One of the key supposed foreign policy achievements of the Obama administration is turning into a disaster.
Egypt is quickly devolving into chaos with only bad likely outcomes, as Barry Rubin writes:
Only days before parliamentary elections, Egypt is in a huge crisis whose outcome will determine the future of almost 80 million people and perhaps the Arabic-speaking world’s fate for decades to come.
Will the army go ahead with elections that will be won by the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Salafist groups, thus producing an Islamist regime?
Or will it cancel elections, declare martial law in some form, and set off a passionate civil conflict? …
Despite the persistent mocking of Western officials, media, and “experts” about the Muslim Brotherhood’s weakness and moderation, it has become increasingly apparent that a very radical Muslim Brotherhood will take power and fundamentally transform Egypt into something far worse than that which existed during the six-decades-long Nasser-Sadat-Mubarak regime.
Bruce Thornton at The Heritage Foundation also has written of the approaching Arab Winter:
Finally, the prognosis for liberal democracy is no better in Egypt, the most populous Muslim country in the region. Long gone are the images of the tweeting “Facebook kids” that charmed many in the West into thinking a liberal democracy would arise out of the ashes of Mubarak’s rule. The biggest beneficiary of regime change has been the Muslim Brothers, which is now poised to dominate the forthcoming elections in November given their superior organization and unified aims compared to the more numerous, ideologically fragmented secular parties. Despite the fantasies of many in the United States, the Muslim Brothers have not evolved into “moderates” that can be integrated into a democratic government and restrained by electoral accountability.
This process was set in motion by the incompetence of an Obama administration which insisted that Mubarak leave “yesterday” without any transition planning, and by a smitten media which glorified the “Arab Street,” put its faith in Egyptian yuppies, and downplayed the Islamist danger.
Very early on in the process, in late January 2011, I suggested that the Israelis might have to return to Sinai once the non-militarized buffer of the desert established by the 1979 Peace Treaty was laid waste by Egyptian politics.
It will not be next month, maybe not even next year. But if the trend in Egypt continues, it will be.