Thursday, February 03, 2011

America's Naivete About Egypt

Don’t buy the hype about the moderate Muslim Brotherhood.

by Kirsten Powers - February 3rd, 2011 - The Daily Beast

When the protests first began in Egypt, I was in constant contact with an Egyptian relative who is a successful businessman, university professor and astute student of world politics. As my husband and I panicked for our family’s safety, this relative was calm, assuring me that Hosni Mubarak would appoint an interim government and that there would likely be an important role for Omar Suileman, who is a well respected leader in Egypt. Both these things quickly came true. Day after day he assured me that everything would be fine. He was sure that the Muslim Brotherhood—which he regards as a radical Islamist group – was not organized enough to gain any significant power.

Today, he was not so calm. Our family in Egypt is shocked and alarmed by what they are hearing from Western voices and even the apparent leading opposition candidate Mohamed ElBaradei—who has partnered with the Muslim Brotherhood -- who claim that the Brotherhood is a moderate group that should not be feared.

As Coptic Christians—native Egyptians who comprise the largest religious minority in the Middle East—they are especially attuned to the double-speak of Islamist groups trying to attain power.

Kirsten Powers needs to watch her back. Progressives in America are rarely tolerant of one of their own who dares violate the rule against disagreeing with the "true story" as progressive leadership defines it. If you doubt that, talk to Juan Williams. The progressive mantra is that no one need fear the Muslim Brotherhood.

This article is suggesting the same things that some conservatives have been saying. Watch out for the double speak coming out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Because Kirsten has relatives in the Egyptian Coptic Christian community who she trusts, she has dared to suggest that the progressive line may be naive. Her relatives are not so accepting of what is passing for conventional wisdom among the progressive "experts."


At 8:25 AM, Blogger Dean Stephens said...

The following are my responses to comments made on this article by poster "Adam". Due to word count limitations in comments on blogspot it must be split up.

- Adam "Progressives aren't a bunch of jackals looking to eat their weak and enemies. You wouldn't know that though as your goal is to portray us evil villains out to destroy the world."

I did not use the word 'jackals' nor do I portray progressives as 'evil villains'. Such Alinksy smears by you make it impossible to have an intelligent dialog. Between smearing your opponents and claiming you have been smeared you turn the discussion from the issue at hand to the personal attacks. A waste of time.

- Adam "Progressives want democracy for Egypt just as much as you do."

What? This is a defensive accusation which is not supported by anything that has been posted and doesn't address the issue. My arguments cannot be termed a belief that I think democracy will be a good thing for Egypt or not, so you have accused me of something I have not addressed and which you cannot know. Progressives are insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood will not take over and turn Egypt into another extreme Islmamist state and therefore they want democracy now. The writers of the articles I posted disagree with this position as do I. Your statement talks about democracy, not the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood. Why do you ALWAYS change topics?

- Adam "The difference between you and me though, is I believe it is not our place to dictate to the Egyptian people who can and how to run their government. America has a poor track record in placing our interests above those of the citizens of other countries, and it only fosters anti-American sentiment."

As usual you make accusations that are based on your own opinions rather than any fact. I have opposed interfering with other nations unless there is a compelling reason for our national defense. It is obvious you ignore my articles about Israel or you would already know of my opposition to the $3 billion a year we give to Egypt in foreign aid. My reason is that the aid does nothing to make Egyptians our friends and is a total waste of money. It also encourages people like Barack Obama to think he has a right tell Egypt what they should do. I consider his interference, and the interference of Republicans like John McCain, to be wrong. I don't want us telling Egypt what to do. I want us to stop sending $3 billion a year to them for what is a total waste of money. The actual reason for their anti-American feelings have nothing to do with our interference, unless you consider the rage by these people that we should restrict how our $3 billion is spent to be rational.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Dean Stephens said...

Part 2 --

- Adam "As you've noted, the world is coming the the (SIC) realization that we don't run the show anymore. The longer we continue our outdated and misguided efforts to manipulate others to our will, the greater the blow-back will be when it comes."

Bizarre. We give them foreign aid and you characterize this as 'efforts to manipulate others'. Actually, if you stopped assuming that the desire of the Islamists to take over the world is in any way related to our actions, and you listened to their own words about why they wish to dominate, you might not look so naive. This is the theme of the article we are discussing here. The naive beleif that the Muslim Brotherhood will not use 'democracy' as a way to gain political power is part and parcel of the naive belief that people hate us for the foreign aid we give them.

- Adam "Everybody has bias and sees the world their own way. The only way to find out who is right in their predictions is to wait and see."

Typical expression from someone who has been educated to believe all opinions are equally valid. They are not. As for the idea of 'wait and see' - I cannot accept that attitude when the issue is nuclear holocaust. I am perfectly willing to err on the side of not seeing fellow Americans disintegrated. That you can 'wait and see' says everything anyone needs to know about your character.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Dean Stephens said...

Part 3 --

- Adam "So we're together then on wanting to stop all aid to other countries? Or are you only speaking of Egypt?"

I am absolutely NOT speaking only of Egypt. The vast majority of foreign aid goes uselessly to countries for reasons that neither help America nor is appreciated. Both are requirements if our tax dollars are to be sent over seas, and that should be damn rare.

- Adam "Monetary aid is not the only way the US interferes with the governments of other countries. The history of the CIA is littered with overthrowing of governments of all types (including democratic)."

The CIA has also done some incredibly good work that served our nation well. And as far as I am concerned another nation being democratic means nothing if they are hostile to our interests and freedoms.

- Adam "I don't think all opinions are equally valid. Neither you nor me have any say in the changes to the Egyptian state, which means all we can do is wait and see."

Not true. If we did not have a President who seems like you to think that mob rule trumps our interests, it is possible to still have influence. However hostility to Mubarak by the Obama administration has ended that influence with the only pro American group involved in Egypt.

- Adam "Clearly I'm not the only one who knows how to change the subject. I mentioned nothing about nuclear holocaust. If only there was some way to reduce the amount of nuclear material available on the planet to reduce the possibility such a scenario. Perhaps we could start with a reduction of nuclear weapons?"

Check out the articles I have posted and the comments I have made in the last couple of weeks. I have been talking about the consequences for nuclear armageddon resulting from the ignorance of the way we have been fighhting against the Islamists during that entire time. How do you count that as changing the subject? I suggest it means you aren't paying attention to what the discussion is about!

As for reduction in nuclear weapons, I support that as long as it makes us safer -- as Reagan accomplished with the only meaningful disarmament that has ever been negotiated. My impression is that progressives want stupid and dangerous reductions under the unilateral disarmament idiocy that leaves us unprotected in a dangerous world. So I don't trust progressives when they start these discussions. My evaluation? Progressive proposals are traitorous attempts to weaken us, like Obama's recent treaty that the Russians insist ends our right to missle defense against them. An agreement is when two sides agree. This is not agreement. This is a treaty of wishful thinking. When I start to hear intelligent proposals that reduce the danger to the world without strengthening our enemies, then and only then will I change my attitude about how evil progressives are to world safety.


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