August 20, 2012
Will Egypt's Example Give Second Thoughts On Syria?
M K Bhadrakumar in ATOL: Egypt thumbs the nose at US
The gloom in Washington must be deepening. Egypt is careering away from the alliance with the United States - and the bitter truth cannot be hidden or obfuscated anymore.
In sum, Morsi's decision to open a line to Beijing and Tehran needs to be weighed against a big backdrop. The Brothers apprehend a US-Israeli plan to destabilize Morsi's government if it doesn't fall in line with Washington's diktat. Therefore, they are looking for ways and means to whittle down the current level of Egypt's over-dependence on the US and its Persian-Gulf allies by diversifying the country's external relationships and adding countervailing partnerships that would help enhance the country's strategic autonomy.
Strategic autonomy in Egypt is something the Israelis fear. Witness the threat against the Brotherhood that Israel's lawyer Dennis Ross issued in today's Washington Post.
If this behavior continues, U.S. support, which will be essential for gaining international economic aid and fostering investment, will not be forthcoming.
Ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt will not keep in line with policies preferred by the U.S. (and Israel). It is also the Muslim Brotherhood, of the more brutal Syrian variant, that would likely come out at the top should the Assad government in Syria fall.
It is the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been exiled from Syria since the 1980s, which provides the majority of the funding, assistance and weapons, activists and rebels say.
Their goal, it seems, is to monopolize aid in a bid to carve out the lion's share of power, when and if Assad goes.
Just like Egypt ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood a Syria under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood would unlikely be the willing protectorate the U.S. would like to see there. A weakend, non aggressive Baath government might indeed be preferable to any other outcome.
This now seems to dawn even to the slower minds of the neo-Wilsonian interventionists at Foggy Bottom.
Could this insight then be enough to stop the U.S. assault on Syria?
Posted by b on August 20, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink
How can anyone trust this satanic Brotherhood? The only thing in Egypt that I have still faith in is the Egyptian Army.
Posted by: pewpewlazergun | Aug 20, 2012 3:07:59 PM | 1
Clinton, on her recent visit to Turkey, did her US-funded NGO thing (which has caused problems previously in Egypt). It's relatively harmless, but it makes it look like she's really doing something.
WaPo, Aug 15, 2012
Reporters were excluded from Clinton’s sessions with Syrian activists and refugees, but the State Department gave general descriptions of the participants. One was described as a male member of the Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability, another a female “digital activist” affiliated with the Center of Civil Society and Democracy in Syria. The participants’ full identities were not disclosed to protect them from reprisals, according to the State Department.
The "male member" was probably Mohammad Abdallah, who probably gave Clinton an earful, which is why the press was excluded, and not any fear of reprisals.
Kansas City Star (McClatchy), Aug 10, 2012
“There’s no U.S. strategy on Syria. They had this strategy of diplomacy combined with economy, but when it failed, they didn’t develop anything to replace it. And when the elections started approaching, they suspended everything,” said Mohammad Abdallah, a former Syrian opposition spokesman who heads the Syria Justice and Accountability Center, a partly U.S.-funded center in Washington to document atrocities.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 3:08:50 PM | 2
A country controlled by it's military, controlled by it's funder??
Egypt careening away from US/NATO?
not on your life
Posted by: Penny | Aug 20, 2012 3:27:40 PM | 3
Penny, you may be right, but did you read Bhadrakumar's piece?
If the question comes down to one of subsidies, the US is no longer unrivalled. As to the money from KSA and Qatar, this is, presumably, intended to buy Egyptian support for the Gulf tyrants' diplomatic agenda.
Posted by: bevin | Aug 20, 2012 3:35:23 PM | 4
brotherhood is blackmailing US and saudis, if no aid and IMF loan, then egypt will normalize relation with iran and scrap peace treaty
Posted by: nikon | Aug 20, 2012 3:36:10 PM | 5
Morsi does have some domestic challenges. One is a protest scheduled for this Friday ostensibly against his anti-democratic moves, but who can doubt that the US is involved. "What are you doing about that Brotherhood thing in Egypt, Petraeus?" (I'm imagining a US presidential question.)
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 3:41:56 PM | 6
Military control has always been external in Egypt. Or at least for the past few decades how likely is that to change in a few short months?
Particularly considering Morsi is but a figurehead.
Recall during the whole Mubarak "removal" the military just stood around, making daisy chains..... Why would that have been?
It sure wasn't because they were concerned for the Egyptian people
It was because they had their orders. Not to support Mubarak and to let this whole show continue as planned.
I read the piece, it is interesting, but I am not buying into his opinion at this point in time.
In time who knows?
Posted by: Penny | Aug 20, 2012 3:54:57 PM | 7
I'm afraid it won't give them second thought..The war is now too far in the advanced stages and both sides can't back down.It's amazing Syria's survived this onslaught for all this while..
The forces arrayed against Syria are huge..From NATO to NATO backed Salafi jihadis..It's Afghanistan in the 80 all over again..
Just this evening, there's been a massive bomb in SE Turkey targeting a police station..8 people dead so far and many more injured - causalities could rise.
It was only a matter of time before the war spilled in Turkey.From the way things a heading, Erdogan is toast. The carving of Kurdistan from SE Turkey might become a reality
Posted by: Zico | Aug 20, 2012 4:09:45 PM | 8
The FSAs deputy leader admits on several occasions in this interview how dependant from and desperate of jihadi fighters the FSA is:
have got a problem with rogue jihadists - for want of a better word - foreign fighters with an extremist ideology coming into Syria and behaving extremely badly, damaging the reputation of the uprising. What are you doing about them?
At this point for the FSA, it is so difficult to face or to confront these groups. Our only hope is to educate them. Only this can control their activities and convince their supporters to walk away. This is the best we can do.
...And there are many outsiders who impose their agenda by bringing jihadist fighters in, so it’s difficult for the Free Army to control them.
...The problem is not the collapse of the regime. We probably need another two months to take the regime down. The problem is what comes afterwards.
...The third problem is the fighters of the FSA ... are difficult to control.
Posted by: KerKaraje | Aug 20, 2012 4:43:29 PM | 9
@Don Bacon #6 -
a protest scheduled for this Friday ostensibly against his [Morsi] anti-democratic moves
I must have missed something: what "anti-democratic moves"? the only anti-democratic moves I am aware of are the Constitutional Court rulings (a lame attempt of coup d'etat), and the arbitrary, super-constitutional clauses that guaranteed the military control of the government;
I think you were citing others' words, but still I can't imagine on what basis one could protest Morsi, the clear winner of free elections, at this stage, for being "antidemocratic"
Posted by: claudio | Aug 20, 2012 4:51:48 PM | 10
@claudio --"ostensibly . . ." (but also with some justification from critics as in any such affair)&(It ain't over 'til it's over -- Yogi.)
“Second Revolution Movement”
Brotherhood takes precautions in advance of 24 August protests
The movement claimed in a statement that the armed forces supported the people’s demands, but then Islamist groups took over the revolution and made the real revolutionaries step aside. It also accused Islamists of manipulating unrest for their own gains.
Muslim Brotherhood critics have a strong case on the group's worrying censorship, even if the al-Dustour confiscation could conceivably fall within the bounds of acceptable government behavior. But the Brotherhood's aggressive majoritarianism and intolerance of criticism has undermined its own legitimacy and the legitimacy of Egypt's institutions in the eyes of a significant number of Egyptians. If the Brotherhood wishes to institutionalize democracy as "the only game in town," as they sometimes put it, then they need to play it fairly.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 5:07:27 PM | 11
Well Hillary is beginning to sound peaceful, somebody should break it to her though that she does not and cannot represent a non existant international community.
The US did not just lose Egypt, they seem to have lost Pakistan, too
"The conference will discuss if the Syrian model of peaceful coexistance (of religious and national communities) could be an example for other Middle Eastern countries ....
Algeria, Pakistan and Kazakhstan had called for the final statement of the summit, to which Damascus was not invited, to also pin blame on the armed opposition for the bloodshed in Syria, accor to informed sources at the summit.
And Egypt's President Mohammad Morsi proposed the formation of a committee grouping his country with key players Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to try to find a settlement to the Syrian conflict, a delegate had said"
another Syrian story Western media does not really tell
- translation from German -
„In no other country of this region so many different peoples with different religions and languages live together as in Syria“, Prof. Dr. Werner Arnold, Professor for Semitic Languages and the organizer of the conference, explains: Arabs, Western Aramaic people, Eastern Aramaic Assyrians and Syrians, Armenians, Cercassians, Chechnyans, Greek speeking Muslims from Crete, Dom, Kurds, Turks and Turkmenian people. Spoken languages range from Seemitic, to Indoeuropean to Turk languages. All the large religious communities are represented – Islam, Christianity, Judaism. According to Werner Arnold the functioning peaceful coexistance is largely due to the non denominational state doctrine of the Arab nationalist Baath-Party, which rules the capital Damascus.“
or in English here
"Jack Avital believes in the future of Bashar Assad. “Everything is good,” he told the Algemeiner. “You can bet on it – Assad will be there another 20 years…He is not Mubarak, not Gaddafi– Assad is an honest guy and 95% of the population supports him and will protect him.”
Unexpected remarks, given the mainstream media’s recent coverage. Avital says, however, that the economy is “working and moving.”Further, he says that the Jewish community is doing well, and that the Syrian president is protecting the minute Jewish community still in place in Damascus. In the last several months Syria has been seen in the west as a government in crisis, one willing to do anything – even kill its own people – to retain its power. Yet, according to Avital, who is in close contact with officers of the Syrian government both in American and in Damascus, Assad is protecting the ancient community and has protection in place at the community’s historic synagogue."
Posted by: somebody | Aug 20, 2012 5:07:31 PM | 12
from the UN:
* Veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will be the new Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and League of Arab States for the crisis in Syria, taking over the peace-facilitation role played over the past several months by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan,
* Despite initial signs of acceptance of the six-point plan, repeated calls from international officials and the deployment of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to monitor a ceasefire, there was little in the way of the plan’s implementation by the parties to the conflict. Due to that lack of progress, UNSMIS’ mandate is expected to be allowed to expire this coming Sunday
*Lakhdar Brahimi will continue the pursuit of an end to the conflict and a peaceful transition in Syria.
*My message to Special Representative Brahimi is simple: The United States stands ready to support you and secure a lasting peace that upholds the legitimate aspirations for a representative government of the people of Syria.
*The international community is also committed to ensuring that those who commit atrocities will be identified and held accountable.
There is nothing about "Syrian-led political transition" or "legitimate aspirations" or "international community" or "those who commit atrocities" in the UN statement -- only "ceasefire" and "peace-facilitation."
You give Clinton an inch and she takes a mile. Or cm/km.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 5:30:44 PM | 13
Apparently Assad is continuing to work his Kurdish strategy, allowing Kurds more towns in the north. This is something that neither the FSA nor Turkey favors. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to strike Kurdish separatists in Syria (while the hapless Davutoglu said that Kurdish autonomy in Syria is okay with him).
The population numbers: Syria 10% Kurds, Turkey 18%. Geographically, Kurds occupy much more land in Turkey than in Syria as shown here.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 5:43:47 PM | 14
13, Don Bacon, yep, that is why Lavrov every morning routinely eats Clinton for breakfast to counterbalance her statements.
Turkey is between a rock and a hard place
MIT betrays CIA deceived by Savak
"There are various reasons for a weakness in intelligence, including a lack of competent staff and inadequate number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- for which the primary reason is deteriorated relations with Israel. Due to tense relations, Turkey is unable to buy UAVs from the US and to receive Israeli-made drones. Up until last week, this was the most convincing argument as to why the Americans would not sell drones to Turkey.
However, last week a different reason became clear: In a press statement, Deputy Prime Minister Bülenç Arınç announced that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) was sharing intelligence with Iran. This provided the answer the Americans have been looking for. American intelligence units have been suspicious that Turkey is sharing information received from American Predator drones with Iran. The US has made it clear that they would be uncomfortable with such an arrangement."
Posted by: somebody | Aug 20, 2012 5:55:54 PM | 15
@penny, the Army didn't do much because they weren't sure that their conscripts would obey orders.
Posted by: heathroi | Aug 20, 2012 6:02:28 PM | 16
At the State presser today it's clear that the new guy is off message on overthrow -- er, transition -- in Syria. How could that happen? How did Ban let it happen? He's trained better than that, I thought.
QUESTION: Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi – I know you welcomed his appointment with some enthusiasm, but he made a statement that actually contradicts your position. He was saying that it is a little too early to ask for Assad to step down. Do you have a comment on that?
MS. NULAND: Well, our position is well known. We don’t think there’s going to be peace in Syria until Assad steps down and the bloodshed ends. We will be clear with Special Envoy Brahimi about our views on this. But I think it’s fair to let him get his feet under him and get started on the job and have the consultations that he needs to have before he makes – draws his own conclusions.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 7:27:52 PM | 17
". . .the consultations that he needs to have" -- that'll do it. Nothing like a gun to the head.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 7:29:41 PM | 18
@Don Bacon #11 - ok regarding fears for the future, but ... aggressive majoritarianism ???
are they protesting against a (or the) core democratic principle in the name of democracy?
for example, how about the Republicans' "aggressive majoritarianism" of the Bush era? did it undermine Bush's or the institutions' legitimacy?
and what if the "liberals" had won a 51% majority in Egypt and were now aggressively implementing their agenda, whichever that is, would that too have been a threat to democracy?
it'd be more coherent, on their part, to ask for a little less democracy in the name of national consensus in building a new Egypt
it seems nowadays democracy is only what the West likes, regardless where the votes went; I mean, modern democracy isn't perfect, and it certainly isn't a substitute for a political program; if it becomes an empty slogan to use as a rallying cry, then you'll have to live with the consequences
Posted by: claudio | Aug 20, 2012 8:34:07 PM | 19
every democratically elected leader the West doesn't like is "authoritarian" or downright "terrorist": Chavez, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Hamas and Hezbollah, etc
the real fault of all such leaders and groups is that of pursuing a political agenda instead of limiting themselves to pay back their sponsors' contributions
Posted by: claudio | Aug 20, 2012 8:38:11 PM | 20
I appreciate your attention to democracy, more of us should. But democracy is loosely used. I remember living in a small New England town and attending town meetings, where every appointment and every expenditure was put to majority vote. The moderator ran things -- a powerful man. There was also a board of selectmen who did decide some things, but not expenditures, as I recall.
On a national level, there is no democracy in the United States, the charade of elections notwithstanding. Obama was going to change all that.
BARACK OBAMA: CONNECTING AND EMPOWERING ALL AMERICANS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
* Protect the Openness of the Internet
* Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership:
* Protect Our Children While Preserving the First Amendment
* Safeguard our Right to Privacy
* Open Up Government to its Citizens: The Bush Administration has been one of the most secretive, closed administrations in American history. Our nation’s progress has been stifled by a system corrupted by millions of lobbying dollars contributed to political campaigns, the revolving door between government and industry, and privileged access to inside information—all of which have led to policies that favor the few against the public interest. An Obama presidency will use cutting-edge technologies to reverse this dynamic, creating a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America’s citizens. blah blah blah
He didn't do any of that, of course. So we can cut the Egyptians a little slack on "democracy" I think.
"the real fault of all such leaders and groups is that of pursuing a political agenda instead of limiting themselves to pay back their sponsors' contributions"
Correct. "Leaders" have too much power relative to citizens, is the problem.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 20, 2012 9:06:58 PM | 21
"... Morsi is but a figurehead."
Yes, but the question is "For whom or what is he a figurehead?"
The Egyptian Army has been, successively, subservient to Britain, nationalist, anti-imperialist, and auxiliary to the United States/Israel. These things change and they have changed recently. We know that. What we don't know is how far away from the US the drift has been; whether the army and the new government have decided to pursue new policies, seek out new alliances.
The pessimistic view is that nothing has changed. But that is not necessarily realistic: the Mubarak policies are completely discredited. There is no going back to Egypt being a total nullity in the region, a hole in the map, the western gatekeeper of the siege of Gaza.
No dramatic changes are needed: it would be enough if Morsi reached out to Iran and normalised diplomatic and trade relations. And yet the impact of nothing more than that would be dramatic.
It would have a dramatic impact on Syria too if Egypt did nothing more than to join in the Russian efforts for a peaceful solution.
What is often forgotten is how extreme and outlandish are the policies that the US and its allies pursue in the Middle East: they have cranked up the hysteria to such a degree that they have lost all touch with reality.
We've reached the point at which US Mid EastStrategy would collapse if Egypt simply insisted on following International Law and abiding by the conventions of the UN Charter. And if China were to provide the sort of commercial credits and bridging loans that shrewd investors in Egypt would suggest is justified.
And, if the balloon is pricked, as it will be sooner or later, the entire US strategy will be reduced to a trillion dollar Defence budget in search of a purpose, as economic necessity and common sense outflank warmongering and the, utterly outmoded, 1948, system of using the MIC to keep the economy afloat.
Posted by: bevin | Aug 20, 2012 10:50:38 PM | 22
"the Army didn't do much because they weren't sure that their conscripts would obey orders."
That is a nice bit of fiction your believing there, but, it isn't even remotely close to reality. Just a bit of information to back up the claims made. You can easily find much more on who realy controls the Egyptian Military.
It is not the Egyptian figurehead of leadership, not now under Morsi, not previously under Mubarek. Not for decades
"As the crisis in Egypt unfolds, the Egyptian military emerges as the most important factor in determining its immediate future. Critical too are U.S. links with the Egyptian military Washington's primary source of influence over what will happen."
"Continuing support for the Egyptian military will be crucial for U.S. influence and for an evolution in Egypt that can meet American interests."
"One reason Egypt's military responded to the demonstrations so positively has been its long-standing ties to the U.S. military, stretching back three decades"
Posted by: Penny | Aug 21, 2012 6:50:25 AM | 24
Bevin @ 22
Have things changed in Egypt?
If you put new curtains on the window is it the same window or a new window.It's the same window.
"The pessimistic view is that nothing has changed. But that is not necessarily realistic"
Or the realistic view is nothing has changed and that is not necessarily pessimistic?
Feel free to believe as you wish. When I come across something substantive that will give me pause for thought, then I will consider the so called change in Egypt more then just fresh window dressing
Posted by: Penny | Aug 21, 2012 7:46:28 AM | 25
The view of some high Hezbollahis in Iran is that the Brotherhood has made a deal with the devil. So, based on this and what you say and the realities on the ground (Rafah crossing, etc.), Morsi's visit to Iran next week is 'window dressing' as you put it, or an attempt to get more out of Uncle Weasel. But we shall see. Next week should be a very interesting week here in Tehran.
Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Aug 21, 2012 8:27:09 AM | 26
It's not so much what I say... It is what I say based on what I have read.
His visit to Iran could be a play to the domestic audience?
Sort of "I am not owned, look at me, I am independent
I am not beholden to the US and Israel, the real deal"
" Next week should be a very interesting week here in Tehran"
Whoa. Talk about being in the cross hairs and I am so sorry to say that. Really. Sigh.....
Posted by: Penny | Aug 21, 2012 8:45:21 AM | 27
Trust me; no one here is worried in the least. Its just desperation yakking from the Zionist Entity. We would welcome an attack, as it would give us (Sand) Field Niggers the justification to take care of some unfinished business with the local House Niggers, chief among them the so-called "custodians" of the Haramayn (the Two Sacred Mosques).
But yes, I think the deal with the devil scenario is the only one that satisfactorily explains the shenanigans of the Egyptian military allowing those two Iranian warships through the Canal. Kabuki dreamed up in some slimy Pentagon backroom. I look at it this way: IF it has taken Turkey 100 years to get absolutely nowhere, it will take Egypt even longer.
Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Aug 21, 2012 9:14:14 AM | 28
My interpretation of Egypt events are somewhat basic but I think realistic. Morsi is feeling his way as the new leader and has many obstacles and pressures to deal with before we see the real man behind the beard. One thing for sure i think everyone must remember, these guys are Muslim Brotherhood, they survived, Nasser, Sadat, Moubarak and many others before them and that's not because they have a standard political agenda, they are fundemantalists and sooner or later this will come out in their behaviors and policies.
My focus now is how is this delaying Israel's planned attack on Iran. Surely even the crazy Ehud Barak and his twin Netanyahou know that this will definitely kill their Egypt treaty. SO their calculus is becoming far more complex.
A Syrian MB activit mentioned to me in a chat, he believes Syria and Egypt will be united after Assad is gone and the SYrian MB takes over. If this really believed in these circles, I can see why Israel and its US backers would not allow this to happen, meaning Assad is here to stay, weak by not going anywhere.
Posted by: ana souri | Aug 21, 2012 9:52:17 AM | 29
Fiction? fiction? hang on for a moment, you're suggesting that the whole Egyptian game is dreamt up in DC? they aren't that bright( I give you Iraq) and besides why get rid of the dude (Muberek) who's doing your bidding and risk upsetting the whole apple cart.
My point about the conscripts was if your unit is facing a group of civilians demanding life liberty and pursuit of happiness and all that jazz, and you get order to fire on them by a representative of the elite(the senior officer corps), perhaps then one might see why then the Army might not do much and let the police take a hiding.
I accept you point about window dressing, Reaching Across The Aisle and Bipartisanship is long been a favorite BS excuse hat covers a lot of sins.
Posted by: heathroi | Aug 21, 2012 10:11:11 AM | 30
Syrian and Egypt united again under the MB hegira? What a joke. It was the MB the main party against Nasser's United Arab Republic.
Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 21, 2012 10:31:24 AM | 31
Unknown Unknowns @ 28
whew, I am glad to read you are feeling that confident
Puts me at ease a bit
Had a regular commenter from Syria for months, From Aleppo. I have heard nothing in over a week.
Don't know what happened. I tell myself he and his family fled to safety.
But hope he will come back to tell me so :)
Posted by: Penny | Aug 21, 2012 1:04:49 PM | 32
whew, I am glad to read you are feeling that confident
Puts me at ease a bit
It is afore gone conclusion! The outcome has been decided this is playing catch up and hoping for the best. Maybe the Iranian leadership have been interpreting the Ninth Wave! Something also heating up in the South China Sea, Japan, USA v China and Korea
Posted by: hans | Aug 21, 2012 1:20:19 PM | 33
heathroi @ 30
Order out of chaos
If your intention was to remake the ME, under the cover of chaos would be the best way to do so.
Doesn't it appear that the ME is being remade?
Does to me.
" besides why get rid of the dude (Muberek) who's doing your bidding and risk upsetting the whole apple cart"
Maybe he wasn't?
Maybe he had gotten a bit to tight with Gaddafi?
(Notice the order of take down?)
Maybe he was getting to old? To comfortable? To carry out a required agenda?
IMO, Conscripts are conscripted, not just enrolled, the word script is present. So that tells you what conscription is really about.
Following the Script
[Latin cnscriptus, past participle of cnscrbere, to enroll : com-, com- + scrbere, to write; see skrbh- in Indo-European roots.]
Once conscripts undergo basic training, which is mind control, perception management or the implanting of new memes, 99.9 percent of them or the vast majority, will follow orders. The exception to that is the extreme rarity.
The conscripts took their orders that's all.
Posted by: Penny | Aug 21, 2012 1:20:37 PM | 34
"Once conscripts undergo basic training, which is mind control, perception management or the implanting of new memes, 99.9 percent of them or the vast majority, will follow orders. The exception to that is the extreme rarity..."
Also extremely rare are revolutions. But they do occur. And one sign, according to Trotsky and others, is that conscripts, most of whom receive the most cursory basic training (rather than the brainwashing you describe), balk at the idea of firing on their fellow countrymen.
The idea that the army kept its men out of the fray, for fear of losing control of them and of the army disintegrating, is not at all extravagant. It is almost certainly something that did happen in 2011. And it is something that is even more likely to happen in 2012.
I don't know what has happened in Egypt, Penny, and you haven't convinced me that you know either. But change is constant whereas stasis is unknown.
Posted by: bevin | Aug 21, 2012 2:31:27 PM | 35
"I don't know what has happened in Egypt, Penny, and you haven't convinced me that you know either."
Where did I claim that I "know"?
Bevin: as I have already stated
"Feel free to believe as you wish. When I come across something substantive that will give me pause for thought, then I will consider the so called change in Egypt more then just fresh window dressing"
Neither of us can "know" with any certainty what happened.
I will think my thoughts and you think yours.
Thank You for responding
Posted by: Penny | Aug 21, 2012 5:06:41 PM | 36
Too early to say what Morsi intends long term. There are positive signs and there are also real constraints. For example, there is no way Egypt could endure the kind of sanctions placed on Iran. SO even with the best intentions, Morsi has to be cautious in turning around Mubarak's foreign policy of total submission to US/Israel. Still...
So far the Gaza blockade is much looser. The fact that the border post attack happened right after it opened is likely a sign someone was mad about it and it probably wasn't the Gaza residents.
Sending heavy weapons into Sinai is a bold move. I don't think the Israelis are happy about it as it sets a precedent that other aspects of camp David are renegotiable. The demilitarization of Sinai has been defacto "renegotiated."
Going to Iran in and of itself is significant, even if nothing else follows. It shows the largest Sunni nation in the region cordial with the largest Shiite nation. Simply halting the Anti-Iran, Anti Hizbullah media offensive of the Mubarak days is a plus. It doesn't fit in well with the Sunni-Shia' civil war the west is so eager for.
However, it can all go south very fast, so we can't count that chicken yet. Overall though, Morsi is doing much better than I had thought he would.
Over the next several years, the biggest variable to watch is Iraq. It has the potential of becoming a financial contender that can challenge the Gulf monarchies. This could potentially draw away Egypt, even Jordan, away from their GCC dependency. (assuming Iraq wants to do that)
That is why the US/West will secretly do all they can to destabilize Iraq.
Posted by: Lysander | Aug 21, 2012 8:03:28 PM | 37
penny@36; you are thinking of the US Army which pays a great deal of attention to indoctrination of new recruits.
I'll give you the example of the the soviet union's Red Army by the late 70s/ early 80s. According to Andrew Cockburn's 'The Threat' who wrote that power in the barracks was not by rank but seniority and 'new chums' were treated like dog poop until they had served some time (and Christ help you if you if you weren't Slavic). The Egyptian army won't be as bad as that, but I'll bet a whole US dollar that they don't hand out guns and bullets, very often, to the draftees.
Posted by: heathroi | Aug 22, 2012 10:44:58 AM | 38
heathroi @ 38
I have a number of posts on Egypt and it's military at my blog.
Read lots and lots over the years.
I could always be mistaken and things can always change.
But, do you see what the premise of this post here is, will there be second thoughts?
Well my thought was no way.
And I am stickin with it
Every time I make a post at my place, my heart hopes I am wrong about everything.
So, here is hoping I am.
Thanks for responding
I think B, is hopeful also
No one likes war, or even the thought of war.
Posted by: Penny | Aug 22, 2012 10:53:00 AM | 39