Night Watch: DAMASCUS – In an expression of grave concern and a sense of immediacy, perhaps in a controlled panic, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, the only Islamic leader not supporting the Jihad in any way, made a sudden trip to Damascus on Friday to discuss the latest regional developments with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. [China Economic Net]
Iran’s blatant, hostile statement concerning wiping Israel off the map and no retraction whatsoever by Iran’s President or government official, has probably made clear to Mubarak that Tehran wants a major war in the Middle East primarily targeting Israel but also perhaps to use it to justify the removal of Islamic heads of state that do not support it.
The crises and confrontations that Tehran is purposely creating are designed to remove what Iran calls “pressures” from Israel and the West. President Mubarak must have monitored the speech of Iran’s President at the recent, and by no means secret, World Without Zionism conference that accused the West of creating and using Israel as a base to cause problems in the Islamic world and only Islamic military unity can solve the problem.
Mubarak has never shown any inclination to support or even justify the Jihad but he may know, as does Tehran, that war against Israel, or the West, will be popular amongst Egypt’s population. And when they realize he has no intention of joining the effort they may call for his removal and not be content to wait for the next election.
I suspect Mubarak received no sympathy from President al-Assad since Syria may be planning to use the next war to regain the Golan Heights that it lost to Israel in 1967. Mubarak, in his lone opposition to the war, is in reality more isolated than Damascus.