National Review: Back Egypt's Military, Not Brotherhood

Image: National Review: Back Egypt's Military, Not Brotherhood Egyptian security forces try to keep angry crowds away from the al-Fatah mosque, where supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood barricaded themselves in downtown Cairo on Aug. 17.

Sunday, 18 Aug 2013 09:53 PM

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The National Review, the country's leading conservative thought publication, argues in an editorial that the U.S. should stand strongly behind the Egyptian military and other legitimate democratic forces in opposing the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the strongly worded editorial posted to its website, the National Review argues that despite the mounting casualties as Egypt’s military-backed government escalates its war with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian military is ultimately the "best hope" for a viable and eventual democratic state in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

The Review also says that the United States and her interests would be best served by supporting the military government and that the Obama administration should continue its financial backing of the government to maintain influence and push it toward shared objectives.

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“The security-seeking military is a better bet for Egypt’s long-term prospects of pluralism than are anti-democratic Islamists,” the Review’s editors write.

The editorial notes that that the Brotherhood had created armed encampments in the center of Cairo and was refusing to engage in any political negotiations. At least 43 Egyptian policemen are among the dead, now estimated at over 800.

American interests in Egypt are deep and essential for the overall stability of the region, the Review editors argue.

The United States has unfettered over-flight access, allowing it to supply its forces around the region. It has free passage through the Suez Canal, a vital transit point for global trade.

The Egyptian military is also “important in the suppression of Islamist insurgents throughout the country, especially the Sinai; and, most important, maintenance of the peace treaty with Israel.”

The Review points out that the regime of ousted President Mohammed Morsi was also characterized by violence, especially a series of attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, which makes up about 10 percent of the nation’s population.

“The perilous state of the Middle East’s largest religious minority is a good bellwether for whether progress is being made in Egyptian society, and the U.S. and the European Union should make the Copts’ treatment a priority,” the editors write.

“Secretary Kerry’s proclamation two weeks ago that the army’s seizure of power was ‘restoring democracy’ may sound silly on its face, but it contained an important truth: The security-seeking military is a better bet for Egypt’s long-term prospects of pluralism than are anti-democratic Islamists,” the Review’s editors write.

“This much was clear when, following their eviction, armed Islamist mobs eschewed any kind of peaceful resistance and chose to attack Coptic churches across Egypt, burning more than a dozen to the ground and assaulting the worshipers — even before they turned to burning down government buildings as they did Wednesday.”

The editors conclude: “Standing by the military is the best of our bad options in Egypt. Any other decision would empower the fiercest enemies of a free society and put our interests at risk.”

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

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