Thursday 15 August 2013

What is next for Egypt?

An edited version of this article was first published by me on my Facebook page on the 15th of August, 2013 it has now been updated.  As with all items dealing with current affairs, with a rapid turn of events, they become outdated very quickly.  Anyway, here it is for the record.  It is in response to an article “Is Obama An Enabler of Tyranny in Egypt?” by Jacob Heilbrunn

So far Jacob Heilbrunn, in my view, as this article shows, comes closest to understanding the situation in the Middle East. American foreign policy fronted by President Obama promised to be the arbiter between rival interests to ensure that Democratic policies take hold in that part of the world. This idea looks more in the distant now than it has ever been; a fictional notion and at best rhetorical one.  In Egypt as in Iraq America encouraged the institution of democracy and as in Iraq relinquished it the moment they came against difficulties.  We find instead only violence and sectarianism taking hold with increasing speed inflicted throughout the region with, very probably, more to come.  In the meantime America on the sidelines murmuring a return to the conference table rather than its standard carrot and stick foreign policy which is in desperate need now more than ever.  President Obama's strongest condemnation today “force was not the way to resolve political differences”.  Wow, you don’t say! This day was after 14th of August 2013, a day of violence when some claim about 2000 people killed.

We see evidence of the old shell of the Egyptian state which has, for many years, provided a framework for working political despotism.  A working framework that continued but changed its colours into a democratically elected government that was to be an example of policy reforms for much of the Middle East but has since become abused. Egypt, the sick man of the Near East, is witnessing its power as well as its culture assaulted by religious zealots its voting public denied their democratic rights.  The country is disintegrating into anarchy while the landmark squares of Cairo are burning; lighting up the differences and intolerances that seem so irredeemable for so many.  In the face of, and in common with, an endemic lack of compromise in the Middle East particularly when religion has much to influence; we see in Egypt exposing, without mercy, visible religious vindictiveness on all those who do not wish to share in all of its doctrines.  For now Islam's consideration of tolerance and obedience within its ideology must be the traction that can or should bring compromises from all sides to consider the duality of peace and reason.

America and the west and their allies need to refrain from the Machiavellian game that is inherent in occidental diplomacy.  They must not abandon Egypt at this hour of need but try to break this lock jam by inviting both Saudi Arabia and Iran to a conference table.  As leaders of the Sunni and Shia sects respectively, in a tripartite discussion encouraging both to engage in compromising dialogue to show the human side of the Islamic religion to bring peace to the region.  By spearheading an Arab conference and taking a grip on the situation, America has a chance to show its leadership qualities.  America must be the nexus between the two sides, if on nothing else but, on humanitarian grounds to end this bloodshed and political turmoil.  By using its irreligious impartial statehood, it must bring together the protagonists or their Arch-rival superiors to the negotiating table, to quell this spiral of escalating violence.  With a status of a superpower, with its eye on the local ideological rivalry, it is incumbent upon America as well as to its interest to try its utmost to bring peace to the region and its suffering people. 

The present tragedy in Egypt will not last as it is but indeed, it will get worse.  With such weaknesses exposed by the State, it has become fertile ground for the Al-Qaeda to infiltrate with all its fire power.  Al –Qaeda will undermine any effort for democracy or reconciliation and indeed the Muslim Brotherhood provides soft ground for their cause.  Egypt will be of strategic importance for Al-Qaida's  geopolitical interest.  If it cannot claim it by democratic means through a proxy party, it is quite likely to claim it through subversion and violence.  The ease of which it has proved it can penetrate a confused or a politically disorientated Arab country thus far, Egypt does not hold for it any impossible barriers.  America you must act now before it is too late.

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