No, I don’t expect any “waking up” to happen, as the left’s naive and dangerous tendency to treat established radical public figures and regimes – especially Islamists masquerading as “moderates” – as allies of America is well-documented. But all the same, National Review editor Rich Lowry sounds alarms bells today in a blistering rebuke of the Obama administration’s fawning admiration of the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular, its President – Mohamed Morsi. Lowry writes:
The great, acerbic 19th-century satirist Ambrose Bierce defined a revolution as “an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.” He would understand events in Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak very well.
In the signature revolution of the Arab Spring, the country turned its back on a secular dictatorship only to fall into the arms of what looks like a budding Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship. Meet the new pharaoh, same as the old pharaoh. Except Egypt’s old form of misgovernment may soon look progressive by comparison.
Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi’s decree neutering the judiciary is the latest act in his steady consolidation of power. While he assiduously builds a dictatorship, the Obama administration just as assiduously tells itself bedtime stories about his good intentions. It’s a perfect division of labor — he goes about his empire-building with a clear-eyed realism; we consider it through a gauzy lens of delusion.
Since the end of Mubarak, the air has been thick with descriptions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi as moderates, as basically no more than Islamic social democrats. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called the Muslim Brotherhood “largely secular.” If he had been speaking of the Church of England, he might have been right.
Unfortunately, the Brotherhood’s credo is, “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law; the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” And it’s not kidding. Morsi summarized his program during the campaign as “the sharia, then the sharia, and finally the sharia.” (Unlike President Barack Obama, at least he had an agenda.)
Eric Trager of The New Republic describes how Brotherhood recruiting emphasizes rigidity. “Throughout this process,” he writes, “rising Muslim Brothers are continually vetted for their embrace of the Brotherhood’s ideology, commitment to its cause, and — most importantly — willingness to follow orders from the Brotherhood’s senior leadership.” In sum, he says, it is “a cultish organization that was never likely to moderate once it had grasped power.” Obviously, Trager would never make it as national intelligence director.
After Mubarak’s fall, we fooled ourselves about the level of support for the Brotherhood. We fooled ourselves about the Brotherhood abiding by its promise not to run for the presidency. We fooled ourselves about what a Morsi victory would mean for democracy. Why stop fooling ourselves now?
Morsi staged his latest power grab on Thanksgiving Day in the immediate aftermath of working with Obama to get a cease-fire in hostilities between Hamas (a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot) and Israel. In a New York Times piece that ought to be preserved in amber as a record of 21st-century liberal naiveté, the paper reported that in his talks with Morsi, “Mr. Obama felt they were making a connection.” How sweet.
“He was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence.” And who can resist the lure of pragmatic confidence?
“He sensed,” the paper continued, in a gushing tone, “an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology.”
Disturbing. Make sure to read the whole thing.