The Egyptian Morass and U.S foreign policy Inanities

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.

About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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