Addendum: Will Egypt Become the Next Iran?

Earlier today, I posted Obama’s Response to Iran Compared With His Response to Egypt Raises Troubling Questions. Then,  I came upon this in The Telegraph, and found it so relevant to that discussion, that I had to pass it along: Is Egypt About to to Become the Next Iran? by Con Coughlin. I add this question to the ones I raised earlier.

  1. liberal jim

    The policies of the ruling elites in DC for the past 20 years Clinton/Bush/Obama toward Iran and Egypt has been one that is based on fantasies and not reality.   The idea that these countries are populated by freedom loving democrats that are oppressed by Muslim minorities is absurd.  The idea that the US can sanction Iran or bribe Egypt into being more accommodating to our desires is counter productive as the sanctions against Saddam proved to be. 

    After exhausting ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan we are finally allowing the anti-western factions in Syria to slaughter each other.  Hopefully the conflict will continue and many more will be killed.  This is what a successful foreign policy looks like.   Costs the US no money and no lives and our enemies kill each other. 

  2. SPare

    Egypt already IS the next Iran.  It hasn’t yet metastasized (hence the “next”), but it has been brewing for at least 80 years.  Egypt has long been the centrepoint of the development of the Islamist ideology, dating back at least as far as Hassan al Banna.  Al Qaeda is essentially the frankenstein monster of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood splinter ideology bound together with Yemeni/Saudi money

    The only thing that has changed was a dictatorship keeping a lid on the explosion.

  3. Anne R. Pierce
    SPare: Egypt already IS the next Iran.  It hasn’t yet metastasized (hence the “next”), but it has been brewing for at least 80 years.  Egypt has long been the centrepoint of the development of the Islamist ideology, dating back at least as far as Hassan al Banna.  Al Qaeda is essentially the frankenstein monster of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood splinter ideology bound together with Yemeni/Saudi money

    I believe Egypt is more divided than you indicate, and recent protests against Morsi are not surprising. Most in the original April 6 movement, and many in Egyptian society, wanted genuine democratic reform. It is true that the Brotherhood was already a formidable, popular force, in part due to so many Egyptians returning from work in Saudi Arabia converted, and due to the newly powerful influence via media of Wahhabi preachers.  But, I would argue that the majority of Egyptians were not converts.  I recommend the Arab Human Development report, reports by Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First;  books by James Gelvin, Allaa Al Aswany and Shadi Hamid; work by journalists/scholars: David Kramer, Frida Ghitis, Richard Davis Hanson, Stephen McInerny, Carolyn Glick and Barry Rubin.  A broader picture emerges.

  4. Donald Todd

    Given the treatment of Egyptian Coptic Christians advancing from the previous Egyptian administration, one might suggest that Egypt is already the next Iran, albeit not yet ready to attack Israel on its own.  Give it time. 

  5. Anne R. Pierce
    Donald Todd: Given the treatment of Egyptian Coptic Christians advancing from the previous Egyptian administration, one might suggest that Egypt is already the next Iran, albeit not yet ready to attack Israel on its own.  Give it time.  · 7 minutes ago

    Agree that the horrible persecution of Christian Copts  (and the ignoring of the story by American politicians and the American press) – is a bad sign, to say the least.

  6. SPare
    Anne R. Pierce

    SPare: …

    I believe Egypt is more divided than you indicate, and recent protests against Morsi are not surprising. Most in the original April 6 movement, and many in Egyptian society, wanted genuine democratic reform…

    I hope that you are correct.  My concern is that it will be about as meaningful as the reformists who collaborated with Khomeini in overthrowing the Shah, only to be marginalized.  Also note that the Iranian population is not in love with its leadership, yet that does not stop Iran from being a bad actor in the region (and the globe, for that matter).

    I noted in a discussion in a foreign policy course that I’m taking now that we are still living with one strategic disaster from the Carter Administration.  Between this, the Syrian debacle, being shut out of an Asian trade pact and Iranian nuclear breakout, we could be on the verge of 4 strategic disasters.

  7. Anne R. Pierce
    SPare

    Anne R. Pierce

    SPare: …

    I believe Egypt is more divided than you indicate, and recent protests against Morsi are not surprising. Most in the original April 6 movement, and many in Egyptian society, wanted genuine democratic reform…

    I hope that you are correct.  My concern is that it will be about as meaningful as the reformists who collaborated with Khomeini in overthrowing the Shah, only to be marginalized.  Also note that the Iranian population is not in love with its leadership, yet that does not stop Iran from being a bad actor in the region (and the globe, for that matter).

    I noted in a discussion in a foreign policy course that I’m taking now that we are still living with one strategic disaster from the Carter Administration.  Between this, the Syrian debacle, being shut out of an Asian trade pact and Iranian nuclear breakout, we could be on the verge of 4 strategic disasters. · 4 minutes ago

    I hear you. My sense is that the percentage of the Egyptian population that is with Morsi is less than the percentage of the Iranian population that originally was with Khomeini. What do you think?

  8. Anne R. Pierce

    I also recommend Crisis Over President’s Powers Exposes Egypt’s Divisions, Reuters. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/11/24/egypt-president-idINDEE8AN04Q20121124

  9. M1919A4

    Egypt may be a somewhat different case from Iran because of the Sunni / Shi’ism divide; I am unsure about that.  

    But, neither society seems to me to have the intellectual equipment for thinking  in the same way that we do about man as a political creature, endowed with rights and meaning by “Nature and Nature’s God”.  That, I believe, is required as the foundation of democratic political organization.

    I note from the morning news reports that the new Egyptian “constitution” presently is being vetted to ensure that it is sufficiently “Islamic”.  In the past, that has meant ensuring that nothing in it impairs its congruence with Shari’a   

    But, so long as the constitution is consistent with Shari’a  it cannot be a true fundamental law: always Shari’a will be a law more fundamental behind whatever is agreed upon by the politicians.  That principle is enshrined in the present system in Iran and I’ll bet that it is so in whatever results in Egypt.

    I think that there will have to be a thorough reinterpretation of Islam by its scholars and judges before we can expect democratic government in Moslem lands and peace with them.  

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