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The Rest of the World Has Gone Mad — Why Shouldn’t Egypt?

Obama is openly calling for the downfall of a 60-year-old regime that has been allied with the U.S. for about 40 years in the most important country in the Arab world. What could go wrong?

by
Barry Rubin

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February 1, 2011 - 12:18 am
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“The world has gone mad today, and good’s bad today.”

— Cole Porter, “Anything Goes”

Mad indeed. But let’s limit ourselves to two points.

First, the White House is now calling for a smooth transition in Egypt. In other words, after one week of not-so-gigantic demonstrations, President Barack Obama is openly calling for the downfall of a 60-year-old regime that has been allied with the United States for about 40 years in the most important country in the Arab world.

It’s one thing for the president to urge moderation, no violence, and efforts at compromise. It’s another to push the Egyptian government out of power and possibly usher in a new era of catastrophe for the Middle East and the world.

Couldn’t the U.S. government wait a bit and see what happens? Couldn’t it express public support for the regime and privately urge reforms and a change of personnel? Doesn’t it have any sense of the danger of anarchy or anti-American forces coming to power in Egypt?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be an Islamist regime. It can be an Islamist-radical nationalist government with a moderate front man. The outcome could make Iran’s revolution look like a picnic. While that last sentence is perhaps excessively alarmist, it is intended to wake up people from this daydream of Egypt becoming a stable, moderate, democratic state given the actual situation in Egypt.

Second, naivete has reached epidemic proportions. What sets me off here as an example is the Washington Post which, under the headline “Muslim Brotherhood says it is only a minor player in Egyptian protests,” tells us about this group. Of course, it says it is not important. Just as the Big Bad Wolf wore granny’s clothes — “All the better to eat you.” Why should the Western media pick up the revolutionary Islamists’ disinformation themes?

In fact, and I’m not exaggerating, the article tells us that the Brotherhood is no threat and accuses it of wimping out:

It is not the organization of radical jihadists that it is sometimes made out to be. But its caution in dealing with Mubarak has made it appear recently that it is more concerned with protecting itself than with improving the nation.

The article tells us two historical facts about the Brotherhood: it was inspired by the YMCA and was brutally repressed by the Egyptian government in the 1950s.

Sigh. And what does it leave out? That it seeks to transform Egypt into an Islamist state, reduce the Christians to third-class citizens (they are already second-class citizens), do away with rights for women, impose sharia law, drive America out of the Middle East, and wage a war of genocide against Israel.

Oh, and then there’s the history of the Brotherhood: it was financed by the Nazis from the 1930s on and tried to deliver Egypt to them in World War Two, used the Nazi weapons it had been given in 1942 to try to destroy Israel in the 1948 war, had a terrorist wing and assassinated a number of officials including an Egyptian prime minister, was repressed because it tried to kill President Gamal Abdel Nasser, supports terrorism not only against Israel but also U.S. forces in Iraq, and has a current leader who calls for a jihad against the United States.

Has anyone in the Western media or governments ever read anything from Brotherhood leaders’ speeches or publications? Apparently not. In fact, regarding the media I have seen zero evidence that it has any idea what these people say every day.

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