With news cameras leaving Sanford Fl for destinations in Detroit and London it is easy to take our eyes off important global issues that will affect the US economy and possibly our security. The recent coup d’état in Egypt appears to be part of a cycle that was described by Farag Fouda (an Egyptian intellectual that was assassinated over 20 years) as a cycle of tyranical military rule followed by tyrannical religious rule. In other words, the cycle is not been broken, but only continues with new players. During the spring revolution, the Islamic Brotherhood chose to operate through the political process and won at the ballot box. Although the process was flawed and could be challenged, Morsi’s party did win the election. I was disappointed in how the US leveraged its hegemony during the spring revolution and subsequent elections, I am equally concerned now as to the stability within the region.
Egypt controls the Suez canal and ten percent of the World’s trade passes through it each year. Almost 6% of global oil supplies pass through the canal. Imagine if the canal were closed, the disruption to trade that would result and the price impact on oil. The Islamic Brotherhood tried the ballot box will they now use bullets? The Coptic Pope supported the counter revolution (coup d’état) and the Brotherhood said they will not forget. One Coptic priest has already been murdered (http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Coptic-priest-in-Egypt-shot-dead-in-Sinai-attack-318929). Will a battle between Coptics and the Brotherhood spread to other non-military groups in Egypt? If a civil was breaks out in Egypt how secure will Israel become?
The Egyptian culture needs to find a balance between secular bureaucratic rule and the infusion of Islamic beliefs. One of the critical challenges is that unlike the Judeo-Christian beliefs that are the foundation of our government and laws, Islam is a religion, culture and law in one unified belief system. The lessons from the 2011 Egyptian uprising and the Arab Spring should inform a stronger US policy in 2013. The current instability is a clear and present danger to the US and requires deft handling of US power and influence to encourage the Egyptian military to address root cause issues that have hindered Egypt’s ability to reap the full benefits of modernity.
The following article by Samuel Tadros will provide a much clearer picture of Egypt’s current state and how they arrived at this point in history (http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=9672). Eric Trager and Robert Satloff provide an excellent video that also addresses this situation it can be found at the Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of US Middle East Policy http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/understanding-egypts-tamarod-revolution
John Reneski |Full Sail University| Winter Park Fl|@johnreneski