by Dr. Reuven Berko
-- megalomania, hypocrisy, double talk, and in particular a divisive and violent radical Islamist agenda are leading the Arab leaders to saw off the very branch they sit on
The attitude of the Arab Gulf states toward Egypt under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is a good example of the insanity of considerable parts of the Arab world, whose twisted suicidal reasoning is unclear to many people outside it.
Given the American wipeout in the Middle East, leaders of the Persian Gulf states are very well aware that the only support they can expect against the expected Iranian aggression on the Arabian Peninsula comes from Egyptian military might. Nevertheless, megalomania, hypocrisy, double talk, and in particular a divisive and violent radical Islamist agenda are leading the Arab leaders to saw off the very branch they sit on.
The competition for hegemony, a tangle of conflicting economic and political interests and defensive manipulations, along with drives for expansion and survival, are leading the Gulf states to arm and fund the radical Sunni terrorist movements in Syria and Iraq to check the growth and terrorism of Shiite Iran, whose military provocations and threat to the Sunni Arab Gulf states is increasing.
But in effect they are encouraging Islamic terrorism in Egypt.
Turkey and Qatar have not accepted the loss of former President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, and have not relinquished their dream of an Islamic empire. The Saudis, because of their money, reject Egypt as the "Arab mother state." Mistaken U.S. policy confers transient status on el-Sissi's regime. All of Egypt's attempts to ingratiate itself with Saudi Arabia -- the military guarantees, the delegations, and the gifts of the Tiran and Sanafir islands -- failed to do the trick.
There is an Arab proverb that says, "Starve your dog so he will obey you." While battling Iran, the Gulf states are inciting for el-Sissi to be ousted while supplying stingy amounts of money and fuel just to humiliate him and keep him "alive," beaten, and needy -- a thug who can attack Tehran for them. While the Al Jazeera network presents the Egyptian president as a sex criminal, an agent of Iran, Israel, and America, a corrupt official who sells weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Egyptian government is vulnerable to incitement and terrorism from the Muslim Brotherhood and their protectors in the Gulf (Al Jazeera), flooding, monstrous demographics (thanks to the Islamic ban on birth control), inflation, shortages of fuel, sugar, rice and raw materials, as well as the threat of the water level in the Nile River dropping and a hit to its $55 billion tourism industry.
To encourage his suffering, restive, exposed-to-incitement people, el-Sissi told them that he lived for a decade with nothing in the refrigerator other than a bottle of water. In response, the Saudi king mocked him, delayed shipments of fuel and visas to Saudi Arabia for Egyptians and made threats that el-Sissi would fall, like then-President Hosni Mubarak. In response to the intra-Arab scheming, el-Sissi invited the Russians to conduct a joint military exercise and recently voted against the Arabs -- and with Iran, Russia and Syria -- in the U.N. Security Council on a solution to the Syrian crisis, knowing that the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the success of the Islamists would make him the next target. If the Gulf states don't change their policy soon, they'll wind up getting a refrigerator full of explosives from him.
Dr. Reuven Berko
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