While Egyptian Brotherhood leaders claim to be moderate when they talk to Western audiences, that has nothing to do with what they say to each other or to Egyptians. In May at El-Mahalla El-Kubra, at a rally attended by Brotherhood presidential candidate Muhammad al-Mursi, the main speaker, Sifwat Hijazi, said that when the Brotherhood took power:
“Our capital won’t be Mecca or Medina, but Jerusalem, millions of shahids [martyrs] will march on the city. The whole world should know — and we say it clearly — our goal is Jerusalem, we shall pray in Jerusalem, and, if not, we shall die as martyrs on its ruins.” Another speaker added, “Tomorrow Mursi will liberate Gaza.” A singer sang: “The Jews will not be able to sleep, come, lovers of martyrs, you’re all Hamas. Take on arms, and prepare for prayer.”
Just words? Sure, like the words of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iranian spiritual guide Khomeini, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and many more. The Western mass media, academic experts, and government officials may assure you that the Muslim Brotherhood is really a moderate group and that worrying about what it will do in power is silly. Pay no attention. The Brotherhood daily makes clear what it believes and intends to do.
So does it make sense for a U.S. government to take up the doctrine of “neo-conservative” naivete and demand a Brotherhood victory over the army in Egypt? A proper U.S. government would — and I apologize for the “amoral” requirements of realpolitik — secretly be backing the military to keep the Brotherhood out of power. We now know that President Harry Truman’s administration did certain things to ensure Communist parties didn’t win power in France and Italy which would not meet contemporary “ethical” standards of electoral results over American national security interests. Thank goodness for that!