Sunday, October 20, 2013

US policy towards Egypt

US policy towards Egypt under Pres. Obama is confused, vacillating and self-destructive. At first, of course, when he made his famous speech to the Muslim world from Cairo in 2009, it was clear that Obama was trying to appeal to the Arab/Muslim masses to tell them that the US was not their enemy (I suppose the corollary was that Israel was their enemy). Pres. Mubarak of Egypt was then a staunch US ally. When Mubarak got into trouble with the uprisings of the Arab Spring and was quickly deposed, Obama did nothing to save him, just as Carter did with the Shah of Iran, he took the supposedly moral high ground, muttered the magic word "democracy" and let Mubarak be removed. So much for the US supporting its allies. Other Arab leaders, especially in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States took note.

Apparently the marauding mobs on the Arab street weren't convinced by Obama's appeal, and the demonstrations took a decidedly anti-American turn. They brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the fore, something that was predicted, and resulted in the election of Pres. Morsi, the MB representative. After a year, when it became clear that the MB were taking more and more control of Egypt and not concerning themselves with the well-bring of the populace, the Egyptian Army under Gen. al-Sisi responded, deposed Morsi and took power. They claim they plan to revise the constitution and re-introduce democracy. But, Obama had dug himsel into a ditch, namely Pres. Morsi represented the workings of democracy in Egypt and therefore the US could not support this illegal Army coup.

Now, instead of supporting the Army and opposing the MB that is anti-American to the core, Obama is digging himself an even deeper hole. Everyone knows that the Army command is more pro-American than the MB, yet, the US Administration is now cutting aid to Egypt. The Army regime is also fighting the Islamists in Sinai and has closed almost all the tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, both of which are definitely in Israeli and American interests. Just when they should be supporting the Army and increasing aid the US is reducing it. Every Israel knows this is a mistake, even for the US, yet Obama is pig-headedly proceeding with his "Cairo initiative" irrespective of the reality. He is apparently unable to take advantage of changing circumstances that are in the US's favor.

Ironically, by taking a wrong turn on Egypt and finding himself on the same side as the MB, and being prepared to cozy up to Iran, Obama has done Israel a favor. If the Sunni Arab States, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, cannot rely on the US, who can they rely on to protect them from the Islamists of the MB and the Iranians, The only other capable power is Israel. Hence there are reports of representatives from the Gulf States visiting Israel to coordinate policy against the Islamists and Iran. Thanks Pres. Obama, you unwittingly did us a favor.


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