The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Brotherhood and Army Cut a Deal, Liberals Watch from Sidelines

After some initial fallout, in an interview in the New York Times senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Essam el-Erian, states that the Brotherhood has reached a deal with the Army on the timetable for a transfer of power after elections. Noticeably absent from the interview was mention of Egypt’s liberals, whose poor election results have seemed to make them a non-factor in the political process. Instead the focus of el-Erian appears to be the Salafis, whose emergence undercuts their Islamic credentials and makes the Brotherhood look more like latte-sipping liberals.

The new Egypt is looking a bit like the old: the army, the Brotherhood and the liberals don’t like each other very much but between them have a common interest in keeping the system running. The Brotherhood has gained ground as a result of the ‘revolution’ and the liberals have lost; Egyptian politics are tilting toward Islamism but the army still has a veto. The biggest problem is that the sagging economy will make any government unpopular; the Salafis and other forces now on the outside looking in, may yet have their say.

Published on January 9, 2012 11:58 am
  • Jim.

    Let me see if I can dig up Niall Ferguson’s memorable performance on Morning Joe some months back. The man looks eerily prescient now. I guess learning history does help you see the general shape of the future…

    Let’s just hope the more dire possibilities do not come to pass.

  • WigWag

    The question is what the attitude of the United States should be to all of this. Unfortunately, it seems like President Obama has decided that the Muslim Brotherhood is an organization he can’t wait to do business with. His theory appears to be that since he adores Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey he’s sure to love the “Brothers” in Egypt. After all, Nick Kristof and his fellow travelers at the New York Times have already assured the President that the Muslim Brotherhood is really pretty liberal.

    It seems to me that the United States should be getting ready to cut off all aid to Egypt. It’s pretty clear that Egypt is well on the way to turning into a Sunni version of Iran without the energy resources. What will that look like? In a word, “Somalia.”

    Sometimes you can tell alot about an institution, organization or entity by reading its credo. Here are the credos of four different institutions; which one does Barack Obama think needs to be appeased?

    A) “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”

    b) “Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart. And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

    c) “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

    d) “Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and our Death for Allah is our most exalted wish.”

  • Jim.

    Here we go:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/02/14/niall_ferguson_explains_how_obama_blew_it_with_egypt.html

    This video needs to be kept firmly in mind as we see the Egyptian Spring unfold.