August 22, 2013
In a fresh bras de fer the military establishment ruling Egypt has arrested the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammad Badie, the movement from which Mohammad Morsi stems his political power and leadership, as suspect for being cooperating with Palestinian Hamas. How strategically clever this decision could be?
The Muslim Brotherhood has rushed to substitute Badie by passing the leadership to Mahmoud Ezzat, a doctor that has been many times co-sentenced with Badie during the 1960s and 1970s. Ezzat is supposed to be a radical political figure which can pull ahead both political and administrative skills. In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood has replied in the army’s decision to sentence Badie by putting in charge a figure capable of further polarizing tension in Egypt and pull the strings at the edge. Ceteris paribus, a strategic decision.
The Arab Spring in Egypt has officially turned to be the most darkened winter of the last decades. After the waves of protests against Mubarak, and the precipitated fall of Morsi, the army is acting as it was expected to, having drawn the public into a vicious circle of self-defeat: no political and strategic thinking and no plan to rescue Egypt from a civil war similar to what we experience in Syria. But with one additional factor: Egypt is the largest Muslim country, nourishing all religious doctrines, prone to unleash a religious war and dismantle the fragile security of the entire region.
When heading to power, the leadership of the Egyptian army has promised to maintain security and peace during the transitional period up to the forthcoming elections. Yet it is behaving in the extremely opposite manner, therefore igniting grievances, preparing the public for bloodshed and leaving no space for democratic stability and the new political candidates to compete in equal terms. But isn’t this the strategy of the army when a coup d’etat arises? Split and impose the order of authoritarianism, just like the belligerent mentality pertaining any relevant coup d’etat around the globe.
On the other side, both the United States and the European Union are not willing to stop infiltrating Egypt with billions of dollars considered as aid assistance. The political aspect of this problem is that by keep sending money to Egypt, US and Europe are indirectly supporting the status quo of Egypt. The pragmatic aspect of the problem is that as long as the role of army is ratified in practice as the political modus in Egypt, these aid packages are destined to the army and therefore exploited by it. In other words, the leadership of the army can use this aid to solidify its power and further split Egypt to a disastrous path.
In the midst of this development, it is at least weird to examine how the United States and the European Union had left ElBaradei, a well-known, pro-western, and mild political figure get away. Actually the lack of support towards ElBaradei by the Westerns shows that there is no immediate interest to avoid a possible civil war in Egypt. I hope it is not the case, but the facts show the opposite.
In a wider perspective, there is a lethal triangle growing in Middle East which seems to be uncontrollable in every respect. The triangle is composed by Syria, Egypt, and soon Lebanon. Again and again, Middle East is abandoned to fractious politics and the response of the international community seems to be at least outdated. The danger of a regional conflict is no more a fictional scenario; It might be the case in the months to come.Dimitris Rapidis