I never thought I would juxtapose those first two words, but it is a fact. We see precious little in the media about the players in Egypt’s revolution. Just Mubarak, either tyrant or ally, and (as Jerry Brown used them) the democratic and imaginative “young people of Egypt ant Tunisia”. As the Washington Post's Richard Cohen points out in “Washington should proceed slowly” (Feb 2nd in California papers), it’s not that simple. You can’t tell the players without a program.
The Muslim Brotherhood that Cohen reveals as a major player was founded in 1928 in with the sole purpose of dominating the world under Sharia Law. Not offering, imposing. They use terrorism, intrigue and now anarchy. That is, they have learned from new, global, Socialist allies to “never waste a crisis”. They wait for or start insurrections, urging people towards “democratic” uprisings. Then they step into the void with ready organization, money and an iron fist to co-opt the government.
Socialists did it in Russia, China, Cuba, Korea, Vietnam, and others. Muslim Brotherhood has done it in Yemen and Tunisia. They also installed the Ayatollahs in Iran, followed by the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein’s Baathists in Iraq (both now reversed). Other spin-offs: Black September (Munich Olympic massacre), Hamas and Hezbollah (rocket and suicide attacks on Israeli civilians), and Al Qaida. There are dozens more worldwide. There are associated groups in the U.S.; research Imam Feisal Rauf, the promoter of the “Cordoba Initiative” Ground Zero Mosque. They are now inserting their rhetoric and propaganda into what was probably an honest, freedom-seeking revolution of the people of Egypt, working to seize power. Their motto says, “Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope”.
Why is this largely unreported? Because it does not help Progressive Socialists or their liberal-press supporters to play up the dangers of jihadists, when you are trying to demonize George Bush (and his war against jihadi terrorism) and repudiate conservatives and the Constitution in general. Jihadist’s supporters might help in that propaganda. There is a saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The concept made the Communist U.S.S.R. an ally if the Capitalist American republic in WWII, because those same Communists competed for control of the German Socialist membership against Hitler’s National Socialists in 1933. If you are only interested in power, your allegiances shift pretty elaborately. You scheme against friend and foe alike to gain control.
Certainly, Mubarak is no Washington or Jefferson. He is technically a dictator and should go. He held power by force for 30 years. He makes all the decisions. His people are poorer than they should be while he maintains the largest army in the Arab world. He disregarded the will of the people and seized control of their internet. Yet, he upheld the peace his predecessor forged with Israel, opposed terrorist jihadists and was a stabilizing influence on the region. Without a stable Egypt controlling the Suez Canal, the world’s oil would have to brave the dangerous Strait of Hormuz in lumbering, vulnerable tankers (another reason to drill our own). His announcement of retiring in the fall may settle things and allow an orderly transfer of power, without creating another Iranian nightmare.
Back to Cohen’s point, Washington has little actual influence on the ground in Egypt. What they have they must use to ease Mubarak out and encourage an orderly succession to a moderate, populist government. Hopefully, the Egyptian people can thread the needle and install one that will respect freedom of religion and peace.
Another tough phrase: Obama has done as well as can be expected so far. Certainly better than his disrespectful neglect of the crushed 2009 freedom uprising in Tehran.
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