Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Egypt's Red and Blue Empire Confusion

If a Blue-Red American empire proxy war is going on in Egypt, it's nice to take a look at some details.

In 2011, Blue empire Sec of State Clinton talked Blue President Obama into booting Mubarak (red client) for democracy. The US took what was really anger at food prices and construed it into a cry for democracy, using the media, secular Google Egyptian employees and great propaganda "Arab Spring" to grease the wheels. Sec Clinton's right hand woman was Huma Abedin. Huma is hooked up with Muslim Brotherhood connections through her family. Not too hard to understand the source of whispers in White House ears for supporting the MB in Egypt. State knew that the only infrastructure in Egypt of political power was the MB, and could have easily seen that a Islamist party or coalition would win elections. State was fine with overthrowing red client Mubarak for a MB controlled civilian government that could subvert the Egyptian military and become a nice dysfunctional client for the blue empire. The goal is more clients and control.

The Red empire is no slouch. If you have noticed the last 12 years, the Red empire has had a nice run. The Red empire's Egyptian connection is between the military education system as well as firepower. It literally is a client for military goods of the US MI complex. The Red interests give the military and deep state the means of maintaining control, which is why Obama stopping F-16 deliveries was so telling. The US sends roughly $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt, with defense contractors reaping some nice sales. Egypt is the conduit by which our government pays off defense contractors. The Saudis are happy with the coup. The Saudis, UAE and Kuwait all pledged $12 billion total for Egypt. Behind the Arabic curtain, Israel has been supporting the Egyptian military's moves. The Gulf kingdoms are Red clients with all of their (oil) military hardware purchases (oil) and autocratic governments (oil) that resist the US State department. Note that the Qataris didn't send Egypt more aid since they support and fund the MB.

In the Red vs. Blue jockeying, blue has more cards to play. Haven't they won every proxy since 1945? Doesn't team blue win all domestic issues? The US government is suspending more aid to send a message. Egypt won't be getting jets per President Obama. US State undermines any chance Red has of helping the Egyptian military and deep state by citing the Muslim Bro. legitimacy having been elected or constantly mentioning democracy and voting in a country that just started voting roughly 18 months ago. US State even mentioned that banning the Muslim Bro would be a bad move. Blue holds the propaganda megaphone, which Red knows full well is an amazing weapon of war. This is an international example of what we see in domestic British or French politics where the left party partners with Muslims for political power.

The Red and Blue teams are not alone in this complicated cocktail on the Nile. Besides the Gulf kingdoms aiding the Egyptian military, the finest of players are getting into the act. Iran's backing the MB. Looks like Egypt's regional neighbors are taking advantage of chaos to push their interests (with China's technical help) in the Nile region. I've posted before on this, but the Sudanese, Ugandans and Ethiopians have incentives for smuggling arms to the MB to destabilize Egypt. Weaken a negotiating adversary. Vlad Putin might or might not be looking to make up for Obama cutting off the Egyptian military. If US aid is mostly military in nature, why not boost Russian arms exports and give the Egyptian military what they need to crush the Islamists? I'd recommend sending lots of night vision equipment. Egypt is a nation with extremely high population density (see picture) with no one living in the vast deserts. Get night vision and thermal units to stop arms smugglers from the south (Sudan) and west (Libya). The US was running arms across an ocean from Libya to Syria, think crossing a dessert border is too tough for the US?

These are truly interesting times. The confusion and multiple actors involved are pushing Syria (last season's global proxy conflict) aside to the back burner and Iranian nuclear issues (massive GWOT tensions) to the sous chef's smoke break doorway. Is reality and the fear of other potential patron powers pushing a blue empire split on Egypt? Obama won't call it a coup, there is confusion on freezing all aid or not, Sec of State Kerry said the military's action restored democracy, and the NY Times published an op-ed (by a credentialed professor) critical of the Muslim Bro's management, citing the need for stability and government control that might not be democratic. US media outlets have even spotlighted the brutal attacks on Coptic Christians, which they previously hushed up when the MB was in control of Egypt. Sounds like a team in disarray. They migth be playing for time to pick a nice puppet who is just the right amount of Islamist (wasn't that the marketing for Morsi?). Is there something different about Egypt? Egypt has 84 million citizens, dwarfing Syria and mid-2000s Iraq (same for GDP comparisons). Egypt has nicer relations with Israel, which is an informal part of Egypt's blackmail aid deal with the US. Egypt also has the Suez Canal. Randall Parker at Parapundit says the NY Times does not offer enough clues to figure out who will win, but  that might have to do with Blue empire confusion.

My guess is as follows:

Egypt's military will secure order. It will come with US support or with support from Russia/China. Russia more than China will gladly pick up a client who is at the keystone position in Africa, controlling the Suez. The Russians did this with Nasser half a century ago. If it is with Russian/Chinese backing, then the military will have a clearer victory. Breaking from US patronage is difficult, so this is a lower probability event. The fear of losing a client who has such a prime strategic naval position (come on, it's why England was there before the US) will most likely cause the US to come to their senses and let the military crack down as much as they want for order yet allow some Islamists to have a seat at the table. The change in future US aid will hurt the Red empire and help the Blue by substituting simple food stuffs for military equipment, weakening the Red client's dominant force position. Food becomes affordable again but the military gets fewer toys. Islamists will find some power and work the long game. This way, the military stays in the catbird seat, secularists are protected and some Islamists are included in the power structure to guarantee problems further down the road for the Red/Blue proxy conflict to reignite.


It's always about home politics, never about the foreign pawns. A country does not have allies, only interests. If I were a general in Egypt, I'd take my chances with a patchwork of money from the Gulf kingdoms, Russia and China. The Sudanese of the north killed a couple million Christians to the south of Sudan in a civil war, but no one invaded them despite Hollywood and media agitation. It pays to export oil to China. Other African countries rich in resources are learning this, too.

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