Friday, July 8, 2011

A Weaker U.S in Egypt

As the Arab Spring goes on, blowing the winds of revolution on more Arab countries the position of the U.S becomes weaker and its policy makers panic.

And as the recommendations of various academics and scholars of social sciences -who tried to bridge the gap between these two civilizations apologetically or not highlighted the importance of dialogue- were overlooked as naive and useless, overlooked with arrogance. Now the U.S is seeking dialogue with the new big boys. Namely the Islamists.

Washington has on several occasions gestured that it would like to talk with the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt. The EU too on another note has invited the biggest Salafi political party in Egypt to its headquarters in Brussels to "get to know each other".

Sure Islamists generally have reacted positively by stating its positive step from Washington however, no one is thrilled. One of the Muslim Brotherhood spokesman on Aljazeera slammed the U.S and strongly denounced its previous foreign policy, saying that the U.S's global leadership is based on violence, use of force and oppression.

What is There to Discuss ?

Clinton said as she spoke about some dialogue occurring with members of the Muslim Brotherhood that the dialogue: "will continue to emphasize the importance of and support for democratic principles, and especially a commitment to nonviolence, respect for minority rights, and the full inclusion of women in any democracy. You cannot leave out half the population and claim that you are committed to democracy".

Non-violence would most likely refer to some sort of disassociation with Hamas, and committing to peace with Israel. Minority rights obviously to Copts and perhaps tolerance to some of the fishy political practice of the Pope. It could also mean including Copts in the Army, Police,National security and other institutions Copts were variously not included in. Women perhaps was just an ornamental addition to her speech as the Muslim Brotherhood have no objections in women political participation.

The gap between the interests of Islamists and the U.S is huge. What is there to discuss ?

Hamas will be a future topic.

Iran Containment (which is already ongoing)
and any other sensitive topic, which both entities stand on opposite ends with.

I highly doubt the Muslim Brotherhood will simply comply with the U.S on containing Iran, or on any regional politics unless there is mutual interest.

U.S Policies;

The U.S will try to attract the mellow fringe members of Muslim Brotherhood and try to empower them and give them some sort of platform to engage from. Which will be extremely difficult as the Muslim Brotherhood is highly knit and if any of its members acts alone he or she is basically severing them self from the group.

The U.S is trying to empower secularist and liberalist groups, The U.S has already spent millions of dollars on "democratization" which i doubt will continue to do so, as the Military council, the government, Islamists and public opnion/ the revolution is disgusted by it. And the seemingly innocent statement by the current Ambassador of the U.S to Cairo's about giving 40 million dollaars to "support democracy" was met with rage and government formed committees to stop such practice. Either way even if the money keeps flowing it will not undermine Islamists in Egypt.

The Constitution First Campaign.
The U.S has been heavily involved from the start in pushing for a constitution first so that there is more time for secularists and liberalists to gather, harness and mobilize supporters against Islamists. Before the referendum (over accepting the constitutional amendments or rejecting them) the U.S almost tied its aid to pushing for the constitution first, before parliamentary and then presidential elections.

The American Chamber of Commerce also organized a conference with News Paper Al Masry Al Youm (which is owned by a Coptic Billionare Naguib Sawiris currently being investigated for corruption charges) strongly arguing in favor of a constitution first.

The referendum was made and 77% of over 16 million voters approved it. However did the calls for the making a new constitution first stop ? No! they kept ongoing and the U.S kept funding the campaign "Ad-Dustoor Awalan", "The Constitution First", Money was also provided by Sawiris.

All in Vain

Today no one has given any attention to the "constitution first", and it has become no longer heard of. There was a previous Friday in Tahrir Square organized by those calling for this campaign some of them even used slogans against Israel to try and harness more support, in the end only a few thousand people showed up.

On the 8th of July and as the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis and other Islamists said they will participate in the friday of "The Revolution First".Protestors are over a million if not hundreds of thousands.

The U.S is still active on the Economic front through the IMF and using other methods to keep Egypt weaker, however on the grassroots level the U.S has failed miserably. Islamists are going very strong, the Muslim Brotherhood is very organized other Islamists are catching up, the U.S will be unable to anything about it, but try to engage in "dialogue".

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