Wuddin' me
"We had to destroy the village in order to save it"

Fear/Don't fear the Muslim Brotherhood

The country of Egypt is poised to adopt some form of democracy, that seems fairly certain. Many fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will be part of this process and attempt to dominate it. Well of course they will. They are Egyptians and while their group has been illegal, and rightfully so, do we really think there is any way that the only real, organized opposition party would not be part of a post-Mubarak system? Excluding them from the process is not even an option, at all, period. So why is it the main reason given for not engaging the protesters? Here is a quick bit from Stanley Kurtz at NRO.

Now Egypt, the keystone of American policy in the Middle East, has become unstable. Obama has no choice but to take controversial and high-risk action of some sort. Apparently, he has chosen to go with the “Don’t Fear the Brotherhood” crowd. In other words, when push comes to shove, Obama goes with the dovish multiculturalism that is his default political stance. If the administration sticks with this policy, it will mean the return of foreign policy as a major partisan dividing line in American politics. Had Obama kept the Muslim Brotherhood out, or had he at least visibly tried to do so, he might have avoided a campaign battle over “Who lost Egypt?” But having moved so visibly and so early to bring the Muslim Brotherhood in, Obama may soon be facing a return of the classic right/left battle lines over foreign policy.

OK, I'm pretty sure that my lack of respect for Obama and his gutless, politically-driven foreign policy is well established, and I don't think anyone could say that dovish multiculturalism is my default stance. Yet I may worry about the Muslim Brotherhood and believe they are the same evil, bearded bastards trying to subjugate the world to spread their barbaric system of religious submission. Yep, solid on that. But so what? We used Mubarak to minimize them for as long as possible, and apparently that is right now. We have used our strong ties with the Egyptian military to ensure that the proto-revolutionaries don't become track grease for tanks like the Tianamen Square folks. But absent some sort of pogrom-like appraoch, the MB will play some role in the formation and operation of the next government.

So let's act like it and help the fledging democrats there minimize the influence of the MB. Now is the time to deploy the left's alinskyite minions to demonize the religious zealots and remind the Egyptians not to trade a secular tyrant for a religious one. We cannot win over the haters, but we can sure work on the other 80% of the population, who are more concerned about dinner. Reuel Marc Gerecht on the messy initial stages of Arab democracy.

“I fully expect the Muslim Brotherhood to do well in any election,” Gerecht tells me. “They have a fairly substantial following.” He has no illusions about the group’s Islamist agenda, or about its virulent anti-Americanism, or about its hatred of Israel. In his view, calling for U.S. “engagement” with the Brotherhood is like calling for engagement with Ayatollah Khamenei. But Gerecht insists that allowing Brotherhood members to participate in a democratic process is the sine qua non of Egyptian political maturation. The country will never achieve real progress, he says, without first creating the political space necessary for a momentous debate over God and man. Indeed, Egypt’s secular liberals must defeat the Islamists in the public square, rather than through military repression. They must win the battle of ideas.

If your argument is that the society as a whole is not ready for western democracy, then let's have the military caretake them for a short bit. This will allow time for alternatives to the MB to form and grow and if they end up w/ some sort of parliamentary system, then a bloc could form without the MB and leave them in the minority.There is no way, short of a brutal anti-Islamic oppression which isn't going to happen, that the MB will be completely sidelined. So the best bet is to help those who can beat them in the democracy game. Anyone heard from MoveOn?