The Arab Fall

The Arab Fall

There is good news and bad news coming out of Egypt.

The good news is that the Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi has been overthrown by a military coup. The bad news is exactly the same as the good news.

We never had great expectations for the so-called Arab Spring, but as long as the people in the Arab street believed they had a say in their own future, it was less likely that war would break out with Israel.

This is a sad fact of Middle East life: When things go really bad domestically in the Arab world, dictatorial leaders ramp up the saber-rattling against Israel. Blame it for all the domestic ills, they believe, and the minds of the people will be turned away from the real problems facing them.

Deflection of this sort is not uncommon anywhere in the world. In the United States, we have the “October Surprise,” an unexpected headline-grabbing action meant to bolster a president behind in the polls only weeks before Election Day. We recall, for example, the speculation by the columnist Jack Anderson and others that President Jimmy Carter would order a military attack on Iran in October 1980 in order to bolster his chances in November.

We have no love for Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood that he led. While they surprised us by their nominal acceptance of the Camp David accords, they were strong supporters of the Hamas terrorists who run Gaza. There was uncertainty looming over the future. It looms even larger now.