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America and the challenge of the deferred interest with Egypt

7 Feb 2012 - 9:26

Islam Times - A year after the Egyptian revolution, the United States is facing a new challenge in the region; it is in need of redrawing its perceptions towards some of the concepts that have been throughout the previous periods subject to what might be called the political universals. These universals include classifying the religious movements as a whole as enemies, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the Salafi movement, which is considered by the American political concept of classification as the most hard-line movement. The universals also include the concept of dealing with the Egyptian state in terms of partnership, away from the formula of dependency, for the common interests are the ones that will control the nature of the relationship with the “democratic Egypt”.

All this poses a real challenge for the current American administration, as well as for the subsequent future administrations. Thus, this means that the United States should consider the possibility of achieving its interests in the region drawing on the basis of common interests between it, the Egyptian people, and the peoples of the region. Perhaps, the U.S. administration has realized that, but it is still subject to the circle of perception without practicing a true translation of this perception on the ground. This is due to two important factors, namely that the political structure has not yet been materialized in Egypt and in the Arab region on the one hand, in addition to the fact that the U.S. administration is not yet exposed to the examination of the relationship on the basis of interests.

Perhaps, the most important test for the future of the U.S. relations with Egypt would be the Palestinian issue, for “Israel” is associated with strategic relationship with the United States, and is in turn waiting for what will happen in Egypt after the revolution, and how this will be reflected on the future of the relationship between it and the Egyptian State. Hence, any aggressive act by Israel against the Palestinians, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, or at the regional level, will force all the relevant parties to determine apparent positions, and the U.S. administration was always a strong supporter of everything done by “Israel” including the practices against the Palestinian people. However, the United States must during the coming period determine its positions based on what will be fully reflected by these positions on its relations with the countries in the region, led by Egypt, and thus the American positions are expected to be consistent with the nature of the U.S. interests in the region. Also, the U.S. interests must take into account the anger that can be reflected by America’s pro-Israel bias position on the Egyptian people, which in turn must be reflected on the decision-maker in Egypt, which represents the interests and aspirations of the people concerning their major and crucial issues, particularly regarding the Palestinian cause.

There is no doubt that this will be a challenge for the U.S. policy, especially since the United States is not used to face variance between its interests and between the Israeli ones on the one hand, and it is also not used to deal with the Arab countries on the basis of common interests. Its behavior is usually based on the basis of political affiliation, for it was used to deal in Egypt with a centralized dictator regime linked to its interests directly, while it is now forced to deal with the representatives of the Egyptian politics on the grounds that they are expressing the interests of the Egyptian voter, who is going to replace anyone or anything not in agreement with his/her political behavior concerning his/her national relations. The democratic game, which is well known by a country like the United States, requires taking into account the interest of the ballot box, which will determine the shape and path of the public policies in the Egyptian state.

Yet, despite all this, the American behavior cannot be expected completely, for the motive of the U.S. policy is complex and based on interconnected and interrelated considerations that have to do with the internal political balances, including the pressure of the Jewish lobby on the U.S. elections. “Nothing stays the same”, this is an Arab traditional old wisdom; it has been demonstrated and proved by the Arab peoples, and it is thought to be reflected more or less on everything that happens in the world as the shifts and changes, and the United States is not protected against those changes. The U.S. stands in the core of the storm and the arrival of Obama as the first black president to the White House is but only an evidence on the depth of those changes and their root, especially in a country having a racist history as the United States.

What remains is to wait for the coming period and to follow-up the path of the upcoming elections in the United States; for they would either disclose further shifts in the strategic vision of America towards its own interests, or would keep the usual classical American politics regarding the mechanisms of translating its interests in the Arab world, particularly with Egypt.