Egypt

New Middle East reality should shatter West Bank myths

Featured image To superficial observers of the Middle East, the latest round of fighting in Gaza looks like a replay of previous rounds. Once again, it seems, Israel pounded Hamas but didn’t crush it. But there was something different this time around. This time, Hamas was far more isolated diplomatically. Egypt, the Saudis, and the Palestinian Authority all showed “no sympathy” for Hamas (as President Obama would say). Indeed, unlike President Obama »

Egypt a year after Morsi

Featured image One year after the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Daniel Pipes finds the situation in Egypt “pretty awful”: In the debate over the proper role of Islam in the lives of Egyptians, the dividing lines have only increased, spawning violence, further extremism, and a sense that the country’s split between Islamist and anti-Islamist factions will last for many years. Even the dividing lines among Islamists and among anti-Islamists are hardening. The »

The Carter-Obama parallel

Featured image James Kirchick compares the foreign policy records of Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. He finds that President Obama’s is worse. I agree with Kirchick. As he explains, Carter eventually saw the error of his weak ways and changed course, though it took a series of major setbacks for him to accomplish this. With Obama we have had the serious setbacks — e.g., the Benghazi attacks, the rise of al Qaeda »

Obama foreign policy successes? Not Egypt

Featured image According to Richard Engel, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent, you would be “hard-pressed to find” one country with which the U.S. has improved its relations since President Obama took office. By contrast, you can easily find countries where Obama has made our relations worse. Abe Greenwald finds plenty of such countries in just one region — the Middle East. Indeed, his article in the May edition of Commentary is called “He’s »

No springtime for Sisi in Egypt

Featured image Egypt held its presidential election this week. Army strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected with 93.3 percent of the vote. A margin like that can only be explained by large-scale fraud, non-turnout by those who support other candidates, or both. I can’t speak to whether there was fraud, but certainly voter turnout was low. The government claims that turnout was 46 percent, well below the 80 percent Sisi had called »

Obama gets Egypt backwards

Featured image I was elated when the Egyptian military overthrew the elected government of Muslim Brotherhood man Mohamed Morsi. Under Morsi, Egypt seemed on the road to becoming an Islamist state. The overthrow looked like the lesser of two evils. It still does, but the lesser evil is gaining ground. Earlier this week, for example, an Egyptian court sentenced 683 people to death after a brief mass trial. The most serious charge »

CRB: Digging up a new past

Featured image The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books that we have been featuring this week includes pieces by Charles Murray, Harvey Mansfield, Walter Russell Mead, John Bolton, Joseph Epstein, Michael Nelson, and many others. The new issue lives up to my billing of the CRB as providing a virtual education in politics with each issue, if a reader thinks through the implications of the arguments made in the issue’s »

Obama cuts U.S. aid to Egypt, but why?

Featured image President Obama has decided to withhold a significant amount of military aid to Egypt. The primary focus will be on the shipment of a dozen AH-64D Apache helicopters that were part of an $820 million order back in 2009. The U.S. will continue to provide spare parts for U.S. military equipment Egypt already has. And it will continue to support counterterrorism initiatives and security efforts in the Sinai, where Egypt »

The Clinton Foundation’s man in Cairo was also the Muslim Brotherhood’s

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon reports that a senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until fairly recently, was employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation, was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence. The official, Gehad el-Haddad, had been serving as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials. In that capacity, while the Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt, he “push[ed] the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, »

History gives Obama a back kick

Featured image One of President Obama’s most disagreeable attributes is his presumption (and, I would submit, certitude) that much of the conventional wisdom is wrong. In fairness, some conventional wisdom will always be wrong. And Obama, or at least his operatives, have demonstrated the error of some standard views of American politics. But this isn’t an enormous accomplishment. Modern U.S. politicking is a work in progress. Most successful presidential campaigns contribute breakthroughs »

History refuses to cooperate with Obama in the Middle East

Featured image The Washington Post rarely delivers great news to my door step. Today is an exception, although it’s not clear that the Post recognizes it as such. Here’s the Post’s lead headline: “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood appears at risk of falling apart.” And here’s the opening paragraph of the story by Liz Sly and Mary Beth Sheridan: The world’s most influential Islamist movement is in danger of collapse in the land of »

Obama’s pal Erdogan blames Israel for the ouster of Morsi

Featured image Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims that Israel was behind the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. Who knew that Israel could cause hundreds of thousands of Egyptians to take to the streets on its behalf and cause the Egyptian army to do its bidding? Erdogan is too responsible to make this sort of allegation without proof. “We have a document in our hands,” he assured a gathering »

Nature abhors a vacuum

Featured image Yesterday, Saudi Arabia promised to compensate Egypt for every bit of aid that the U.S. or other Western countries might withdraw in the response to the Egyptian military’s crackdown against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents. This move highlights the growing irrelevance of the U.S. in the Middle East — a positive development in the short-term, given that U.S. Middle East policy is set by President Obama. As we know, nature abhors »

Not a legitimate party

Featured image I find it absolutely bizarre how little attention is paid to the fundamental nature of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is not a legitimate political party. Its objects are not consistent with democracy or democratic goals. It is, as Steve Hayward concisely commented, “a fascist political faction with murderous intent. Full stop.” Its goal is the (re)establishment of an Islamic caliphate. Forget Barack Obama, lost in Cloud Cuckooland. Do John McCain, »

Explicating Erdogan

Featured image Rod Nordland’s New York Times story reporting that Egypt’s security forces killed 36 Islamists in their custody on Sunday also carries a quote from Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Nordland notes that Erdogan had given “a blistering speech in support of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “likened Egypt’s military leader, General Sisi, to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria” on Saturday. Nordland then offers this quote from Erdogan’s Saturday speech: “There »

What’s Going On In the Muslim World?

Featured image Beats me. But Michael Ledeen thinks he knows, and he’s a pretty astute observer, so let’s turn the floor over to him for a while. First, Michael says, we need to stop looking at events country by country and recognize that a global war is in progress: The war is easily described: there is a global alliance of radical leftists and radical Islamists, supported by a group of countries that »

In Egypt, a no-brainer that Obama can’t figure out

Featured image The biggest news story that broke during my stay in Europe was the Egyptian military’s move against the Muslim Brotherhood, and the ensuing bloodshed. The story received extensive coverage on French and British television and virtually non-stop coverage on CNN International. The latter outlet treated viewers to endless moralizing by Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama directed primarily at the Egyptian government. Given the extent of the bloodshed, I »