Monday, January 31, 2011

Fear Not for Egypt

Gwynne Dyer's take on the Egyptian uprising is calming.  He believes it will be the military that tells Mubarak to go, although that could take a few weeks.  He also thinks the military would appoint someone like ElBaradei a titular, interim leader until proper political parties could be formed to contest a democratic election.  What then?  Dyer thinks Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood would win, something he thinks would not be all that radical but might give Israel plenty of concern:

The likely winner of a genuinely free Egyptian election, according to most opinion polls, would be the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brothers are not particularly radical as Islamists go, but the first thing they have promised to do if they win power is to hold a referendum on Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. And most Egyptians, according to the same polls, would vote to cancel it.

That would end the flow of official U.S. aid and private foreign investment that currently keeps the Egyptian economy more or less afloat, even though it would probably not lead to an actual war. And there is no reason to believe that an Islamic government could make the Egyptian economy grow any faster, although it would distribute the poverty more fairly.

It's possible that a threat to rescind the Egypt-Israel peace treaty could be enough to shift Israel to accept a genuine, 2-state solution to the Palestinian issue.  Israel has reaped enormous economic benefits from its peace pact with Egypt.  It was able to greatly slash its military budget as it considered safe and stable its long border with Egypt.   Having to reinforce that border would be a big hit to the Israeli economy.

1 comment:

Chris Taus said...

Egypt is huge. If Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood take over, guard your portfolio with great care. I strongly suspect the markets will be rocked by all this. Hope like hell I'm wrong. And yet again we can see how the malevolent religious ideology of a seventh-century Arab fraud can have dire effects on the world down to the present day.