DefCon 3 7/17/2013: Egypt in turmoil
Egypt forms new government but doesn't include the Muslim Brotherhood, Snowden asks Russia for asylum and interventionist foreign policy?
Jul 17, 2013
David Goldman, Leon Aron
Egypt forms new government but doesn't include the Muslim Brotherhood, Snowden asks Russia for asylum and interventionist foreign policy?
Jul 17, 2013
David Goldman, Leon Aron
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And our country and -- my -- Couple of weeks pre empted by that Zimmerman trial but.
Zimmerman is over and national security is back in your headlines so today we've got to have great shall we catch you guys who are really big strategic thinkers.
One is my friend David Goldman he is the author of a book how civilizations -- And he's gonna talk about -- -- -- that I've been reading about for a number of years when he's talked about.
Egypt he said if the economy stupid and he's talked about the economy and why the people have gone to the streets -- first I want to ask you David.
Yesterday the new interim government of Egypt has announced a new interim government could have sent at the mother brought the Muslim Brotherhood the -- -- throughout.
Two weeks ago is this significant -- one.
It's significant KT because.
Egypt is desperately dependent on aid from the gulf states and the saudis and kuwaitis and emirates.
Will not give any money to a Muslim Brotherhood government because they lived in terror.
Of -- -- brotherhood the way Captain Hook fear that alligator.
The the most likely scenario for a doubtful the -- would be a -- and brotherhood coup against them.
So suppressed in the Muslim Brotherhood as a precondition.
For the twelve billion dollars.
In the gulf state aid.
Which has been announced since the okay northern Iowa State going to Egypt with from -- Muslim Brotherhood government only the Qatar is willing to put up money that Qatar the crazy old theme here of cop -- Put up about a third of its foreign exchange answers to try to bail out Mohamed Morsi in the Muslim Brotherhood to the point that.
The rest of the Monica decided this was a bad idea -- had a replaced by his son.
Last month that it was replace I think that's able to play with -- -- a Muslim Brotherhood has a radical before he had spent a third of their foreign exchange reserves.
-- -- -- -- -- -- And at some point they decided it was getting too expensive to maintain his political -- so at this point Egypt.
Which imports -- its food running out of money before on wheat.
Needs the saudis and kuwaitis and emirates and they have a veto on local politics.
That's not good but it's a lot -- and starvation or humor plays in the Wall Street.
Colonel -- where you talked about.
But something like half of the Egyptian people have no food.
Other than the bread they're given -- as a handout from the Egyptian government how important is the food factor in what's going on in -- of.
Today well it took.
Arab socialism sixty years to take the bread basket of the world and turned it into a basket case that -- half -- food each hit -- is a banana republic but without the bananas.
It has -- massive foreign exchange deficit equal to about us a sixth the size of its economy.
Importing food and energy which -- -- and the -- half of the population.
Has lived for the last few months and almost nothing but subsidized bread -- proteins at all this is a country where.
Of the adult population.
Is stunted by malnutrition according to the world food organization.
It's a desperate situation they desperately need the foreign aid.
-- -- go to congress and ask for ten to fifteen billion dollars of -- -- -- but the saudis can do it.
And that's why the saudis and the Egyptian military have a lot to try to stabilize the situation.
It's the least bad -- a set of possible -- -- Seeds are gone from here on biblical times is where the Israeli and -- -- the Jewish people went.
When they -- starvation in Israel they went to each of how -- Egypt gone.
Provisions of the breadbasket of the Middle East to a country which.
Imports half of its food.
Okay -- this a pattern we've seen in many dictatorships including the Latin America Mexico's a prime example.
Where you have agricultural policies designed for political control not productivity he keep people on the land -- literate.
-- foot and politically powerful so 45% of egyptians are literate a third of the -- cousins.
Of -- married women suffered genital mutilation.
It's a deeply pre modern.
With a tiny bit of the iceberg -- not those of the Google guys we see -- -- but most of the people are.
In mired in pre modern -- not fit for the modern economy that's the way.
The Arab military rulers since -- wanted to keep it for reasons of political control and that's how they dug themselves into an economic -- they can't easily get out.
Well why did -- -- crime rate again.
Will they be able to feed their people well it would be a massive effort at this point to try to restore the productivity.
The best scenario is that the saudis tide them over by giving them ten or fifteen billion dollars a year for a couple of years.
While some a new curative measures are tried personally.
I think we're gonna have a prolonged crisis.
And prolonged instability because I don't think it will be easy.
To back out of the hole they dug themselves into but it's a lot better.
To have people dead on -- subsidies for the next couple of years rather than start it won't try some -- But he said it is now is taken decades for Asia to get into this hole whether it's him.
What makes you think that the new government the transition government of the new government and we'll follow.
Will adopt policies that -- political economic reform while they just go back to the good old days when they were serving Egyptian.
I don't know that they will but the immediate risk was -- the country would run out of energy and run out of food in the short run that is why.
Morse he was kicked out.
He literally was at the end of his money and near the end of wheat supplies it was a desperate situation.
Was imminent so the military took over and -- the immediate support of the gulf states has enough money to keep people fed for the interest.
Will -- lead to a war term solution I think that's dubious.
We should obviously encourage such things but it may be past the point of no return so.
My message KT is we have to accept that.
Egypt as well as Syria or in such.
Broken down condition that long term stability may not be an achievable goal and the best that we can do.
Is to management the chaos for the short run a military government with financial support from the saudis is at least in -- main solution that we can -- I think David the great advantage of this show is that our viewers out there are washing their at their computers are sending in questions for me to ask you so we're all in this conversation together.
The one of our viewers -- his famous isn't anyone listening says would you describe the situation in Egypt as a coup -- just to change -- I think it's response to state breakdown a -- which implies.
And -- an effort by the military to take over I think the military was forced to move -- because there was a catastrophic.
Of power caused by the economic -- so it's really something.
Knew that we've really never seen of our lifetimes none of us have seen a country of eighty million people.
Ready to implode economically.
With the widespread malnutrition.
It's a new situation and I don't know what the right word for it is.
And Mike has written -- to say is there any chance that the Muslim Brotherhood.
Makes a comeback or or or in fact goes to the streets has account Lindsay has an insurgency.
Even -- -- in the sense -- and -- the Syrian civil war -- -- -- -- yes.
It's entirely possible but I think I think it's improbable but the Muslim Brotherhood as a strong -- in this organization.
If the Muslim Brotherhood would rule Egypt -- -- have to turn it into a starvation state and North Korea on the -- Where the to -- teary ruling party used food rationing.
For political control I think that would be much uglier scenario in the -- we haven't the president Muslim Brotherhood.
Government would be far more brutal and hostile to American contrasts and then the military government.
I think it's unlikely but possible it's really up to the Muslim Brotherhood what they decide to do I think the most -- the scenario was they will be suppressed and the weight.
And -- -- just in the same position I have for the last eighty years and they go underground.
They try to find a way to power either with political means or with military -- well the -- Brothers the -- the worst hand of cards and political poker.
In this century that took power exactly the point that the economy was in free for all -- and they ended up discredited themselves enormously sort of come back.
Immediately I think would be a -- Okay and I'm American man has -- -- says are you are Israeli Egyptian.
Arab relations at risk I was in government issue now.
In the seventies when Henry Kissinger negotiated the first.
Deal between the Israelis and the egyptians in exchange for American assistance -- of military assistance.
The egyptians decided they were not gonna continue to make war on Israel is that this.
I think that in the Egyptian military government is far more likely to maintain the peace treaty with Israel -- the Muslim Brotherhood and government the Egyptian military's been beaten by the Israeli several times they don't want to do it again.
Then that I -- of diesel -- get a division of -- the border but that's a different issue -- -- has an ideological.
Animus towards Israel he is a Jew -- he was captured on television calling the Israelis aches and pains and saying that we have to.
Inculcate the next generation with hatred against them.
The military doesn't like the Israelis but they tend not to have the same kind of extreme ideological -- That said journal all CC the defense minister and if de facto ruler of Egypt isn't Islam -- wife wears the full Islamic.
-- so the question is who's islamists and as opposed to whether this clause.
-- -- -- -- One of the first things -- he did when he was became president of Egypt got on a plane went to Tehran met with the Iranians with Ahmadinejad.
That obviously made the saudis really angry -- -- enemy.
Is there any prospect that this new Egyptian government.
Worked with Iran.
I think that the new Egyptian government is going to do essentially what the saudis would like it to do.
In foreign policy in return for.
Twelve billion dollars of -- a year from the saudis -- the kuwaitis.
I believe it was an enormous era on more c.'s part to play games with the Iranians I think that showed his animus towards the gulf monarchies he played footsie.
With the -- -- enemies of the Saudi monarchy.
There have been a number of news reports suggesting that this was one of the things that -- the military to decide that he had to go.
The -- dalliance with the wrong.
You know I was I was garrison where and their new interim government has announced how CC general CC had a defense forces have been our military attache.
In Saudi Arabia and the judge Mansour who has -- -- -- of their Supreme Court Chief Justice.
-- was head of the new interim government he also spent time in Saudi Arabia represented Saudi Arabia sentencing and I says was that effort.
By the Egyptian military and the people to improve or to get back to the old good old relationship with Saudi Arabia -- open the checkbook and made the shortfall that.
Was really the only place they could go over the amount of money they needed to avoid widespread starvation I think it's important to look the Middle East more broadly than Egypt.
We have a Shiite Sunni civil war.
-- going on through the Middle East from Pakistan to the Mediterranean.
To -- The Iranians represented Texas central threat to Saudi Arabia they're conducting subversion among the Shiites in Saudi Arabia and eastern province.
The saudis have been buying missile equipment from China -- -- places to point -- the Iranians as a deterrence.
The saudis you know from the WikiLeaks have been -- the United States to attack Iran and destroy its nuclear weapons program.
For years so -- -- these events including Syria fit into a larger conflict which unfortunately has metastasized and in too much bloodier and less containable kind of situation.
I'm turning a New Jersey says what happens -- -- president former president Boris is going to be put on trial.
I don't know I think that the Obama administration.
As well as Senator McCain and some conservatives have the huge -- -- what I would characterize as -- utopian fantasy that fantasy is.
The Arab countries who -- democracy in the Muslim Brotherhood which started out as a Nazi inspired to -- -- party will somehow.
Morphed into a Democratic Party and everything will be good and stable.
I don't think this will happen but the commitment.
The ideologically driven commitment both -- the Obama administration and in some parts of the Republican Party.
To this site -- can make it very difficult.
For more seat to be subjected to a show trial or shot in the basement I think.
The military simply wants to keep the Muslim Brotherhood neutralize -- by the most.
Saddam actually donation into a -- knowing exactly -- right Mike has written to say.
You know one of the things and it that we didn't see in the first Arab -- with people burning the American flag -- the -- But now we've seen in Egypt in the last two weeks posters blaming Obama blaming the United States for this.
What is the American sentiment like in Egypt today to their life survey think it's -- our fault.
The egyptians desperately want to be friends -- the United States.
But the United States for ideological reasons which I think -- be -- -- with one of the among the great stupidity -- that we've come up with an -- history.
Thought the -- -- brotherhood would be a vehicle for democracy.
He -- and so the Muslim Brotherhood are vicious -- -- Terry and party that wants to impose.
It Islamist dictatorship.
And the protests in Egypt were against Obama and ambassador Patterson and Hillary Clinton support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
An astonishing thing.
The egyptians understand.
Very democratic needs much better than anyone in Washington and Saudi Arabia is a better guarantor of American Express and the State Department.
That's -- the world turned upside.
As sure -- hey David thank you so much for joining us David Goldman author of how old civilizations die and why islamists dying to thank you so much for joining us thank you -- -- are really in depth look at what's behind the scenes and it's a privilege to be here -- thanks so much.
-- you take a break and then come back and -- about mr.
wooden store Obama.
Who -- the -- we warned mr.
Snowden at any actions by him connected with harming Russian American relations are unacceptable for us.
Mean if we can't and we wouldn't act like other countries Russia has an independent foreign policy and will continue with the -- -- that our partners -- understand that's.
Interstate connections are much more important -- special services dirty tittle title.
-- I was at great American ally President Putin of Russia.
We're gonna talk now to our guy that I've been following for years Leon -- run and he's a resident -- the American.
Enterprise institute he's the director Russian studies and the is the author of the book rose to the -- making of the Russian revolution.
Think -- show much for joining us.
Pleasure thank you you down a recent blog about how basically Putin has it she can do to President Obama can you explain.
Well he what Clinton is trying to do I think is to have his cake and needed to.
For domestic purposes you know as the economy is winding down his popularity is diminishing.
Things are beginning to look shaky after the protests.
-- -- -- -- He he does everything to bolster his domestic standing and what better way for any authoritarian to do it -- stick a finger in in in American side.
Which is what he's doing and he has been doing by the way it's this is not the first time this Syria there's harassment of our ambassador -- -- fall.
They're all kinds of things the closing down of US DA and so and so forth.
But this is just another issue here and so what put it was trying to do is he's trying to on the one hand to show I'd just as you showed in your clip.
Well Russia's standing up to America you know we're not like other countries.
I'm here don't worry I'm here to protect here.
But at the same time if you notice he is trying to secure -- Obama's visit there which is very important for puts -- perceive as well.
I and that's going to be or in the margins all of the G.
-- -- meeting in Saint Petersburg in early September.
And so he's walking this line here.
But but overall I think he is he is loving it.
Why isn't more to it than just the opportunity to humiliate the United States and sort of a good PR move.
Is there something big here at stake here return and I says Russian.
I'm well if there is that both sides are trying to minimize that.
I think for.
The Obama administration.
And the only issue that they care.
But Russia is concerned is the next arms control agreement.
And actually self control control is a misnomer.
And other cut by may be a third in the US the nuclear arsenal.
And they need direction to go along because he unilaterally would -- -- -- the prologue will not pass the senate.
So so there after Putin.
To agree to another round of arms control.
-- points and like I said he is.
The anti Americanism in the in the Russian propaganda media and of course the national TV is completely monopolized by the state.
Has been going on for years especially after Putin's reelection in 2012.
But if he is like I said -- trying to be careful here because he too has a larger issues here for example of Afghanistan.
I mean Putin all but pleaded with -- us not to leave Afghanistan and if we are leaving Afghanistan which seems to be the case Q1 some sort of corporation with the United States to make sure that that the corrupt and very weak.
A Muslim states on the Russian border that separate pressure from from Afghanistan.
Do not fall.
To tell a bond and and do not bring column on the right to -- a Russia's borders so he has that he has a larger strategic gain.
-- in which he does not really want to completely alienate the United States.
You know and have a look if you look at the big sweep of history United States Russian relations it looks like now we're at -- we're out we're -- off footed on this you know where we.
They're sticking their finger and -- -- -- we're asking and begging him to -- Snowden back but in the bigger picture is Sarah opportunity maybe for the United States.
And Russia to find common cause -- talked about on the periphery of the Russian.
Stayed the Islamic countries turning Islamist is do we have.
We have things that we might have in common that would be mutually beneficial developing a Russian oil fields any other issues where we could find their -- As there're there're well there there are other issues on end and you know you both sides bomb have confirmed that well yes we need to cooperate on anti terrorism.
All in a nuclear non proliferation.
But the problem is that the range of -- that's -- we -- we started to cooperate with the -- remember the recess.
All of the Obama administration and in early 2009.
The range of issues and Russia's relevance for the US has been diminished and -- solid as Russia's fault for example Russia.
Said that they're not going to help us on Iran.
They're completely different from us with respect to Syria and -- essential -- this supporting the regime there that's murdering its own citizens.
-- Afghanistan would cooperated very nicely because like I said Russia does not want -- -- its borders.
But that's winding down to for better or worse.
So the range of issues awful which four US national interest for which Russia was relevant.
Is becoming narrow -- -- and I think I think in these contacts.
This -- of flare ups are becoming.
More difficult to to kind of stamp out date date they loom larger than there really are.
Eight -- doctor Aaron one of the great things about they conversation that you and I are having on the Internet is that our viewers are watching and they're participating as well.
So they're sending in their questions I have a couple of questions for you from our viewers.
One let me -- man is there one person setting and do you think that this is the lowest point in US Russian relations that we have and then and the last several years.
I think could it's probably the lowest point in US Russian relations even in the post Soviet Russia.
With the one exception we hand we had a big altercation.
With a post Soviet Russia win.
In the late 1990s.
-- specifically 9798.
That NATO attacked Serbia.
To stop it from.
The war it was waging on on Bosnia and that was probably at at very low point.
But I think at this point is being repeated now -- -- as like I said there are reasons for it.
They're -- strategic reasons which -- just described was simply diverged.
And in our relevance for Russia in Russia relevance for us is diminishing but also I think -- domestically.
Has made a choice and the choice is to to prefer.
Bill -- the -- longer range interest of the country in other -- the country needs deep institutional reforms.
On the country needs liberalization everybody agrees to it he -- with that including -- But instead he chose these or third -- and consolidation and the tightening of the screws and so -- so forth.
And and that is under these circumstances.
It's very difficult for us to have better relationship with Russia because.
In some sense a certain amount of hostility and friction between.
Between these two countries isn't Putin's domestic interests.
So album might -- -- and I says well is that why couldn't Ben loves to hate the United States are really convenient punching bag.
It wasn't for us we find somebody else.
Well that this is this is a long -- Soviet tradition in in many regards Putin is a continuation of it.
Soviet tradition both domestically and and abroad of course.
She's not recreating the Soviet Union and its ability yet the totalitarian state.
But he clearly believes that that but certain policies of the Soviet Union were good for Russia and -- good for promoting Russia's national pride.
And I think what he's and that's a long tradition.
On going back to Lenin and Stalin but when you're in trouble domestically.
Lash out and at the United States.
-- the united states of plotting against the rush or the Soviet Union.
And trying to try to garner domestic legitimacy -- additional score additional points.
Of popularity would with the with the people.
-- -- The notion that here I am I'm glad you reported on defending you against the incessantly.
High style and incessantly -- United States.
And I think you know if you if you read the contents all of the Soviet I'm sorry -- of the Russian.
Especially on the national television channels which are totally controlled by the state you pretty much get this message.
One of our viewers -- ever from New Jersey she's saying she service is the united stay there are some calls that that we should.
-- US participation and they -- and Olympics that are scheduled for next year.
What do you think should we boycott the Olympics yet again like we did in the Carter -- In the in the 1980 S well I don't think we should boy -- the Olympics because of certain -- because of snow.
But there's another issue -- and that is that these that the first Olympic Games.
That are handled we have been.
And very brief you know 23 hour.
Car ride you know about.
20300 miles from the actual Jihad.
It's happening in that he's done from where.
You know the Boston Marathon bombers -- -- my brother's case.
And it's happening in the negotiate today is happening and all these smaller autonomous republic of north caucuses.
-- all of that is going to be on next to the Olympic site in incidentally if you noticed the conversation.
Last Friday between Clinton and Obama.
Among other things.
Raise the issue which I was -- had been expecting them to raise.
And that is how the US could help.
He improved preventing a terrorist acts -- Sochi Olympics.
And the deep to the -- risk.
That puts him to -- when you personally went on to persuade Olympic committee to -- Winter Olympics to a sub tropical.
A city which by the way is another historic first so the absence of snow may be an issue.
Of that hubris was was huge.
And end now I think Russia is paying for it.
But other countries are clearly concerned about the security all of their athletes.
Okay -- thank you so much.
For joining us -- I'm gonna make a really bad -- the Russians may not have snow.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The author of rose to the temple and -- -- resident Russian scholar at the American Enterprise Institute thanks so much for joining us.
Thank you it was a pleasure OK that's it for Defcon three.
You can do the baby -- without us but make sure you tune into Fox News -- -- live tomorrow at 11 o'clock in the morning.
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