The PJ Tatler

Conservatives' Fight over Egypt

Not here.  But there are disagreements, some over the Brotherhood, some over “bigger” worries like the global Caliphate.  Fine with me.  We live in a revolutionary age and it’s hard to sort out all the players, some of whom are for real, while others are trying to convince us that they’re all for freedom when they aren’t at all.  Those of us who have spent decades (good grief!) calling attention to the evil nature of Iran and the need to support democratic revolution there, worry that some of the Egyptians are trying to reprise Khomeini’s success in fooling the West into believing that he was a good democrat and wasn’t at all interested in political power, while he plotted the dark night of Persia.

So I’m sympathetic to many of the conflicting views.  I’d like to believe that the Brotherhood is not a real threat to freedom for Egyptians.  But I don’t.  I hope I’m wrong.  I agree that America must stand for freedom–and that we have failed in many Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt.  As I have written, I think there are sound tactical reasons to stand by Mubarak at this juncture, even though I detest him and his oppressive system.  That’s what happens when you screw up the policy for thirty years:  you have no good option.

But as a general principle, and as a practical policy matter, of course we have to support freedom in Egypt, and beyond.  And I think that the spat among conservatives risks deflecting our attention from the central regional issue, which is the war being waged against the United States, with its epicenter in Tehran.  There may be tactical reasons to go slow in supporting all the demands of the Egyptian opposition, and I think it is fair to ask all kinds of questions about those who demand they replace Mubarak, but there are no legitimate reasons to fail to embrace the Iranian democratic opposition.  Yet that’s what our government has done.  That’s not only a policy blunder, it makes us accomplices to evil.  I’d like to hear more about that.