The Ghosts of Christmas Past

I may be wrong, but I believe most of us can see what’s coming.  Since the Arab Spring of 2011, we’ve waited.  Now it’s here.

Egypt.

Having witnessed a civil war explode in Syria, there’s a very good chance we’ll see the same sort of thing in Egypt.  With Mr. Morsi and the Islamic Brotherhood stripped and denuded of power and influence….seeing the Egyptian Army return to its previous status as savior of its country… unable to ascertain how much support and vitriol Muslims in that country have…seeing the country’s top jurist sworn in as temporary president…hearing the same chant about elections within 6 months…seeing the same people in Tahrir Square unhappy about (1) Mubarak and now (2) Morsi….isn’t the nation setting up for a civil war of its own?

The biggest questions hang over the Islamic Brotherhood.  How angry are they to have been displaced following a “democratic” election?  And, worse, are they armed sufficiently to challenge the ouster of their leader?  Are we destined, finally, for a face-off between secular citizens and jihadists who want only to live and rule in an Islamic state?

And what is the US supposed to do?  Egypt has been a long-time ally and received billions of dollars in aid.  We supported the elections a year ago.  Do we  now turn our backs on an almost “democratic” regime, regardless of its religious bent, or do we scream to the world that we are neutral?  Should we switch sides, support the secularists (the “revolutionaries”), send meaningful human health and rights’ aid to them, withholding only heavy weaponry?  Should we jump in, this time early, and try to avoid the massive bloodshed of Syria?  Nofly zones; embargoes on arms; economic sanctions?

As in Syria, what good choices does President Obama have?

We’ve watched Obama’s African (sub-Saharan and above) support decline.  Even the Germans are less trusting of him now than they were. Compare his Berlin speech before 200,000 listeners in 2009 to the speech he gave last week before 4,500 fairly suspicious people.  Having been in office not only during the recent economic meltdown, which affected nearly every country in the world and for which largely the US (and its “too big to fail banks”) is to blame, he  has been unable to control Congress, unable to close Guantanamo (about which our allies feel very strongly indeed), presided over the weakening of civil rights within his own country.  “Leading from behind” or simply unable to make up his mind whether or not to lead at all?

And what would partaking in an  action against another Muslim country mean?

Here we are on the Fourth of July remembering rather than being able to look forward with confidence.

Is this, as the saying goes, any way to run a railroad?

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3 thoughts on “The Ghosts of Christmas Past

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