Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Egypt Now Says"Iran Is Not An Enemy State" And Wants To 'Open A New Page'

Yes Obama leaning on Mubarak to step down certainly has brought dividends - for America's enemies.

For over thirty years, ever since Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, Egypt has cut all ties with Iran.

That has been an important part of America's Middle East strategy, with Egypt as one of the leaders of the Arab World along with the Saudis and a cornerstone of the Arab versus Persian, Sunni versus Shia balance in the region. No more.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil el-Arabi said today that Egypt is ready to “open a new page” with Iran.

“The Egyptian government doesn’t consider Iran to be an enemy state,” MENA cited el-Arabi as saying. “We’re opening a new page with all countries, including Iran.”

The Iranians already have an alliance with Omar al-Bashri's Sudan as well as bases there. Egypt will just be one more stepping stone, especially when the Egyptians turn a blind eye to Iran's arming of Hamas via Sudan.

That has implications for NATO's soft underbelly in the Mediterranean as well as for Israel.

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B.Poster said...

In this case, Mr. Mubarak almost certainly would have fallen even if the US had done absolutely nothing. Even if the US had intervened in all out attempt to save the Mubarak government, the chances of actually being able to do this were an iffy prospect at best. Unfortunately by leaning on Mubarak and applying pressure in addition to what was already being applied this meant the government fell faster than it would have otherwise.

Had things occurred without this excessive pressure from us the fall would have taken a little bit longer. In the interm, it is very likely that other groups who could and would act as counterweight to Islamic terrorism would have formed and gained strength. In other words, we would be in a far better position right now. Essentially the best course of action would have been to stay out of it.

We may have thought that by "jumping to the winning side" we would curry favor with the winners. This doesn't seem to have worked out so well right now. Now people in government seem poised to make the same mistake in Libya!!

Freedom Fighter said...

I'm not sure I agree with you that Mubarak would have fallen regardless.

B.Poster said...

We may never know for certain the answer to that question, since we did intervene to force Mubarak out. Essentially here's why I think he would not have survived regardless what we did or did not do. 1.)He had lost the support of the military. 2.)He had lost the support in the media that could have served to gin up support for him perhaps at home or abroad. 3.)He had lost the support of the a significant portion of his populace at home.

Reason 1 is the most important. Reason number 2 makes reason number 3 all but an inevitable outcome. To compare and contrast this situation with the situation in Libya. Mr. Khaddaffi still seems to enjoy the support of the bulk of the Libyan military and he still has some support in the media. The longer he can stretch this out the more that support will likely grow.

Since we seem to know so little about the Libyan opposition, do we even know if they have broad support among the Libyan populace? The only reason they enjoyed so much success initally is because Khaddaffi and his forces were taken by surprise. Given that we've chosen to intervene here without really knowing what we're getting ourselves into, if the anti-Khaddaffi forces don't have much success among the populace this will be one INCREDIBLE MESS we will have gotten ourselves into.

Finally with regards to Egypt, even if we wanted to try and save the Mubarak government, it was unlikely we could have even had we thrown every thing we had into it. As such, our best course of action would have been to allow things to occurr at the pace they would have occurred and because folks wish to survive groups who would have served as a counter weight to the Islamists would have likely gained in strength. We could have acted to identify these groups and support those groups whose interests are most compatible with our interests and who would have represented our values whatever those may be. We didn't do that. Again, since we didn't do that we cannot know for certain what the outcome would have been. I just find it difficult to envision a scenario where the Mubarak government would have survived. Furthermore had it survived it was growing hostile to America and would have eventually cut us loose any way!!