The collapse of the Islamist power grab is on-going in Egypt and the United States ought to be encouraging the Egyptian military to restore order and oust Morsi, whose jam down of a “new constitution” in December sundered his “election” from any legitimacy.
I interviewed John Burns yesterday, and the legendary New York Times’ foreign correspondent –now the paper’s London bureau chief– spoke about the powerlessness of the West to in any way order the seismic shifts underway in the Middle East:
HH: Now John Burns, you’ve seen a lot in your various postings around the world, and of course, you went through the horrific years in Iraq, and you have served in Afghanistan for your paper as well. Right now, we have Syria in the middle of this brutal, terribly, deadly civil war, Libya melting down, Iran with maybe a different kind of election, I don’t know, but Egypt on the brink. Have you ever felt that the center is not holding as effective so thoroughly as the center is not holding now?
JB: No, and something else that I feel, and this is for me something of a change. I’ve always felt that the stabilizing, the principal stabilizing force in international affairs is the United States, and that the U.S. has a tremendous capacity to influence matters for the better. I don’t actually feel that that is likely to be the case in the affairs of the Middle East, because I think what is happening is absolutely seismic, and is beyond the influence of Western governments. There may be some things we can do. There are some things we can do to mitigate the miseries that are involved, but I’ve convinced myself, at least, over the last ten years, that any attempt by the West to dictate or lead an outcome is doomed to failure.
The one thing the West can do is say again and again is that we stand with Israel against any force or regime that threatens it, and that we support political change that stands for peace in the region and co-existence with the Jewish state and oppose any change that seeks, quickly or eventually, the destruction of Israel. That simple “north star” sorts through many of the actors, parties, movements and regimes of the region.
As Powerline’s Scott Johnson points out, President Obama is telegraphing exactly the opposite. Perhaps John Kerry should break away from his painfully self-absorbed hunt for a Nobel and call the president to tell him that peace won’t advance if Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood remain in power in Egypt.