Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Conservative Pessimism About Egypt

I have been reading the discussion amongst John Guardiano, John Tabin and Jim Antle concerning the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt with great interest. Independent of this discussion, I have also expressed my own concerns.

In two of his posts, Guardiano invokes former President George W. Bush. Now I happen to believe that Bush was at his most eloquent during his Second Inaugural Address. A couple of years ago, when I was engaged a kitchen table debate with my roommate's father (who is a TV reporter in Hartford) about Bush he asked me to cite anything meaningful he ever uttered. I replied by quoting from that speech, "When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."
President Obama ought to have heeded Bush's wise counsel after the Iranian "elections" in 2009.

But do we really want to stand with people who stand for these sentiments? We need to think long and hard about it.

There is no doubt that Egyptians want a better lot in life and want to be able to determine their own destiny and that has been all but impossible under Mubarak. Yet I think it is most imprudent to downplay the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. They are, after all, the largest opposition group in Egypt and the Obama Administration appears comfortable with the idea of working with them. Yet what is there to distinguish the Muslim Brotherhood from Hamas? Thus under the circumstances I think conservative pessimism about Egypt is entirely warranted and well grounded in reason.

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