GOP Rep. Thad McCotter: We must stand with our invaluable ally Egypt

posted at 8:46 pm on January 28, 2011 by Allahpundit

“Egypt” in this case being a polite euphemism for “the dictator Mubarak.”

America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrranical government capable of harm.

For if Egypt is radicalized, all of the reforms sought by the Egyptian people and supported by the United States with them – including consensual and constitutional government; free elections; open and unbridled media; and Egyptian control of their natural resources – will be lost. Nascent democratic movements in the region will be co-opted and radicalized. The world’s free and open access to the Suez Canal’s vital commercial shipping lanes will be choked. And the Sinai Accord between Egypt and Israel – which must be protected as the foundation and principal example for Mideast peace – will be shredded.

Though many will be tempted to superficially interpret the Egyptian demonstrations as an uprising for populist democracy, they must recall how such similar initial views of the 1979 Iranian Revolution were belied by the mullahs’ radical jackbooted murderers, who remain bent upon grasping regional hegemony and nuclear weaponry…

This is not a nostalgic “anti-colonial uprising” from within, of all places, the land of Nassar. Right now, freedom’s radicalized enemies are subverting Egypt and other our allies.

I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters. After reading loads of coverage, my strong impression is that no one knows how much of it is being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood and how much by otherwise apolitical Egyptians fed up with corruption and economic stagnation. The big worry isn’t that the demonstrations are a secret Islamist plot; the worry is that, whatever their driving force, they’ll create a power vacuum that the Islamists will nimbly exploit. Which is to say, I think a lot of this probably is a sort of “anti-colonial uprising,” with Mubarak and his fascist apparatus in the role of “colonizers.” But who cares? Good intentions from some of the kids in the streets won’t stop the jihad.

He ends by saying he’s ready to assist Obama in advancing Egyptians’ “inalienable, peaceful aspirations,” which I take to mean he supports what appears to be the policy emerging from the White House — namely, that Mubarak should stay for now but only as a transitional figure. Remember, the country’s presidential, er, “election” is scheduled for September; if Mubarak doesn’t go now, he’s in for another round of this then. And since his son now has zero chance of inheriting the throne, he has no reason to resist democratizing measures in the meantime. The task for the State Department over the next eight months will be to pressure Mubarak and the military into giving Egyptian liberals every advantage possible before the election, including putting some of them in government and letting them enact popular reforms to build support among voters. That’s the only way I can see to move away from fascism without necessarily playing straight into the hands of Islamists, and I take it that’s what Obama meant by “concrete steps.” We’re going to do what we can to tilt the table towards liberals, because the end is coming soon for Mubarak. One way or another.


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What all the crap going on in Ivory Coast? That place is about to explode, too. Africa is a hot mess.

SouthernGent on January 28, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Just stand back and watch the events. Mubarak needs to go allow for transition now, not in September.

SC.Charlie on January 28, 2011 at 8:52 PM

S&B: “Obama: “Governments must listen to their people” – or call them racist tea baggers. Either one.”

sbvft contributor on January 28, 2011 at 8:59 PM

In the Middle East, President Bush has broken with six decades of excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the hope of purchasing stability at the price of liberty. The stakes could not be higher. As long as the broader Middle East remains a region of tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce extremists and movements that threaten the safety of Americans and our friends.

Condoleezza Rice
her speech of January 18 2005

TheBigOldDog on January 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Coincidence? President Carter visited moderate Iran, & a year afterward it became a rabidly anti-Israel mullahcracy. Obama visits moderate Egypt, & about a year later it just might become a rabidly anti-Israel mullahcracy.

itsnotaboutme on January 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM

He ends by saying he’s ready to assist Obama in advancing Egyptians’ “inalienable, peaceful aspirations,”

To bad Obama doesn’t seem to have the same passion for advancing this here at home…

katy on January 28, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I agree with McCotter, I think it is Muslimly motivated. The attacks on Christians over the last few years are not being carried out by Mubarak’s state police, even if they may be looking the other way. I don’t think this ends well, at least from the U.S.’s standpoint, regardless as to who fills the leadership vacuum.

JavelinaBomb on January 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters

very good point…

cmsinaz on January 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

apolitical Egyptians fed up with corruption and economic stagnation.

C’mon AP. Take a snap poll in any country in the world and you’ll find t least 45% are fed up with “corruption and economic stagnation”, even though they’re clueless about whose fault it is.

Fortunata on January 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM

This was her more succinct quote on the matter:

We are moving beyond 60 years of policy in the broader Middle East during the Cold – which, during the Cold War, led successive administrations to support stability at the price of liberty, ultimately achieving neither

TheBigOldDog on January 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM

I believe O’bama should advise Mubarak to “punish his enemies”.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM

“– including consensual and constitutional government; free elections; open and unbridled media; and Egyptian control of their natural resources – will be lost.”

Let us see…

We can not have elections in this country without corruption, our military can’t vote, and anyone who suggests that we have I.D. cards to vote is called a racist by those who implement the fraud..

Our open and unbridled media is under constant attack if it is not the propaganda driven message coming from the Obowma regime, resulting in regulation of the Internet by the FCC, and calls to silence FOX News, and all those on “Conservative Talk Radio”…

Funny how Egypt can be in control of their natural resources, but we can not…

My only question…

… Why are we not rioting in the streets?

Oh, I forgot…

… American Idol just started a new season.

Seven Percent Solution on January 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM

“Powder Keg” is the term that comes to my mind right now.

dddave on January 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Obama needs to show he has his own freedom agenda, similar to President Bush, if he is going to stake out a position and lead from there. If he can’t articulate a vision of freedom for Egypt, no one is going to listen to him. Unfortunately, he is not one to take a strong stand when the heat is on. Secret phone calls to Crawford Tx. for advice?

Mallard T. Drake on January 28, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Mallard T. Drake on January 28, 2011 at 9:08 PM

+1

cmsinaz on January 28, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Wait wait wait…the GOP is gonna go all in for Mubarak? Way to go guys.

ernesto on January 28, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Provocatively interesting outtake from an IBD editorial:

Does the Obama administration realize the difference between freedom-based revolutions and violent overthrows that will help jihadists?

In 2009, the Egyptian daily Almasry Alyoum reported that President Obama secretly met in Washington that year with representatives of Egypt’s jihadist Muslim Brotherhood, the Hamas ally that, while banned, dominates the opposition in the country.

Obama also chose Egypt as the locale for his ill-conceived Muslim outreach speech in June 2009

onlineanalyst on January 28, 2011 at 9:13 PM

I’m with McCotter.

Wow. Zero was awfully quiet when Iranians took to the streets after the fraudulent election of Ahmadinejad.

PUH-lease. We all know what Muslim democracy is.

Gob on January 28, 2011 at 9:14 PM

The thing to remember with Iran is that it started out as a middle class revolt first. Khomeini only came in later.

Vatican Watcher on January 28, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Seven Percent Solution on January 28, 2011 at 9:07 PM

7%

onlineanalyst on January 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM

I can’t help wondering which is really the correct side to support based on Obama’s actions in the past. He supported the Honduras dictator, then said nothing during Iran’s rioting and crackdown, but now supports dissidents in Egypt. Is Obama supporting democracy or is he supporting another bunch of fascists?

JavelinaBomb on January 28, 2011 at 9:22 PM

I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters
very good point…

cmsinaz on January 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

It doesn’t matter what their motivation is. The radical, islamist Moslem Brotherhood will take control of the process if it is allowed to play out in an unmanaged way.

TBinSTL on January 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I may only agree with him 5 times out of 10 (back-handed compliment alert!), but allahpundit does have an incredible knack to read between the rhetorical lines and provide very sharp political analysis.

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM

I don’t know what Obama/Clinton will do, but I know it will be the wrong thing.

huckleberryfriend on January 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM

TBinSTL on January 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

point taken

cmsinaz on January 28, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Paging President Palin……

PappyD61 on January 28, 2011 at 9:25 PM

JavelinaBomb: I suspect that ObaMao supports the pure democracy that embraces mass uprisings which lead to socialist ends. He also seems to be enamored with the “peace” that Islam promises: the peace of submission. He stands with his Muslim brothers.

onlineanalyst on January 28, 2011 at 9:27 PM

McCotter may well be right, but we do not know yet. We will not know for several days, weeks or months.

I´m not optimistic but I agree with a thing Ralph Peters said ten years ago: The Shah always falls.

We may crave stability and support autocratic regimes to get it, but they don´t last forever. We cannot make them last forever. And when they finally fall, it´s worse for all concerned if we never supported some kind of real democracy movement. George W. Bush understood this.

el gordo on January 28, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Secret phone calls to Crawford Tx. for advice?

Mallard T. Drake on January 28, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Redirected to Saudi Arabia?

BL@KBIRD on January 28, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I think once they turn off the net or the juice, the moderates-liberals-sane people are OUT and it becomes a crapshoot between Mubarak and the Brotherhood.

If that’s my choice, I choose Mubarak.

Jason Coleman on January 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Every other best of all the bad choices available leader, that we support by default, is watching to see how we handle this. We have to remember that too.

RBMN on January 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters
very good point…

cmsinaz on January 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

It doesn’t matter what their motivation is. The radical, islamist Moslem Brotherhood will take control of the process if it is allowed to play out in an unmanaged way.

TBinSTL on January 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM

The islamists will always have the upper hand when a dictator goes. That is because the dictator suppresses other political parties and any possible leaders even to the point of imprisoning them, over a period of decades. The dictator will not take on islam however, so in the post-dictator chaos the islamists have an intact organization and are ready to rule.

slickwillie2001 on January 28, 2011 at 9:43 PM

The lame stream media and the elites (including the neo-cons) are painting the situation in Egypt as the rebellion of young people with MBAs who are reduced to working menial jobs or long term unemployment. Maybe.

However, in the long term the Muslim Brotherhood and the radicalized Islamo fascists will be there to pick up the pieces.

vilebody on January 28, 2011 at 9:44 PM

The link below is from an excellent piece about Egypt post-9/11 and the (probably futile) efforts to democratize the ME.

http://old.nationalreview.com/kurtz/kurtz022002.asp

onlineanalyst on January 28, 2011 at 9:47 PM

It is time to realize that in the world and ESPECIALLY in the Middle East that you must follow Machiavelli and support the lesser of two evils (since there realistically isn’t any abstraction called ‘good’) and that is Mabarak.

I heard Col Ralph Peters on O’Reilly tonight. Usually I agree with him. Tonight I do not. Peters thinks Mubarak should fall and, hopefully, out of the chaos, an orderly government friendly to us will emerge. This is highly unlikely and O’Reilly correctly pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood are Mubarak’s possible replacers. I say they are his LIKELY replacers. If this happens Iraq becomes untenable, Israel is totally surrounded and the rest of North Africa is poised to fall to the fanatics including Morocco which is the Islamic gateway to the Atlantic Ocean.

Remember what happened when the “evil” Shah of Iran fell. Nothing but trouble ever since. Repeat performance anyone?

MaiDee on January 28, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Tom_Shipley on January 28, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Your opinion carries zero weight, but thanks for engaging in the typing exercise.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 28, 2011 at 10:12 PM

I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters

There is quite a bit you don’t see AP. One assumes that McCotter has access to information you do not. He is not known to make rash assertions with no basis.

echosyst on January 28, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Remember JImmy Carter? Look what happened there. I am with McCotter.

Bullhead on January 28, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Wait wait wait…the GOP is gonna go all in for Mubarak? Way to go guys.

ernesto

Joe Biden, DEMOCRAT, says hi.

xblade on January 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM

I’m with McCotter too — that said, Mubarak is 82. If – and this is a big IF – he isn’t forced from office, age will eventually do it for him and then this will all happen again.

Republican on January 28, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Wait wait wait…the GOP is gonna go all in for Mubarak? Way to go guys.

ernesto on January 28, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Only to a total partisan does one Representative equal the GOP going all in for Mubarak.

Esthier on January 28, 2011 at 10:44 PM

I don’t see how he’s so sure about what’s motivating the protesters. After reading loads of coverage, my strong impression is that no one knows how much of it is being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood and how much by otherwise apolitical Egyptians fed up with corruption and economic stagnation.

I’m cautiously optimistic. The internet didn’t exist when Carter was president. It does now. And shutting down the internet is tantamount to declaring oneself a dictator. I’m hopeful that the comparison between Egypt and Iran has less to do with 1979 and more to do with the recent protestors who supported the Green party in the recent election in Iran. I’m hopeful that if the Muslim Brotherhood does decide it can step in during a period of weakness and confusion that it will ultimately fail to obtain power because it will not understand the nature of the protests. I’m cautiously optimistic.

tartan on January 28, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Now is the time round up and to execute all of the Muslim Brotherhood members.

You don’t get many historical chances to chop off the head of a poisonous snake.

Take it, Mubarak.

They intend to turn you into a Sadat II if they gain power.

Turn them into compost first.

Theocratic tyrants cannot be allowed to enslave more of humanity.

profitsbeard on January 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM

Oh my, didn’t this clown get the Tea Party memo?

When Leadership is corrupt, stand back and let the people have a say….

drfredc on January 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Oh my, didn’t this clown get the Tea Party memo?

When Leadership is corrupt, stand back and let the people have a say….

drfredc on January 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM

How did that work out for you in Iran, back in 1978-79?

Just wondering.

We’re not in Kansas anymore.

Dreadnought on January 28, 2011 at 11:33 PM

I don’t know enough about Egyptian politics to have a sense for who to pull for here.

But I am old enough to have lived through Carter’s disasterous vacillation when the Shah was under pressure in Iran. 30 years later, Iran is at or near the top of Dangerous Psycho list. Sure hope this isn’t Iran, take 2.

james23 on January 28, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Sorry Allahpundit. Thaddeus McCotter is awesome. And I won’t have a David Brooks conservative tell me otherwise.

Dave From Canada on January 28, 2011 at 11:44 PM

After reading loads of coverage, my strong impression is that no one knows how much of it is being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood and how much by otherwise apolitical Egyptians fed up with corruption and economic stagnation.

Yes, no one knows “how much of it is being driven by the Muslim Brotherhood and how much by otherwise apolitical Egyptians.”

So the two main actors in this protest/rebellion are an expressly political fundamentalist Islamic movement on one hand, and otherwise apolitical average joes on the other.

Guess how that’s all going to shake out in the end?

McCotter is right. He’s a smart guy, erudite and conservative. I wish the Republicans had more of him, and less Huckabees, Palins, and Romneys.

Dreadnought on January 28, 2011 at 11:51 PM

I’m with McCotter too. I’ve been following this closely, my wife is Egyptian Christian and we attend Coptic and Lutheran services here in LA. Thankfully most of her family is in the US now. A couple of points –

A lot of the people protesting aren’t longing for Jeffersonian Democracy, they are longing for food. The economy in Egypt has deteriorated to the point that basic food staples like beans are getting too expensive for poor people to buy. They don’t sell eggs by the dozen any more, they sell them individually. That’s how bad its gotten. That said, its likely that the Brotherhood of God has people in the protests and are part of the protests, though we haven’t seen evidence of it. There are a lot of other reasons to protest also, the Egyptian Government is wildly corrupt and ineffectual.

In terms of who runs the country, National Review had an article titled something like “Mubarak must go, but not yet”. I couldn’t agree more. There are three courses in this Feces Buffet. One is Mubarak staying in power (hopefully weakened). Another is the Muslim Brotherhood running the country, which means they will eventually attack Israel, but only after they finish killing every Christian in the country the way the Turks killed the Armenians in Turkey 100 years ago. Option three is some feckless idiot like AlBaradei running a weak government that can’t stop the Muslim Brotherhood for doing option two regardless.

Like most crappy choices in Middle East politics, keeping Mubarak (or hopefully accelerating the transition to his son Gamal, who is at least a Westernized guy with an understanding of economics) is the best of a really bad set of choices. I’m not going to criticize Obama (yet) because we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and that is obviously the majority of the effort. But I’m not filled with confidence that they will act competently this time.

Kaisersoze on January 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Now is the time round up and to execute all of the Muslim Brotherhood members.

You don’t get many historical chances to chop off the head of a poisonous snake.

Take it, Mubarak.

They intend to turn you into a Sadat II if they gain power.

Turn them into compost first.

Theocratic tyrants cannot be allowed to enslave more of humanity.

profitsbeard on January 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM

If he goes, that would be nice to see. Unfortunately, the MB is rather deep, so I don’t believe the problem would be solved…but it could clear up just enough room for a third option.

Pattosensei on January 29, 2011 at 12:29 AM

I fear this is deja vu Jimmy Carter Shah of Iran moment when we recklessly pulled the plug on a pro Western ally, in the hope that ‘freedom’ demonstrators would ‘reform Iran’ but still keep it in the democrat fold. That went swimmingly, and we are still paying the price three decades later. We can’t afford the same thing in Egypt. To have the Suez Canal and the Straits of Hormuz in the hands of islamist jihadis, would be a nightmare for the West.

eaglewingz08 on January 29, 2011 at 1:51 AM

Thad McCotter, brilliant as usual with a very timely word of caution.

Don’t be naive, the opportunistic Muslim Brotherhood is taking full advantage of the unrest in Egypt and pushing it hard.

Please read John Bolton’s take ( here ) and then go back to what Thad McCotter is saying.

We dismiss the warnings of the good congressman at our distinct peril.

Edouard on January 29, 2011 at 3:27 AM

America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrranical government capable of harm.

BS. Firstly Presidents have been getting this guy to make promises to reform since the day he assumed power. He has eradicated opposition and destroyed centrist power so we have the false choice between him, a despot, and the boogie man muslim brotherhood which only managed to tally 30% back when it had some clout.

Mubarak doesn’t do reform. Egypt needs reform. Mubarak must go. We would look like idiots supporting a guy the entire country despises. We should help the opposition and let the army set up an interim government.

lexhamfox on January 29, 2011 at 3:56 AM

No matter what noble goals and aspirations for a more Democratic society the majority of the protesters in Egypt have, the main problem is that if they topple Mubarak then the more ruthless and extreme elements like the Muslim Brotherhood will fill the power vacuum. In the long run that won’t benefit America or Israel- and it certainly won’t benefit the Egyptians who want a more liberal society. They’ll be getting rid of one dictator and instead of freedom they’ll end up with an Islamic theocracy. A few years down the line Egypt might be another Iran- and I’d be surprised if Iran isn’t meddling in the unrest in Egypt now in some way.

So do you support someone like Mubarak or support the freedom of the people and the huge risk that their “freedom” will result in some mighty unpleasant blowback for your nation, one of your closest allies, the whole region and, of course, the people who actually want to be free? I don’t know enough about what’s going on there to say but it seems to me that doing the right thing by Egyptians might not actually be in their best interests.

Jay Mac on January 29, 2011 at 7:36 AM

We all better pray that our dear leader doesn’t pull a Carter in Egypt or we can kiss the Suez Canal goodbye. If you think gas is expensive now wait til it costs a lot more to haul it here from the middle East without the canal.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting for this opportunity for years. Al Zawahiri is an Egyptian and will seize this revolt in a takeover of the country. I don’t think too highly of military dictatorships either, but they don’t let radicals survive.

Kissmygrits on January 29, 2011 at 8:20 AM

The GOP needs more Thad McCotter. Why is he not getting any consideration for bigger and better things?

mpk on January 29, 2011 at 11:27 PM

BS. Firstly Presidents have been getting this guy to make promises to reform since the day he assumed power. He has eradicated opposition and destroyed centrist power so we have the false choice between him, a despot, and the boogie man muslim brotherhood which only managed to tally 30% back when it had some clout.

Mubarak doesn’t do reform. Egypt needs reform. Mubarak must go. We would look like idiots supporting a guy the entire country despises. We should help the opposition and let the army set up an interim government.

lexhamfox on January 29, 2011 at 3:56 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/weekinreview/30cooper.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

American governments need a partner in Egypt who supports the keystone of America’s Middle East policy, and Hosni Mubarak has been that partner for 30 years. “The Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty is the pillar of the structure in the Middle East,” said Edward P. Djerejian, a former American ambassador to Israel and Syria. “If the ’79 agreement goes asunder, everything falls apart. Everything falls apart.”

Everything falls apart…..

Right now Cairo, Suez, Alexandria are lit up … if the Mubarak government falls, there will be more fires, and not just in Egypt.

30% of the tally is probably all they will need.

Dreadnought on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 AM