Problems on hold
Given the perpetual provocation and harassment Egypt is subjected to, one must pray for wisdom, vision and prudence on part of the political, military and security leadership of the country. The devastation that has afflicted our regional neighbours in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring can escape no one; once-thriving States have ever since been shattered. It is no secret that a number of world superpowers are not happy that Egypt did not succumb to the same fate planned so meticulously within a New Middle East.
The scene around us is, by all standards, a miserable one. Iraq fell first, a prey to local sectarian conflict and a US invasion that hacked the Iraqi army and created Daesh to complete the destruction. A reeling Iraq is now attempting to pick up the pieces and rebuild a State over ruins of the past. Next came Syria which suffered the same catastrophic fate; sectarianism and political rivalry were fuelled to ignite wars between the Syrian army and armed groups secretly supported by the same world powers that brought down Iraq. Daesh was implanted in the country; it wreaked havoc with it and took hold of one third of its land. Syria was devastated and a large portion of its population displaced until the rage of civil war subsided with the defeat of Daesh and the other militant groups. Now Syria is licking its wounds as it attempts to rebuild its State.
Libya’s fate has been worse than that of Iraq and Syria, and has exposed how local divisions and sectarianism may be used to bring States down. The pity is that Arabs appear to have learnt nothing from their history or from current conditions around them; time and again they succumb to local disunity and conflict. In case of Libya, once Muammar Qaddafi’s dictatorial regime was overthrown, a tribal power struggle took place, the country broke down and became a non-State. Daesh and guerrilla militants converged on Libya from central African States. It was laughable to talk of a Libyan government, army, or parliament; nothing was farther from the truth.
Civil war is today hacking Yemen; Sudan is already fragmented with the independence of South Sudan years ago and threat of separation of Darfur. I again say that all this may never have taken place had not local disunity unwittingly collaborated with global powers’ design for a new Middle East
Egypt was also targeted. But Egypt stood a solid rock against which superpower conspiracy broke. The solidarity of the Egyptian people and their army held the country intact and drove wild those who failed to break it. When they realised it was impossible to work an internal rift, they resorted to targeting Egypt repeatedly from outside. The war started through the tunnels that connect Egypt’s northeast border to Gaza. Terrorists and arms were smuggled into Sinai to establish the so-called ‘Independent Islamic Emirate of Sinai’ and threaten Egyptian national security. This obnoxious situation was made possible through the complicity and collaboration of Hamas in Gaza who were obviously executing the designs of Qatar, a patron of terrorism. Qatar paid Hamas billions of dollars and obstructed all efforts to reach an Israeli Palestinian conciliation, giving Israel an excuse to refuse to sit to peace negotiations with the Palestinian authority.
Egypt’s political leadership stood its ground before the diabolic conspiracies and ploys. It exercised self-restraint and poise, and did not allow itself to get dragged into armed conflict with forces of evil on its northeast, west and south borders. The last product of the diabolic wit came at the hands of Turkey which had joined forces with Qatar in hosting and protecting the pillars of Islamic terrorism who conspired against Egypt. It helped fund and support Daesh in Syria, and aided the militants escape. It recently announced its intention to establish military focal points in Qatar and Sudan, in obvious harassment of Egypt. And finally, it announced it did not recognise the border demarcation agreement signed between Egypt and Cyprus according to the International Law of the High Seas. This agreement, which was deposited with the United Nations four years ago, allowed Egypt to explore for natural gas in the Mediterranean, and made possible the discovery of the huge Zohr gas field. Now, four years later, Turkey wakes up to make declarations that can be at best described as ‘thuggery and piracy’, only intended to harass Egypt. Can the imprint of the superpowers in this move go unnoticed? Turkey is a member of the US-led NATO; can it possibly threaten with such an offensive move without a green light from NATO?
I was keen to review the appalling scene that surrounds our precious Egypt, to stress that the unity of Egypt’s people, army, and police is the rock that will repel evil conspiracies. I pray for continued wisdom, vision and prudence on the part of our political leadership, in order to adequately deal with the threats and blows directed against us from numerous sources.
18 February 2018