Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our new relationship with Egypt

Yet again, Mideast scholar Barry Rubin provides a perspective largely lacking from mainstream media coverage. This time he recounts warning signs suggesting that the new Egyptian regime will be no friend of the United States:

-- Young Google executive and revolutionary hero Wael Ghonim refused to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her trip to Egypt, citing her previous statements in support of the Mubarak government. Last I heard, the State Department was reportedly working with the internet crowd to foment reform.

-- In fact, the youth movement issued the following statement: "The US Administration took the Egypt's revolution lightly and supported the old regime while Egyptian blood was being spilled." Doesn't sound very welcoming, does it?

Barry draws several lessons from this:

-- "Lesson One: Just because you like them doesn't mean they like you.

-- Lesson Two: Just because you help them doesn't mean they will help you.

-- Lesson Three: Just because you pretend they are really moderates doesn't mean it's true."

Rubin predicts that radicals who hate America, not necessarily Islamists, will take over Egypt. He reports, for example, that the 'secular' youth movement has been working with the Muslim Brotherhood for two years.

It's reassuring to know that President Obama's outreach to the Muslim world has been so successful, isn't it? It's looking more and more like what happened to former President Jimmy Carter's policy toward Iran in the late 1970s.

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