Fingers crossed

If Mubarak survives the week, and the counter protest violence he’s unleashed escalates or even continues, Egypt’s moment could be lost.

And when the government is finally taken down, it will be replaced by something much more radical than would have been the case had he announced yesterday that he was stepping down.

Ego. The enemy of civilization.

16 responses to “Fingers crossed

  1. Ok, my opinion. Mabarak is correct…he should remain head of govenment until there is an election. His announcement that he will not run and that there will be chaos if there is no government is right on. El Baradi (don’t know how to spell his name) should be part of this. He should come forward and agree that there should be an orderly process for election and transition. Revolutions need a leader…who is that in Egypt?

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    • There could have been an orderly transition if it had happened before today. The entire bureauocracy would remained in place. The Army was with the people. The police were waiting it out. There are strong institutions in Egypt. So I disagree – Mubarak announcing yesterday that he would be there for nine more months and following it with anti-protestor goons – that is the recipe for radicalization.

      The last thing you want to do with a crowd is make them angrier. Right now I think the Army is the only shot to stop this conflict in the streets. IF they can’t stop it, I fear things will go downhill very quickly.

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    • Also – come for dinner this week? Tomorrow or Friday??

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    • Also, that’s all my own opinion. But this thing changes almost day to day. We shall see . . .

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  2. Yes, nine months is a long time. One thing Mabarak can do is move up the elections to 2 months from now. Give everything a chance to calm down, and then an election. Gives the people what they want (?) and provides a transition.

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    • It may now be too late. Richard Engle of NBC says right now that more pro-gov’t demonstrators are flooding streets – on horses and camels and with violence in mind.

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      • You know what it feels like now? Russia in 1916(?) – the first revolution with the Tsar’s troops running over the people in the streets.

        Up to today, this thing in Egypt has been mostly peaceful but it’s getting pretty violent.

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  3. Dinner, absolutely. Friday? I’m going to a show and lunch in Sarasota or Tampa (where ever the bus takes me) tomorrow.

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  4. Pingback: We’ll get to that job stuff later | Whatever Works

  5. I just finished reading a book called ‘American Raj” by Eric Margolis. It was very intriquing and considering what’s going on it was quite prophetic also.

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  6. Suddenly, Washington is consumed with a question too long ignored: Can we safely do business with the Muslim Brotherhood?

    The reason this question has taken on such urgency is, of course, because the Muslim Brotherhood (or MB, also known by its Arabic name, the Ikhwan) is poised to emerge as the big winner from the chaos now sweeping North Africa and increasingly likely to bring down the government of the aging Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

    In the wake of growing turmoil in Egypt, a retinue of pundits, professors and former government officials has publicly insisted that we have nothing to fear from the Ikhwan since it has eschewed violence and embraced democracy.

    For example, Bruce Reidel, a controversial former CIA analyst and advisor to President Obama, posted an article entitled “Don’t Fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood” at the Daily Beast. In it, he declared: “The Egyptian Brotherhood renounced violence years ago, but its relative moderation has made it the target of extreme vilification by more radical Islamists. Al Qaeda’s leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, started their political lives affiliated with the Brotherhood but both have denounced it for decades as too soft and a cat’s paw of Mubarak and America.”

    Then, there was President George W. Bush’s former press spokeswoman, Dana Perino, who went so far on January 28th as to tell Fox News “…And don’t be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This has nothing to do with religion.”

    One reason we might be misperceiving the MB as no threat is because a prime source of information about such matters is the Muslim Brotherhood itself. As the Center for Security Policy’s new, best-selling Team B II report entitled, Shariah: The Threat to America found:

    “It is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organization in the United States is actually controlled by the MB or a derivative organization. Consequently, most of the Muslim-American groups of any prominence in America are now known to be, as a matter of fact, hostile to the United States and its Constitution.”

    In fact, for much of the past two decades, a number of these groups and their backers (including, notably, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal) have cultivated extensive ties with U.S. government officials and agencies under successive administrations of both parties, academic centers, financial institutions, religious communities, partisan organizations and the media. As a result, such American entities have been subjected to intense, disciplined and sustained influence operations for decades.

    Unfortunately, the relationships thus developed and the misconceptions thus fostered are today bearing poisonous fruit with respect to shaping U.S. policy towards the unfolding Egyptian drama.

    A notable example is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). A federal judge in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial – which successfully prosecuted the nation’s largest terrorism financing conspiracy – found that CAIR was indeed a front for the Ikhwan’s Palestinian affiliate, Hamas. Nonetheless, Fox News earlier today interviewed the Executive Director of CAIR’s Chicago office, Ahmed Rehab, whom it characterized as a “Democracy Activist.”

    True to form, Rehab called for the removal of Mubarak’s regime and the institution of democratic elections in Egypt. This is hardly surprising since, under present circumstances, such balloting would likely have the same result it did in Gaza a few years back: the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood and the institution of brutally repressive theocratic rule, in accordance with the totalitarian Islamic politico-military-legal program known as shariah.

    An important antidote to the seductive notions being advanced with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – and, for that matter, in Western nations like ours – by the Ikhwan’s own operatives, their useful idiots and apologists is the Team B II report. It should be considered required reading by anyone who hopes to understand, let alone to comment usefully upon, the MB’s real character and agenda.

    For example, Shariah: The Threat to America provides several key insights that must be borne in mind in the current circumstances especially:

    * “The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928. Its express purpose was two-fold: (1) to implement shariah worldwide, and (2) to re-establish the global Islamic State (caliphate).

    * “Therefore, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood have the same objectives. They differ only in the timing and tactics involved in realizing them.

    * “The Brotherhood’s creed is: ‘God is our objective; the Koran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.’”

    * It is evident from the Creed, and from the Brotherhood’s history (and current activities)…that violence is an inherent part of the MB’s tactics. The MB is the root of the majority of Islamic terrorist groups in the world today.

    * The Muslim Brotherhood is the ‘vanguard’ or tip-of-the-spear of the current Islamic Movement in the world. While there are other transnational organizations that share the MB’s goals (if not its tactics) – including al Qaeda, which was born out of the Brotherhood – the Ikhwan is by far the strongest and most organized. The Muslim Brotherhood is now active in over 80 countries around the world.

    Of particular concern must be the purpose of the Brotherhood in the United States and other nations of the Free World:

    * “…The Ikhwan’s mission in the West is sedition in the furtherance of shariah’s supremacist agenda, not peaceful assimilation and co-existence with non-Muslim populations.”

    * “The Ikhwan believes that its purposes in the West are, for the moment, better advanced by the use of non-violent, stealthy techniques. In that connection, the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to establish relations with, influence and, wherever possible, penetrate: government circles in executive and legislative branches at the federal, state and local levels; the law enforcement community; intelligence agencies; the military; penal institutions; the media; think tanks and policy groups; academic institutions; non-Muslim religious communities; and other elites.

    * “The Brothers engage in all of these activities and more for one reason: to subvert the targeted communities in furtherance of the MB’s primary objective – the triumph of shariah.”

    In short, the Muslim Brotherhood – whether it is operating in Egypt, elsewhere in the world or here – is our enemy. Vital U.S. interests will be at risk if it succeeds in supplanting the present regime in Cairo, taking control in the process not only of the Arab world’s most populous nation but its vast, American-supplied arsenal. It is no less reckless to allow the Brotherhood’s operatives to enjoy continued access to and influence over our perceptions of their true purposes, and the policies adopted pursuant thereto.

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    • I disagree with a lot of what you say. Nevertheless, the MB’s history is much as you describe it. But I think you are wrong in rejecting the fact that they have evolved and modernized- in Egypt, not necessarily everywhere. I think today they are in many places a fundamentalist religious minority – we are very familiar with that here of course. Fundamentalist Christians (who’ve spent centuries trying to convert – with some success – the rest of the world – are noisy, but they are losing ground. Modernity is overtaking them and in Egypt I think it’s the same with the MB.

      Up until yesterday the movement in Egyypt was definitely NOT religious, but since it became violent, religious elements see an opening and they are and will exploit it. But still they are a minority – they manage under 20% in most local elections. Egypt is religious but in the modern sense.

      Also, you say:
      “cultivated extensive ties with U.S. government officials and agencies under successive administrations of both parties, academic centers, financial institutions, religious communities, partisan organizations and the media. As a result, such American entities have been subjected to intense, disciplined and sustained influence operations for decades.”

      That’s almost exactly what the John Birch Society and Sen. Joe McCarthy said in the 1950’s about Communist infiltration here.

      That said, Paul, welcome! Thoughtful commentary like yours is appreciated even if we share very different world views.

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  7. 20% of radicalization of the Muslim Brotherhood is more than enough to ruin the great country of Egypt. Oppression is always committed by a minority. If the MB has matured and modernized, it is not in intent, but in implementation of their goals which have never wavered. This is the only difference between the MB and Al Queda, the methods to achieve the same goal; the Islamic Caliphate that extends the world over. The MB engages in stealth or silent jihad, though they do seem to be reverting back to a more opportunist involvement in Egypt at the moment.

    Let us pray that stability and freedom are restored to Egypt.

    PS. The John Birch Society/McCarthyism was a sad episode in the history of the USA. Obviously the oppression of Communism in all its variants is well buried in the trash heap of history.

    All forms of tyranny, regardless of its “flavor”, must be opposed such as Communism, Fascism, Fundamentalist Islam, Dictatorships, etc.

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    • Well we certainly agree on wishing Egypt well. I remember last year with the ‘organg revolution’ in Iran – it was enormous and it didn’t work out too well for those who rose up. The regime was strengthened when it was all over.

      I don’t have any idea what will happen this time, but I hate seeing them lose ground like this – before revolting, they had stability, but limited freedom. They may yet acheive the freedom they seek, but they’ve already sacrificed some of the stability. And the economic hit the country has taken is just enormous – that alone will have a huge effect on whatever the outcome is.

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