Blog 2: Egypt in Crisis
“It took them 80 years to rise to power, and 12 months to lose it”, was according to the Frontline reporters. Veteran Middle East correspondents Martin Smith and Charles Sennett examined the rise and rapid fall of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood during a special report on PBS news’ FRONTLINE. Egypt faces unnerving challenges in a phase to come. After several years of relative stability, both economic and political trends have turned threatening, as this largest and most important of Arab states presses against the outer limits of its resources. According to Frontline, negative developments in recent months affecting tourism, oil revenues and remittances from millions of expatriate workers in oil-rich Arab states have aggravated the tenuous situation. For President Hosni Mubarak’s government an economic crisis is almost inevitable in the near term, and a major political explosion only slightly less likely (Video: Egypt in Crisis).
For the United States, impending events will put to a severe test the special relationship that has bound Egypt to this country since the mid-1970s, when the Camp David peace process began (Egypt in Crisis).Without careful and attentive management by both Congress and the Administration, this relationship could be entirely swept away, destroying in the process a keystone of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East. Given the centrality of Egypt to the politics of the region, the consequences would seriously damage U.S. interests in the Arab-Israeli arena, North Africa and the Persian Gulf (Egypt in Crisis).
Moreover, there was a negative story line that I saw repeatedly from analysts and journalists across the political spectrum when reading about the crisis. Some tended to adopt the entire story line, but even experts on the opposing side adopted various parts of it. From what I understood, I concluded that:
- The Egyptian Revolution would be a repeat of Iran's Great Islamic Revolution of 1979.
- The Muslim Brotherhood would hide its intentions until it was in power, and then it would use violent tactics to kill anyone opposing it, including Egyptians, Jews, Coptic Christians, Israelis, and Americans, and then would establish a harsh Sharia law state.
- Alternatively, some people predicted a takeover by the Army, and the establishment of a strict Sharia law state, in cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Either way, Egypt would abrogate its peace treaty with Israel, and would end the blockage of Hamas in Gaza.
Some parts of these mainstream predictions turned out to be true; however I am no expert on war and conflict. I could be incorrect. This just goes to show the social construct of global social problems can evolve immensely.
Video: Egypt in Crisis
Smith & Sennett 2013(2013, September 17).Egypt in Crisis. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from