What are we to think of the reports from Egypt? The place hasn’t devolved into a Syria—yet—but people are dying in front of us. Our President has said he will not take sides but he is plausibly accused of favoring the Moslem Brotherhood. American politicians are split over U.S. military aid to the country. The Moslem Brotherhood’s President Morsi has been dumped by the military and the Brotherhood and the secular Egyptians are fighting it out in the streets, with the military helping the seculars. What are we to make of this unfortunate mess? Hell, I don’t know but that doesn’t interfere with my having opinions. It shouldn’t interfere with yours, either. Here are mine:
There are two things that ‘work’ in the Middle East: Israel, and oil. The rest is historic Arab failure built upon corruption in Arab society. Egypt is a historic oligarchy ruled by a small number of families for millennia, though of course, not always the same families. The military is said to be on the payroll of the families; it clearly opposes the Brotherhood.
The Arab Spring is variously characterized but the reality seems to be a reaction to economic failure. The Moslem Brotherhood, better organized, took over that wave and rode it into power but overreached with its imposition of fundamentalist Islamic behavior onto the population while failing to adequately address the economy. That set up the climate for the overthrow of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is resisting and the unknown now remains: will this be another Syria, with civil war?
America is arguing about continued military aid; Egypt has been among the top recipients of that. At present, the White House has suspended at least some of that aid. Meanwhile, back at the Pyramids, the Brotherhood continues its resistance to the new Egyptian government and its attacks on Christian churches and upon Christians.
Given the split between the effectively, secular people and the Brotherhood supporters, which would you rather see prevail? The Brotherhood, not the seculars, has been blowing up and burning the churches. The seculars under Hosni Mubarak had made peace with Israel, which the Brotherhood is sworn to destroy. Which do you wish to see prevail? President Obama seems to prefer the Brotherhood, according to some, though he claims neutrality.
When you’ve picked your preference in Egypt between the corrupt, military-supported current government and the Brotherhood and its corrupt Morsi government you have then to decide what to do about your choice. Resume aid? Send troops? Just pray? Getting involved in Iraq and Afghanistan has killed a lot of people and spent a lot of money the U.S. has had to print up out of air, has it improved anything? You need to decide that, too.
The Middle East seems to be enduring an Arab convulsion in response to economic failure, a convulsion of which the Islamists are anxious to take advantage as a road to power. That would if successful, militate against U.S. interests and should, it seems to me, be opposed so far as possible without direct intrusion into Egyptian affairs. From there, it’s up to the Egyptians. America is facing enough of a challenge assuring decent lives for Americans.
That’s how things seem to me; you’re welcome to think otherwise but if you do, please first, explain where you will find the financing for whatever you have in mind…