Egypt: Which Side Will the Dominoes Fall?

In view of the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, I’m republishing the following essay that was written in February 2011, that foreshadowed and tried to prevent by a proposal of mine the fall of the country to radical Islam,  for the readers of this blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis February 08, 2011

Swallowing victory in one gulp may choke one.

Egypt, not unexpectedly for those who have read history and can to a certain extent adumbrate its future course, as one of the offsprings (Tunisia was the first one) of the rudimentary Democratic paradigm that was established in Iraq by the U.S. ‘invasion’, has a great potential of strengthening this paradigm and spreading it to the whole Arab region. The dominoes that started falling in Iraq under a democratic banner backed by the military power of the Coalition forces are now falling all over the Arab territories dominated by authoritarian and autocratic governments. The arc that expands from Tunisia to Iran and contains all other Arab countries has the prospect and promise of becoming the arc of Democracy. But Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty in physics also and equally applies to politics. For one cannot predict, especially in a revolutionary situation, and more so, when it is combined with fledgling and immature political parties that is the present political configuration in Egypt as well as of the rest of the Arab world due to the suppression of political parties by their authoritarian regimes, whether the dominoes will fall on the side of Democracy or on the side of Sharia radical Islam. This is why the outcome of the current turmoil in Egypt is of so paramount geopolitical importance. And that is why the absolute necessity of having a strong arm at the helm that will navigate the presently battered State of Egypt toward the safe port of Democracy is of the utmost importance. Contrariwise, to leave the course of these momentous events in the hands of the spontaneous and totally inexperienced leaders of the uprising against Mubarak is a recipe of irretrievable disaster. For that can bring the great possibility, if not ensure, that the dominoes in the whole Arab region will be loaded to fall on the side of the extremists of Islam. And this is why in turn for the U.S. and its allies in the war against global terror, it is of the uttermost strategic importance to use all their influence and prowess to veer Egypt toward a Democratic outcome.

One is constrained to build with the materials at hand. If the only available materials one has to build a structure in an emergency situation are bricks and mortar he will not seek and search for materials of a stronger fibre, such as steel, by which he could build a more solid structure. Presently in Egypt, the army is the material substance of ‘bricks and mortar’ by which one could build a future Democratic state. It would be extremely foolish therefore to search for a stronger substance that might just be found in civil society or among the protesters of Tahrir Square. That would be politically a wild goose chase at a time when the tectonic plates of the country are moving rapidly toward a structural change in the body politic. The army therefore is the only qualified, disciplined organization that can bring an orderly transitional change on the political landscape of the country. Moreover, the fact that it has the respect of the majority of the Egyptian people and that it has been bred and nourished on secular and nationalist principles, ensures by its politically ‘synthetic nature’ that it will not go against the wishes of the people for freedom and democracy, that it will be a bulwark against the extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that it will be prepared to back the change from autocracy to democracy, if need be, with military force and thus steer the country away from entering the waters of anarchy and ‘permanent’ political instability that could push Egypt to fall into the lap of the supporters of Allahu Akbar.

The task of the army or rather its political representatives will be to find the right people endowed with political adeptness, experience, imagination, and foresight from a wide pool of political representation that would also include members of the old regime who will serve not only for their knowledge in the affairs of state but also as the strong link to the chain of the anchor that will prevent any possibility that the new political navigation of the country will go adrift. The former head of Egyptian Intelligence Omar Suleiman will play a pivotal role in this assembly of political representation which will not exclude members of the Muslim Brotherhood. What is of vital importance however is that this new political process will not be violently discontinued from the old regime. While room will be made to ensconce the new representatives of the people to government positions, this will not happen at the expense of crowding out old government hands. The only person that will definitely be left out will be Hosni Mubarak and some of his conspicuous cronies. And Mubarak himself has already announced that neither he nor his son will be candidates in the presidential elections in September. The call of the Tahrir Square protesters to resign now has by now become an oxymoron by Mubarak’s announcement not to stand as president in the next election. Further it is fraught with danger as according to the Constitution if he resigns now elections for the presidency must be held after sixty days. That means a pot- pourri of candidates for president will come forward without the people having enough time either to evaluate their competence nor their political bona fide and might elect precipitatingly without critical experience and guidance a ‘dunce’ for president, an Alexander Kerensky in the form of Mohamed Al Baradei, that will open the passage to the Islamic Bolsheviks. To avoid this likely danger I’m proposing the following solution that in my opinion would be acceptable to all parties in this political melee.

The Vice President Omar Suleiman as representative of the armed forces, to immediately set up a committee under his chairmanship that will comprise members of the variable new and old political organizations of the country, whose task will be to appoint the members of a ‘shadow government’ whose function in turn will be to put an end to the protests that could instigate a military coup d’état , to make the relevant amendments to the constitution that will guide the country toward democracy, and to prepare it for the presidential elections in September. The members of this shadow government will be a medley of current holders of government that would include the most competent of all, Ahmed Nazif, the former prime minister, who was sacked by Mubarak as a scapegoat, and of the old and new political parties that emerged since the bouleversement against Mubarak. The executive officer of this ‘government in the wings’ will be Vice President Suleiman, who, with the delegated powers given to him by the present no more functional president Mubarak will be the real president during this interim period. Finally, the members of this shadow government will have a tacit agreement that their political parties will support candidates for president in the September elections who were selected by consensus among its members.

The ‘establishment’ of such a shadow government might be the political Archimedean point that would move Egypt out of the crisis and push it toward democracy.

Hic Rhodus hic salta

Democracy in Egypt:Will History Crown Neocons with Victory?

I’m republishing this short piece as the bell tolls for democracy is deafening in Tunisia and in Egypt, and indeed, in the whole region, that is being governed by autocrats.  


By Con George-Kotzabasis

As I had predicted 45 months ago in a paper of mine titled Blueprint for Victory in Iraq published on my blog Nemesis on March 2007, the new strategy of the Surge would make 2007 the Annus Mirabilis for President Bush. If it’s true that the Iraq government has “satisfactorily met” 15 out of the 18 benchmarks set up by Congress and the more recent provincial elections in which 51% of registered voters casted their vote in tranquil surroundings, then Iraq seems to be taking the first strong strides toward democracy and could become a model for the region, that was the goal of the neo-conservatives in the first Bush administration, such as Paul Wolfowitz. And it will be ironic after the buckets of bile the liberal intelligentsia emptied upon the neocons, history will be placing the crown of victory on their heads.

Will Obama Pull Out Magnificent Soldiers from Campaign of Victory?

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In the annals of history and war no statesman or military leader ever pulled out his troops from a crucial military engagement at the threshold of its military victory. But in a reversal of these annals it will be written that in the twenty-first century the Commander-in- Chief of a great nation pledged to his people to do just that. Barack Obama will go down in history as the uniquely foolish and shameful commander who pulled out his troops from a stupendously critical operation against global terror while his magnificent soldiers were winning this war. Thus not only depriving his soldiers from returning from Iraq with the laurels of triumph on their heads, but, also, depriving America of the crown of victory. Moreover, this Christian convert inadvertently by this inexcusable political lapse and gargantuan error of judgment, will be passing this victory to his father’s religion, to Islam, to the extremists of Iraq and Iran and al Qaeda. This retreat of defeatism from Iraq will surpass the defeat of America in Vietnam in geometrical proportions whose enormous size can only be measured by a series of reflective mirrors. Such a defeat will strike a Jupiterian bolt to the reputation of America and its ability as the dominant power to continue playing a major and vital role in the geopolitics of the world and steering the latter, whenever it’s possible, to the calm waters of the harbor of peace.

If great events in history could be reversed, like a movie reel, and Obama was cast in the leading role as a malignant fairy able to reverse great past events in such a film, then the great Athenian statesman Themistocles would have withdrawn the Greek fleet from the battle of Salamis that defeated the Persian invasion of Greece; Alexander the great would have withdrawn his soldiers from the battle of Issus that defeated the Persian Empire; Hannibal would have withdrawn his soldiers and elephants from the battle of Cannae that defeated the Republic of Rome; Charles Martel would have withdrawn his forces from the battle of Poitiers that defeated the Saracen Muslims in their invasion of Europe; President Lincoln would have ordered, after the battle of Gettysburg, general Ulysses Grant to stop his attrition of  Robert Lee’s Confederate army that ended the civil war. In such a script, the savant of Harvard sitting behind the desk of the Oval Office would be writing his ignominious magnum opus to the everlasting humiliating dishonor of America.

But the ascendancy of Obama to the presidency is not only a great moral issue for America but also an immense political issue as it strikes an arrow into the heart of the hegemonic status of America as the supreme paramount power in world affairs, especially at a time when Western civilization is facing an existential challenge from the rise of radical Islam and its fanatical irreconcilable implacable cohorts of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. No challenge of such magnitude and prodigious danger was ever resolved by populist remedies and soaring rhetorical chicanery. The ‘wings’ of diplomacy that Obama chose to attach to his ‘body-politic’  and fly over the turbulent spots of the world with the aim of remedying them, are the wings of Icarus that by flying and coming close to these turbulent spots  of the sun will lead to his crash and drowning in his ‘oceanic diplomacy’. But the great tragedy is that this drowning is not merely personal but national, as it will ‘drown’ the power, reputation, and prestige of America as a great nation. Further, it will be a top of the bill gleeful spectacle for all the enemies, begrudgers, and critics of America to see the great eagle plunging and drowning in the waters of its own making.

It’s for all the above reasons that the November election will be a test match whether the hard ball of politics will be pitched by the weak hands of a florid flashy political amateur, by the populist spin-change of Obama, or by the firm hands of the principled experienced politician McCain who embodies Melville’s Captain Ahab’s spirit–which is the spirit of America–that would strike the sun if it insulted him, as McCaine did from his cell in Vietnam.

To be or not to be is the question for Americans who are proud of their nation as the beacon of liberty and the indefatigable resolute protector of the great achievements of Western civilization. Whether America will continue to be at the summit of its benign supremacy that is axial to world order or whether it will be pulled down from this summit by the rash vacuous rhetoric of a wannabe would be president to the peril of the United States and of the West at a time that the latter are threatened by the suicidal holy warriors of Islamofascism is the question.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

Venus vs Mars

Robert Kagan Protests: Neocons are Not Vampires and Werewolves

By Steven Clemons

Washington Note, May 7, 2008

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

The European neo-realists and liberal internationalists and their American cognates, “dropping the guns” and taking, like grannies, needles in their hands to knit silk ties for their confreres the neocons for the purpose of  “needling” them, will go down in history as the court jesters in the intellectual realm of the neoconservatives. It’s the latter with a deep sense of history that are aware of the great threat that fanatical Islam poses to civilization and which only a Mars can neutralize.

Clemons supinely reclines exhausted in his Venus boudoir while the civilized world is threatened with burning in the absence of a Mars. And the little energy he still has uses it to weave metaphors mocking the neocons. Indeed, the war against the jihadists will be won by the Metaphor Special Forces.

P.S. You have to read the article published in the Washington Note to see the meaning of the puns above.

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