July 05, 2013

Egypt Has Seen the Enemy, and The Enemy is Egypt

Let me just put this out there: Egypt's problem isn't the Muslim Brotherhood, it's Egypt.

As much as liberals in Egypt hope that their people want to be free, they are engaged in a form of self delusion about just who the Egyptian people are. The Egyptian people are not typically young, college educated, and from urban Cairo. The typical Egyptian is rural, poor, and semi-literate. Moreover, they go to mosques which teach them the supremacy of Islamic Law.

In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood is more likely to represent the typical Egyptian than are any of the secular liberal political parties.

The failings of the Mohammad Morsi and of the Muslim Brotherhood are the failings of Egypt generally. The corruption of the Brotherhood is a reflection of the corruption of the country generally. The intolerance of the Brotherhood for opposition points of view and of Christian minority rights are the same intolerances found generally in Egypt.

What's the point? The point being that no matter what government comes to power in Egypt there is nothing that can be done to fix Egypt. Not if by "fix" you mean what the liberal secularists in Egypt want.

Egypt was a mess under the old dictator, Egypt has been a mess under the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt will remain a mess under whoever comes next and whoever comes after that.

As for those who blame Obama for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, I laugh at you. You really think it mattered one iota whether or not the US "supported" the Brotherhood any more than our "support" for the last dictator? The fact is we didn't "support" either of them, we tolerated them. If you don't know the difference, then consult a dictionary.

Sure, we send billions of dollars in aid to Egypt, but not because we support whatever regime is in power. We do so because the last worst President we had, Jimmy Carter, made a deal in which Egypt would regain millions of square miles of land it lost to Israel in exchange for a few thousand square feet in Cairo for an embassy, a billion dollars a year, and "peace" with the country that already kicked its ass half a dozen times.

We paid the bribe when Reagan was in power, under Bush, under Clinton, and under W.

The lesson here is not that Obama has "led from behind", it's that nothing we do matters. As Homer Simpson once wisely said, "You tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try."

When it comes to the Muslim Middle East, the best thing America can do is disengage. Stop sending them money, and start remembering the old adage: it's a problem, but it's not my problem.

The Egyptians blamed the US for their problems under their last dictator. They then blamed the US for their problems under the Muslim Brotherhood. I give it two weeks before they begin to blame the US, once again, for those same old problems which will face them under whoever it is rises out of the dust to assume power.

There is nothing that we can do which will make them like us, so why should we care?

Moreover, those who think that getting rid of the Muslim Brotherhood makes Israel safer just don't know their history. Every Egyptian attack on Israel since statehood has come under the leadership of the Egyptian military.

IMHO, it matters little to the security of Israel who is in power in Cairo. What keeps Israel safe is Israel's military might. If this generation of Egyptians has forgotten this, then perhaps it is time for Israel to teach Egypt another hard lesson?

While I do believe that Israel's security is generally in the best interests of the US, I also believe that our constant hand wringing about Israel is misguided. Israel has proven herself over and over again that she is capable of defending herself. What Israel needs more than anything else is moral support.

Arab and Muslim countries have many myths about the world, but one of the dumbest is the myth that if it wasn't for the US then Israel would be wiped off the map.

In fact, if it wasn't for the US's constant meddling then Israel's neighbors would have been wiped off the map. Recall that in the last major war between Egypt and Israel -- instigated by the former military regime in Cairo -- that it was the US that asked Israel to draw its troops back over to its side of the Suez. If not for the US meddling, Israel might well have wiped Egypt off the map.

That is a historical lesson that should not be forgotten.

So, what should we do about Egypt? Nothing. Not our country, not our problem, and Israel is perfectly capable (indeed, more capable) of dealing with the problem more effectively then we are.

In fact, given that the corollary to our military aid to Israel is aid to Egypt and to the other Arab countries that surround it, I can't help but think that whatever good we think we are doing is cancelled by the harm of arming Israel's enemies.

Anyway, I've been meaning to post something along these lines for the last few days. It pissed me off when I saw all those signs claiming the Brotherhood was "Obama's bitch" to no end. I hate Obama, but he's still my President which makes him my problem. No, the Brotherhood is Egypt's bitch and it's time for Egyptians to take ownership of their own failures and stop blaming every one but themselves.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 01:51 PM | Comments |