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Morsi Throws Weight in with Syrian Rebels


Just as Assad is gaining the upper hand in the Syrian Civil War, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has decided to cut ties with him. The countries that once briefly formed the United Arab Republic will no longer have diplomatic ties for as long as Assad remains in power and the bloody conflict continues, reports the FT:

Egypt has announced increased support for the armed uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, cutting diplomatic ties to the Damascus regime and holding a massive rally to drum-up funds and potential fighters for the effort.

President Mohamed Morsi, a Sunni Islamist, told thousands attending the rally at Cairo Stadium on Saturday that the Arab world’s most populous nation would stand with the Syrian revolution against Mr Assad’s Alawite Muslim regime, which is mostly drawn from a Shia minority sect….

“When the Syrian people ask for our assistance, we will not refuse at all, but rather we will support the struggle of our brothers in Syria until they get the freedom of choosing their ruler.”

Morsi also called for a no-fly zone over Syria, which the Assad regime was quick to denounce as the project of a joint US-Israeli conspiracy.

It’s tough to tell at this point what calculation Morsi has made. Does he now feel secure enough to put Egypt back into the regional game with the Saudis and Gulf states? Is he simply trying to distract Egyptians from their dismal economy by waving the flag of support for neighboring Sunnis, who are being massacred by the thousands?

It’s too early to say, but one potential danger that has some concerned is that Egyptian jihadists would fight in Syria and eventually return to Egypt “to do internal jihad,” as one Egyptian commentator warned. An estimated 2,500 Egyptian militants have already gone to Syria, and whatever Morsi would make of their violent return to Egypt, it would certainly be bad in the eyes of the United States. American terror experts remember all too well that Osama bin Laden drew many al-Qaeda recruits from those who first gained experience fighting a “holy war” in Afghanistan. Nobody wants to see the Syrian conflict play a similar role in the future.

President Obama certainly has his work cut out for him. This conflict is long past the point of being confined to Syria.

[Image of Mohamed Morsi courtesy of Wikimedia]

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  • Alexander Scipio

    I’m shocked! Arab Sunnis just threw their weight in with…. Arab Sunnis… against Persian Shia. Wow. THERE’s something that will confound the brainiacs at the WH. Newflash to team Kerry: NO ONE hates Persian Shia more than Arab Sunni.. and vice-versa. Will ANYONE be able to stop this bloodshed? No, of course, not. It’s been going on for over a thousand years. Who cares – and why? Save the Sunni Arabs (the “rebels”) this week from Shia Persians and next week the Sunni rebels (we call them “Al Qaeda” for those keeping score @ home) will be killing Westerners somewhere else. Let them all kill each other. If we had an adult in the White House or State Department, this would have been our strategy for the past TWO YEARS: Get the most violent, non-nuclear war possible going between these two groups of anti-Western (anti-civilization) muslims, get them to kill as large a quantity of other muslims as possible, so as to reduce the future numbers of those taking-up arms against civilization. If we REALLY had an adult government, we’d give the Saudis one or two nukes and tell them to use them wisely.. and they sure wouldn’t use them on Israel (whom they already have given Iran-bound overflight permission) Evolution works, folks – and as long as these two subspecies (shia, sunni) are killing each other trying to fit into the same ecological / environmental/ cultural habitat, they will CONTINUE to kill one another until there’s a winner. That’s how evolution works. And it works among States as well as among species. The great failure of the 20th Century – the bloodiest in history – was American’s interference in the Darwinistic evolutionary struggles on the european continent. Had we stayed OUT of WW1, they’d be speaking German in France right now – and NO ONE WOULD CARE. And the ottoman empire arguably would not have been raped by the Brits & France and devlolved into oblivion on its own. The USSR may never have been created from the dissatisfied Russian troops, demoralized by WW1, No purges, no WW2 ETO, no Korean or Vietnam Wars, no Cold War… and no terrorism today. All because America was too stupid to let evolution work its way across europe. And now – here we go again. If a State cannot defend itself in its niche, WHY should it survive? It should NOT. It’ll just cost yet MORE time and treasure and blood NEXT TIME THE ISSUE arises.. and there WILL BE A NEXT TIME. Muslims can not seem to stand NOT killing other muslims. So let’s do the adult thing and stay out of thier way!

    • Tom

      Or, we’d have ended up in a trans-Atlantic Cold War with Imperial Germany.

    • bpuharic

      Muslims should read these types of notes with a view to asking why their religion inspires such hatred across the world. While I’m an atheist and have no respect at all for Islam, to suggest we should arm people with the goal of fratricidal genocide staggers the imagination.

      Muslims should first be asking why their religion is capable of creating this level of disgust among so many people around the world.

  • jeburke

    OK, this is a wild and crazy question, but I can’t help myself: if Morsi’s Egypt and various other mainly Sunni states want a no fly zone over Syria to stick it to Assad, why don’t they combine and launch one? The Air Forces of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey together sport about 1500 attack aircraft of various types, including hundreds of advanced US-make F-14s and F-15s, plus a substantial number of surveillance, refueling and other aircraft. Indeed, these air forces cost US countless billions. So, isn’t that enough without the usually expected American “lead.” If I’m not mistaken, we are still waiting for the announced UAE contribution of fighters to the Libya campaign.

    My answer to Morsi: go at it, guys. We’ll be delighted to hold your coat.

    • wigwag

      It’s amazing really; the United States sells billions of dollars in military hardware to the Jordanians, Egyptians, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf nations yet these States are scared to death to use any of the weapons they’ve accumulated, even to protect their vital interests. Even after they’ve purchased all this hardware, they want the United States to do their fighting for them.

      Even more ironic is that if the United States demurs, their next favorite option is for the Israelis to do their fighting for them. If Israel bombs Iran, no one will be happier than the Sunni Arab States. If Israel bombed Assad’s palace, these same nations will have to work very, very hard to contain their joy.

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