If you care at all about the Israeli Front in the Global War on Terror, this is the most frightening paragraph you’re likely to read all week:
So to recap as we head into September, with the Muslim Brotherhood poised to take over Egypt and the Palestinians — encouraged by Israel’s enemies at the U.N. — poised to declare statehood unilaterally, we have al-Qaeda now active in Israel; a successful terrorist attack inside Israeli territory through Egypt; Israel and Egypt in a faceoff over the killing of Egyptian soldiers by Israel after those soldiers allowed (and perhaps even facilitated) an attack on Israel; and the Palestinians — with whom Israel is expected to make peace — celebrating the murder of a Jewish family and the killing of other Israelis.
That’s from Andrew McCarthy at National Review, and it means that we’re looking at the nearly-worst case scenario for Israel and Egypt. Look at this map of Egypt’s population density. By and large, Egypt is the Nile River valley. The great bulk of Egypt’s 80 million people live in a Third World maze of hovels along the river’s shores from Aswan to the Delta. Should that warren ever become — with a wink and a nod from Cairo — infested with al Qaeda, it would be the Devil’s work to root them out again.
Well, there is one easy solution — the one John Birmingham used in Without Warning. Its back to the wall and under immediate threat of nuclear and chemical destruction, Israel launched a preemptive nuclear strike on its Muslim neighbors. Egypt was most easily dispatched with a single, low-yield nuke fired by F-16 into the base of the Aswan Dam. The end result was as horrific as it was effective: Egypt’s length of the Nile Valley, flooded with boiling, irradiated water.
Please note that I am not endorsing this “solution” any more than Birmingham was. I mention it only to illustrate the difficulties involved in dealing with an Egyptian Islamic Republic. We’ve been fighting in Afghanistan for ten years now, against an enemy with meager resources beyond a willingness to kill and be killed. Egypt has F-16s and Abrams tanks. In Afghanistan, the enemy hides in caves and amongst tiny villages. Egypt has those 80 millions packed tightly in a post-urban rat’s-nest nightmare — and the locals are known to be quite friendly to al Qaeda’s aims.
But at least Mubarak is in chains and on trial, right?