The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Your Daily Egyptian Update

Posted on | January 31, 2011 | 23 Comments

The White House is trying to stay neutral:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that it is “not for me or our government to determine” whether Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should leave office amid massive protests against his rule.
Gibbs said the United States is “not picking between those on the street and those in the government.”

So I guess that if Egypt has elections and the winner is the “Throw the Jew Down the Well So My Country Can Be Free” Party, that’s OK with the Obama administration? More and more observers are warning of the potential danger of the Muslim Brotherhood gaining power in a post-Mubarak Egypt:

One might wonder how an organization can be thought to have renounced violence when it has inspired more jihadists than any other, and when its Palestinian branch, the Islamic Resistance Movement, is probably more familiar to you by the name Hamas — a terrorist organization committed by charter to the violent destruction of Israel. Indeed, in recent years, the Brotherhood (a.k.a., the Ikhwan) has enthusiastically praised jihad and even applauded — albeit in more muted tones — Osama bin Laden.

That’s Andrew McCarthy at National Review and, lest you be tempted to dismiss this as mere predictable neocon fear-mongering, here’s a warning straight from the horse’s mouth:

Mohamed Ghanem, one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, calls Egypt to stop pumping gas to Israel and prepare the Egyptian army for a war with it’s eastern neighbor.
Speaking with Iranian television station Al-Alam, Mohamed Ghanem blamed Israel for supporting Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Ghanem also said that the Egyptian police and army won’t be able to stop the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

So much for that whole “renouncing violence” claim, eh? To dismiss the jihadist danger is to join the Alfred E. Neuman School of Foreign Policy. The Brotherhood looks positioned to benefit from an Egyptian revolution in much the same way the Bolsheviks benefitted from the Russian revolution, as Drew M. says at AOSHQ: “When it comes to revolutions, it isn’t always those who start them or even gain temporary control who wind up on top when the music stops.” Perhaps you see why the Israelis are defending Mubarak:

Israel called on the United States and a number of European countries over the weekend to curb their criticism of President Hosni Mubarak to preserve stability in the region.
Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West’s interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime. . . .
Senior Israeli officials, however, said that on Saturday night the Foreign Ministry issued a directive to around a dozen key embassies in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and several European countries. The ambassadors were told to stress to their host countries the importance of Egypt’s stability.

Unfortunately for the Israelis, “A military spokesman, Ismail Etman, has appeared on state TV saying the military ‘has not and will not use force’ against protesters,” a statement that Ed Morrissey interprets as “a death knell for the Mubarak regime.”

For Hugo Chavez, the situation in Egypt offers another excuse to — wait, can you guess? — yeah, denounce America! Prompting the ever-droll Dan Collins to observe: “It’s interesting, though, to hear Chavez come down on the side of the status quo in the Middle East, since he’s got such strong ties with the Iranian mullahocracy, who are backing El-Baradei — whose prominence comprises as strong a commentary on the UN’s orientations as one could wish.”

UPDATE: Reaganite Republican notes that a major U.S. Jewish leader has called Mohamed ElBaradei “a stooge of Iran.” ITN News has video showing the continued mass protests in Cairo and Alexandria:

Left Coast Rebel has video of the Cairo demonstration which, if it were a Tea Party rally, would be described as “hundreds of protesters.” Notice that when the streets in Cairo fill up with protesters against Mubarak, liberals scream that there must be elections now — immediately! — or else it’s a human-rights disaster. But when the streets of America filled up with protesters against ObamaCare, liberals said, “Ignore those kooks!”

UPDATE II: Reuters reports:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak offered talks on sweeping reforms with opponents on Monday, indicating that massive pressure from street protesters, Western allies and his own army are ending his 30 years of one-man rule.
After a week of unprecedented rallies against the poverty, corruption and oppression under the 82-year-old military-backed leader, newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman appeared on state television to say Mubarak had asked him to begin dialogue with all political forces on constitutional and other reforms.

Looks like the “ignore those kooks” strategy isn’t working any better for Mubarak than it did for Democrats. Maybe Suleiman can save the regime by spreading rumors that the protesters are funded by the Koch brothers. Then liberals would insist that the U.S. back Mubarak at all costs.



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