National Security / Opinion / Politics

Reagan, Sadat, and Egypt’s Brokered Ceasefire

reaganWhat does the Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel mean?  What is the historic backdrop? What are stakes? What does this have to do with America?  Well, here is the story.

In August 1981, I worked in the Reagan White House. Egypt’s then-President Anwar Sadat came to the White House.  Reagan, hard against the Soviets and intent on Mideast peace, encouraged expanding the Camp David Accords, strengthening relations between Egypt and Israel.

With mutual respect, the two men – seasoned idealists – came to an understanding.  Reagan foresaw a decisive end to the Soviet Union – which almost no one did.  Sadat understood what Reagan foresaw.  Sadat envisioned a permanent Mideast Peace.  Reagan understood what Sadat envisioned.

Perhaps more to the point, Sadat trusted Reagan, Reagan assumed the best, and while Reagan saw Egypt as a lynchpin, Sadat saw America as a strong potential ally, as we were to Israel.  In these things, both men were right.  I recall being amazed at their swift, seemingly real closeness.

Reagan admitted being persuaded by Sadat’s appeals to peace, promised to listen across the region, and support Egypt with major economic and military aid.  What Reagan promised, America delivered.

Said Sadat in parting, he was “in full agreement with … President Reagan,” extended “deep gratitude” to him and “the American people, with whom I cherish really full pride to be friends, to be understanding.”  Sadat added: “I am happy to tell the American people … after this visit … I enjoy the friendship of President Reagan as a great leader of a great nation,” adding “I shall never let you down.”

The meeting between Reagan and Sadat was poignant, powerful. They knew not what lay ahead.  The Soviet Union was soon gone.  Despite America’s commitment, Mideast peace stayed elusive.  Two months later – to the day – Sadat was killed by an off-shoot of Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.  Two years later – to the month – Islamic Jihad, supported by Iran, blew up the US Marine barracks in Beirut, housing US peacekeepers in Lebanon’s civil war.

Terrorism has since roiled the globe – hitting the United States hard on 9-11.  Iranian support for terror has widened.  Today, Iran seeks a nuclear bomb – for nuclear terrorism.  They underwrite Hezbollah, Hamas, terror from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Syria and Israel, and around the globe.

Now, the rest of the story:  Reagan was right to support Sadat and Middle East peace, as he was right to support Israel and challenge the Soviet Union.  Through thick and thin, Reagan stood with our allies, making more want to be allies.  He was clear about moral convictions – standing against Communism and terrorism, no excuses.

Which brings us to this moment.  Sadat’s vice president Hosni Mubarak served for 29 years, was replaced by a leader aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, in turn replaced in a 2014 election by the former Egyptian Minister of Defense, President El-Sisi.

El-Sisi, having been part of the Egyptian military when Sadat was killed, and 30 years later stabilizing the country during riots, is anti-terrorist, pro-stability, and while snubbed by Biden, a peace advocate.

With Jordan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt’s El-Sisi struck an accord with Israel during Trump’s pro-peace tenure.  El-Sisi has proven, in the spirit of Sadat, a diplomat.  While Egypt did the work, El-Sisi let a feckless, shameless Biden take credit.  Everyone in the region knows Biden did nothing.

Today’s destabilizers remain communism – led by China – and terrorism led by Iran.  Like Israel’s Netanyahu and former President Trump, El-Sisi understands this.  He knows what Biden does not, what Reagan and Sadat clearly did:  Peace undermines terror, just as terror undermines peace.

So, where are we? The ceasefire holds – thanks to Egypt.  If Iran tells Hamas to break it, Israel will again defend.  In that case, America should stand firmly with Israel and against terror – no more equivocation.  The risk is that Iran pushes regional instability, and Biden does not push back.

Finally, how does this affect us?  Beyond averting a major war, more assassinations, and political violence, any war empowers Russia to move on Ukraine, China on Taiwan, and invites global instability.  And – lest we forget – this is the 20th anniversary of 9-11.  Terrorism still walks.  That is why we must be determined, as Reagan and Sadat were, to push peace.  What was true then is true now:  The moral authority is with peace and free people, not terror and Communism.  And we – we are the bulwark.


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Winston
1 year ago

Good for you. The primary thing I recall is how quickly President Anwar Sadat learned english, and was able to give in english, for all to understand.

President Anwar Sadat was and will always be my hero.

Winston
1 year ago
Reply to  Winston

.. to give a speech …

Art
1 year ago

Sometimes I almost get to thinking that Biden himself isn’t all bad. HE HAS BEEN SURROUNDED BY A HERD OF BUMBLING USEFUL IDIOTS. HE IS EVEN PRIVILEGED ENOUGH TO HAVE A HAMAS LOBBY GROUP EMBEDDED IN CONGRESS. THE SQUAD. PRESSLEY,TALIB,OMAR,OAC. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Some mental midget proposed that Gaza needed an Iron Dome defense system. PEACE WILL BE THEIR IRON DOME.

Max
1 year ago
Reply to  Art

Sorry, President Biden is still bad. Most of the Left wingers are being manipulated by big money to further their agendas.

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