The U.S. Working Group on Egypt, a Carnegie Endowment for Peace creation, co-chaired by Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution and Michele Dunne of Carnegie, recently wrote to President Obama expressing their profound concern over Egypt.
If we choose the wrong policies toward this major ally, they write, it will only “exacerbate persistent instability in that country."
“A failed attempt at democratic transition,” they continue, “has given way to intense polarization, frightening repression, and escalating violence” making Egypt an unreliable “security ally” and unfit “peace partner” for Israel, while threatening increased terrorism against American “targets” and “important interests.”
What planet do they live on?
The group thinks the fact that 98.1 percent of Egyptians, or 19.6 million of those who cast ballots, voted to adopt the new constitution is proof-positive the electorate was bullied into it. The same electorate that toppled three presidents of Egypt in the last three years? I don’t think so.
In fact, while conceding the interim government could have done better on the “demonstration law,” Wael Nawara, a columnist for Al-Monitor's Egypt Pulse, recently wrote that, “The Working Group on Egypt assumes that the Egyptian government is harsh and repressive. But does it realize that most Egyptians have often accused the interim government and its predecessors of being too soft and indecisive when standing up to those trying to drag their country to chaos and anarchy?”
Tsk-tsking Egyptian leaders, WGE presents a persnickety list of particulars required to certify the government is “taking steps to support a democratic transition,” or else we should use our leverage — i.e., cease U.S. military discount vouchers totaling less than 0.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, which are currently suspended.
Leverage? Egypt simply went to Russia to fill the vacuum in American leadership. Last week, Vladimir Putin endorsed Egyptian Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in his bid for president. The two countries are nearing a $3-billion arms deal financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Moscow's Vedomosti reported Friday. Quite a Valentine!
Meanwhile, back in Washington, clueless insiders fail to see the tide of Islamic fascism sweeping the Middle East and Egypt’s key role in reversing it, somehow believing if Egypt is forced to play nice, everyone, including the Muslim Brotherhood, will comply.
Truly, they have taken a page from British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlin who famously appeased Hitler with the Munich Agreement in September 1938 in the hopes of averting war, paving the way to the invasion of Poland a year later and declaration of war.
Pacifying terrorists, writes Nawara, “is like giving your arm to a shark hoping it will spare the rest of your body.”
Just as in World War II, the stakes could not be higher. Here's the Middle East chessboard, which Nawara succinctly spells out.
Contrary to WGE’s assertion, Israel thinks the current Egyptian government is a reliable security partner. Meanwhile, Libya is crawling with NATO-armed extremist groups turning that country into a militia state like Afghanistan, all the while it ships arms east to their comrades to do the same in Egypt. There, the Muslim Brotherhood attempts to divide the country into warring factions a la Beirut during its civil war, building on its work to destroy the country while in power, including granting terrorists safe haven in Sinai.
Farther east, Hamas, a Brotherhood affiliate, controls some 1,200 illegal tunnels under the Palestinian-Egyptian borders for smuggling in arms, fuel and goods, the customs for which line Hamas leaders’ pockets. Next is Syria, where “the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are declaring their own Islamist emirates, Afghan-style.”
And we’re worried about crowd control in Egypt?Retired Army Major Gen. Paul E. Vallely is chairman of Stand Up America. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions for editorials, available at this link.