January 25, 2014 · 9:12 pm
As noted in earlier blogs, there’s no war like a good old-fashioned religious war. When one side believes God is one their side, it’s Katy-bar-the-door in an all out brawl to the death. I have suggested that a major problem in US policy has been the failure to recognize the Middle-East situation as fundamentally a war between Sunni and Shiite Muslim elements. We keep getting in the middle of their fight, thinking we can impose democracy and all will be okay. President Bush unintentionally demonstrated the opposite in Iraq. Sorry. The idea didn’t work.
The Muslim Brotherhood remains a good case in point for understanding why violence continues across the region. The Brotherhood’s position is straightforward. They will impose their Muslim beliefs and Shari’s law by all means. Violence if necessary.
Two months ago, an Egyptian court banned all activities by the Brotherhood. Since the movement began in Egypt and has evolved there, who should know better than the Egyptians? They want them gone. Egypt has long history of struggle with this group. President Gamal-Abdel Nassar became a target of one of their assassination attempts and consequently tried to eliminate the Brotherhood by having their leaders executed. When Anwar Sudat came to power he attempted to use the group to help purge the Soviet element that existed in the country. He wound up being executed by them. Again forbidden, during the Murbarak era the group attempted to advance its cause through nonviolent means.
Documents seized in the West have revealed a strategy to infiltrate the Western world with a devious intent. They attempt to undermine governments like England and America by using those country’s inherent values and freedom of speech against them. While clever, the scheme is diabolically.
For example, Muslims got the acceptance of Sharia law on the state ballot in Oklahoma. The citizens of Oklahoma overwhelming voted against the idea of Sharia ever being introduced in the state. The negative vote was overwhelming. Muslims then turned around and took their loss to court claiming it violated freedom of speech. Not surprisingly, they won because freedom of politic ideals is a basic right in this country. They had used the law against itself to obtain their religious convictions.
The Moslem Brotherhood brought Morsi to power. Despite his claims to the contrary, he set out to create a religious state which would have eventually functioned under Shari’s law with all of it prohibitions against women’s rights. The military responded partially because Morsi was attempting to create a religious dictatorship. While this idea sounds extreme in the Western world, it’s simply the way the Brotherhood has always functioned.
Unfortunately, to its own peril the West has failed to grasp that a terrorist group like the Brotherhood exists as a challenge to their ideals and beliefs. The result is an increasing vulnerability to Muslim ideas and militant actions.
August 15, 2012 · 8:30 am
WHAT’S COOKING IN EGYPT?
The results of elections appears to be universal. Candidates kiss babies, grin, wave, and promise everything from taking care of your old age to rejuvenating the country, And what happens? The week after the elcction when the dancing in the streets is done, the politicans get down to business and it’s nothing like they promised.
Today, the politicians in Egypt are getting down to business. The dust is clearing and the squeeze is on. What does it mean? Well, there’s good news and bad news.
Egypt’s new president Mohamed Morsi fired the military’s chief of staff and just threw out one of the major provisions that the military imposed on the government. Will Morsi’s actions stick? Hard to say. The military will probably wait and see what comes next. Morsi has definitely taken a major step forward in asserting the power of his office and propelling himself into an authoriative position over the military. How long he can prevail is a “wait and see” proposition. After it’s said and done, the military has the bullets and are well positioned to resist.
On the other hand, the most radical ideals of the Moslem Brotherhood don’t seem to be materializing. As is generally true of politicans, Mohamed Morsi has come face-to-face with political realities and that produces compromise. Morsi has made some of his own adjustments that involve backing away from some of his campaign promises. On of these compromises appears to be dropping the idea of changing the peace treaty with Israel. Such an adaptation takes a step toward a more peaceful Middle East.
In addition, recent visits by Secretary Hillary Clinton and Defense Secrerary Leon Penetta seem to be paying off in an unexpected way. In a recent blog, I noted Clinton got a nasty reception from Cairo demonstrators. However, she did come down on the side of constitutional government which put her on Morsi’s side in that struggle. During the visit, she warned of security issues in the Sinai and offered American help. Subsequently, terrorist gunmen in the Sinai attacked Egyptian border posts and comandeered two military vehicles used to storm the Israeli border. The unanticipated attacks deeply shook Morsi’s government. Morsi’s response is now viewed as an important test of the nascent presidency.
Indicating a renewned confidence in the United States, Egypt has now accelerated talks about American assistance in protecting the Sinai, including acquiring military equipment with electronic and aerial surveilance as well as police training. The American State Department warned that the Sinai is being used as a base for smuggling arms into Gaza for Palestinian extremists. Moreover, the USA has 700 American soliders in the Sinai as part of an international peacekeeping force in the area. Secretary Clinton expressed concern about the welfare of these American troops. While Egypt has always been sensitive about American direct involvment in its security, they do receive $1.5 billion dollars a year in assistance.
Egyptian troops, light tanks, attack helicopters are now pouring into the Sinai desert to root out the increasingly agressive Islamic militants. Egypt’s military action reflects a key provision of the l979 peace treaty which promised the demilitarization of the Sinai peninsula. Egypt’s push to secure the border is an important step indicating a continuing alliance with both America and Israel.
Morsi’s govenment’s actions seems to indicate the train may be back on the track in terms
of American and Israeli relationships. The next question is where the train is actually going.
Question: Is it possible for Egypt to come out of the current struggle in better shape than was previously thought?
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