The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Off a Cliff

In February, 2011 the President and his supporters in the media breathlessly touted the sea change that was then underway in Egypt. Enamored with young, idealistic, Egyptian college students who used Facebook and Twitter to drive their “revolution,” the administration and the media forgot realities on the ground.

At that time, I wrote:
When I was a boy, the premier comic periodical for boys in the 12 – 18 age group was Mad Magazine. Mad’s iconic spokesperson was Alfred E. Newman, a weird little kid who graced almost every cover of the magazine. His signature quote was: "What, Me Worry?"

When asked about the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in some future Egyptian government, President Obama channeled Alfred E. Newman. He all but dismissed the worry that over some period of time, the MB would become a dominant force in Egyptian politics. Adopting a meme that has permeated his administration and its legion of media supporters, he shrugged his shoulders and suggested that the MB was a small fringe in Egyptian politics and that there is little cause to worry.

For those who might not be aware of it, here’s the operative sentence in the MB charter: “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!”

Of course, those on the Left will find nothing troubling in this statement, insisting that it be interpreted in the “religion of peace” mold. Never mind that the MB is virulently anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic, and the progenitor of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups. Never mind that the MB advocates Sharia law, not just for Egypt, but for the entire world! Never mind that MB wants to abrogate the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, tried to assassinate Gamal Abd an-Nasser, is a backer of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezballah, and a key supporter of Chechen terrorists who just killed 30-plus people in a Moscow airport.

Our President seems convinced that the MB will either (1) sit this out and remain passive as the government changes or (2) become a reasonable and productive faction in the “new” Egyptian government. "What, Me Worry?"

This morning, USA Today reports:
CAIRO (AP) – Egypt's ultraconservative Islamist party plans to push for a stricter religious code in Egypt after claiming surprisingly strong gains in the first round of parliamentary elections, a spokesman said Friday …

Islamists led by the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Salafists appear to have taken a strong majority of seats in the first round of Egypt's first parliamentary vote since Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a trend that if confirmed would give the religious parties a popular mandate in the struggle to win control from the ruling military and ultimately reshape a key U.S. ally.

The Islamists took exactly one election to gain majority control. So much for the President’s naïve view that characterized the MB and other Islamists as "fringe." Andrew McCarthy comments:
It would be hard to overstate what a catastrophe the Egyptian elections are shaping into. Reports about stage one of the long process show not only that the Muslim Brotherhood may be getting over 50 percent of the vote; an even more extreme Islamist party — called “Nour” — is apparently getting between 10 and 15 percent … [USA Today reports that it may be as high as 30 percent!]

The Islamist ascendancy in Egypt, enabled by the West’s democracy fetishists [on the Right] and its Leftist allies of the MB, will have immediate disastrous consequences — in the imminent drafting of the new Egyptian constitution; in the eventual Egyptian presidential election next year; in overcoming the Egyptian military’s half-hearted attempts to stem the Islamist tide; in the deteriorating security of 8 million Coptic Christians (about 10 percent of the population); in a radically new and more threatening Islamist threat to Israel on a long border it has not had to worry about for the last 30 years; and in ensuring (in cahoots with Islamist Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, a longtime MB intimate) that the Brotherhood will take over Syria when Assad falls — probably sooner rather than later.

Egypt has every right to choose its own destiny, but it was kind of sad to see an inexperienced President and a sycophantic media hoard cheer on a group of idealistic college kids as they walked their country off a cliff.