EDITORIAL: The next Mideast war

Obama policies are pushing volatile region to the brink

By The Washington Times

The Obama administration is pressing a reset button to return the Middle East to the bad old days of open Arab-Israeli warfare. The White House is requiring participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in any prospective new Egyptian government, while the brothers themselves are telling their countrymen to “prepare for war.” The current crisis in Egypt and the Obama administration’s maladroit response are forcing strategists to consider conflict scenarios that had been mothballed since the 1970s.

The Camp David Accords have formed the bedrock of U.S. security policy in the Mideast region since they were signed in 1978. The strategic logic behind the accords was that no coalition of Arab states could have a chance of waging a successful conventional conflict against Israel without including powerful Egypt. Subtracting Cairo from the equation would mean no new Arab-Israeli wars.

The possibility now looms that Egypt could be back on the bad side of the ledger. Rather than reaching out to progressive, secular, Western-oriented dissident groups, who are more sympathetic to the United States and not virulently anti-Israel, President Obama is inexplicably placing his weight behind “important non-secular actors” such as the America-hating Muslim Brotherhood. A new government dominated by these Islamic extremists would almost certainly seek another round of conflict. The brothers have not only threatened war against Israel but also have a long term objective of “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

If Egypt falls under the sway of this band of religious zealots, it will quickly move backwards culturally, economically and politically. This revolution will empower and embolden radical Islamist groups seeking to destabilize other pro-Western regimes in the region. Actively promoting the fortunes of the Islamist parties makes neither strategic nor moral sense.

The Obama team maintains that giving prominence to the religious parties will “give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner.” This is nonsense. Empowering Islamists will promote regional instability and drive Egypt away from the United States and towards Iran, which is loudly promoting the Muslim Brotherhood’s cause. One of the first items on the agenda of a new hard-line Islamist government will be to renounce the Camp David accords and the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Next will be to lift the Egyptian part of the Gaza embargo and open a channel for arms flowing to Hamas. Iran will do its part by sending increased aid to Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria, and generally foment violence when possible.

Israel, the lone stable democracy and America’s most reliable ally in the Middle East, will then have openly hostile neighbors to the north and south, a weakened Jordan to the east, and uncertain support from the west. Israeli leaders already are wondering whether the current occupant of the White House would rush to the aid of the Jewish State in time of war or simply make a few speeches deploring the violence but leaving Israel to fend for itself.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton insisted the United States is “not advocating any specific outcome.” Some outcomes, however, are much worse than others. One of the worst would be a new coalition of radicalized, Islamist, anti-Western states facing off with Israel and working against U.S. interests in the region. Unlike previous such coalitions, this time they would be able to count on support from Iran, which may soon add nuclear weapons into the mix.

Mr. Obama is in over his head with this crisis and may end up helping dismantle the only positive and lasting achievement of Jimmy Carter’s administration. The Obama team could not have better orchestrated a looming existential crisis for Israel and the Mideast if they had tried.

February 5, 2011 | 7 Comments »

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  1. Isaiah 19
    A Prophecy Against Egypt

    1 A prophecy against Egypt:

    See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud
    and is coming to Egypt.
    The idols of Egypt tremble before him,
    and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.

    2 “I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian—
    brother will fight against brother,
    neighbor against neighbor,
    city against city,
    kingdom against kingdom.
    3 The Egyptians will lose heart,
    and I will bring their plans to nothing;
    they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,
    the mediums and the spiritists.
    4 I will hand the Egyptians over
    to the power of a cruel master,
    and a fierce king will rule over them,”
    declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

    5 The waters of the river will dry up,
    and the riverbed will be parched and dry.
    6 The canals will stink;
    the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up.
    The reeds and rushes will wither,
    7 also the plants along the Nile,
    at the mouth of the river.
    Every sown field along the Nile
    will become parched, will blow away and be no more.
    8 The fishermen will groan and lament,
    all who cast hooks into the Nile;
    those who throw nets on the water
    will pine away.
    9 Those who work with combed flax will despair,
    the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.
    10 The workers in cloth will be dejected,
    and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.

    11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools;
    the wise counselors of Pharaoh give senseless advice.
    How can you say to Pharaoh,
    “I am one of the wise men,
    a disciple of the ancient kings”?

    12 Where are your wise men now?
    Let them show you and make known
    what the LORD Almighty
    has planned against Egypt.
    13 The officials of Zoan have become fools,
    the leaders of Memphis are deceived;
    the cornerstones of her peoples
    have led Egypt astray.
    14 The LORD has poured into them
    a spirit of dizziness;
    they make Egypt stagger in all that she does,
    as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.
    15 There is nothing Egypt can do—
    head or tail, palm branch or reed.

    16 In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the LORD Almighty raises against them. 17 And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the LORD Almighty is planning against them.

    18 In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.[a]

    19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. 21 So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them. 22 The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.

    23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing[b] on the earth. 25 The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

  2. (Oatmeal, by the way-are we related, we think alike?)

    You probably are related. Oat claims genetic affinity with half the population in the world. Why anyone would want to claim genetic affinity or otherwise with oat is one of the great unsolved mysteries.

  3. @BlandOatmeal-

    Exactly!! Distraction from his incompetence at home! Anytime serious questions about him, and his actions come up – boom – another man made disaster instigated if not promoted by him, and his cronies.
    His Birth Certificate has taken a turn he needs, and wants to burry, the manipulated jobs numbers- actual unemployment is 9.8% (underemployment is 17.8%)- I could go on.

    Another thing, the betrayal of Britain by giving away their secrets regarding nukes to the russians to get the START Treaty against Britains opinion, what makes one think he would support our dear ally Israel in time of need?

    (Oatmeal, by the way-are we related, we think alike?)

  4. To say that the Israeli-Egyptian treaty helped keep the peace between those countries is a grave mistake.What kept the peace was Israel’s military superiority. Where is that superiority now? Egypt is armed to the teeth with high tech weapons of all sorts, including planes and tanks given to them through billions of dollars of U.S. “aid”. If and when the Islamic extremists take over Egypt who do you think those weapons will be pointed at?

  5. The following may help to explain Obama’s pyromaniac behavior:

    At a time when corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong.

    The U.S. economy added just 36,000 jobs in January, according to today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Remember, 125,000 are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of Americans wanting and needing work. And 300,000 a month are needed — continuously, for five years — if we’re to get back to anything like the employment we had before the Great Recession.

    In other words, today’s employment report should be sending alarm bells all over official Washington. Granted, unusually bad weather may have accounted for some of the reluctance of employers to hire in January. But even considering the weather, the economy is still terribly sick. (Technical note: The official rate of unemployment fell to 9 percent from 9.4 percent, but that’s because more workers have left the labor market, too discouraged to continue looking for work. The official rate reflects how many people are actively looking for work.)

    We have two economies. The first is in recovery. The second remains in a continuous depression.


    This is the classic case of a failed leader, trying to deflect attention from his failures at home by stirring up trouble overseas. The US has its hands full, with that rabid dog in the White House. Israel is on its own, as it hasn’t been for a long time. At least the Saudis, Jordanians and the current Egyptian government are up against the same enemies as you in Israel; and you might be able to strike a clandestine deal among yourselves. If you can’t do that, may heaven help you all. Don’t come running to the US. We don’t want you. Go to Canada; they’ll take anyone.

  6. Mr. Obama is in over his head with this crisis and may end up helping dismantle the only positive and lasting achievement of Jimmy Carter’s administration.

    Whoever believes that the Camp David Accords were a positive is an idiot.

    The next war with Egypt will certainly substantiate my opinion.

    The Obama team could not have better orchestrated a looming existential crisis for Israel and the Mideast if they had tried.

    Who still thinks they were not trying to do just that?

  7. ‘Terror attack on Egypt-Israel gas pipeline in El-Arish’
    02/05/2011 09:58

    Egyptian state television reports masked men set off detonation at gas terminal near pipeline in northern Sinai causing massive flames; gas supply to Israel cut off following explosion; Jerusalem monitoring situation.
    Talkbacks (3)
    A group of masked men set off a detonation at a gas terminal near the Israel-Egypt gas pipeline in El-Arish, Egypt in the northern Sinai early on Saturday morning, setting off a massive fire along the pipeline, Egyptian state television reported.

    Residents say they heard the sound of an explosion, and that massive flames shot into the air. Egyptian state television referred to the incident as a “terrorist” attack.