guess, they already did one revolution and they're working out the power situation."

They deposed their king, which isn't the same thing as a revolution. In fact, it's often the *beginning* of a revolution.

I don't think they're "preparing for war". I think that the situation is decaying toward revolutionary chaos. They've got way too many people to feed on a shoestring budget.

I think the current major international problem is China. Specifically, the South China Sea. They are beginning to move forward with their imperial designs and are bumping into the U.S., as you would expect.

So, we really need to figure out how to deal with a increasingly hostile nationalistic country with nuclear weapons.

anna said...

The Egyptian Army was always in charge, and they still are. It's a nation that can be controlled, there is no way out, no where to hide and a small population. The Army may not give enough power to the people but they surely won't give too much.

China is okay, they're businesspersons, they aim to trade. That's what was telling about the blind guy, the old Chinese leaders would not have cut any deal, these new guys are practical, and they're more in charge of their economy because they're not a democracy, go figure. Greece is a real democracy, they've had leaders who buy votes and who don't know how to manage it as economically competitive. China is more like an international corporation, with CEO leaders.

Right now the biggest problem is those unsecured nuclear stockpiles scattered throughout the former Soviet block, but at least we're working on that one - with the Russians.

Pakistan is a problem, they have some loose screws and they have the bomb. There's lots to worry about, but not Egypt.

Dennis said...

JP is correct. The real revolution starts after someone is overthrown. Lenin used "Power to the People" and other useful phrases to take over the ousting of the TSAR. He and Stalin spent years killing of every person who was part of, or deemed part of a revolution against Communism.
The American Revolution was just the beginning of a wider revolution that eventually ended with the Civil War. NOTE: Significant numbers of the US military was made up of Southerners just as the Egyptian military is made up of the Brotherhood. Would anyone say that either of these armies actually controlled events?
The Nicaraguan overthrow of their government led to a wider revolution. It this case the Sandinistas won only to be replaced by the Communists under Ortega. The originals became the Contras. The revolution continued until it ended with an election supported by the Contras for the most part.
In almost every case where one sees a revolution it is only the beginning of the next revolution. It should make sense in the fact that once power is removed the battle begins to fill that power vacuum.
The Brotherhood will eventually go the way of the PLO and have to fight a war, create an enemy, to cover an extremely bad economy. Just as Obama has to create a phony class ware and war on women to cover his lack of competence in every measure of being presidential. Suffice it to say but no revolution is over even when something is ousted.
I need to get ready for my next practice session.

anna said...

you guys don't get the situation there - it's an Army run nation and the Army still retains the power - they own the state businesses and they have the arms and the manpower. Mubarek was taken down but only after the Army agreed to it.