"Anyone who takes the deployment of Egyptian tanks and helicopters in Sinai too lightly, regarding it as merely necessary at this point in time, may soon get slapped in the face by reality. If you think that Egypt's deployment in Sinai is intended merely to take care of Israel's Sinai terror problem, you may have to think again."
15 August '12..
Dr. Mohammed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, describes the month of Ramadan in his weekly missive as a month of triumph. This begs the question, however, of who is the triumphant one, and who is the defeated one, as of today?
During the Free Officer's Revolution in Egypt in July of 1952, talks were held between the officers' leadership and the Muslim Brotherhood. Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, then president of Egypt, dedicated days and hours to meetings with the heads of the Brotherhood in efforts to understand their true nature and intentions. Once he was convinced that their ideological direction was contrary to his world view and posed a threat to him, Nasser sought an opportunity to strike them down.
In October of 1954, he found a way. Nasser gave a speech in Alexandria before signing an agreement that saw the withdrawal of British Armed Forces from Egypt. The speech was broadcast over transistor radios to all of Egypt, and in the background, eight shots were heard. The shots all missed the charismatic president. He immediately regained his composure, realizing that he had found the opportunity he had been waiting for. The following day, the Brotherhood was accused of having tried to assassinate the head of state; droves of Brotherhood members were arrested and thrown in jail. Thus, in one fell swoop, Nasser's regime paralyzed the Muslim Brotherhood's active and organized resistance.
The Free Officer's movement, led by the confident Nasser, ruled in Egypt for many years. It was Nasser's successor, Anwar Sadat, who later opened the prison doors and let the Brotherhood resume public activity. Sadat held a meeting at the start of his term with the imprisoned leader of the Brotherhood, and got the impression that the movement could help him establish his legitimacy. What actually happened, however, was that the creature turned on its creator: the Brotherhood, which Sadat expected to support him and to help him combat the Left and the Nasser-ites, were the ones who ultimately stripped him of his legitimacy. They did so in such a way as to encourage Sadat's eventual assassins.
Former President Hosni Mubarak also decided to release Brotherhood activists from prison and to allow them to be active again in the public and political spheres. Throughout Mubarak's 30-year term, the Brotherhood gradually and consistently gained confidence.
For months, President Mohammed Morsi and leaders of the Brotherhood have sat with military generals, trying to figure out which of them is less or more of a threat to the Brotherhood's ultimate endeavor: capturing and cementing their hold on more and more power positions. Morsi, much like the Free Officers of 60 years ago, knew he had to find an opportunity to rid the military of the generals who were less beneficial. This opportunity presented itself when terrorists killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai last week, and the ineptitude of the military in the face of Sinai-based terror was exposed. The fact that he had appointed a new prime minister, who tends to lean toward the Brotherhood, also helped him.
At every turn, Morsi has had the full backing of Brotherhood leadership, which has been restored to greatness since Mubarak's ouster. The Brotherhood lauded Morsi for ousting the military leadership, regarding this move as a victory. As the president of Egypt, it is clear to Morsi that a large part of the nation views the Brotherhood as the only power capable of leading Egypt. But where is it leading Egypt to?
Anyone who takes the deployment of Egyptian tanks and helicopters in Sinai too lightly, regarding it as merely necessary at this point in time, may soon get slapped in the face by reality. If you think that Egypt's deployment in Sinai is intended merely to take care of Israel's Sinai terror problem, you may have to think again. Egypt is deploying (permanently, it seems) armed forces in Sinai at such an extent that not only is it a violation of the peace treaty with Israel, but it could pose a serious challenge for Israel should the relations between the two countries deteriorate. This deterioration will not just be a product of global jihad terror, it will first and foremost be sparked by any renewed confrontation between Israel and Hamas. Hamas, as we all know, was created in the Brotherhood's image. It was Morsi who urged Hamas to relocate its politburo to Cairo.
What seems to the casual observer now as cooperation or collaboration between Egypt and Israel on security matters in Sinai may soon become a serious military nuisance for Israel.
If we go back to Badie's weekly missive about Muslim Ramadan triumphs, including the "Egyptian victory" in October 1973 (the Yom Kippur War), we see that this time, like in previous cases, the Brotherhood's victory is not just over an internal enemy, but is intended to ultimately overcome an external enemy.
Original title: Egypt: Who is really pulling the strings?
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