Liberal Washington Post writer David Ignatius is coming to an interesting realization – Barack Obama is enabling the Muslim Brotherhood.
Duh, David. We non-elites outside of Washington, DC have been sounding that alarm for quite some time. Don’t let us get in your way, though.
Hit us with some brilliance.
How did Washington become the best friend of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, even as President Mohamed Morsi was asserting dictatorial powers and his followers were beating up secular liberals in the streets of Cairo? It’s a question many Arabs ask these days, and it deserves an answer.
That faint glimmer of hope one might have that Ignatius is at least seeing the light, begins to flicker in the next paragraph:
Morsi and his Brotherhood followers are on a power trip after decades of isolation and persecution. You could see that newfound status when Morsi visited the United Nations in September and even more so during the diplomacy that led to last month’s cease-fire in Gaza, brokered by Morsi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Brotherhood leaders had gone from outcasts to superstars, and they were basking in the attention.
Isolation and persecution? Gee, David, do you think it’s possible that the problems might have been with the Brotherhood to begin with? You know, considering their goal has been an Islamic caliphate since their inception.
And let’s be honest: The Obama administration has been Morsi’s main enabler. U.S. officials have worked closely with him on economic development and regional diplomacy. Visiting Washington last week, Morsi’s top aides were touting their boss’s close contacts with President Obama and describing phone calls between the two leaders that led to the Gaza cease-fire.
Morsi’s unlikely role as a peacemaker is the upside of the “cosmic wager” Obama has made on the Muslim Brotherhood. It illustrates why the administration was wise to keep its channels open over the past year of post-revolutionary jockeying in Egypt.
But power corrupts, and this is as true with the Muslim Brotherhood as with any other group that suddenly finds itself in the driver’s seat after decades of ostracism. Probably thinking he had America’s backing, Morsi overreached on Nov. 22 by declaring that his presidential decrees were not subject to judicial review. His followers claim that he was trying to protect Egypt’s revolution from judges appointed by Hosni Mubarak. But that rationale has worn thin as members of Morsi’s government resigned in protest, thousands of demonstrators took the streets and, ominously, Muslim Brotherhood supporters began counterattacking with rocks, clubs and metal pipes.
While it’s good that Ignatius is admitting that Obama is enabling Morsi, the former’s attempt to make lemonade out of some really sour lemons fails miserably. You see, when one applies Ignatius’ logic to Obama’s decision to cozy up to Morsi, that decision was the result of wisdom on the part of the administration after the fall of Mubarak. Uh, David, the Obama administration helped to facilitate the fall of Mubarak!
That part about Morsi being a “peacemaker” having an “upside” proves that Ignatius is nowhere close to understanding the situation.
Just when you think a liberal is ready to confront reality before it completely smacks him down, he manages to find a little more pride.
They just can’t admit when they’re wrong.
Read it all if you can muster the gumption.