Two from National Review.
The Middle East: All Bad Choices
/ By Victor Davis Hanson /
From Libya to Iran, our past actions have drastically limited our current choices.
Survey the Middle East, and there is nothing about which to be optimistic.
Iran is either fueling violence in Syria or racing toward a bomb, or both.
Syria is past imploding. Take your pick in a now-Manichean standoff between an authoritarian, thuggish Bashar Assad and al-Qaeda franchises that envision a Taliban-like state. There is increasingly not much in between, other than the chaos of something like another Sudan.
Our Libyan “leading from behind” led to Mogadishu-like chaos and Benghazi. Do we even remember the moral urgency of bombing Tripoli as articulated by the ethical triad of Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power?
The Choice in Egypt: There’s no good option, but somewhat bad is better than very bad
By Charles Krauthammer
Egypt today is a zero-sum game. We’d have preferred there to be a democratic alternative; unfortunately, there is none. The choice is binary: The country will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood or by the military.
Perhaps the military should have waited three years for the intensely unpopular Mohamed Morsi to be voted out of office. But General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi seems to have calculated that by then there would be no elections — as in Gaza, where the Palestinian wing of the Brotherhood, Hamas, elected in 2006, established a one-man-one-vote-one-time dictatorship.
What’s the U.S. to do? Any response demands two considerations: (a) moral, i.e., which outcome offers the better future for Egypt, and (b) strategic, i.e., which outcome offers the better future for U.S. interests and those of the free world.
As for Egypt’s future, the Brotherhood offered nothing but incompetent, intolerant, increasingly dictatorial rule. In one year, Morsi managed to squander 85 years of Brotherhood prestige garnered in opposition — a place from which one can promise the Moon — by persecuting journalists and activists, granting himself the unchallenged power to rule by decree, enshrining a sectarian Islamist constitution, and systematically trying to seize the instruments of state power. As if that weren’t enough, after its overthrow the Brotherhood showed itself to be the party that, when angry, burns churches.