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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Happened in Egypt

A short history of democracy in Egypt. In February 2011, the Mubarak regime fell. There was going to be a parliament elected in Egypt. The parliament was elected. Its election was invalidated. Today there is no parliament in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it would want to run one-third of the candidates for seats. Then they ran one-half. Then they ran all. Then they said they would not run a president. Then they did and elected a president. And they and the Salafists elected 70 percent of the parliament. But now there is no parliament.

The parliament was going to pick a constituent assembly to write a constitution. But now there is no constitution. There are no restrictions on presidential powers.

And then there was a Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, but that was supposed to restrain the Muslim Brotherhood president. And it was supposed to be restrained by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty and by the hope of getting U.S. military aid. But the president got rid of it and fired the two top people and put in his own generals. And there is no restraint.

And we were told that the Egyptian government had promised to adhere to the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. But when it wished, the regime simply violated the treaty and sent forces into the eastern Sinai. And it announced an alliance with Hamas, which openly declared its desire to go to war with Israel and destroy it. And Cairo did not demur.

The Egyptian regime did more economic damage to Israel by violating its contract on natural gas shipments than any other Arab regime in the history of the country because Israel had to spend billions of dollars replacing that lost fuel. That is why Israeli taxes are going up and social spending must decline. The U.S. government did not lift a finger to help.

The entire Israeli strategic plan has had to be altered to add a new defensive front along the border with Egypt. New units will be organized; new fences built; new equipment ordered and paid for.

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, arguably the Arab world’s leading sociologist and certainly the leading advocate of a liberal-Islamist alliance against the old Arab military regimes, has now totally changed sides, warning that the Islamists want to hijack power and establish dictatorships. He pleads for Westerners to wake up.

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