Egypt? So What’s The Big Deal?

It has been tortuous to watch President Obama and his Administration try to express a US position towards Egypt.  One moment he’s for policies which would restore the Muslim Brotherhood to power.  The next moment he seems content with the Generals.  Like a Professor, President Obama seems to be able to see both sides of the issue but can not utter his choice.

Foolishly, the Bush Administration started this mess when they encouraged more freedom of expression for Egypt.  When former President Mubarak finally got around to allowing more free expression, the Arab Spring had arrived.  With the genie out of the bottle, history’s course was not predictable.

“Free and fair” elections were held and the Islamic Brotherhood won narrowly.  The election was hardly over when the newly elected President, Mohamed Morsi declared he would exercise extraordinary powers until the Constitution was changed (in a way that provided these powers).  Included in the Constitutional changes were the entry of Sharia law and an implicit role of Islam in State affairs.

The Brotherhood pointed out repeatedly that they had won the election and that provided them the right to change the ways things were done.  Morsi championed democracy while he twisted it to create a Islamic fascist State.  Hmmm.

The Egyptian military are not “awareness robbed” individuals.  They know that only with sectarian governments where the military can predict the course of events will the military’s privileged lives be safe.  Look at Pakistan, Iran, and Egypt.

So back to President Obama.

His position does not differ that much from former President George W Bush.  “We are not interested in an elections results, we are interested in the process used in an election”, or words to that effect, the President said.  Who could find fault with this endorsement of democracy?

The Bush and now Obama position simply does not reflect current reality.  If Egypt were experienced with open democracy, the rule of law, and commercially, the owners and leaders of major businesses achieved their positions through meritocracy, and the Egyptian concept of government could accept inclusiveness  (protections for minorities), one could argue Egypt was more than ready for democracy.  But we have just seen that Egypt is not ready.

Some will argue that returning to a strong man ruler will not prepare Egypt either.  On the other hand, President Morsi’s path would sink Egypt further and further into an Islamic and fascist State.  So what’s a President suppose to do?

The issue President Obama should be focused upon is the greater Middle East and a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  This is the key to creating a Middle East playground where the more dysfunctional States (Syria, Iran, Iraq) can mature.

Saying this differently, the problem is not Egypt, it is the greater Middle East.  This Muslin region is divided by ethnicity and religious secularism.  The region can also boast of some of the lowest educational levels and huge income inequality.  The answer for Egypt is the answer which is best for the region.

The President must hold his nose and support the Generals.

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