The wilful ignorance of the Obama administration to the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists in Egypt is astounding.
Just look what happened in Gaza where the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot Hamas was elected to office and proceeded to drown out all other voices, or Lebanon where Hezbollah has intimidated non-Islamist parties, including some Christians, into going along with the Iranian agenda. Or, of course, Iran, where a coalition was bullied out of power by the Islamists, subjugating generations to strict Islamic law and pushing women’s rights back to the middle ages.
I have no doubt that many if not most of the people in Egypt initiating the protests against Mubarek were true democrats, who wanted an open, western-style political process, and who harbored no grand plans of the destruction of Israel. But those democrats will succumb to the hard line Islamists just at democratic people everywhere have faded when faced with Muslim Brotherhood-style forces.
There is a reason the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has moderated (relatively speaking) its public agenda. For over 30 years the Egyptian government has kept its foot on the back of the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent it from growing, much as governments in Europe have kept their feet on the backs of neo-fascists.
The lack of Muslim Brotherhood power in Egypt does not reflect that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a threat, but rather, that the threat has been taken seriously by the Egyptian government.
For the Obama administration to treat the Muslim Brotherhood as just another secular and democratic player is profoundly ignorant and dangerous.
Now to the videotape:
These words, reportedly spoken by Mubarek to an Israeli official shortly before his resignation, may be prophetic:
“We see the democracy the United States spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that’s the fate of the Middle East …. They may be talking about democracy but they don’t know what they’re talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam.”
It doesn’t need to be this way, and Mubarek bears much responsibility for not laying a foundation for a civil transition, but that doesn’t make him wrong about the risk.