There are at least five disparate groups within Egypt but only two of them have any possibility of ending up in control and neither of them will have the people’s interests at their heart. The two heavyweights are obvious, the Military which has a long history and practice at running Egypt, and the Muslim Brotherhood which believes that they are the arm of Allah and as such are the sole rightful rulers of Egypt and the only moral and just choice for Egypt. There are the Shiite Muslims who are a minority amongst the Muslims and would be faring far worse except for another group. That other group are the Coptic Christians whose only hope is that they be left alone and are the Egyptians most invested that everything go smoothly and with no hardships as they inevitably are blamed for every single societal ill despite their inability to have any great influence. The final group consists of the young Twitter and Facebook generation who long for the good life they glimpse through their media connections and whose desires to change Egypt into a modern, industrial, democratic, functional nation were the originating driving force behind the transformation pushing Mubarak from power only to watch their movement sidetracked by the Muslim Brotherhood who were waiting in the wings to hijack the revolution at the critical junction taking over the elections.
The first duel started when the pro-democracy youth demonstrated and started the so-called Arab Spring transformation. They were sidelined and the first duel was won by the revitalized and newly returned Muslim Brotherhood. The second duel was again initiated by the pro-democracy youth but this time backed by the working Egyptians who have watched their nation’s economy collapse before their eyes and have been facing economic hardships and a government which could not have shown less respect for their troubles. Responding to the outcry from the people the Egyptian Military threw down the gauntlet when they arrested the Muslim Brotherhood backed President Morsi and finished the challenge to the Muslim Brotherhood with the violent removal of the pro-Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood supporting demonstrations and vigils. What is to be answered next is how vehemently the Muslim Brotherhood response to the Military action will be. We may have our answer to that question today or we may have to wait until after Friday prayers or even longer, but rest assured the day will dawn when the Muslim Brotherhood once again strives to take what they believe is their rightful place as leaders of Egypt initially and the entirety of the Muslim world should Allah will it.
The question in much of the western world is what can we do to repair the problems in Egypt and end the needless violence. The unfortunate answer to that question is that first off, you are asking the wrong question, and secondly, there is nothing that can be done as this is one of those conflicts that will only be resolved once one side actually surrenders and accepts they have been utterly defeated. The question that should be asked by anyone outside of Egypt is what can we do and should we do to assist the innocent who will become the victims of the coming conflagration. The only thing that can be done would be to offer the Christians a place to restart their lives should they choose to leave their longtime home country of Egypt. Many Coptic Christian families have lived in Egypt since the first century and leaving their home would be unthinkable and for those people we can offer aid but unfortunately we would reap more problems for them as well as for us if we were to intervene on their behalf. The rest of the world which lies outside the Middle East and Northern Africa who are witness to the carnage and tragic consequences of the power struggles plaguing countries such as Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and to a lesser extent Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others either already or soon to come have to realize that any intervention will not serve to resolve these conflicts and any governance put in place via such interventions will eventually fall and the conflict recommence and the only way for these violent upheavals to end is through producing victor and the rest of the fighting factions realizing they have been inexorably defeated, and if the world is lucky those who are defeated will never again rise up. These nations are going through the same revolution in governance which Europe experienced starting with the Magna Carta, continuing through the American Revolution followed by the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the rest of the conflicts which eventually brought down the Monarchs, Czars, Kaisers, Emperors and other dictatorial leaders and eventually led to the current representative governance be it parliamentary, democratic or constitutional republic. Just as it would have been unlikely for the transitions that swept through Europe and the Americas over a period of close to two and a half centuries to have been avoided had aliens from some planet revolving around Sirius or one of the stars of Orion’s Belt landed and imposed the exact same form of governance on each nation that eventually came to pass through revolution would have kept the peace once they lifted off to return home. The same reasons resonate now in the growing pains thrashing through much of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Is it easy to watch such horrific scenes as we will witness on the news each night? Obviously it will not be. But for recent proof that intervention will not be the answer no matter how benign the intentions are readily seen in both Iraq and Afghanistan where the recent interventions have either ended or are winding to their completion and already both nations are the scene of renewed fighting and increasing violence. President Washington and President Eisenhower despite their different ages and their different personalities and treatment by history had a strong and steadying approach to foreign entanglements and warned of the same pressures and what they saw as the unsatisfactory potentials of such adventurism and both advised that the United States served best by trading and holding peaceful relations with all and avoid all temptations and even invitations to intervene or ally in with foreign wars. Both men having been Generals of Armies of the United States, George Washington during the Revolutionary War and Eisenhower in Europe during World War II, knew the horrors and destructiveness of war and knew that war was a horror well worth avoiding at all costs short of a threat to the United States, its peoples or their freedom. Both men received entreatment to involve the United States in conflicts on foreign shores and both showed the wisdom of politely deferring to accept these invitations. George Washington refused such a request from France despite the vital aid provided by the French during the Revolutionary War. President Washington had to fight against many in his administration who supported aiding France but he held firm.
On a side note, the United States may have recently given an offer in order to entice Israel into allowing for a Palestinian state to be formed in nearly all of the West Bank area also known historically as Judea and Samaria. The fear is that Secretary of State Kerry was authorized by President Obama to assure the Israelis that should they allow the formation of Palestine in close to ninety or ninety-five percent of the territory claimed by the Palestinians including a large part if not all of East Jerusalem the United States would lead a NATO peacekeeping force which would guarantee that the Palestinian State remain demilitarized, terrorism be prevented especially from launching rockets into the heart of Israel which includes well over half of the Israeli population and industry, and allow for Israeli access to the Jewish holy sites which lie within Judea and Samaria. This must not be allowed to become fact as NATO or United States troops stationed in the Palestinian State would be a suicide mission as they would serve as targets for any terrorists opposed to whichever faction held power. If Hamas was in power then Fatah would terrorize any peacekeepers, with Fatah in power then Hamas would terrorize the peacekeepers and PFLP and al-Qaeda would do so no matter who was the ruling group. The peacekeeping force unless numbering in the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands would be unable of preventing terrorist attacks on Israel simply because they would be unable to be everywhere all the time. The peacekeepers would eventually only be preventing the IDF from eradicating terror infrastructure while protecting the terrorists despite their intentions. When American soldiers began returning home in coffins there would be a growing discontent over the stationing of these troops just to protect Israel and there would come a call to remove them post haste. Should such a call be denied and the troop presence as peacekeepers kept in place the eventual result would be growing anti-Semitism as the American Jews would be seen as supporting the stationing of the peacekeepers in harm’s way whether they actually support the efforts or not. It is likely obvious to many that we support Israel and we would like to plead that no foreign troops, be they from NATO, the United States, the United Nations, or Timbuktu never be stationed between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea with an emphasis if their duties include peacekeeping or terror suppression. We here at Beyond the Cusp see such a fool’s errand as a guaranteed catastrophe which is to be avoided even if it means the peace process currently being marshaled by Secretary of State Kerry will result in failure without such assurances. Be assured that the average Israeli does not wish to involve any foreign troops, especially from NATO, the United Nations or the United States, at any time in any way that may be construed as assisting Israel. Thank you for any generous offer and do not take this as anything but a friend’s concern for our good relations, but please do not entangle yourselves in our problems. Thank you for all you have done that we appreciate every ounce of assistance but we never want American men and women in uniform to die for any reason that might be construed as in an Israeli interest or in service of the State of Israel.
Beyond the Cusp