Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Egypt lurches toward extremism
As you may know, as a condition of the Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt brokered by Jimmy Carter, the US must every year, fork over what has grown to $1.2Billion in US taxpayer-funded aid to Egypt. That's never been a problem as long as Mubarak ruled Egypt. But now that Mubarak is gone, the Muslim Brotherhood won 50% of the recent voting and are sure to shift that country decidedly toward a more radical form of Islamism than under Mubarak. As a result, the US is threatening to withhold our aid as an incentive for Egypt's ruling authority, who ever that ends up being, to stay moderate and honor the peace accords.
In reply to our threats, the Muslim Brotherhood has warned the US that any cessation in aid would put in great jeopardy the peace agreement with Israel.
What is a meddling superpower to do? Do we stop the aid and hope it compels the citizens of Egypt to demand a moderate government that honors the Camp David accords, or do we cave to the Brotherhood's veiled extortion and keep sending the money, essentially participating in a protection racket on Israel's behalf?
Polls in Egypt indicate that around 70% of the citizens don't even want US aid any longer. Maybe we should withdraw it on those grounds.
Having said all that, if Egypt then, under the Brotherhood's direction, starts something with Israel and the whole Mideast gets entangled in a move against the "Zionist state", we cannot then go to Israel when the dust is settled and demand they give back all the land they just won like we did with Sinai which Israel won fair and square in 1967. Israel will likely own the Sinai Peninsula again, and who knows what other parts of various countries who attacked her, and I doubt she'd again relinquish that won land anyway.
To the victor go the spoils.