Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Egypt Moves Forward

El-Sissi Takes the Reins -Raymond Stock

On Sunday June 8, Egypt's former defense minister, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, was inaugurated as the sixth president--a de facto pharaoh, though chosen by the people--of the oldest nation-state on earth.

As expected, Egyptians overwhelmingly voted May 26-28 to elect him to lead the country, which he as ruled indirectly since overthrowing his predecessor, Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the face of massive popular demand last July 3.

From the moment he ousted Morsi--who had turned a narrow electoral mandate in June 2012 into a brutal Islamist dictatorship almost overnight, alienating the vast majority of the country--the hugely popular El-Sissi has been ceaselessly attacked by a wide array of forces both at home and abroad.

Here are [important] things to know about the new president of the largest Arab country.

1. Despite claims to the contrary, El-Sissi does have an electoral mandate.
2. Despite excesses, El-Sissi's war against the Islamists is ours as well.

[T]he Muslim Brotherhood -- wrongly considered "moderate" -- are in fact radical[s] committed to the overthrow of less militant regimes and the destruction of America and the West, even while gladly accepting our assistance in the meantime.

Yet instead of cutting aid to the Muslim Brotherhood government, [President] Obama, who reached out to the Muslim Brotherhood in his June 4, 2009 speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, increased it. [H]is then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, overrode human rights objections from Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who tried to put it on hold, pending review.

As a result, most Egyptians now disdain our president as a hypocrite, and have applauded El-Sissi's recent agreement to buy an unprecedented $2 billion in military equipment from Russia, signaling that our more than three-decades old alliance is now in serious danger.

Obama [has] effectively froze aid to post-Morsi Egypt...

[L]ike [Anwar] Sadat, especially given who might follow him, we may very much miss El-Sissi when he is gone. Let's try for a better ending this time.
[Middle East Forum]

Israel Congratulates Egypt's Sisi on Election
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Egyptian president-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Friday and "congratulated him on his victory in the election," the premier's office said. A statement noted "the strategic importance of the ties between the states and of upholding the peace agreement, and wished the Egyptian people a future of stability, prosperity and peace."  

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