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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mohamed ElBaredei Steps Out Of His Sheep's Clothing

Mohamed ElBaradei is one of those figures who, because he is fairly westernized, easily manipulates western media and left-of-center bloggers and pundits into thinking he wants a western-style democracy in Egypt.

It is not surprising that despite his obvious opportunism, ElBaradei has become something of a hero to those in the West opposed to Mubarek.

But anyone who was familiar with ElBaradei recognized him for what he was, a stalking horse for the Muslim Brotherhood.  And now it is official:
Earlier Sunday, the Muslim Brotherhood threw its support behind ElBaradei to hold proposed negotiations with the government in order to form a new unity government.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Muslim Brotherhood official Essam el-Eryan said that "political groups support ElBaradei to negotiation with the regime."

ElBaradei, in an interview aired on CNN Sunday, said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must leave the country immediately.

"It is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today, and it is non-negotiable for every Egyptian." he said. He added that it should "be followed by a smooth transition [to] a national unity government to be followed by all the measures set in place for a free and fair election."
A "national unity government."  That's exactly what happened when the Shah left Iran, only to have the Islamists take advantage of the power vacuum.  And it's what happened in Lebanon until Hezbollah pulled out and collapsed the government recently.  And in Gaza between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, until Hamas seized full control of Gaza.

ElBaredei is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and so would be a national unity government. 

Eqypt may need Mubarek gone, but it does not need a facade of unity which will be used by the Muslim Brotherhood to consolidate power.

Update:  About ElBaredei's outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the possible consequences, in a piece written last April, The Islamist Flirtation:
For ElBaradei, such outreach might simply be good retail politics. After all, with control of one-fifth of the seats in Egypt's parliament, the Brotherhood -- though still formally banned, and routinely persecuted, by the Mubarak regime -- wields considerable political clout.
Still, political participation doesn't necessarily mean moderation. The Brotherhood's long-awaited political platform, unveiled publicly back in October 2007, laid out a radical, exclusionary vision that marginalized women and non-Muslims and advocated the establishment of a religious authority with oversight over all governmental activity. The following year, an internal election within the movement strengthened the party's hard-liners. More recently, conservative factions within the Brotherhood have been accused of carrying out a "purge" of the movement's reformist wing -- a charge confirmed by the installation of ultraconservative cleric Mohamed Badie as the organization's supreme guide in January. If the Brotherhood is joining a coalition committed to political liberalism, it's clearly not for ideological reasons.
And also check out this article from March 2009 in Haaretz, the left-wing Israeli newspaper, How ElBaradei misled the world about Iran's nuclear program.

As Caroline Glick pointed out earlier this week, the stakes are high militarily:
Owing to that US aid, the Egyptian military today makes the military Israel barely defeated in 1973 look like a gang of cavemen. Egypt has nearly 300 F-16s. Its main battle tank is the M1A1 which it produces in Egypt. Its navy is largest in the region. Its army is twice the size of the IDF. Its air defense force constitutes a massive threat to the IAF. And of course, the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons it has purchased from the likes of North Korea and China give it a significant stand-off mass destruction capability.
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  1. He's also an Oblabla/Soros puppet

  2. Is this the same AlBaredei who was the head of the IAEA?

  3. If not Mubarek. if not ElBaredei, and if not Suleiman..THEN WHO ???

  4. El Baradei is nothing more than a puppet with Iran pulling the strings. Nothing good can come from a transfer of leadership to El Baradei who was unwilling to pressure Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    With El Baradei in, and Mubarak out, the Muslim Brotherhood will have a strong foothold in Egypt, the ME's most populace nation. If Egypt falls to the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan is soon to follow and then Israel will have NO cold peace friends in the region.

    While Egypt burns, and risks being taken over by Islamic extremeists, Obama fiddles while watches his daughters basketball game and parties with David Axelrod.

    We are looking at seeing Egypt become Iran on The Nile..

    Anyone who watched the fall of the Shah and the takeover by radicals Islamists in Iran knows that we are watching history repeat itself.

  5. Obama needs to end his equivocation soon or Elbaredei will be the man. It is essential that Obama make clear that the US will be guided by protecting its own interests. All US money and military aid should be suspended to make it clear that we mean business.

    A takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood will not be received as a victory for democracy nor as a regime the US will support. It should be made explicitly clear to Egyptians that their liberation will only succeed if they allow for a peaceful and orderly transition predicated on an open election at a future time when the Muslim Brotherhood has no chance of winning. Mubarak will be gone but it is up to them to meet the requirements for when those elections can take place. "One man, one vote, one time" is not an option.

  6. Here's a link to Max Boot's latest commentary that pretty much says what I am saying. Of course, it matters more that he is saying it.


  7. "Obama needs to end his equivocation soon or El Baradai will be the man. It is essential that Obama make clear that the US will be guided by protecting its own interests."

    I think you are engaging in wishful thinking. For one, Obama seems to fall on the side of those he percieves will come out the winner. Remember, Obama, and his State Department, backed the Chavez wannabe in Honduras.

    Our interests are clearly to back Mubarak, at this point, and put pressure on him to democratize Egypt with things like free and fair elections. But with his first speech on the issue, Obama clearly threw Mubarak under the bus, just as he did the Honduras Congress who sought to rid themselves of Hugo Chavez's puppet.

    You are expecting diplomacy from an administration that has no real diplomatic experience, and can't seem to learn from mistakes of the past. To assume that if the Muslim Brotherhood essentially takes over Egypt it will not see support from this administration is fool hearty since we know that the administration has already held talks with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. For what reason? Has the policy "We don't negotiate with terrorist" gone down the drain?

  8. retire05 said...

    "Our interests are clearly to back Mubarak, at this point,"

    I don't think that it true. The Egyptian military has advised Mubarak to step down so he history. We need to make sure that the military is stable so that the country doesn't fall into Muslim extremists' hands.

    The Muslim Brotherhood's opportunity is a narrow window that can be closed by assuring the people that they will be fed and elections are on the way. They are desperate people acting desperately out of frustration and hunger. Feed them and tell the truth. That will keep the Muslim Brotherhood at bay long enough for someone other than Suleiman and Elbaredei to be presenting the alternatives.

    And I think you are assuming too much about Obama. Obama is event driven. He is not a leader. There is a lot of pressure that can be brought to bear to force him to do the right thing. This is an opportunity for him to be seen as a strong international president (for once). The alternative is grim and will lead to much bloodshed and the end of any hopes he has for re-election. We are headed for $120 bbl oil next week if the Suez Canal is not secured and the EU will collapse tipping the dominoes.

    The global economy is as precarious as it's ever been. We are in an existential crisis and anything can tip us over the edge. It only took the assassination of King Ferdinand to trigger WWI. Things are much more precarious today than they were then and this is a bigger situation than Serbo-Croatian tensions in 1914.

  9. Phil, while I agree that Obama is event driven, he is also an Progressive ideologue who seems to be convinced that his own personal charisma can move mountains although not one of his forays into foreign affairs has been successful.

    I think you sell the MB short. There is a reason that the protests have seemingly all come at the same time; Egypt, Jordan, etc. These are not "flash" mobs. These have been coordinated to happen at the same time.

  10. "We need to make sure that the military is stable so that the country doesn't fall into Muslim extremists' hands."

    Bad news there: I've been seeing reports that military forces are joining the protesters. I don't think that bodes well.

  11. fyi, counselor,

    i posted on el baradei and the MB two years ago.

    and numerous times since.


  12. Richard Sagers said...

    "Bad news there: I've been seeing reports that military forces are joining the protesters. I don't think that bodes well."

    That was just "eyewitness" reporting from Aljazeera just like the report that the government was looting the museum. I'm sure there are sympathizers in the military but soldiers going AWOL is not the same as military brass switching sides. The Egyptian military is trained and armed by the US.

    I don't think we should assume that we really know what is going on in Egypt since we can't trust the reports. I certainly don't know what is really going on. I saw a Boston couple interviewed in Cairo yesterday claiming that other than the disruption to communications, you would never know that there was a problem and they felt safe. They also said they were often the only tourists when they arrived at their destinations. Dumb or what?

  13. How is it not obvious that this cascading event across the ME Muslim world was instigated and fed by socio-political conditions that have been prepped in favor of Islamist sympathy? Given, we and the West have failed there-- b/c we fail here. Bush had a small window in which to encourage moderate and less corrupt power sharing in the ME, but his and the neocon's initiative failed. It was unpopular with the bien pensant.

    In most parts of the world, but especially in the the Arab-Persian-Asian crescent and star, "democracy" is a pornographic concept (you just have to know it when you see it for us, and also it's not what Allah would want [WWAW] for them.) Clearly, the powder keg lit by officially unspecified interests leading to "spontaneous" riots and Egyptian military machinations in north Africa and the Levant don't constitute the D word.

    At this point, there is no principle for Americans to support, now, other than self interest. Our idea of democracy shouldn't be rabble gone wild, and especially in favor of populist totalitarian Islamism. Of course, Obama interprets US self-interest to mean his political prospects and hard-wired progressive post-American inclinations. IOW, we're screwed. Even a political change in 2012 will not have immediate amelioratory effects.

    Does the situation today show us how clever Israeli computer viruses can't save the day, ultimately, when some are hellbent on hell?

  14. "Has the policy "We don't negotiate with terrorist" gone down the drain?" - retire05

    You're assuming the Administration has the same definition of 'terrorist' as we do.

  15. ElBaredei is an Iranian front. I don't know how they got to him, but they did, and his call of support for MB is opportunistic Iranian policy in the current flux. The mullahs of Qom have as much use for MB, ultimately, as they do for AQ: zero, which is also their friend in the WH, who MB thinks is theirs, their stalking horse. Proximately yes, ultimately, no -- he is Qom's stalking horse via his tribal heritage and loyalties (Odinga, etc.).

    MB is being played, radically, as is AQ -- by Iran. Persians are superior to Arabs in a fight. ElBaredei figured that out probably years ago and picked his side accordingly.

    This is why Saud supports Mubarak. They're scared. They should be, they are on the handicapped side in current conditions .... Saud's strongest ally in the ME now is Israel and the IDF/IAF. Saud will get no consolation from the occupants of the White House or staff at DOS, only subversion. WH and DOS are Iran supports. (That infamous picture of blood poison bowing to Saud was misdirection and everyone present to it knew it to be. They knew his loyalty was to Qom.)

    ""Has the policy "We don't negotiate with terrorist" gone down the drain?" - retire05

    You're assuming the Administration has the same definition of 'terrorist' as we do."

    O yes. If I may be so bold as to fill in the rhetorical lacuna: this administration's definition of terrorists is, any individual, especially any suburban-or rural-residing individual, not a member of the Democratic Party, or, anyone who is essentially unimportant and effectively not a US citizen because they demur this administration's assumptions ("beliefs"), verbiage ("calls"), whims ("policies") or actions ("initiatives").

    @ Pasadena Phil: you're not in a position to say what O or anyone in her administration should do. You have no authority there, no "standing." Yours words in that posture are empty pretense.

    I see nothing in the ME about which to be upset or fearful. Nor in the USA. The people who have responsibility for affairs are handling them under expert guidance.

  16. David R. Graham said...

    "@ Pasadena Phil: you're not in a position to say what O or anyone in her administration should do. You have no authority there, no "standing." Yours words in that posture are empty pretense."

    What a pile of crap. We are all expressing opinions here. Who are YOU to characterize someone else's opinions in terms of "authority" to tell the administration what it should do? Just express YOUR "unauthorized" opinion and leave at that. Who is being pretentious here?

    "I see nothing in the ME about which to be upset or fearful. Nor in the USA. The people who have responsibility for affairs are handling them under expert guidance."

    Yikes! Are you an Obama plant?

  17. Professor, remarkable post. Thanks! Confirms some of what we've been reading today via Twitter.

    We've been following several Egyptians there today (#Jan25 and #Egypt), much as we did during the Iranian student uprisings. Those "tweeting" don't want ElBaredei: they see him, ironically, as a U.S. puppet.

    Also found this old link from Free Republic about his wife's Iranian connections:


    Thanks again for a brilliant posting, Professor Jacobson!

  18. @ Pasadena Phil

    "Yikes! Are you an Obama plant?"

    What do you think? I am content with your assessment.

  19. But Anderson Cooper is on the ground and he is interviewing people who say the Muslim Brotherhood will not take the country. Don't you feel better?