Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whither Egypt?

I just watched CNN coverage of the situation in Egypt, and could only marvel at their ability to assume a good outcome, and the casual way in which they treat the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization most likely to control the government if Hosni Mubarak disappears from the scene.

It's amazing: 'moderate' Islamists came to power in Turkey in 2002 and ever since then Turkey has headed slowly into the Islamic camp, distancing itself from the United States in favor of strategic alliances with Syria and Iran, closing down the media and opposition, fanning a hate campaign against Israel and the Jews. CNN (along with other media outlets) seems to have missed that chapter.

Now it's the turn of Egypt. Here's a sober analysis by Mideast scholar Barry Rubin. He notes that, unlike Tunisia, Egypt has a strong Islamist movement and a weak middle class. And Egyptian opinion polls show strong support for severe sharia punishments, and sympathy for terrorism.

Rubin concludes that, if a Muslim Brotherhood network comes to power in Egypt, the consequences for Israel and the Western democracies will be severe:

"renewed warfare, overwhelming anti-Americanism, efforts to spread revolution to other moderate states, a potential alignment with Iran and Syria (though that might not happen), incredible damage to Western interests. In short, a real disaster. What shocks me is that Western media and experts seem so carried away by this movement they are only considering a best-case outcome."

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