|By: John G. Weldon; ©2011|
|Egypt has the 10th largest standing army in the world, controls the vital Suez Canal and has been a critical ally to the US in the War on Terror and in other areas. And it was the first Arab nation to recognize Israel's national sovereignty and right to exist.|
Egypt has the 10th largest standing army in the world, controls the vital Suez Canal and has been a critical ally to the US in the War on Terror and in other areas. And it was the first Arab nation to recognize Israel's national sovereignty and right to exist. President Mubarak has upheld the peace accords begun by President Sadat who was assassinated by Islamic jihad, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt’s “blessing” of Israel may explain its absence in the war of Ezekiel 38, fulfilling God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3.
But what the world has to be concerned about today is not merely and specifically Egypt (as if that alone couldn’t dramatically affect the world) but the fallout in other nations. For example, Lebanon (recently taken over by the terrorist Hezbollah), terrorist Syria (an enemy state to both Israel and the US) and Iran, which is largely run by, as someone observed, an apocalyptic death cult -- and also wants to see both the US and Israel annihilated. Plus there is trouble brewing in Yemen, Algeria and Sudan, while formerly pro-Western Turkey seems to be merging into the Iranian orbit. Consider even Jordan whose 1.7 million registered Palestinians, about 30% of the nation, are a potential tinderbox (the number of unregistered is likely much higher); the King just fired his government in fear of similar protests. Besides Egypt, Jordan is Israel's only other peace partner, but even Jordan is at risk for instability. Although unlikely to collapse, it’s not impossible that it could fall to the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood or possibly even Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda of course would love to get its hands on Egypt. And protests seem to be increasing even in unexpected places like Bahrain, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Clearly, change is coming to the region, but it may or may not be a benevolent transforming. Leaders of every Middle Eastern nation are concerned, even worried.
For example, this unlovely omelet could lead to an oil crisis which, with already high oil prices, could even precipitate a depression and/or hyperinflation in the US. (Cf. Inflation.us; TrendsResearch.com; ShadowStats.com) The world oil market is in danger right now. Or it could lead to a variety of other crises. One way or the other, Europe, Asia and the US will soon feel the effects of what is happening in Egypt.
It's obviously a serious situation on a number of levels and for a variety of reasons. As Senator John McCain observed a couple of days ago, "This virus is spreading throughout the Middle East… This… is probably the most dangerous period of history of our entire [modern involvement] in the Middle East."
If the Middle Eastern and North African nations become more and more Islamist and radicalized; if Israel continues to discover massive new oil and gas finds, the chances for war are increased significantly because Israel becomes more than just a hated enemy; she becomes a potential economic threat to Arab oil dominance. At that point, the war of Psalm 83 spoken of in Bill Salis’ convincing book, Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East, becomes more likely, and this war does include Egypt. This is a war in which Israel (as in all the previous wars) routes its Arab neighbors but this time expands geographically and becomes a mini-superstate – finally, if temporarily, living in peace. (This is an event likely preceding the tremendous war of Ezekiel 38-39 which would then, by definition, move closer to reality. But significantly, in the war of Ezekiel 38, Egypt is conspicuously absent, which may have implications for the outcome of the current crisis. Incidentally, the three upcoming wars prior to the return of Christ are apparently those of 1) Psalm 83 (with Israel's surrounding neighbors, where Israel is victorious and expands her territory); 2) Ezekiel 38-39 (with Russia and North African Muslim nations, minus Egypt, where God supernaturally intervenes to protect Israel) and 3) Armageddon where virtually the whole world attacks Israel, ending with God's supernatural intervention to save Israel and the Return of Christ.)
In his blog of January 28, 2011, “I Will Set Egyptians Against Egyptians,” Salis writes; “Will the present protests inside Egypt metastasize into the fulfillment of Isaiah 19? If so will the coming cruel leader be the one who leads Egypt into the Psalm 83:6-8 confederacy? All of this is unknown but entirely possible. One thing is for certain; the Middle East appears to be on the verge of going apocalyptic.” He points out that as a result of current events the prophecies of Isaiah 17 & 19, Jeremiah 49, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38 & 39 now seem more relevant than ever. Former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger observed that the growing Egyptian crisis "could spread throughout the Middle East…"
The terrorist Muslim Brotherhood (MB), now fomenting unrest wherever it can throughout the region, seems unlikely to take power in Egypt apart from some tragic error by the US which, unfortunately, is something possible with this Administration, or it could eventuate as a result of a split within the Egyptian military, or the military and the people. Regardless the MB will probably have increased power which does not bode well for the future. If Egypt were ever radicalized, Israel could lose half its natural gas supplies and Egypt would begin funding weapons and other support to Hamas for attacks in Israel prior to an all-out war. If Egypt became radicalized there is a virtual certainty of another major Arab-Israeli war and for all we know that could become war of Psalm 83.
In any case, Iran obviously has its tentacles in the current mess and is doing all it can to bring about an Islamic caliphate in the region as a precursor to a global Muslim Armageddon and eventual (they hope Shite) Islamic domination of the world, something the Sunni Muslims have stoutly opposite ideas on.
One problem with the Middle East is that it is comprised almost exclusively of relatively benign or harsh dictatorships. Sooner or later absolute power typically corrupts absolutely and the resulting corruption often leads to grinding poverty, high unemployment (up to 70%) and high inflation, particularly food inflation, all of which finally sets the stage for anti-government movements and violent protests, even revolution. Riots and violence lead to higher inflation, which leads to further riots and higher violence. This is something radicals (whether Muslim or Marxist) love to exploit and take advantage of, especially with "democratic" elections, which they attempt to hijack in order to seize power. This happened in Gaza with Hamas and in 1979 with the Iranian revolution. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) could conceivably hijack the expected Egyptian elections in November, and also take power. At that point even Al Qaeda would have to grant the "wisdom" of their more politically oriented and less violent approach to Islamic revolution and global conquest.
Unfortunately, because of the current political power of the Egyptian Brotherhood, any new government formed (goes the argument) is going to be forced to include that entity as part of a coalition government. But this is only “necessary” in the minds of those who apparently want it. The Egyptian Brotherhood is part of the larger Muslim Brotherhood which was formed in Egypt in 1928 and it would be natural in the minds of many Muslims for it to assume power in its place of origin.
But there isn’t a reason in the world for the US, or the West generally, to take that position -- to the contrary. If the Egyptian Brotherhood comes to power it would scuttle the 30-year peace relationship between Israel and Egypt. And once again Israel would be completely surrounded with hostile neighbors, something that has largely been true ever since she was miraculously reborn in 1948.
The Muslim Brotherhood today has become sufficiently powerful that while they cannot be ignored, they should clearly be opposed. For example, in many ways, the Egyptian Brotherhood is largely the Sunni equivalent of the terrorist Shiite mullahs in Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood itself is the umbrella organization for chapters in many nations of the world, principally in the Middle East, Northern Africa and America. It is the oldest Islamist political organization and one of the most powerful, radical, and ultimately terrorist organizations globally, despite claims to the contrary. It may prefer the political process for terrorism, but it will employ terrorism whenever it deems terrorism is necessary. Again, it seeks Muslim rule of the entire world. And other than Muslims of that persuasion, who would want to support an entire planet controlled by a totalitarian Sharia law that oppresses women and non-Muslim minorities, if it doesn’t force the latter’s conversion on pain of death?
If I could sum up the religious and totalitarian philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood it would be in the following phrase: "Islam is the destiny of the world, Jihad is the way, and dying for Allah is the noblest goal." For example, recently, a blue ribbon panel of national security experts was convened by the Center for Security Policy, which included James Woolsey, former CIA director, Frank Gaffney, an official with the Department of Defense, and Lieut. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a former Delta force commander. They concluded correctly that, “The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. Its express purpose was two-fold: (1) to implement shariah worldwide, and (2) to re-establish the global Islamic State (caliphate). Therefore, al Qaeda and the MB have the same objectives. They differ only in the timing and tactics involved in realizing them.”
To illustrate, the current Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Badi', echoing Osama bin Laden (himself influenced by the MB) declared just five months ago that, "The improvement and change that the [global Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life."
Obviously, the situation in Egypt is highly fluid and no one but God knows the ultimate outcome. In a country where half the population lives on $1-2 per day, with high unemployment/inflation and higher food inflation, again, eventual rioting and revolution are hardly surprising. The danger is that the radical/terrorist elements are seeking to control the uprising to their own ends and seize power, even as they did in the Iranian Revolution of 1979-80, which became a curse upon the world. Unfortunately, Egypt could go either way.
If Egypt is radicalized, everything changes. But would anyone be surprised to learn that Al Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorists are operating in Egypt to help bring about a Sunni form of the Iranian revolution? As the noted intelligence service, Stratfor observed, Hamas was formed in Gaza as an outgrowth of the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood.
Of course it is true that the Muslim radicals are going to take advantage of the current turmoil in Egypt and other nations in any way they can. They can do little else because it’s not only in their blood; it’s in something more potent yet, their religion.
To preserve order and a secular government, the Egyptian military has to keep control of the situation and whoever is elected president must be from the military. So, who is the moderate secular person who can run for president? Who knows? If it takes six months for the election to take place, all of Egypt could fall into chaos and that is precisely the scenario the radicals hope for. The problem is that there is no one currently qualified to become a secular, democratic leader of Egypt, which means a transitional period is required to find a candidate, which gives the radicals more time and ability to achieve their goals. Multiple assassination attempts could lead to chaos, the mother of revolutionary success. ElBaradei is clearly not a good transition leader because he is pro-Muslim brotherhood, pro-Iranian and unfriendly at best to America. The assassination attempt on vice president Omar Suleiman (who apparently won’t run, but may be the transition leader) indicates a leak in Egyptian security -- and that terrorist sleeper cells are attempting to bring about a radical Islamic government. As noted, Al Qaeda is extremely interested in securing Egypt. It's also true that every revolution is up for grabs at some point and the end results aren't always positive, as demonstrated with the revolutions in China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, France, etc. which ended up killing or enslaving hundreds of millions of people.
Are the protesters pro-democracy or pro-Islamist? In one way it's difficult to say because the majority of Egyptians are pro-Islamist, something incompatible with democratic freedoms. On the other hand, the human yearning for freedom is strong. We can only hope and pray that the demonstrations are pro-Democratic, but they may not be and only time will tell.
It's also important to remember that ‘only’ 1 million people or so have demonstrated in the streets out of a population of 80 million. The elections will reveal what the Egyptian people want, assuming the elections are fair. The difficulty is that the people could conceivably choose an Islamist government since polls reveal some 60% of the population have sympathies with Islamism; at that point a pro-Western military will have a genuine quandary on its hands.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned of a "perfect storm of powerful trends" now facing the entire Middle East. Unfortunately, given the nature of Islam, it is less likely that Democratic forces are going to emerge victorious in the Middle East when e.g., the US has been unwilling to proactively support them up to this point, though Bush II at least attempted it. Given a revolutionary environment, and apart from an authoritarian political leadership that opposes the Islamists, there are at least some Islamist movements that now have more money, support, structure and other items necessary to gain the upper hand than those that oppose them. For example, according to the former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, Michael Scheurer, there are only two entities even capable of governing Egypt – the military and the Egyptian Brotherhood, the latter apparently being supported by terrorist-supporting Saudi Arabia which only complicates matters. He believes that "some sort of Islamist government will come into power" if Hosni Mubarak is removed, as he almost certainly will be. Scheurer also points out that Al Qaeda is the big winner from all this conflict because in the minds of the people, it has consistently stood against the kind of Middle Eastern, often corrupt, authoritarianism that America has ironically supported over the decades -- governments that have so often led to the types of social and economic conditions causing the current insurrections. Ironically, bin Laden wants to replace them with something far worse. But obviously, the freer these nations become, the freer the terrorists become as well; they always use democratic freedoms against democracy to promote radical Islam, as in the US. Thus any loosening of the current power structures provides more power and means for Al Qaeda and its numerous offshoots, and other terror groups, and the greater the threat to Israel and the West.
What is needed is for the US to rethink its current approach, because if major mistakes are made, we may all rue the day. There is yet more to the picture. To find out, read Part Two, which will be posted tomorrow.
For more on Egypt see Part 3