The PJ Tatler

ElBaradei: Egypt is 'disintegrating,' Muslim Brotherhood is too influential

The Islamist-friendly secular face who enabled Iran’s nuclear weapons program claims he isn’t happy with the direction Egypt is now taking.

ElBaradei said many Egyptians don’t feel secure as the country struggles to create a new government after former president Hosni Mubarak was forced from power by protests earlier this year.

“People do not feel secure,” ElBaradei said. “They are buying guns” to protect themselves, he said. …

He also expressed concern about the influence of the Islamic group the Muslim Brotherhood, which has had longer to organize than other nascent political contenders. ElBaradei said the election may slip to next year given the uncertainty.

That last is an interesting turn, as ElBaradei cast himself as the secular face for the Brotherhood during the anti-Mubarak uprising. But I doubt it means a whole lot; if the Muslim Brotherhood takes power, Mohammed ElBaradei will cozy up to them as much as me needs to if doing so gains him some power.

The conditions in Egypt seem ripe for a strongman style takeover. The people are hungry as food prices have skyrocketed, with Egypt’s tourism down about 60 percent since the revolt average Egyptians are having a harder time getting by, and the political chaos has led to a vacuum of power. The Muslim Brotherhood is seeing its allies empowered in the Palestinian territories and is the best organized political force in Egypt, so much so that the army reportedly turned to the Brotherhood to bring some measure of stability. So it seems that post-Mubarak Egypt has a fevah, and an Islamist strongman will end up being the prescription.