ElBaradei: Hit the road, Mubarak; Update: Muslim Brotherhood backs ElBaradei? Update: What ElBaradei means to Iran

posted at 11:50 am on January 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Samuel Johnson once remarked after seeing a dog walking on its hind legs that the wonder wasn’t in the fact that the dog did it so well as much as it was in the dog doing it at all. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviews the man who has become — at least to Westerners — the face of the opposition in Egypt as Hosni Mubarak struggles to retain power after almost 30 years of dictatorship. Mohammed ElBaradei, known mostly until now as the ineffective head of the UN effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, tells Zakaria that Mubarak must go:

If he wants to save his skin — if he has an iota of patriotism — I advise him to leave the country.

ElBaradei calls Mubarak’s expulsion “non-negotiable for every Egyptian,” but he comes across as a rather bloodless, bland bureaucrat. If this is his negotiating persona, it’s pretty easy to see why the Iranians feared him so little. The only real passion ElBaradei exhibits is when he furrows his brow and talks disdainfully of the support Mubarak has received for decades from nations around the world in the name of “stability,” which again seems like a bit of hypocrisy when one recalls ElBaradei’s insistence on moderation in dealing with the despots running Iran.

Still, the wonder here is that ElBaradei is appearing publicly at all these days.  Supposedly, Mubarak had ElBaradei under house arrest just a couple of days ago.  Now he’s giving live interviews on CNN and calling for Mubarak’s ouster — and the army and police are nowhere to be seen.  Given ElBaradei’s influence with the opposition, keeping him under wraps would normally be one of the top priorities of Mubarak, especially given ElBaradei’s connections to the West through the UN.  ElBaradei undermines Mubarak’s almost-certain strategy of attempting to drum up support from his soon-to-be former allies using an apres moi, le deluge argument.  If ElBaradei remains at the head of the revolt, Western governments may feel that they can deal with ElBaradei a lot more reasonably than Mubarak at this point. Mubarak knows this, and so his inability to keep ElBaradei in seclusion signals that Mubarak may have already hit the end stage of his dictatorship.

The Western nations that think ElBaradei will be a leader they can trust had better hope that ElBaradei can deal with the Islamists in his own backyard better than the ones in Tehran.  He seems more like a convenient beard for the Muslim Brotherhood at this point than a charismatic revolutionary leader for democracy and personal liberty.  Obama and the EU don’t have many choices here — in fact, they have none at all, really — but ElBaradei is a long shot at best to survive as leader of a free Egypt.

Update (AP): Sounds like the Muslim Brotherhood has decided on its cat’s paw.

The Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday threw its support behind Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei to hold proposed negotiations with the government in order to form a unity government.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Muslim Brotherhood official Essam el-Eryan said that “political groups support ElBaradei to negotiation with the regime.”

As I write this, to add a little gloss to his new image as Egyptian savior, Al Jazeera’s airing footage of ElBaradei at the main protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo. To give you a sense of the level of dishonesty this stooge is willing to stoop to for his new patron, here’s what he told ABC earlier today:

“This is total bogus that the Muslim Brotherhood are religiously conservative,” he said. “They are no way extremists. They are no way using violence. They are not a majority of the Egyptian people. They will not be more than maybe 20 percent of the Egyptian people.

“You have to include them like, you know, new evangelical, you know, groups in the U.S., like the orthodox Jews in Jerusalem,” ElBaradei said.

He said the Islamists were “not at all” behind the uprising.

Update (AP): Iran, naturally, is root root rootin’ for the Brotherhood to turn this into an Islamist triumph, notwithstanding their sectarian differences with the group. This quote sums up the stakes:

While Egypt’s chances of transitioning to representative democracy remain an open question, especially with events on the ground so fluid, even the prospect remains deeply unsettling to Iran. “The focus would no longer be on Arabs being inspired by Iranian fundamentalism, but Iranians being inspired by Arab democracy,” says Sajadpour.

No doubt Iran is already working on ways to get money and arms to the Brotherhood for the power struggle ahead, which will end up being Exhibit 8,943 that Shiite and Sunni fundies are perfectly capable of cooperating against a common enemy. (See also Hamas.)

Update (AP): Just to put a cherry on top of this sundae, check out the screencap comparison at Big Peace between the Brotherhood’s English and Arabic websites. They’re practicing the same sort of deception by backing ElBaradei.

Update (AP): Needless to say, Egypt isn’t the only place where Islamists are looking to capitalize on recent unrest. Tunisia’s most famous fundie arrived home today after years spent abroad — and a crowd of thousands turned out at the airport to cheer him on.

Update (AP): One more point on ElBaradei. Even if he ends up as a compromise choice for leader, without any sort of formal Islamist takeover, having him at the top is guaranteed to weaken the west’s alliance with Sunni Arab regimes against Iran. Back when he was head of the IAEA and ostensibly charged with inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites, he was perfectly candid in saying that he didn’t consider that to be his main task. His main task, he felt, was preventing a western attack on Iran, a bias which made his reporting on their nuke program fatally suspect. If he was willing to do that in the name of “peace,” what else would he be willing to do if/when things finally come to a head between Iran, the U.S., and Israel? And if he, as ruler of Egypt, sides with Iran in that standoff, where does that leave other western-allied but weak Sunni regimes like Jordan and Saudi Arabia?

Update (Ed): Here’s a reminder of where ElBaradei’s sympathies lie in the Iranian nuclear crisis.  Covering up Iran’s weaponization efforts, and doing it so ineptly that France and Germany publicly protested ElBaradei’s omissions, hardly stokes confidence in either ElBaradei’s inclination or ability to stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood, if it comes down to that — and if he’s not totally in bed with the Ikhwan as many suspect, it certainly will come down to that.  For that matter, it doesn’t provide much confidence in ElBaradei’s executive abilities at all, even without the complications of radical Islamists.


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ElBaradei Is in tight with the muslim brotherhood.Don’t kow whether to laugh or cry. Who’s worse?

sandee on January 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

DR. ZAWI HAWASS — THE FACE OF GRIEF

I often joke about the effervescent Dr. Zahi Hawass, who is usually hamming it up in front of the cameras during the periodic ancient Egypt specials I watch. I think the heartbreaking devastation and grief seen on his face, as he realizes the dimensions of the destruction to rare and irreplaceable antiquities, is one of the most compelling images of the Egyptian crisis I have seen. This tells me the loss to Egyptology is worse than we can possibly imagine.

Mutnodjmet on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

pimf…. know

sandee on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Since I’m late to the party, has anyone seen Mubarak lately?

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

He’ll be every bit as independent as a mob lawyer.

RBMN on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

ElBaradei is a terrorist in an expensive suit. Supporting him is folly for the West.

Osama Obama and the EU do indeed have a choice: pull out their citizens, support none of the above and let the Egyptians sort it out for themselves.

And shut off the economic/aid spigots when they opt for Islamic savagery.

MrScribbler on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

This is not a good development. I wish Eric Shawn had someone on who could inform the public about this guy, instead of just repeating ElBaradei’s demand. FNC has not handled this crisis very maturely – only a few bright spots here & there w/ KT McFarland, John Bolton, & Walid Phares.

Connie on January 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Wasn’t ElBaradei Irans’ Hack while he was with IAEA?

Panentheist on January 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yep, ElBaradei is the Mehdi Bazargan of the 21st Century. If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, odds are better than 50-50 instead of being Egypt’s leader, ElBaradei will probably be on paid retainer as a CNN talking head in exile, offering up his own special insight into the coming war between Egypt and Israel.

jon1979 on January 30, 2011 at 11:59 AM

It just looks like Murbarak has already left the country, in spirit if not in the flesh, and those who would rule are thrashing out their positions covertly while publicly Murbarak is the target for public displeasure.

Skandia Recluse on January 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Hitler need a Von Papen, So does the Muslim Brotherhood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Papen

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

He will retire in (be exiled to) France, lauded as a hero by the left.

dIb on January 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Wasn’t ElBaradei Irans’ Hack while he was with IAEA?

Panentheist on January 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

He was Sadaam’s lackey too

darwin-t on January 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The Western nations that think ElBaradei will be a leader they can trust had better hope that ElBaradei can deal with the Islamists in his own backyard better than the ones in Tehran.

Fat chance. The MB support him because he will not be an impediment to their agenda.

iurockhead on January 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Thank God for HA and the other sites. To read the MSM or even listen/watch, Egypt is just on its way to Democracy.
This situation looks very scary to me.

ORconservative on January 30, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Wasn’t ElBaradei Irans’ Hack while he was with IAEA?

Panentheist on January 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

He was Sadaam’s lackey too

darwin-t on January 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

And he was especially a lackey for the anti-Bush American Democrat MSM, who treated every word he said during the runup to 2003 as gospel truth. Especially CNN.

Del Dolemonte on January 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

This may be an opportune time to take care of the Iran problem, while attention is diverted in the area.

joe btfsplk on January 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

become — at least to Westerners — the face of the opposition in Egypt as Hosni Mubarak struggles to retain power after almost 30 years of dictatorship. Mohammed ElBaradei, known mostly until now as the ineffective head of the UN effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons

For me it remains the latter.

besser tot als rot on January 30, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Isn’t this the same guy who has been telling everyone Iran doesn’t have a nuclear program?

Cindy Munford on January 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

ElBaradei calls Mubarak’s expulsion “non-negotiable for every Egyptian,”

Presumably, Mubarak remains Egyption, easily proving this statement false.

besser tot als rot on January 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

The only thing you can be sure of is if there is a way that Obama can screw this up, he will. ElBaradei would be the easiest way to make this situation worse than it is so expect the worst.

volsense on January 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I am really defficient in foreign policy and the geopolitical situations in the Middle East.
Correct me if I’m wrong please.
ElBaradei, is an Islam supporter and an apoligist for the regimes in the area (including former regimes), with the help the left in this country is paving the way for MB power in Egypt. Which likely destabilizes relationships with Isreal further putting a ME war close to erupting and pretty much assuring US support for Isreal will not be there or will be effective.
The scariest part to me is that it appears in retrospect that the green light was given by BO.

ORconservative on January 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM

ElBaradei enjoys the spotlight and says what he senses people want to hear to remain there. The Muslim Brotherhood is more than happy to let him be their trial balloon because they can ‘pop’ him themselves if he succeeds to that point.
The U.S. should ‘ally’ itself only to democracies and stop bribing dictatorships with foreign aid to do us favors. We can have good relations with them, carry on trade with them, but do nothing beyond that to prop them up. We should let the world know that we are out of the World Cop and nation building business. If a country attacks us or disrupts free movement of trade, we topple them and let the people figure out what to do. If they haven’t learned their lesson, we’ll do it all over again.

cartooner on January 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Has anyone seen Henry Waxman lately?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on January 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

If it’s true that Big Sis met with members of the brotherhood recently in DC, this is a huge story…

Last month [January 2010], U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her senior staff privately met in Washington, D.C., with a select group of Muslim, Arab, and Sikh organizations. Among the mix were three organizations directly associated with an outlawed terrorist entity — the Muslim Brotherhood.

Secretary Napolitano spent an hour and a half briefing them on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counter-radicalization and anti-terrorist programs. The intensive briefings spanned two days (January 27 and 28) and were called by the DHS.

Keemo on January 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviews the man who has become — at least to Westerners — the face of the opposition in Egypt

Really? I haven’t heard anyone looking to this lying weasel as the great white hope of the west. You would have to be ignorant and desperate if that is the case.

Does ignorant and desperate work for you?

BL@KBIRD on January 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Mubarak (hack & tyrant) versus ElBaradei (hack and tool of tyrants and would-be tyrants).

How the hell did we get into this mess?

Second look at neoconservatism, anyone?

Bruno Strozek on January 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Does this guy think he’s just going to step into the president of Egypt position without the people having a vote on the matter? Is this the way full, fair and open election happen in the ME? You betcha. This guy was hand picked by the mullahs in Iran to be their best buddy and next in line to rule. The largest domino has just fallen. Jordan will be next.

Kissmygrits on January 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Wasn’t this on Beck’s chalkboard?

1. Chaos
2. We have the solution (MB and elBaradei)

faraway on January 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

The only thing you can be sure of is if there is a way that Obama can screw this up, he will. ElBaradei would be the easiest way to make this situation worse than it is so expect the worst.

volsense on January 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

A foreign policy bill for electing a leftist as President comes due.
ElBaradei – an anti semetic, pro-terrorist stooge. What could go wrong?
If we had a real President he could push the Egyptian generals ( we must know someone) to take over in return for lots of dough.
Hardball politics time- Egypt cannot be lost.

jjshaka on January 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Kissmygrits on January 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I’m afraid you might be right here… This entire development stinks to high heaven.

Keemo on January 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Its 1979 all over again

http://www.enotes.com/peoples-chronology/year-1979

Iran’s Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi appoints Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar, 64, to head a regency January 4 in an effort to avert a fundamentalist Islamic revolution and flees January 16 to Egypt after nearly 38 years in power (see 1978; Shiites, 680). The Shiite Muslim leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, 78, flies into Teheran February 1 after 15 years in exile. His supporters clash with government troops and rout the elite Imperial Guard February 11. Bakhtiar resigns, autocratic rule ends after 2,500 years, but turmoil continues throughout the year, with thousands killed in rioting and mass executions. Khomeini accuses the “satanic” United States and her “agents” of fomenting disunity and sends troops to crush a rebellion of Kurdish guerrillas seeking autonomy.

North Yemen and South Yemen have a border war beginning February 24 (see 1978). President Carter sends $390 million worth of arms with military advisers to North Yemen, and he dispatches a naval force to the Arabian Sea; nearly 3,000 Cuban and Soviet troops arrive in South Yemen.

Afghan Muslim extremists abduct U.S. ambassador Adolph Dubs, 58, at Kabul February 14, local police storm the hotel where he is being held, and Dubs is killed along with several of his abductors in an exchange of gunfire. Soviet agents try to oust President Taraki’s rival, Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin, in mid-September, but Taraki himself is killed in a shootout. Fearing that the Afghans will install a regime friendly to the United States, Soviet Communist Party chairman Leonid Brezhnev summons his foreign minister Andrei Gromyko, KGB chief Yuri Andropov, and defense minister Dmitri Ustinov to a meeting late at night December 12, and Soviet troops invade Afghanistan December 24, allegedly at the invitation of the new president Amin, who is convicted December 27 of “crimes against the state” and executed along with members of his family by a “revolutionary tribunal.”

Iraq’s president Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns July 16 after 11 years in office, having suffered a heart attack 3 years ago. Now 65, he is succeeded by revolutionary leader Saddam Hussein, now 42, who has shared power with President Bakr since 1968, directed the nationalization of Iraq’s oil industry 7 years ago, becomes president and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, will be ruthless in suppressing political opposition, and will embark on rash military adventures

Washington breaks ties with Taiwan as of January 1 and establishes diplomatic relations with Beijing (see 1978). Deputy Premier Deng Xiaoping accepts a New Year’s invitation to the U.S. Embassy at Beijing and flies to the United States later in the month, becoming the first Chinese leader to visit America (in addition to seeing President Carter at Washington, he tours the NASA Space Center at Houston, tries out a flight simulator, and attends a Texas rodeo),

Pakistan’s former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is hanged at Rawalpindi April 4 at age 51 for plotting the murder of a political opponent in 1974, having been sentenced by the Lahore High Court in mid-March 1978 (see 1977). President Carter, Pope John Paul II, and other world leaders have appealed for clemency to no avail. Demonstrations throughout Pakistan protest the execution.

U.S. Senate leaders block a Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty signed at Vienna June 18 by Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev after nearly 5 years of negotiations (diplomat and former secretary of the navy Paul Nitze, now 72, represented U.S. interests). The United States has 2,283 missiles and bombers as of June 18, the Soviet Union 2,504. President Carter has approved construction of a new generation of smaller aircraft carriers January 8 and scrapped plans for another 90,000-ton supercarrier

Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza resigns his presidency July 17 after a 7-week civil war and takes refuge at Miami with 45 aides, ending the 46-year Somoza family dynasty (see 1978). Sandinista rebels enter Managua July 19 with rebel leaders who include Daniel Ortega Saavedra, 33, riding an armored personnel carrier. Ortega dropped out of university at age 17 to join the FSLN (Sandanista National Liberation Front), was imprisoned by the Somoza regime from 1967 to 1974 and then exiled to Cuba

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

To give you a sense of the level of dishonesty this stooge is willing to stoop to for his new patron, here’s what he told ABC earlier today:

“This is total bogus that the Muslim Brotherhood are religiously conservative,” he said. “They are no way extremists. They are no way using violence. They are not a majority of the Egyptian people. They will not be more than maybe 20 percent of the Egyptian people.

“You have to include them like, you know, new evangelical, you know, groups in the U.S., like the orthodox Jews in Jerusalem,” ElBaradei said.

He said the Islamists were “not at all” behind the uprising.

Ed, why do you consider this dishonesty?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Well, this sure explains a lot, now doesn’t it?

ButterflyDragon on January 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Russia just got attacked by the “muslim brotherhood” so to speak, but I have not seen a thing on their reaction to this. Or Europe’s for that matter. I would not be surprised if the muslims in Europe start to riot for regime change there.

SouthernGent on January 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Speaking to Al-Jazeera,

…weren’t they shut down, off the air?

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviews the man who has become — at least to Westerners — the face of the opposition

at least to Western media
he dresses well, he speaks English, he takes their phone calls, and he helps fill up otherwise empty hours of time on air.

If ElBaradei remains at the head of the revolt, Western governments may feel that they can deal with ElBaradei a lot more reasonably than Mubarak at this point.

Western Governments ?? Or is it another example of Western news media selecting candidates for public office?

Skandia Recluse on January 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM

He seems more like a convenient beard for the Muslim Brotherhood at this point than a charismatic revolutionary leader for democracy and personal liberty.

You said a mouthful there. El-Baradei’s “incompetence” in Iran is looking more and more like working on behalf of Iran.

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Russia just got attacked by the “muslim brotherhood” so to speak
SouthernGent on January 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

What now?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Ask Obama supporters if they think Zawahiri would be a good running mate for ElBaradei on the Islamist ticket. Most of them probably have no clue who Dr. Z is.

Christien on January 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

To the Muslim brotherhood “Vote (for us) or die” has a whole new meaning.

faol on January 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

What now?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I would guess that you say something stupid like “All you folks on this site are hoping that Russia nukes the ME into a sheet of glass” or something equally stupid.

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Isn’t this the same guy who has been telling everyone Iran doesn’t have a nuclear program?

Cindy Munford on January 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Ye$, ye$ he was$ that guy, wa$n’t he?

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I wonder what Ayman al-Zawahiri is doing these days?

Blacksheep on January 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

And just to put a cherry on top of this sundae, check out the screencap comparison at Big Peace between the Brotherhood’s English and Arabic websites. They’re practicing the same sort of deception by backing ElBaradei.

Can see the same thing on Al Jazeera’s site. Their English pages say something more moderate their Arabic pages are much more extreme.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Ask Obama supporters if they think Zawahiri would be a good running mate for ElBaradei on the Islamist ticket. Most of them probably have no clue who Dr. Z is.

Christien on January 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Yeah dont let the fact that the #2 in Al Qaeda was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for years get loose in the Media !

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Ed, why do you consider this dishonesty?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM

WTF?
Were you born stupid or is it something you work at?
This tools specialty is “lapdog for islamists”.

Aviator on January 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Why would the public even trust ElBaradei, he’s been living in Vienna for ever? I’m not sure I even see a best case outcome here.

Cindy Munford on January 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I see what you did there. Imagine the new payday as Egypt’s new dictator!!

Cindy Munford on January 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayman_al-Zawahiri

By the age of 14, al-Zawahiri had joined the Muslim Brotherhood. The following year the Egyptian government executed Qutb for conspiracy, and al-Zawahiri, along with four other secondary school students, helped form an “underground cell devoted to overthrowing the government and establishing an Islamist state.” It was at this early age that al-Zawahiri developed a mission in life, “to put Qutb’s vision into action.”[13] His cell eventually merged with others to form al-Jihad or Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Aviator on January 30, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I guess I’ll ask you: why do you consider this dishonesty?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:41 PM

El Baradei has
1. Acted as tool of Iran during his near 12 years as head of IAEA
2. Memri reports El-Baradei accepted $7 million from Iran to fund his opposition movement in Iran
3. Spoken out against nuclear non-proliferation
4. Named Israel as the most dangerous country in the Middle East
5. Partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood in 2009 to form an opposition political movement that had at the top of its to-do list repeal of the Constitutional Amendment disallowing religious based political parties
6. Most recently refused to answer a question on what would happen with Israel should the Muslim Brotherhood take power, but instead simply called for the state to legalize the Brotherhood.

Wolf Howling on January 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Zawahiri eventually denounced the MB as moderate and nonviolent.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Is it just me or does he look just a teensy bit like David Brooks?

Seth Halpern on January 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Just a week ago, El Baradei told an interviewer that “the best assessment” of Iran’s nuclear program was…ready for this?!….the CIA’s 2007 intelligence report saying Iran had suspended its program in 2003!

He’s an Iranian tool. Before that he was a Saddam tool. You might say, he’s a tool of anyone who is a an enemy of the U.S. and the West.

The leftist media never challenged him because, as long as he was throwing roadblocks into Bush’s path, it didn’t matter whether he was allowing Iran to get the bomb! Now they’ve built him up and would look foolish to start telling the truth. So they will say little as the Brotherhood and the U.N. pave the way for his taking over Egypt. And then we’ll really see the shiite hit the fan.

jeanneb on January 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Zawahiri eventually denounced the MB as moderate and nonviolent.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Too nonviolent and moderate for his tastes, dude. It’s all relative.

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM

So what makes you think they are extremist and nonviolent today?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Zawahiri eventually denounced the MB as moderate and nonviolent.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Not quite. There was a push to go non violent and he spoke up against it but the MB continued till this day to attack.

While there Zawahiri learned of a “Nonviolence Initiative” being organized in Egypt to end the terror campaign that had killed hundreds and resulting government crackdown that had imprisoned thousands. Zawahiri angrily opposed this “surrender” in letters to the London newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat.[56] Together with members of al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, he helped organize a massive attack on tourists at the Temple of Hatshepsut to sabotage the initiative by provoking the government into repression.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Ed, it’s very important to realize that ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood allied months ago.

Unless you make that clear it will allow the idea to take hold that Obama was caught unawares. Instead, it was well-known and on Friday Gibbs spoke positively about ElBaradei without mentioning the affiliation. An omission, not out of ignorance, though.

Cindy Cooper on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

S

o what makes you think they are extremist and nonviolent today?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Do you try to be stupid? NOT VIOLENT ENOUGH FOR HIS TASTE does not = nonviolent. Get it?

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 12:50 PM

So what makes you think they are extremist and nonviolent today?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

The stakes are very high in what’s going on in Egypt. I’m not sure we can discount the history of the MB and its previous adherents based upon its pronouncements today. Your point makes sense in a far more inconsequential context. But this is not one of those contexts.

Weight of Glory on January 30, 2011 at 12:50 PM

So what makes you think they are extremist and nonviolent today?ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Huh?

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Samuel Johnson once remarked after seeing a dog walking on its hind legs that the wonder wasn’t in the fact that the dog did it so well as much as it was in the dog doing it at all.

Johnson made the remark after Boswell, his assistant and biographer, described women preaching at a Quakers meeting.

“Sir, a woman’s preaching,” he said, “is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

If you’re going to quote Johnson, might as well quote him right. See http://www.samueljohnson.com/dogwalk.html

bgoldman on January 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Yeah, well Dr. Z says “Peace Be Upon Him” a lot, so that must mean he’s a pacifist!

Christien on January 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

…the MB continued till this day to attack.
William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Not true.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Talked with my dad yesterday. My dad’s a big time liberal, but he and I saw the same things. He agreed when I talked about Iran’s hand up El-Baradei’s arse.

Oh, and ernesto—unlike you, my father knows Egypt. I’d tell you how, and in what capacity, but I’d have to hunt you all down and kill you for reading it. And gas is getting too expensive for that.

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

How the hell did we get into this mess?

Second look at neoconservatism, anyone?

Bruno Strozek on January 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

They hate us for our freedoms. /

Rae on January 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 12:50 PM

So when was the last time they were violent? The 1950′s? Do you actually know anything about the MB??

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I’d say bumping off Anwar Sadat was pretty fscking violent, wouldn’t you, ernesto?

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Not the MB, try again.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Not true.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Well, that, right there, settles the point. Thanks for the deep commentary on the subject.

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

When will people ask Obama “Why did you lose Egypt?”

albill on January 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Are we going to overturn Obamacare or continue to obsess over events overseas in which we have no control?

We’re broke.

rickyricardo on January 30, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Not true It is total bogus.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Fixed.

Christien on January 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Obama Administration Lifts US Ban on Muslim Brotherhood Leader
http://www.israelnationalnews.com//News/News.aspx/135654

albill on January 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

So when was the last time they were violent? The 1950′s? Do you actually know anything about the MB??

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:54 PM

They have been nonviolent for at least the last 20 minutes!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/30/muslim-brotherhood-jail-escape-egypt

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Not the MB, try again.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Oh, yeah, he didn’t have a membership card and decoder ring in his pocket when arrested, so he mustn’t have been a member. Mubarak’s crackdowns on the MB were all a big coincidence, right?

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

What deep commentary is necessary? The aforementioned comment is simply not true. What would you have comment on, outside of simply pointing it out?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Unless you make that clear it will allow the idea to take hold that Obama was caught unawares. Instead, it was well-known and on Friday Gibbs spoke positively about ElBaradei without mentioning the affiliation. An omission, not out of ignorance, though.

Cindy Cooper on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Agreed… It appears as though the WH in on board with what we now see taking place. This is very bothersome on multiple levels.

Keemo on January 30, 2011 at 1:01 PM

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Come on Ernie, what are you doing here really?

Keemo on January 30, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Yeah, well Dr. Z says “Peace Be Upon Him” a lot, so that must mean he’s a pacifist!

Christien on January 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

What people dont realize is that lower rankers in a party tend to use the party in their ride to power.

Hitler was actually very low ranking in the Nazi party when it started. He slowly got rid of his rivals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler

decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the precursor of the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919, and became leader of NSDAP in 1921

Stalin did the same

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin

Lenin still considered Stalin to be a loyal ally, and when he got mired in squabbles with Trotsky and other politicians, he decided to give Stalin more power. With the help of Lev Kamenev, Lenin had Stalin appointed as General Secretary in 1922.[17] This post allowed Stalin to appoint many of his allies to government positions.

Saddam was a Vice President in Iraq for almost a decade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam

Shortly afterwards, he convened an assembly of Ba’ath party leaders on 22 July 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped (viewable via this reference[30]), Saddam claimed to have found a fifth column within the Ba’ath Party and directed Muhyi Abdel-Hussein to read out a confession and the names of 68 alleged co-conspirators. These members were labelled “disloyal” and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody.

What is dangerous for a group like the Muslim Brotherhood is that it gives the truely dangerous a rise to power that threatens others.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 1:02 PM

What deep commentary is necessary? The aforementioned comment is simply not true. What would you have comment on, outside of simply pointing it out?

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Umm… Let’s see….. Maybe some facts or information to prove your point? You know, little stuff that goes beyond “Not True”.

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Every Egyptian leader cracks down on the MB. Sadat’s assassin was actually a member of the “Tanzim al-Jihad”, a group that had long denounced the MB on account of their nonviolent stance. Al-Zawahiri, another violent extremist who denounces the MB for their nonviolence, has been running that group since 1991. Are you beginning to see a clearer picture here? The MB is constantly opposed by violent muslim groups, on account of their not being violent. Hence the assertion that they are violent extremists is simply not true, or at least requires evidence that has not yet been provided by the proponents of such an argument.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:04 PM

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

How can I prove the negative, in this case? Wouldn’t the burden of proof fall on the person who insisted that the Muslim Brotherhood has been attacking all this time? I mean, the lack of evidence speaks for itself, unless you want me to go through every episode of violence in Egypt’s history and prove that someone else committed each one, up until today, which is of course ridiculous.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Are you really that dense ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_organization

A front organization is any entity set up by and controlled by another organization, such as intelligence agencies, organized crime groups, banned organizations, religious or political groups, advocacy groups, or corporations. Front organizations can act for the parent group without the actions being attributed to the parent group.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Are you really that dense ?
William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Dense is not the word that comes to mind… :-)

Keemo on January 30, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Agreed… It appears as though the WH in on board with what we now see taking place. This is very bothersome on multiple levels.

Keemo on January 30, 2011 at 1:01 PM

May have been aiding and abetting.
1. Leaked documents showing contact and preliminary planning with at least one member of opposition groups.

2. Removing ban on MB terror leader.

3. Big Sis briefing Of MB groups on U.S. counter terror planning.

4. Onset of media and administrtion love bomb towards ElBaradei as “transition” leader.

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Great point. It’s funny some child is on here trying to explain that peaceful jihadis have nothing to do with violent jihadis, which is total bogus.

Christien on January 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Yes, ElBaradei spent his time telling the Iranians how to avoid sanctions and game the IAEA. And, yes, the Muslim Brotherhood is supported by about 20% of the Egyptian population, but then, a small, organized and ruthless faction can easily take power over disorganized masses. Will ElBaradei be their front man? I think if that’s the price to achieve power, he’ll take it. The main question is, what will the military do? I think they’ll back Suleimani and legalize the Muslim Brotherhood to allow them to participate in elections. That should defuse the matter. Meanwhile, it’s ironic to think that if radicals takeover, they’ll be the beneficiaries of billions and billions of US dollars that went to build up the Egyptian military.

NNtrancer on January 30, 2011 at 1:11 PM

http://www.answers.com/topic/muslim-brotherhood

It has since existed largely as a clandestine but militant group, marked by its rejection of Western influences. The Muslim Brotherhood remains strong in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, and other Arab countries and has resorted to acts of political violence

In Jordan the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Islamic Action Front, is an important opposition party. The Muslim Brotherhood has given rise to a number of more militant and violent organizations, such as Hamas, Gama’a al-Islamiya, and Islamic Jihad.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I mean, the lack of evidence speaks for itself, unless you want me to go through every episode of violence in Egypt’s history and prove that someone else committed each one, up until today, which is of course ridiculous.

ernesto on January 30, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Just a taste of truth.

Hundreds of members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s leading Islamist political party, were among thousands of prisoners who escaped during overnight mass breakouts from four jails, security officials said today.

Armed gangs took advantage of the chaos in Cairo and other cities to free the prisoners, starting fires and engaging prison guards in gun battles, officials said. Several inmates were reportedly killed during the fighting and some were recaptured.

Abdel-Monaem Abdel-Maqsoud, a lawyer representing the Muslim Brotherhood, said 34 members were arrested and taken to a prison north-west of Cairo ahead of last Friday’s mass protests. All 34 got away last night, he said, including seven senior leaders.

The organised attacks and dramatic escapes highlighted growing fears in Egypt, the US, and across the Arab world that militant Islamist groups, backed by hardliners in Iran and Syria, may seek to exploit regional unrest – and resulting government weakness – to increase their influence.

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Zawahiri and the “Tanzim al-Jihad” all started out as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, ernie. It’s like Sinn Fein and the Provos back during the Troubles.

By the wet boys not having Muslim Brotherhood membership cards in their pockets, the MB is able to disassociate themselves from the violence.

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

ElBaradei is the Egyptian equivalent of America’s Obama.

An intellectual with ZERO accomplishments.

GarandFan on January 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

When will people ask Obama Palin “Why did you lose Egypt?”

albill on January 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM

FIFY

Bruno Strozek on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Ed, it’s very important to realize that ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood allied months ago.

Unless you make that clear it will allow the idea to take hold that Obama was caught unawares. Instead, it was well-known and on Friday Gibbs spoke positively about ElBaradei without mentioning the affiliation. An omission, not out of ignorance, though.

Cindy Cooper on January 30, 2011 at 12:49 PM

I agree. It’s time to dig deep, and in the process tell things straightforwardly as they are without any rose colored glasses.

This administration is already front and center out with their propaganda. They know the reality–they hope we don’t. At this point I think it highly probably they are complicit in working with ElBaradei.

INC on January 30, 2011 at 1:17 PM

FIFY

Bruno Strozek on January 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM


Yoo Betcha!!

VegasRick on January 30, 2011 at 1:19 PM

The main question is, what will the military do? I think they’ll back Suleimani and legalize the Muslim Brotherhood to allow them to participate in elections. That should defuse the matter. NNtrancer on January 30, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Perhaps, short term till elections. This may be a longer, more convoluted route than what took place in Iran. It may require several transition figures and elections. But, the final election outcome is not in doubt. The Koran and democratic freedoms are not compatible.
Look at Turkey.

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I’m still curious about the professionally made and printed protest signs that were used by demonstrators in the US over the weekend.

Key West Reader on January 30, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

really came to this conclusion about the left.

If the US backs a strongman who brutalizes his own people = EVIL that must be stopped.

If anti American group comes to power in other country and threatens to murder Americans = Thats OK we deserve to die for not supporting them earlier.

I honestly hope the Egyptian People can find democracy. But like Germany in the 1920s Democracy was too brand new and they didnt see the dangers of one group or anothers seizing power.

The Founding Fathers were brillant in that they saw that there was a need for checks and balances. The Euro parlimentary system is rift with dangers.

The single biggest thing that has saved America from being a dictatorship other than the constitution is the Electoral College. Because its hard for an extremist to convince 51% of Americans that they deserve the office. In other countries you only need to fool 30%.

William Amos on January 30, 2011 at 1:24 PM

His main task, he felt, was preventing a western attack on Iran, a bias which made his reporting on their nuke program fatally suspect.

Yes. He is part of the alliance between the islamists and the far-left. That is why he gave an interview with none other than the Guardian newspaper prior to going to Egypt. If the Wikileaks documents just released indicating that the U.S. has been actively fostering an uprising in Egypt are true, then I would also bet that he is our preferred guy to govern Egypt.

This is the same scenario that happened in Iraq where we had an Iraqi dissident who had asylum in the U.S. go to Iraq just before the fall of Baghdad and try to become part of the new “democratic” government. I can’t remember the guy’s name. If I recall correctly, he ended up screwing the U.S.

KickandSwimMom on January 30, 2011 at 1:25 PM

By the wet boys not having Muslim Brotherhood membership cards in their pockets, the MB is able to disassociate themselves from the violence.

Sekhmet on January 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Cutouts are a valuable fu**cking thing, to paraphrase a famous statement caught on wiretap. There may even be some similarities with ACORN and SEIU.

a capella on January 30, 2011 at 1:27 PM

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