ISIS is on the run on Egypt’s Sinai desert, and its natural response is to spread out, not to fight to the death. I talked about the deadly bombings in Egypt over the weekend with host Bob Bartolomeo a few minutes ago on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh.
The bombings inside the churches in Tanta and Alexandria killed at least 49 people during Palm Sunday services. These are the bloodiest attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power in 2013. As a result, his government declared a three-month state of emergency which will give him additional police powers. As it is, el-Sisi has been cracking down on Muslim Brotherhood members alongside his campaign against ISIS, jailing thousands and triggering hysterical human rights advocates who don’t understand that human rights are not on the agenda in Egypt as long as there’s a double crisis–economic and security.
Just today Israel underlined the severity of the Sinai situation by closing its border to the peninsula–in one direction, from Israel to Egypt, and only to Israelis–who are urged to use the crossing in the other direction and come home. Despite constant terror warnings, thousands of Israelis vacation on the Red Sea coast of the Sinai, especially during Passover, which begins tonight.
Bob also asked me about the US air strike on Syria last week. My only observation at this point is that the era of sending messages is over–if that’s the US idea, then it’s not going to work. The message concept implies an “or else” that just doesn’t exist today–there’s no way the US is going to get fully involved in Syria, sending in hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and for what? To preserve a Syria that no longer exists?
This is going to get worse before it gets better, and there’s pretty much nothing the US can do about it. Russia will find itself caught up in a conflict it can’t control, either, though it has limited goals–preserving its military bases on the Syrian coast.
But in the end, the people here on the ground will have to sort this out, and what the West can do is help the victims and help rebuild when the time comes. That would be a much more effective “message.”