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The Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama administration is “deeply concerned” by the Egyptian military regime’s having seized powers so as to prevent a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the country.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said that “We…urge the [military] to relinquish power to civilian-elected authorities….” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that “We are particularly concerned by decisions that appear to prolong the military’s hold on power.”
As the report notes, the military regime’s move is aimed at preventing the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi—if he has indeed been elected—from “declaring war without the agreement of the ruling generals.”
In other words, it’s a move aimed at preventing an Egyptian attack on Israel, the total collapse of Israeli-Egyptian peace, and a drastic regional destabilization.
The generals are not acting against the Islamists because they’re wonderful people who love Israel and the West. They are, however, sane pragmatists who do not want Egypt, with its severe economic problems, to be dragged into a ruinous conflict.
And for their efforts, the generals have the Obama administration up in arms and crying foul.
How differently the situation is viewed in Israel is revealed by, for instance, veteran military analyst Alex Fishman, who wrote: “This is no longer the same Egypt. It is no longer the same border, the peace treaty is dying, and we better start to change our way of thinking.”
Fishman was referring to how much the situation has already deteriorated since the fall of Hosni Mubarak—hailed at the time by the likes of Obama and Thomas Friedman—in February last year. He was also referring to a military flare-up over the past few days that has seen scores of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza.
The flare-up began, however, south of Gaza on Monday when terrorists—Gaza-based but of Al Qaeda provenance—tried to breach the fence Israel has been building along its southern, Sinai border with Egypt to keep out terrorists, smugglers, and illegal labor migrants.
And it is since Mubarak’s fall that the situation in Sinai has gone to seed as this tract of land—which figured in the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty as a peacekeeping buffer zone—has been taken over by both Bedouin and international-terror gangs, sometimes working in tandem, as the central regime in Cairo has its hands full trying to quell anarchy closer to home.
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