Egypt's Brotherhood project is doomed

Irrespective of the outcome of the June 30 protests, the Muslim Brotherhood has failed, an Arabic-language commentator says. Other topics: Syria and Lebanon.

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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood project is doomed to failure irrespective of protest outcomes

Regardless of the outcome of the popular protests slated for June 30 in Egypt, and whether the opposition is successful in overthrowing president Mohammed Morsi, the fact remains that the Muslim Brotherhood's project in Egypt has failed, wrote Tariq Al Homayed in the London-based daily Asharq Al Awsat.

The group is bound to suffer from its failure for years to come, in Egypt and the whole region, he said.

As soon as they climbed their way to power following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, Brotherhood officials started making promises that soon turned out to be void.

"Their approaches to Egypt's crises were mostly manoeuvres and marginalisation attempts aimed at conquering the whole country through division and turbulence," he opined.

They began by seizing the general anti-Mubarak sentiment to undermine the military and, before long, their monopolising schemes branched out to alienate any other contesting power, from Al Azhar to the judiciary and the media. They even attempted to diminish their own allies in the opposition.

They were quick to rewrite the constitution, introducing favourable amendments that serve their objectives and entrench their authority. Meanwhile, the country's economy has all but completely failed.

"Remarkably, every direction or decision proposed by the ruling authority, the Brotherhood, ended up causing a clash with the community or the institutions, leading to additional internal segmentation and confusion," the writer said.

Their performance in foreign politics was no less floundering, from the relationship with Iran to the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Syria.

"As if all that wasn't enough, as efforts were intensified across Egypt to mobilise the public for the upcoming nationwide demonstrations to bring down the president, rather than offer political concessions or try to compromise, the Brotherhood rulers opted for more politically entrapping tactics. They pre-empted the protests with accusations of treachery and threats to crush political adversaries," noted the writer.

Such regressive behaviour coupled with an obvious detachment from reality makes you wonder what higher purpose this Islamist group is serving. Do they plan to shed blood in Egypt? Or do they want to drive the country to the brink of collapse?

"History will register that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have themselves to blame for their failed tenure in power, both in the internal and external arenas," the writer opined.

Their fatal error was that they tackled matters of state from a vengeful opposition mentality when they needed to be a wise, unifying political source of authority, he concluded.

Hizbollah and Iran must be defeated

The 11th Friends of Syria meeting in Doha on Saturday can be viewed as an official announcement of the beginning of a new phase of military operations in Syria, suggested Ali Hamadeh in an opinion article in the Lebanese newspaper Annahar.

Following the fall of Al Qusayr to regime forces and Hizbollah, and Iran's explicit involvement on the ground, the swift and decisive Arab response paved the way for similar US and European reactions that favour offering military aid to opposition forces in Syria.

Arab Gulf countries, Egypt and Jordan interpreted Hizbollah's involvement by proxy for Iran as a declaration of war on the Arab system and the region's identity. Hence, Iran and its military arm in Lebanon have become public enemy No. 1.

The decision in Doha yesterday to offer practical aid to the rebels will be instrumental in turning the tide of the war.

The current power distribution on the ground allows Russia to attend the second Geneva conference on Syria with a new set of conditions that would mainly consolidate the authority of the president, Bashar Al Assad.

"It cannot be," the writer said. "The most urgent mission at this phase, before speaking of any political solution, is to defeat Iran and Hizbollah in Syria, to corner the regime and defuse the Russian project that hangs on to Bashar."

Phantom of civil strife hangs over Lebanon

"Lebanese army commander General Jean Kahwaji wasn't exaggerating when he warned that, for the first time since the civil war ended 24 years ago, Lebanon's unity is once again in danger," said the Dubai daily Al Bayan in its editorial on Sunday.

Dangers that have been brewing under the surface for over two years are now more urgent and taking on an aggressive form in almost every part of the country. Random armed skirmishes, ambushes, kidnappings and explosions have been rocking the small state's fragile stability. They are all repercussions of the Syrian crisis spilling over into Lebanon.

"The state's official decision to 'distance' itself from the developments in Syria collapsed with the explicit intervention of Hizbollah in battle alongside regime forces on more than one front," the paper noted.

Explanations offered by Hizbollah's chief, Hassan Nasrallah, were devoid of any responsibility towards public peace. They awakened extremist reactions from opposing camps that, until a short while ago, were committed to containing internal conflicts.

The self-distancing policy is indeed the best solution for a multi-confessional country like Lebanon. Despite its fragility, it did protect the country from Syrian fire, except for minor incidents, the paper said.

* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem