Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com
President Obama’s role in pressuring Egypt is dangerous and, according to some, possibly impeachable. His demand that “orderly transition…must begin now” will only destabilize a key ally and help move the Muslim Brotherhood closer to power. Obama’s solution — “free” elections that must include the Brotherhood — will replace a secular, pro-Western regime with a less friendly government on a slippery slope toward religious fundamentalism.
Whether the Brotherhood carries the day as the chief organized opposition group or not, the results of an election that reflects the majority sentiment of Egyptians will be bad for the United States. How bad? Pat Buchanan writes in his column today:
- Twice as many Egyptians identify themselves as Muslim fundamentalists as identify themselves as “modernizers.”
- By 95 to 2, Egyptians believe Islam should play a large role in Egyptian politics.
- While 48 percent of Egyptians say suicide bombings are never justified, 32 percent say “rarely,” 12 percent say “sometimes,” and 8 percent say suicide bombings are “often” justified. Half the people of Egypt believe there are times a suicide bomb is the right answer.
- Half of all Egyptians have a favorable view of Hamas, and one in five has a favorable view of al-Qaida.
- Three in four Egyptians believe cutting off the hand of a thief is proper punishment. Four in five favor stoning adulterers to death. And 84 percent favor executing Muslim converts to Christianity.
- Eighty-two percent of Egyptians regard the United States unfavorably, and 48 percent rate America “very unfavorably.”
- In a Zogby poll in 2010, 90 percent of Egyptians named the United States and Israel as threats, 86 percent said Iran had a right to pursue nuclear weapons, and 77 percent thought it would be a good thing if Tehran got the bomb.
Whatever government such an electorate ushers into power will be….
Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com
Since the riots in Egypt broke out last week, Barack Obama has attempted to hit the snooze button on his 3 a.m. phone call. After much uncertainty about the American position, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced today he will step down as president-for-life at the end of his term this September. There is no word on whether this will satisfy the majority of rioters in his country, nor what government may follow him, but apparently it did not satisfy Obama. Shortly after the announcement, Obama declared, “orderly transition…must begin now.” As to what government will follow, a member of the Obama administration has allegedly met with a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical fundamentalist organization that incubated the leadership of al-Qaeda. The Brotherhood is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these region-wide uprisings. The good news is this fate could be prevented; the bad news is there is no evidence Barack Obama has any idea how to bring this about.
Choosing Among No Good Solutions
Leading up to today’s announcement, Obama had called for an “orderly transition” to a post-Mubarak government following open, democratic presidential elections in September. However, Hillary Clinton said Sunday that Mubarak must take “concrete steps toward democratic and economic reform… immediately.” However, she added, “We are not advocating any specific outcome.”
None of us is privy to the behind-the-scenes negotiations — at least until the next WikiLeaks dump — so we can hope direct talks took a smarter ring than public rhetoric. Unfortunately, reports indicate the Obama administration is already legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in a post-Mubarak government. The foreign policy elite insist there is little cause for concern; that these are “democratic” rallies with broad-based support, and the Brotherhood plays a tiny role in the proceedings. Its talking heads state we “can’t” exclude the MB from a democratically elected future regime, but its representatives will be drown out by more liberal figures such as Mohamed ElBaradei. Some conservatives insist America must bog itself down on the banks of the Nile and advance “the freedom agenda” despite its likely beneficiaries. The table seems set for a replay of foreign policy disasters past, beginning with media disinformation.
Nobody Here But Us America-Lovin’ Democrats
One is always impressed by the discipline, if not the originality, of talking heads spouting talking points. No facts, logic, or human intellectual impulse can keep them from repeating their rote catechism of the moment like a Victrola wound by the hands of their party leadership. Since the demonstrations broke out, they have reassured us that the crowds are diverse, opposition to Mubarak is wide, and– here’s their new phrase of the hour — “the Muslim Brotherhood came late to the party.”
The Washington Post illustrates this by quoting Mohammed el-Rady, a 32-year-old government accountant who told reporters:
We want to be like America. We want to choose our president. This movement is not about Islam. It’s not about religion. It’s about people who have been suffering for 30 years who want democracy.
Readers of a certain age or political sophistication can virtually hear echoes of Mao Tse-tung being described by a Communist-riddled State Department as an “agrarian reformer” or Fidel Castro as the George Washington of the Cuba Unlike those media manipulations, the media line on Egypt is not altogether false. The Egyptian people, including its Muslim majority, do not favor the Muslim Brotherhood’s vision of a theocracy dedicated to converting or killing the nation’s substantial Coptic Christian population.
But popular will has never restrained a well-organized minority of fanatics let loose against a large, unorganized majority. It appears the Muslim Brotherhood is riding legitimate dissent all the way to national power.
Hide in Plain Sight
The Brotherhood’s leaders have made clear, yes, they were “late to the party,” but they intend to take control once the other guests are sufficiently inebriated. Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the 82-year-old recently retired leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, told The Washington Post….