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WASHINGTON – The possibility of civil war not only is casting a long, dark shadow over Egypt, which is being buffeted by violence these days, but could prompt a new wave of civil wars throughout the entire Middle East region, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Despite recent elections that saw Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohammad Morsi elected president, he has been unable to bring stability to the country and the Egyptian people appear to be running out of patience.
Egypt is on the verge of its own civil war as the Obama administration dispatches U.S. Marines to the area in preparation to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Cairo. The precaution comes as a reflection of the inaction it took at the time of the demonstrations and prior knowledge of an imminent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year, where the ambassador and three other Americans died.
The potential uprising in Egypt follows civil wars that have raged in Syria, Sudan, Iraq and Libya. Analysts are concerned that a civil war in Egypt could fuel more civil conflicts in these countries, bringing about considerable chaos throughout the entire region.
“Civil wars in Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon and Jordan might not be far behind,” said Middle East expert Professor Emeritus Monte Palmer of Florida State University and a former director of the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Beirut.
“All are linked to Egypt by a vast network of Islamic fundamentalist groups ranging from the moderate Muslim Brotherhood to the ultra-violent salafi-jihadists,” he said.
In addition, all have connections with the Brotherhood and the more violent-prone Salafist groups.
Palmer warned that the broader ramification of an Egyptian civil war, should one ultimately break out, would “certainly include” the rekindling of the long-dormant Arab-Israeli conflict and a deepening of the Muslim wars of religion now playing out in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and in the Persian Gulf Arab countries.
All indicators are pointing in the direction that Egypt is heading for a civil war.
The government under Muslim-Brotherhood-backed Morsi is running out of money and the population’s basic needs increasingly are not being met by the government. In addition, Egyptian efforts to date to obtain outside loans from the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund haven’t brought the billions of dollars in loans promised to keep the Egyptian economy afloat.
The lack of money to pay for basic public services is having its impact on the general Egyptian population.
“Public services have followed suit as shortages of fuel and electricity have become endemic,” Palmer said. “Religious and class tensions have increased apace, as have political riots and demonstrations. All reflect an economy on the verge of collapse.”
As the basic infrastructure of the country appears to be crumbling, more political militias are being formed, including criminal gangs, all of which, Palmer said, are prompting calls for the public to arm themselves by creating a national guard independent of Egyptian security forces.
“Egypt’s situation is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future because its political institutions are in disarray,” Palmer said. “The popularly elected Muslim Brotherhood controls both the presidency and the parliament. However, it can’t rule effectively in the face of sustained opposition from the seculars, the ultra-Islamic extremists, and the entrenched remnants of the old regime.
“The seculars riot, and protest,” he said. “The ultra-Islamic extremists create an endless series of crises by attacking churches, kidnapping soldiers, and lobbing rockets at Israel. The remnants of the old regime use their control of the judiciary to declare laws enacted by the Brotherhood unconstitutional.”
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