What is the stupidest thing the present regime in Egypt could do?
Release Morsi from custody and immediately begin negotiations to bring the Muslim Brotherhood back into some sort of coalition government.
Who is advocating this?
Why the Obama foreign policy team of course. It’s very difficult to imagine a more inept foreign policy team than the one assembled under Obama.
Somehow, with the help of an American ambassador, Ms Patterson, who evidently saw herself as a reincarnation of Lord Cromer, the infamous epitome of imperialism, and British High Commissioner of Egypt, the Obama team has managed to alienate both sides of the conflict in Egypt, and reduce the American influence in Egypt to a mere shadow of its former self.
The American Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns has spent two days in Cairo having cups of tea and biscuits ( behind closed doors since it is Ramadan) and having polite chats with genial Egyptian provisional government hosts, agreeing that democracy and free elections are indeed a swell idea. Burns, according to the leaking Egyptian bureaucracy, was carrying the message that our policy, being for truth and justice, urged a release of ex-president Mursi, would – be protege of Islamist Turkish PM Erdogan , the supporter of the Muslim brotherhood, and a quick compromise with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, of course, refused to meet with Burns as did other factions. No doubt Burns will return with the uplifting news that his hosts agreed in principle with his message.
One can also be certain that General al Sisi, understanding that this would be suicide, will not do so. He knows that the slightest back tracking now will be seen as a fatal weakness and ultimately leading to an Erdogan Turkish result…i.e., an undermining of the military leadership and ultimate arrest of these government officials. There can be no turning back at this point. Anyone who understands the way Middle Eastern politics works, and their culture, should know this. But to give Burns his due, he was probably just carrying out the orders of his bosses. He certainly knows better.
A long time writer on Egyptian affairs, Cherif Bassouni has written that Mursi had intended to replace General al- Sisi with General Ahmad Wasfi who was known as an MB sympathizer, and was (is) Commander of the Egyptian third army in the Sinai. As I have written previously, Al-Sisi struck first.
So it is with Egyptian and Middle east politics.