Egypt: Who is really pulling the strings? (ISRAEL HAYOM OP-ED) Dr. Liad Porat 08/15/12)
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Dr. Mohammed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood,
describes the month of Ramadan in his weekly missive as a month of
triumph. This begs the question, however, of who is the triumphant
one, and who is the defeated one, as of today?
During the Free Officer´s Revolution in Egypt in July of 1952, talks
were held between the officers´ leadership and the Muslim
Brotherhood. Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, then president of Egypt,
dedicated days and hours to meetings with the heads of the
Brotherhood in efforts to understand their true nature and
intentions. Once he was convinced that their ideological direction
was contrary to his world view and posed a threat to him, Nasser
sought an opportunity to strike them down.
In October of 1954, he found a way. Nasser gave a speech in
Alexandria before signing an agreement that saw the withdrawal of
British Armed Forces from Egypt. The speech was broadcast over
transistor radios to all of Egypt, and in the background, eight shots
were heard. The shots all missed the charismatic president. He
immediately regained his composure, realizing that he had found the
opportunity he had been waiting for. The following day, the
Brotherhood was accused of having tried to assassinate the head of
state; droves of Brotherhood members were arrested and thrown in
jail. Thus, in one fell swoop, Nasser´s regime paralyzed the Muslim
Brotherhood´s active and organized resistance.
The Free Officer´s movement, led by the confident Nasser, ruled in
Egypt for many years. It was Nasser´s successor, Anwar Sadat, who
later opened the prison doors and let the Brotherhood resume public
activity. Sadat held a meeting at the start of his term with the
imprisoned leader of the Brotherhood, and got the impression that the
movement could help him establish his legitimacy. What actually
happened, however, was that the creature turned on its creator: the
Brotherhood, which Sadat expected to support him and to help him
combat the Left and the Nasser-ites, were the ones who ultimately
stripped him of his legitimacy. They did so in such a way as to
encourage Sadat´s eventual assassins.
Former President Hosni Mubarak also decided to release Brotherhood
activists from prison and to allow them to be active again in the
public and political spheres. Throughout Mubarak´s 30-year term, the
Brotherhood gradually and consistently gained confidence.
For months, President Mohammed Morsi and leaders of the Brotherhood
have sat with military generals, trying to figure out which of them
is less or more of a threat to the Brotherhood´s ultimate endeavor:
capturing and cementing their hold on more and more power positions.
Morsi, much like the Free Officers of 60 years ago, knew he had to
find an opportunity to rid the military of the generals who were less
beneficial. This opportunity presented itself when terrorists killed
16 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai last week, and the ineptitude of the
military in the face of Sinai-based terror was exposed. The fact that
he had appointed a new prime minister, who tends to lean toward the
Brotherhood, also helped him.
At every turn, Morsi has had the full backing of Brotherhood
leadership, which has been restored to greatness since Mubarak´s
ouster. The Brotherhood lauded Morsi for ousting the military
leadership, regarding this move as a victory. As the president of
Egypt, it is clear to Morsi that a large part of the nation views the
Brotherhood as the only power capable of leading Egypt. But where is
it leading Egypt to?
Anyone who takes the deployment of Egyptian tanks and helicopters in
Sinai too lightly, regarding it as merely necessary at this point in
time, may soon get slapped in the face by reality. If you think that
Egypt´s deployment in Sinai is intended merely to take care of
Israel´s Sinai terror problem, you may have to think again. Egypt is
deploying (permanently, it seems) armed forces in Sinai at such an
extent that not only is it a violation of the peace treaty with
Israel, but it could pose a serious challenge for Israel should the
relations between the two countries deteriorate. This deterioration
will not just be a product of global jihad terror, it will first and
foremost be sparked by any renewed confrontation between Israel and
Hamas. Hamas, as we all know, was created in the Brotherhood´s image.
It was Morsi who urged Hamas to relocate its politburo to Cairo.
What seems to the casual observer now as cooperation or collaboration
between Egypt and Israel on security matters in Sinai may soon become
a serious military nuisance for Israel.
If we go back to Badie´s weekly missive about Muslim Ramadan
triumphs, including the "Egyptian victory" in October 1973 (the Yom
Kippur War), we see that this time, like in previous cases, the
Brotherhood´s victory is not just over an internal enemy, but is
intended to ultimately overcome an external enemy.
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