Egypt was among the countries to have a change in their governance due to the Arab Spring, or so the media and the United States State Department and numerous Western leaders will inform anyone willing to listen. Unfortunately, once the full truth becomes so painfully obvious that no rational argument can deny, we will plainly see that the change was the result of an Arab Winter, not Spring and the changes is Egypt were not for the better and democracy was not the final result. We will discover that the new boss resembles the old boss with some distinct differences, many of which are for the worse. So, let’s take a somber and sober inventory of what exactly happened both going into the Egyptian election and what the resultant governance and changes to Egypt have been produced. We should also take note of who were the winners and who the losers.
Going into the Egyptian election for President we had the eventual winner, Mohamed Morsi, who ran as the candidate put forth by the Freedom and Justice Party which was a recognized and admitted front party for the Muslim Brotherhood. But, if as the candidate for the Freedom and Justice Party Mohamed Morsi was already the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, then why did the Muslim Brotherhood put forward Khayrat el-Shater as their direct representative candidate when they supposedly were also running a candidate under the political party formed and named by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party? The reason was that they put forward Khayrat el-Shater as a sacrificial lamb when they began to suspect that the Military governing Supreme Council of the Armed Forces might be planning to remove candidates they declare to be questionable or tainted such as having been a member of the Mubarak rule or too deeply tied to the Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood or what they considered extremists in order to promote the more secular candidates which was the preferred choice of the Military hierarchy, Ahmed Shafik. By placing a directly tied candidate who was a current member of the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, the Muslim Brotherhood could now further their claim that Mohammed Morsi was not a member in good standing with the Muslim Brotherhood and was a legitimate candidate for the Freedom and Justice Party which they had now established some space between them and the Brotherhood. This feint worked exactly as the Muslim Brotherhood had hoped and even though they technically did not win and get the direct Muslim Brotherhood candidate elected President, they did get their preferred and presentable front candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party elected. The reality was that the Muslim Brotherhood had placed two candidates on the ballot for the position of Egyptian President, one as a sacrificial lamb who made the other appear to be independent of the Muslim Brotherhood and thus gave Western nations the wiggle room they would need and anxiously utilize to back Morsi as a legitimate non-Muslim Brotherhood winner of the Egyptian elections.
So, what has happened to the power structures in Egypt since the Presidential election and how does it differ from the Mubarak regime? One of the first moves taken by President Morsi was to oppose the ruling of the Military Supreme Court ruling which dissolved the Parliament due to presumed election fraud and irregularities. Morsi almost immediately reinstated the Parliament and initially did compromise and only met with one of the two houses of the Parliament, the upper house. From this confrontation against the Military’s attempts to retain as much power as they could and limit the newly elected officials’, including President Morsi’s, powers, the Military clearly lost and thus has had the leadership completely revamped and made Muslim Brotherhood compliant. Morsi simply ignored their rulings and removed the limiting amendments to the new Constitution put in place by the Military and regained all the powers given the office of the President in the initial Constitution.
Within the next month, President Morsi worked around every attempt to restrict his powers and block the maneuvers he was taking. The end result came when President Morsi replaced nearly the entirety of the Military high commanders and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood approved and sympathetic officers. Now Egypt has a President Morsi with his own hand-picked Generals in command of the Military. This is entirely different than when Egypt had a Military picked President Mubarak who, over time promoted the officers he most trusted into the top positions and thus had his own people in command of the Military. Under President Mubarak the Muslim Brotherhood was kept in check and forced to maintain a low profile or face arrest and imprisonment. The Military had complete and total control of all of the levers of power. Currently, with President Morsi Egypt has a Muslim Brotherhood controlled Parliament and Muslim Brotherhood approved commanders over the Military and is working to taking over the rest of the levers of power. See, totally different. Before the Muslim Brotherhood controlled nothing and the Military had all the control, now the Muslim Brotherhood controls everything using the Military under their control to take command of everything. The real test will come in the next Egyptian elections for President. If the results show obvious signs of vote fraud and any other signs of a controlled outcome, then we will know that all the Egyptians have accomplished was to replace the heads of the Military from restricting the Muslim Brotherhood and enforcing a secular state with a Muslim Brotherhood controlled Military and a Sharia compliant state. The worrisome part of this is that despite the obvious Muslim Brotherhood control, thus far the Western powers and countries have treated the new governance in Egypt as if it were still a secular state and they are ignoring any signs that Egypt is no longer even going to try and have the appearance of compliance with Western objectives. Despite this, the United States is fully committed to continuing the billions of dollars of aid to Egypt even though deep down they have to have realized that this money will no longer buy them even one iota of influence, let alone any measure of control as they previously possessed.
But what are the changes for the people of Egypt, will their plight be improved or will it likely worsen? If you are a Coptic Christian it will most definitely worsen. As bad as things may have gotten from time to time under the Military rule of Mubarak and Sadat and Nasser before him, the non-Muslim population of Egypt was granted at least a modicum of protection and had rights as citizens including even the right to vote. With the Muslim Brotherhood now in control, the Coptic Christians will eventually likely be granted some amount of protection, but only after they have accepted their position as Dhimmi within a Muslim State. Even during this past election where it was supposed to be the first true election in modern Egyptian history, the Coptic Christians were denied their right to vote as in some Coptic neighborhoods Muslim gangs occupied the voting places and refused to allow them to cast any ballots. Even towards the end of the Military control in the run-up to the election the Coptic Christians found their neighborhoods threatened from confrontations with bands of Jihadist Muslims. Such likelihoods are now to become a part of Coptic daily life in Egypt where such eruptions will be a potential and when such violence is loosed on their neighborhoods, they can expect they will be allowed a certain amount of permissiveness and only brought to a halt once the authorities feel the anger has had sufficient venting. Egypt will slowly sink onto Sharia and life for non-Muslims will sink along with it.
And what does this mean for the United States, Israel and the rest of the world? The news this week has exclaimed and featured a signal of what the world, especially the West and Israel, can expect from the new Egypt when it has been reported that while attending the upcoming NAM (Non-Aligned nations Movement) conference being held in Tehran, Iran; President Morsi will be in attendance and is planning on reestablishing relations between Iran and Egypt which have been in a frozen state since Egypt signed its peace with Israel. President Morsi and President Ahmadinejad reestablishing relations will signify a ceremonial sign that the Egyptian Israeli peace has been unofficially abrogated. This has already been made evident through any number of actions and statements made since the election of President Morsi. Morsi and other Egyptian leaders, both inside and outside of the Muslim Brotherhood, have boldly stated that the Camp David Accord must be amended to allow Egypt to exercise its full authority in the Sinai Peninsula which will, for all intents and purposes, be a complete abrogation of the treaty. There have even been some attacks on the troops located in the Sinai as peacekeepers in the last few weeks. This has been swept under the carpet as to let this news out would wake up Americans to the fact that they have troops stationed in the Sinai Peninsula, something that has not received any attention but is now becoming relevant as another place their young men and women are now in harm’s way. Egypt has already strengthened their ties with Turkey, another nation that has been quietly slipping into Islamism. With Egypt now strengthening their bonds with the Islamist tendencies of Turkey and the Iranian extreme Islamism, the world is watching as the new Caliphate is being assembled while the first target of this new Caliphate, Europe followed close behind by the United States, blithely carry-on as if nothing possible could be going awry and whistling past their own graveyard. Israel has been awake and warning but nobody cares to hear their warnings. Even when they make sufficient claims ardently enough to be heard, the United States dispatches some high level government personnel, be it the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or even the Vice President, anybody but the President, of course, to tell Israel to calm down and let those who are adults and know the real truth handle this situation. Poor Israel has been relegated to being the boy who cried wolf, only there is a wolf and he is not even bothering to wear sheep’s clothing, he is snarling and bearing a mouth full of teeth and nobody wants to know. This has all the signs of ending very badly, say Czechoslovakia and the Sudeten Lands or Kosova.
Beyond the Cusp