Monday, March 13, 2006

It has been posited... fellow blogger Rocco here that with the audience of Mubarak with the pope and the posting of Fitzgerald to Cairo that Egypt is shaping up to play some kind of part in the Holy See's Middle Eastern policy.

First, a look back:

Mubarak is a smart guy who's been hanging onto power in Egypt ever since Sadat was assassinated. His government has walked a fine line in keeping the citizenry happy by allowing rampant anti-semitism while Mubarak struts around the international stage doing his best to portray Egypt as a partner for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The economy is propped up (as usual) by the United States, which has since 1979 provided on average $2.2 billion per year.

Whether or not Egypt can have any meaningful reform remains to be seen. While Mubarak has eased up and allowed multi-candidate elections for president (he won last time around), most observers believe that the minute free and fair elections on a large scale are held, the Muslim Brotherhood would be given control by the people.

If the Holy See wants to make any place the cornerstone of its Middle-Eastern policy, it ought to be Iraq. Iraq has a sizeable Christian population that is loyal to Rome. It is also Shi'ite majority and those Shi'ites for the most part follow the cleric Sistani, a man who has shown much moderation towards the West.

Let's face it, thanks to Saudi exporting of Wahhabism to the four corners of the Sunni world, the Sunnis are a lost cause. If the cartoons taught us anything, it is that jihadists all around the world are in positions to easily and effectively whip up anti-Western rioting and destruction and local governments are pretty much powerless.

It's time to stop waiting for reform and start going to those who have already reformed.

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