UPDATE to original post: Obama has lost the left-leaning New Republic. From American Liberals and the Streets of Cairo:
…the Obama administration, and American liberals more generally, have been caught intellectually unprepared for this crisis.
It was a terrible mistake for Obama to make democratization seem like an “imposition,” with its imperialist implications, and to conflate it with military invasion
That’s what Obama did last year when protestors in Iran took to the streets, and the Mullahs crushed them. Egypt more resembles Iran under the Shah in 1979. An Islamist revolution in Egypt could come if the Muslim Brotherhood gains its footing. Will Obama’s lack of support for democratization of Egypt mean a replay of Jimmie Carter and the Khomeini revolution?
UPDATE II: For the view that the uprising in Cairo in 2011 will more nearly resemble that in Paris in 1968 than that in Teheran in 1979, see Bret Stephens in today’s Wall Street Journal, Being Hosni Mubarak.
Bruce Riedel, Obama Administration insider and scholar at the Brookings Institution says, “Understanding the Brotherhood is vital to understanding our options,” and then demonstrates that he doesn’t have a clue about the Muslim Brotherhood. Riedel says, Don’t Fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood…why? Well, let’s see…oh yes, “it has an enormous social-welfare program that provides cheap education and health care.”
There are a few clues about the present intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that even one who is not an Obama insider can glean for themselves. The Iranian regime claims to support the protesters. Mohamed ElBaradei has returned to Egypt in alliance with the Brotherhood and ElBaradei is said to be working for the Iranians. If the Iranian regime wants the Muslim Brotherhood to take control in Egypt it is only because they see that as a path to making Egypt a clone of Lebanon. Anyone think Hezbollah in control of a new government in Egypt would be a good idea? And then, there is the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto:
Allah is our objective, the Prophet is our leader, the Koran is our law, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!
“What, me worry?” says Riedel.
Andrew McCarthy, with a good deal more understanding of history and present reality, says Fear The Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood’s deep antipathy toward the West and its historical attraction to the Nazis’ virulent anti-Semitism is just a part of the problem that will be faced if a new government in Egypt is dominated by it. Anyone with an interest in this should read all of McCarthy’s article, which appears at National Review Online.
Hillary Clinton talks of an “orderly transisition” and “stability.” A Muslim Brotherhood power position in Egypt will be the very antithesis of stability and order. One of the Brotherhood’s leaders in Egypt has just called for war with Israel.