While Mr. Morsi was, according to the Times, sensitive to the election season political climate he also retaliated to the recent comment from President Obama that he doesn’t consider, currently, Egypt to be a friend…but also not an enemy. The Egyptian President said that he saw a path for the US and his country to be allies, or possibly even true friends—even amid criticisms of our own culture with deference to his doctoral studies conducted in California. Clearly, President Morsi is willing to work with the United States, at least rhetorically towards a goal of an independent (and possibly discontinuous) Palestinian State as it traditionally had been under President Mubarak. The only question that remains is whether or not this is an earnest declaration.
Without a doubt, Mr. Morsi has delivered his message in a diplomatic and presidential manner, however for a representative of a political party that touts Jihad as their way, and death for the sake of Allah as their highest aspiration any declaration of peaceful political or diplomatic aspirations should be closely inspected. Does that mean that these statements weren’t earnest? No, not at all—if they weren’t it might be for more expeditious (if not totally transparent) to simply paint a rose colored picture of its intentions towards Israel and then throw it under the bus when it was opportune. Both set of possibilities have to be carefully considered as the region, even outside of Israel and Egypt is headed towards conflagration with a nuclear Iran.
A nuclear Iran has evolved from a possibility to, by all accounts, to an inevitability without some sort of diplomatic or military intervention—the latter of which will certainly come in the form of an Israeli air strike on suspected nuclear development locations. An act of that sort will undoubtedly require an alignment from the United States either in endorsement or in renouncement. A renouncement on the part of the United States in this case would likely forever sour the “special relationship” between the two countries. An endorsement would be tumultuous for future throws of the dice in the game of Middle Eastern Risk, and even more so without a peaceful treaty with Israel’s southern border nation: Egypt.
With the game pieces aligned so, it is fairly amazing that this exact scenario isn’t a forefront issue in the coming election—though President Obama has addressed it at the United Nations General Assembly, his statements were vague claiming only that Iran should not become a nuclear power without peaceful intentions. Factoring in Ahmadinejad’s declaration of intent to “wipe Israel from the mat” we might assume that their nuclear program is likely less than peaceful—regardless of Iran’s actual intention to launch them in an attack. Nuclear Iran and the destabilization of the Middle East in a clear escalation of at least two additional Nuclear powers (the US and probably Israel) is a threat to the region, the hemisphere, and…well…everybody. Perhaps we shouldn’t march with signs declaring “The End is Nigh” around Times Square, but the situation is serious. Whomever the next president of the United States is going to be, this dilemma is going to be on their plate—economy or no, and without or without a pullout in other theaters—and therefore it would be nice to hear some specifics from our candidates incumbent or challenger alike. With Mr. Morsi clearly aware of the nature of his nation’s influence to protect Israel simply by not engaging or overtly aiding against it, I’d really like to know what our 2013-2017 President is planning on doing about it—whoever they are—as this could potentially be the next reason we send young men and women to die on foreign soil.
So there’s an earful that Americans aren’t willing or ready to hear. Unfortunately, as the clock ticks and the plutonium cooks it won’t matter who is ready to hear what—the time for diplomacy will run out and there will be nothing left but guns and bombs to deploy. The question is at whom will they be pointed?