Obama gets his goals, helps oust US ally Mubarack, replaced by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and now over the weekend, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – he of the Muslim Brotherhood – ousted the country’s two top military chiefs. The pretext for this power play was the successful sneak attack by Islamist terrorists on Egyptian military personnel in the Sinai peninsula. The Islamists who carried out the attack didn’t succeed in “invading” Israel, but they helped tilt the Egyptian playing field in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi’s move represents a double setback for the interests of the United States. First, the top ousted leader, Field Marshal Tantawi, is a long-time friend of the U.S. He is likely to be the last powerful friend we have in Egypt for a long time.
Second, the move consolidates the Muslim Brotherhood’s control over Egypt. The Brotherhood, of course, is a radical Islamist outfit that has long been the enemy of the U.S. Its ascendancy also constitutes a blow to pro-liberalization forces within Egypt. Although these forces have no great affection for the military, until now they have regarded it as a counterbalance to the Muslim Brotherhood. As a founder of the secular Justice Party said following Morsi’s power play, “I’m very apprehensive; they [the Brotherhood] have control over most of the levers of power.”