Monday, August 19, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood in Retreat, Part 2

For Part 1 of "Muslim Brotherhood in Retreat" click HERE

Egypt's War of Attrition - Ron Ben-Yishai

What seems to be utter chaos in Egypt is in fact the result of planned strategies, both by the Muslim Brotherhood and by the army-backed interim government. Those currently setting the tone of the bloodshed are the Muslim Brotherhood.

The new strategy is a war of attrition on the interim government and the defense forces, with violent clashes in dozens of places across the country.
These clashes grant the Muslim Brotherhood distinct advantages. Losses among Muslim Brotherhood members cause the people's support of the interim government and the army to decline.

Fatalities bring about increasing international pressure on the interim government and the army. The clashes increase militants' motivation, as well as Brotherhood supporters' desire for revenge.

The U.S. and Europe are trying to pressure the Egyptian regime into compromising with the Brotherhood, ignoring the fact that the Brotherhood is not willing to compromise, and believes it can still reinstate Morsi.      
(Ynet News)

Israel Quietly Maintaining Ties with Egyptian Military

    Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador in Egypt, said the scenario of the Camp David accords unraveling was highly unlikely. He said it was highly doubtful the U.S. would cut off aid to Egypt and he could not envision Egypt canceling the peace treaty. "They have no interest in engaging in another conflict they have neither the time nor the energy for," he said. "They need us now, with or without American aid." 

(AP-Washington Post)

The Truth about Egypt - Michael J. Totten

Eric Trager, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and an expert on Egypt, explains:

"The Muslim Brotherhood is certainly not democratic. Its view of Egyptian politics is one in which it should control everything. For example, while it is willing to pursue power through elections, once it comes into office its goal is to establish an Islamic state in which it and its institutions control the Egyptian bureaucracy and institute its version of Islam while sidelining and oppressing all opponents."

"'Moderate' is an even less accurate word in describing the Brotherhood.... The process of becoming a Muslim Brother is a five-to-eight-year ordeal where potential Muslim Brothers are vetted through five tiers of membership that tests their commitment to the cause and their willingness to take orders. Anyone who has second thoughts about the organization, the ideology, or their willingness to blindly do what they're told, is out."

"A lot of observers thought it would become more moderate when forced to actually govern, but what those analysts overlooked is that the Brotherhood prevents moderates from becoming members and prevents members from becoming moderates."
(World Affairs Journal)

Israel's Message on Egypt: Keep Cairo from Falling Apart, Then Worry about Democracy
- Herb Keinon

  • Israel's message to Washington and key European capitals regarding Egypt is that the military should be supported to help get the country back on track, an Israeli official said.
  • "The name of the game right now is not democracy," the official said Sunday. "The name of the game is that there needs to be a functioning state. After you put Egypt back on track, then talk about restarting the democratic process there."
  • The official said that in the present reality the only actor that can assert authority in Egypt and keep it from descending into chaos is the military. "Like it or not, no one else can run the country right now." 
  • "You can scold [Gen.] Sisi all you wish, but at the end of the day, you want a functional government to rule the country." Otherwise, he said, the country would risk falling into an anarchy that would be exploited by local and global jihad forces.
(Jerusalem Post)


U.S. Should Hold Its Nose and Back Military - Bret Stephens
  • A policy is a set of pragmatic choices between unpalatable alternatives designed to achieve the most desirable realistic result.
  • Restoring the dictatorship-in-the-making that was Morsi's elected government is neither desirable nor realistic.
  • Bringing the Brotherhood into some kind of inclusive coalition government in which it accepts a reduced political role in exchange for calling off its sit-ins and demonstrations is not realistic.
  • What is realistic and desirable is for the military to succeed in its confrontation with the Brotherhood as quickly and convincingly as possible. And it beats the alternatives of outright civil war or victory by a vengeful Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Politics in Egypt today is a zero-sum game: Either the military wins, or the Brotherhood does. If the U.S. wants influence, it needs to hold its nose and take a side.
(Wall Street Journal)

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