The PJ Tatler

Egypt's Islamist wolf in secular clothing

There’s talk of a “unity” government to replace Egypt’s Mubarak regime, with the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed ElBaradei at its head.  If this comes about, it will be a disaster for US influence in the Middle East, and for all of our allies there, and for the world.

Not only is ElBaradei a willing tool of the Iranians, as Anne reported earlier, he is openly hostile to Israel and supportive of the Palestinian terror campaign against them.  Hosni Mubarak is a thuggish anti-democrat, but ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood would be worse both for the region and for the Egyptian people, who would be trading one form of repression for another.  They might also be trading a cold peace with Israel for a hot war: Egypt’s peace accord with Israel may well be that “unity” government’s first casualty.

The Obama administration has to find a way to influence events so that Mubarak goes peacefully, and a government without both ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood takes his place. I’m not suggesting that this is an easy task.  Egypt’s crisis is the 3 AM phone call that became a 2008 campaign issue.  It is the “international test” that even Biden feared.  Unfortunately, so far no one in the administration, neither the inexperienced president nor his vice president nor his top rival turned secretary of state who first brought up the issue up during the election, have shown that they were prepared to pick up.