A recent report by the Wall Street Journal states that the U.S. is seeking to give Egypt $1 billion in debt relief. This is in addition to a request by Egypt’s new leader, Mohammed Morsi, for $4.8 billion from the IMF. Qatar has already agreed to loan Egypt $2 billion, and Saudi Arabia has promised another $1 billion.
This is less than a week after Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Egypt’s Morsi hailed their “strategic partnership” at a recent Non-Aligned Summit in Tehran. In addition, many reports have been published about how the Muslim Brotherhood leadership has begun transforming Egypt into a Sharia state. In tandem, there has been a crescendo of voices calling for Egypt to annul or “change” the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. Furthermore, Egypt has already been breaking the treaty by stationing tanks and other military forces in Sinai beyond the limit imposed by the agreement, and without informing Israel of such moves.
David Goldman recently pointed out that Egypt is moving closer to Iran and further away from the U.S. and its alliance with the Saudis. He explains that the recent Non-Aligned Summit in Tehran was “an unambiguous triumph for Iran and a thoroughgoing humiliation for the United States, despite the spin from the foreign policy establishment.” He goes on to write,
“Morsi’s Egypt has allied with Iran against Saudi Arabia, which is the main target of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudi monarchy will not fall tomorrow, to be sure, but it faces a growing challenge from within: the Brotherhood appeals to ambitious Saudis who did not have the good fortune to be born into the monarchy. By showing open contempt for the Saudi regime, and frustrating Saudi and Turkish attempts to control the Syrian crisis, Morsi has emerged as a challenger to the Saudi monarchy for the dominant role in Sunni Islam.”
What all of this shows is that Morsi is actively working to promote the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideology of transforming Egypt into a fully Islamic society and transforming the region in its image, while at the same time pragmatically weighing these actions against economic, military, and political realities. Morsi is seeking to improve the dire economic position of Egypt in order to consolidate his power as the undisputed leader of the country. Obama and the international community seem almost as eager to lend a helping hand in implanting a radical Islamic leadership in Egypt that will directly counter the national interests of the U.S. and Israel.