The Fight For Egypt

Protesters, who are against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, hold a poster featuring the head of Egypt's armed forces General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in Tahrir Square in CairoTense calm prevailed in Egypt on Tuesday. The new military-led government laid out a timetable for returning to some semblance of civilian democracy in about six months.

The government also appeared to have come up with a broadly acceptable, technocratic, interim prime minister in Hazem el-Biblawi, an economist and former finance minister.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were also reportedly planning to funnel billions of dollars in aid and loans to Egypt, which has been on the brink of economic disaster. During the one-year rule of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis withheld funds because of their hatred and fear of the Brotherhood.

The previous day, Monday, was of course much less quiet as government forces killed 51 Muslim Brotherhood protesters—or according to other versions, violent rioters. But the other major news on Monday was that—notwithstanding such disruptions—the Obama administration had decided to keep financially aiding Egypt despite calls by some to suspend aid over last week’s alleged “military coup.”

In other words, the developments for General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s interim military-led government look favorable at the moment with aid coming both from Washington and the Gulf.

From a Western standpoint, is aiding al-Sisi’s government the rational course?

According to reports in the Israeli press on Tuesday, Jerusalem fervently believes the answer is yes and may even have played a role in convincing Washington to back al-Sisi.

Haaretz cited a “senior American official” who said that last week Israel urged the U.S. “not to respond to Egypt’s coup by halting the $1.3 billion in aid America gives the Egyptian army every year.”

The official said Jerusalem and Washington held “marathon phone calls” about the coup over the weekend—and that specifically “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon spoke with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror spoke with his White House counterpart, Susan Rice.”

The Israeli officials, for their part, warned that cutting the military aid to Egypt could harm Israel’s security and further destabilize the area. Israel—relaxing the terms of its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt—has been allowing Egyptian forces to fight Salafist and other ultra-radical terror groups in the Sinai for which even Morsi’s Islamist regime was too “moderate.”

According to the Haaretz report, Israel fears that stopping U.S. aid to Cairo could weaken the Egyptian army’s commitment to the treaty.

The Jerusalem Post, for its part, cited a “senior Israeli official” who told Israel Radio that the “Israeli government expects US President Barack Obama to avoid pursuing the same ‘naïve’ policies in its dealings with the post-Mohamed Morsi Egypt as he did in his handling of the crisis that brought down Hosni Mubarak.”

The official also said al-Sisi “was hopeful the Obama administration wouldn’t ‘nitpick’ over whether a military coup was carried out.”

Another way of saying all this is that Jerusalem hopes to bring Washington closer to its own understanding of the region as one that typically requires choices between lesser evils, and does not justify expectations of quick, grand transitions to democracy.

For Israel, the peace treaty with Egypt has always entailed a calculated risk where the U.S. constantly strengthens Egypt militarily while—ideally—exerting enough leverage to keep it faithful to the treaty.

At present, with Sinai part of sovereign Egyptian territory, Israel hopes to avoid creating severe, possibly calamitous friction with Egypt by operating against the Sinai-based terror gangs—which threaten both Israel and Egypt—itself. The only other alternative, and lesser evil, is to let the Egyptian military try and contend with them.

A report Tuesday evening that al-Sisi’s government had arrested 650 pro-Morsi protesters allegedly involved in Monday’s violent incident, with the Brotherhood calling for nationwide protests, indicates how volatile the situation still is.

It is not that Egypt abounds in genuinely moderate, democracy-friendly elements. The Muslim Brotherhood, however, is a highly ideological, virulently anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-Western, totalitarian movement whose defeat is a prerequisite for there to be any hope at all.

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  • JAMAL

    FRIENDS I BRING TO YOU MANY GREETS. I WRITE TO WANT THAT YOU KNOW ON THE TRUTH IN MISR EGYPT. THE PRESIDENT MURSI IS TRUE AND DEMOCRATIST LEADER FOR MISR EGYPT. YOUR MEDIAS TELL YOU NOT TRUE ON WHAT HAPPENS. YES THE JEWISTS AND ZIONI HAVE MURSI TAKEN OUT AGAINST THE LAWS. THIS CAN NOT BE LEGAL. I DO NOT IN ENGLISH KNOW IT BUT MURSI IS OF EKWAN AL-MUSLIMUN SO HE IS OF TRUE ISLAM AND IS GOOD AND JUST. PLEASE BELIEVE NOT THE LIES OF JEWIST MEDIAS. PEACE ON YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES.

    • UCSPanther

      The MB would be a good choice…

      …that is, if your idea of a good government is a brutal totalitarian theocracy…

    • Sameh

      go get a life JAMAL

      I’m an Egyptian too and I tell you that your MB and Mursi are just
      Fascist and know nothing about democracy

      • defcon 4

        YES AND HE FORGET TH A T THE PROPHET (PASBUH) RECOMMEND ALL MUSLIM DRINK THE HEALHTY CAMEL URINE.

    • wildjew

      I agree with one thing you’ve written. Mursi is of al-ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) so he is of true Islam. That is why President Obama supported Mursi. He knows Mursi (Muslim Brotherhood) represents authentic Islam; the Islam of the prophet.

    • iluvisrael

      drop dead muzzy liar

    • Drakken

      I am just incredulous that you haven’t met those 72 virgins yet? Why is that hadji? Too afraid to put on that jihad vest ?

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    If only Netanyahu, Moshe Ya’alon and Yaakov Amidror would present a crash course on Iran for the Obama Administration as well it would be helpful. Especially after Netnyahu has been briefed by Bernard Lewis a few years back.

    Ari Shavit:
    A few years ago Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion with Middle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/02/crucial-piece-of-puzzle.html

    At the UN General Assembly Netanyahu quotes Bernard Lewis on MAD
    http://madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2012/09/at-un-general-assembly-netanyahu-quotes.html

  • John Edward Coleman

    By the way { JAMAL } May GOD , Have mercy on your Black Soul
    Now go out and blow up some Christian & Jewish Children ! like A good little so called Muslim !!!!

  • crackerjack

    The US and Israel side with Saudi Arabia, the by far most oppressive, backward, anti democratic and religious-agressive force in the region.

    Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.

    • wildjew

      The US and England sided with murderous dictator Joseph Stalin against Adolf Hitler.

    • UCSPanther

      And this coming from someone who has expressed sympathy for Hamas in previous posts, as well as support for disarming civilians…

  • William James Ward

    There are no good players here and as for democratically elected
    leaders, since when is that a sign of any panacea, Morsi, Obama,
    voters can bring down their own house……….Israel is the only
    light in the entire are with a penchant for over liberalization which
    weakens it’s moral standing and political abilities for self control.
    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem………………..William

  • Gee

    No good can come from backing any Muslim regime. The $8 billion that the Gulf States coughed up will merely prevent starvation THIS YEAR.

    Egypt is going down and going down hard. Nothing can prevent this. Giving them money is as good as throwing it in the trash.

    All Muslim regimes hate all Western regimes.

    • Peeter Gruner

      That is why the army, in Egypt as well as in some of the other Middle East countries, although mostly comprised of Muslims, is one of the most secular institutions in those countries. Only in a few countries, such as Iran, have the Islamist governments succeeded in radicalizing their Armed Forces. You’ll see this also developing in the US, where the Obama Regime is trying to set up its own radicalized SS forces in the form of DHS and TSA troops as a contrast to the regular Armed Forces, whose loyalty mostly still lays with the Constitution rather than the Regime.

  • Sharon Portland

    US and Israel are close allies. They can press release what ever sides they are on but in the end their moves will favor one another. As for Egypt they can obtain true democracy when the civilian authority will prevail over military rule. Let the people of Egypt rule their country and future.

    ______
    gov
    car auction

    • UCSPanther

      Start with getting rid of the MB, because the Egyptians only have two choices at this point: A Military Junta or a pack of nutjobs who want to create a totalitarian theocracy, which is way worse.

      If the MB was gone, it could create an opportunity for a secular democratic movement to form, which is what Egypt truly needs…

      • 1Indioviejo1

        It will never happen. Secular democracy in an Islamic country is contradictory.

  • For truth seekers

    The strategy with this “Arab spring”:

    1- Israel is at a new development stage where peace process (and bla bla bla) is no longer helpful to get to the Greater Israel, that has to become the superpower of the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Israel)

    2- change all leaders who were silencing their muslim populations with “islamist” leaders so Arab/Muslim leadership is seen as better “representing” their populations

    3- ultimately those “islamist” leaders will be relaxed on the “extreme/jihadi” muslims who will start getting hot on Israel. did you hear those screams: “Jihad, Jihad !”

    4- now comes into play the zionist media machine: “look world, we are surrounded by barbaric muslim populations who has only one wish: to annihilate Israel, the democratic, peaceful country… your only hope to tame those barbaric satanic animals threatening the whole of humanity…

    5- Israel: “world, now this is unbearable, the free world as we know it is in great danger”, someone has to do something…

    6- PREEMPTIVE strike: boom boom boom. slaughter the animals. hit the oil countries. oil markets go high, stock markets crash. kill the dollar (already in ICU for too long, it’s costly). in the menu: eat-all-you-can territories… egypt,

    7- Now who’s the boss kids?

    [Current events explained: Now, so what’s going on in Egypt: those MBs are too docile and trying to look civilized to the world… humm, we should have put salafists/jihadists in power… sooo? Boy, remove those girls, so we can heat it up a bit and go to point no.3 ….

    Mom: “wake up son, it’s already 9am!”

    Son: “what what?”, “oh I am still alive… thanks God… I just had a bad dream Mom”

    Mom: “what was it?”

    Son: “it’s just too crazy, too complicated! I just want to forget about it”

  • chuckie2u

    If the Saudi’s are not fond of the MB then why has the U.S. jumped on their band wagon ? I understand FDR had agreed to protect the Saudi’s for access to all that oil and nothing has changed. Does the MB own any oil fields ?

    • defcon 4

      The U.S. hasn’t jumped on their bandwagon. The usurper occupying the W.H. has.

  • Edward smith

    This military coup is the same one that happened to Iran in 1953. This stinks to high heaven of western zionist influence.

    • defcon 4

      Yeah, it’s the Jews who are determining what goes down in Cairo eh Ahmed Al Asshat?

  • Ellman48

    “Another way of saying all this is that Jerusalem hopes to bring
    Washington closer to its own understanding of the region as one that
    typically requires choices between lesser evils, and does not justify
    expectations of quick, grand transitions to democracy.”

    I’ve been annoyed by all the talk in the media about Egyptian democracy. Egypt is on the brink of civil war and the kind of massive slaughter we’re witnessing in Syria. So how can anyone be concerned about its prospects for democracy when what’s at stake is its prospects for survival? Does no one in the US government understand that it is survival, not democracy, which is the central issue at the moment? Why do politicians find it so difficult to abandon their ‘talking points’ and to embrace the ‘realities on the ground’ instead?

  • Ellman48

    “It is not that Egypt abounds in genuinely moderate, democracy-friendly
    elements. The Muslim Brotherhood, however, is a highly ideological,
    virulently anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-Western,
    totalitarian movement whose defeat is a prerequisite for there to be
    any hope at all.’

    It would be naive to count on the MB’s defeat while Obama is in office. He is committed to its survival, if not triumph. We don’t need to understand the reasons for his loyalty and support, and may never do so, but that he is united with them in some sort of alliance going back to 2009 cannot be disputed. So the Egyptians will have to defeat the MB without Obama’s support.

  • Jakareh

    The world’s first state is about to become a failed state. That’s what Islam can accomplish.