John R. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said it's time for the United States to step up to the plate and choose sides in the Egyptian conflict — and that side should be the military.
"Like it or not," he said, the United States ought to back Egypt's government and military, not the Muslim Brotherhood or ousted President Mohammed Morsi, despite the fact that U.S. supported Mr. Morsi a year ago and helped his elected rise to power.
But Mr. Bolton said his view — penned for The Wall Street Journal editorial pages on Tuesday — is the only one that works for the long term.
"If the Muslim Brotherhood wins, say good-bye to the peace treaty with Israel and stability in Sinai," Mr. Bolton said. "Egypt has not yet succumbed to all-out civil war, as Syria has, but it's getting close."
He also said Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are on similar cusps of civil war.
"Tensions are more than simmering in Nigeria, Mali, Algeria and Sudan, and there is no guarantee that Tunisia, Jordan, Bahrain and Pakistan will remain stable," he said, as Newsmax reported.
The United States "cannot pretend" that Egypt is going to solve the monthlong violence that has pitted Muslim Brotherhood supporters against interim government and security forces — clashes that have been waged in the streets of Cairo since Mr. Morsi's July 3 ouster.
"Such conditions do not exist," Mr. Bolton wrote. "The Muslim Brotherhood is not a normal political party as Westerners understand that term. It is an armed ideology — a militia that fires on its opponents and burns down churches."
He concluded: "The Brotherhood, therefore, shares full blame for the continuing carnage. Should it ever regain power, whether through free elections or otherwise, it will never let go, as Mohammed Morsi was busy demonstrating in his year as president."
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