Jimmy Carter, reacting to events in Egypt, said recent developments were an “earth-shaking event” and that Hosni Mubarak “will have to leave.” He also claimed the Muslim Brotherhood “has stayed out of it”.
Carter’s remarks came at Maranatha Baptist Church, where he regularly teaches a Sunday School class to visitors from across the country and globe. …
“This is the most profound situation in the Middle East since I left office,” Carter said Sunday to the nearly 300 people packed into the small sanctuary about a half mile from downtown Plains. …
Carter described his relationship with Mubarak, whom protesters want ousted from power.
“I know Mubarak quite well,” Carter said. “If Sadat had a message, he would send Mubarak.” …
As the unrest raged and escalated, Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman, the country’s intelligence chief, as vice president.
“He’s an intelligent man whom I like very much,” Carter said.
Carter has maintained a relationship with Suleiman over the years.
“In the last four or five years when I go to Egypt, I don’t go to talk to Mubarak, who talks like a politician,” Carter said. “If I want to know what is going on in the Middle East, I talk to Suleiman. And as far as I know, he has always told me the truth.”
The former president, who performs work throughout the world for fair elections through The Carter Center in Atlanta, said this was not a revolution “orchestrated by extremists Muslims.
“The Muslim brotherhood has stayed out it,” Carter said.
Well that’s good to know. Things were worrying for a time. It’s interesting to speculate how much of Carter’s thinking reflects the appreciation within the Obama Administration. But although Carter may prove right about the non-involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in the biggest political opportunity since Jimmy left office, would it be wise to bet the farm on it? What does this mean about the urgency of securing intelligence assets that may fall into the hands of the successor regime? Or is it wiser to transfer the assets and start building relationships with whoever comes after?