Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Obama lost Egypt

One of the greatest defeats of US foreign policy in the modern era was the loss of Iran by Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1979. By withdrawing support at a crucial moment from the Shah of Iran, however unpleasant he was as a megalomaniacal dictator, the result of his loss was far worse to the US, to Israel and to the Iranian people. The so-called human rights abuses attributed to his rule were multiplied ten times by those carried out by his successors, the Ayatollahs who took over from him. If the US and France had not allowed Khomenei to travel to Iran, and had supported the Shah in his position, millions of people would have avoided suffering and death, including the victims of the 8 year long Iran-Iraq war as well as the hundreds of thousands who over the past 30 years have suffered in Evian prison as well as having to escape into exile. But, history cannot be predicted or reversed.

So far the outcome in Egypt is unclear, but the enthusiastic liberal-minded attitude of the Obama Adminstration to the overthrow of Mubarak, who was a force for stability in Egypt and the region, has led to an impending take-over by the Muslim Brotherhood, possibly the worst outcome. The US is currently having secret negotiations with them, just as Carter did with the Khomeinists when they took over the US Embassy in Tehran. It's true that the Egyptian Army has not yet released the reins of power, but the fact that the westernized secular candidate El Baradei has dropped out of the Egyptian Presidential race is a harbinger of bad things to come.

Egypt is dependent on US aid and its chief money earner is tourism. A Muslim Brotherhood Government will prefer to be poor than to take money from the US and to have half dressed western tourists traipsing around its pyramids. They will expel most western influences and then their economy will collapse, but Muslim dominated countries aren't known for their economic growth, except those that have westernized such as Dubai and Malaysia. A poor, Islamist Egypt will definitely be a serious threat to Israel, although it will not be a military threat for some time to come.

Obama will be remembered amongst other things as the President who lost Egypt.


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