Tuesday, August 20, 2013

“Axis of Reason” vs Muslim Brotherhood

Photo: NPR
Israel has allied itself with some of the more “moderate” middle eastern states, and indeed, with the Egyptian government that is “cracking down” on the Muslim Brotherhood protests. The members of this alliance are calling themselves the “axis of reason”. Apparently they have come to the conclusion that the best or only way to deal with Islamists is to crush them with military power:

The U.S.'s closest Middle East allies are undercutting American policy in Egypt, encouraging the military to confront the Muslim Brotherhood rather than reconcile, U.S. and Arab officials said.

The parallel efforts by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have blunted U.S. influence with Egypt's military leadership and underscored how the chaos there has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states, officials said.

A senior Israeli official called the anti-Muslim Brotherhood nations "the axis of reason."

The Obama administration first had sought to persuade Egyptian military leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi not to overthrow the elected government of President Mohammed Morsi and then to reconcile with his Muslim Brotherhood base.

Gen. Sisi has done the opposite
—orchestrating the president's overthrow and a crackdown in which over 900 people have been killed since Wednesday—reflecting his apparent confidence in the Egyptian government's ability to weather an American backlash, U.S. and Arab officials said….

Israel is pushing Washington not to cut off military support to Egypt, arguing that would jeopardize counterterrorism cooperation and the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace accords.

"Only after stability is restored, only after law and order is enforced, only then can you start to talk about launching a process that leads to more democratic processes," said the senior Israeli official….

Saudi King Abdullah has stepped up the Kingdom's support for what he called Egypt's fight against "terrorism and extremism." President Barack Obama has criticized the crackdown, a message repeated by Mr. Hagel on Monday….

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579023213295900596.html (Subscription required)

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