The rise to power of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt is a great illustration of the way democracy doesn’t work in the Middle East. With Mubarak gone, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi had been seen (by analysts in the West) as the most likely replacement. Out of nowhere emerged Mohamed Morsi who won the election and proceeded to fire Tantawi. (You may remember, Morsi was the guy who was imprisoned last year for treason and espionage.) From America’s perspective, this came as both a shock and a disappointment, since Tantawi was seen as a friend of the West who would keep the Islamists in check. The Morsi victory was our worst case scenario.

We now know that not long after Morsi became president last June, Tantawi had signaled his intent to overthrow him through a mass demonstration to take place on Aug. 24 as well as a military coup. Morsi, however, had plans of his own. Before Tantawi could act, Morsi annulled the constitutional declaration limiting his power, dismissed Tantawi, and replaced him with Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the head of military intelligence.

So much for the democratic process so touted by the Obama administration, and so much for the administration’s understanding of the strength and size of the Muslim Brotherhood. The MB knew about Tantawi’s plot and helped Morsi preempt it. How did they pull that off? They did the same thing they are doing in America right under our nose. Strategic infiltration. They began the process years ago focusing on the military. By the time of the election, they had MB members in several top positions.

What happens next remains to be seen. The various factions of Islamists are still fighting it out and Egypt is undergoing a serious economic crisis. What we do know is that Morsi poses a serious problem for Israel. There is another possibility, however, that could change everything. It is the Obama administration’s degree of “partnering” with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. We know that the two have been working together to a degree that defies logic. However, considering the way Obama has welcomed the MB into his own administration, assuming the worst is probably the best approach. As I have said over and over, democracy and Islam to not mix…at all. All the talk about the democratic aspirations of the Arab Spring is nonsense. What happened in Egypt is typical of politics in the Middle East, and I’m afraid it is no longer limited to the Middle East.


I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.