I’m alarmed by what I’m hearing from the liberal intelligentsia about Egypt. Yesterday on NPR I heard someone from the Brookings Institute talking about how the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate and non-violent. This, of course, is nonsense. The Muslim Brotherhood’s modus operandi is to maintain a thin veneer of respectability, while promoting violent extremism throughout the world through its links with local branches, such as Hamas.
Now, I don’t know for certain that the Obama Administration and the State Department share that wishful thinking. I haven’t heard Hillary Clinton speak clearly about the Muslim Brotherhood (or really any other matter related to the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, other than to say that violence is very, very bad). But it is certain that NPR and the Brookings Institute represent the same culture that informs our current administration. I’d be very surprised if they differed.
We need to be very careful. Propping up Mubarak doesn’t look like a realistic option, and anyway it would be disgusting if we were reduced to doing so. But the Muslim Brotherhood will make a play to take over any post-Mubarak regime, and they are likely to succeed. We need to oppose them however we can. This is exactly the sort of situation that calls for clandestine action, but unfortunately, after years of neutering the CIA, we probably don’t have much ability or will to conduct clandestine political action any more. Between the wishful thinking prevailing among the liberal intelligentsia, and a risk-averse CIA without a lot of contacts on the ground, it seems all but certain that the Obama Administration will convince itself that its best course of action is to do nothing.
UPDATE: And there it is:
The Obama administration said for the first time that it supports a role for groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamist organization, in a reformed Egyptian government.
The administration did say that the Muslim Brotherhood must renounce violence, etc., but history has taught us clearly that our government will be satisfied if the Muslim Brotherhood merely mouths the words. Indeed, our government will be flexible even on the words. The Palestinian Authority never did amend their charter to delete its call for the destruction of Israel; they merely declared that some parts of it were “no longer effective.”
(Via the Corner.)