Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 7, 2011 / 3 Adar I, 5771

Obama would let the fox in the henhouse

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | So what's that got to do with the price of wheat?

Quite a lot…if the topic is unrest in the Middle East.

The price of wheat has nearly doubled in the last year. Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat. For Egyptians -- half of whom live on less than $2 a day -- that can be the difference between feeding your family and starving.

Egyptians have known only authoritarian governments. But starvation can make political arrangements long tolerated seem intolerable. Egyptians have many reasons for dissatisfaction with the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. But, said "Spengler" (David Goldman), "the jump in food prices was the wheat-stalk that broke the camel's back."

President Barack Obama belatedly has concluded a lack of democracy is the source of instability in Egypt. The neoconservatives who were architects of President Bush's "freedom agenda" for the Middle East (which Mr. Obama sidetracked) wonder why it took him so long.

Both overstate enthusiasm for democracy. Middle class Egyptians want free speech and fair elections. But the middle class in Egypt is very small. There are more than three times as many illiterates as there are college graduates.

A Pew poll released Dec. 2 indicates few Egyptians share the outlook of the middle class. Given a choice between "Islamists" and "modernizers," 59 percent preferred the Islamists, only 27 percent the modernizers.

"A population that was convinced just two months ago that sharks in the Red Sea were implanted by the Israeli Intelligence Services is hardly at a stage of creating a liberal democracy in Egypt," Egyptian student Sam Tadros said in an email to Clarice Feldman of the American Thinker.

"Egypt lacks the sort of political culture that can sustain a liberal democratic regime," Amr Bargisi, a leader of the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, told the Wall Street Journal. "Without knowledge of the likes of Locke and Burke, Hamilton and Jefferson, my country is doomed to either unbridled radicalism or continued repression."

The mullahs in Iran tout similarities between Egypt now and the revolt against the shah in 1979.

In Iran in 1979, the middle class was larger, support for radical Islam weaker than in Egypt today.

"For Egyptians, the history of the Iranian revolution should serve as a warning," wrote Abbas Milani in the New Republic. "Ayatollah Khomeini hid his true intentions -- namely the creation of a despotic rule of the clerics -- behind the mantle of democracy."

There is no Khomeini-like figure in Egypt today. But the leading opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) is, like Khomeini and al Qaida, devoted to establishing Islamism all over the world. All modern terror groups in the Middle East have their roots in the Ikhwan, Kuwait's education minister said in 2005.

President Obama would let the fox in the henhouse. The Muslim Brotherhood should be included in a new Egyptian government, provided it renounces violence, said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Analysts I respect say the army never will permit the Ikhwan to seize power. I'm inclined to agree. But a government run by the army isn't a democracy.

The army could fragment if things get worse. Many senior officers were educated in the United States and are friendly to the West. The lower ranks, not so much.

"Given the military's low paid status, it's entirely possible that a new Islamist regime could purchase the military's loyalty," said Jed Babbin, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense.

Things will get worse. Chaos has compounded economic problems brought on by high food prices.

The proximate causes of the spike in wheat prices were a drought in Russia and flooding in Australia. Two other factors foreshadow a grim future for poor countries like Egypt.

Wheat and other commodities are priced in dollars. The easy money policy of the Federal Reserve has flooded the world with them, driving prices up.

Mandates and massive subsidies for ethanol are causing an alarming proportion of U.S. food production to be burned up in our gas tanks. In 2001, seven percent of U.S. corn went to ethanol. Last year, the figure was 39 percent.

The risk of an Islamist takeover in Egypt is small. But it exists. President Obama' policies -- like Jimmy Carter's with regard to Iran -- heighten that risk. .

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2009, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles