If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday.
Political commentators expressed shock at how the United States as well as its major European allies appeared to be ready to dump a staunch strategic ally of three decades, simply to conform to the current ideology of political correctness. — Jan 31, 2012
“Morsi now wields total control over parliament, the judiciary, and the military to a degree Mubarak in his jail cell can only marvel at. Old CIA wisdom: He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB. New post–Arab Spring CIA wisdom: He may be an SOB but at least he’s not our SOB.” — Mark Steyn
Hosni Mubarak was a dictator, but he kept the peace with Israel and was friendly to the United States. He was replaced by Mohammed Morsi from the radical, terrorist friendly Muslim Brotherhood — and Barack Obama encouraged the protesters, has worked overtime to legitimize Morsi, and even has pushed to forgive a billion dollars worth of debt Egypt owes the United States.
On the other hand, Morsi tacitly encouraged protests against the US embassy, supported the Hamas rocket attacks against Israel and now has essentially declared himself a dictator.
Mr Morsi outraged opponents on Thursday, less than 24 hours after winning international praise for negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, by announcing that henceforth all his decisions would be beyond legal challenge.
He also unilaterally cancelled legal challenges to the committee drawing up a new constitution as well as to the upper house of parliament, both of which are dominated by his Muslim Brotherhood backers.
With no lower house of parliament until the new constitution is formed, this decree gave him stronger powers than those of his overthrown predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
Protesters, led by liberal and left-wing secular forces, continued a sit in in Tahrir Square on Sunday. Police attempted to drive them back from side roads leading to the interior ministry and American embassy with tear gas.
Egypt’s stock market plummeted nearly 10 percent on Sunday, the first day of trading since Mr Morsi’s assumption of extra powers. The fall – halted only by automatic curbs – was the worst since the uprising that toppled Mr Mubarak in February, 2011.
Leading opposition figures including Mohammed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, Amr Moussa, the former head of the Arab League, and Abdelmoneim Aboul Fotouh, a moderate Islamist who challenged Mr Morsi for the presidency, announced the formation of a “National Salvation Front” to fight the decision.
If Obama wants to support democracy in the Middle East, he should be backing the people in Egypt against their radical Islamist dictator. We should also make it clear that any debt forgiveness and US aid is contingent upon free and open elections in Egypt.
It was one thing for us to give money to a friendly, secular dictator, but it’s another to give our money to a hostile dictator who has been demanding that Israel stand down while the Palestinians fire rockets at will. Morsi is a bad actor and he’s making a fool out of Barack Obama, which wouldn’t be so bad except we’re paying him BILLIONS to do it. At some point, we just have to say enough is enough and we’re there now with Egypt.