The liberal media has been swooning over the prospect that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak might be replaced by a coalition government led by Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
ElBaradei is a darling of the left for his open opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 in part because of his anti-U.S. posture. As head of the IAEA, he slow-walked international action against Iran for pursuing nuclear weapons, repeatedly kicking the can down the road and claiming that Iran’s intentions in gaining status as a nuclear power were entirely understandable. He announced that the evidence on its weapons programs was inconclusive.
He also has a long history of virulently anti-Israel public comments, calling Gaza “the largest prison in the world,” and condemning Israel for defending itself against terrorist groups.
The Obama administration has repeatedly tried to reach out to ElBaradei, hoping to establish a line of communication in case he becomes Egypt’s new leader. He has returned the favor by publicly trashing the Obama administration for its alleged failure to move quickly enough in calling for Mubarak’s ouster. And here I thought that Obama would magically cause the Middle East to love America.
This past weekend, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour of ABC News, ElBaradei made a shocking and irresponsible comment, claiming the Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization. This is the same group that has vowed to establish an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East, destroy Israel and kill for the glory of Allah. But, according to ElBaradei, it is not a terrorist organization. ElBaradei’s exact quote was: “[The Muslim Brotherhoods] are no way extremist, they are no way using violence…You have to include them like the evangelical groups in the U.S., like orthodox Jews in Jerusalem.”
Glenn Beck played portions of this interview on his radio program yesterday.
ElBaradei may feel he has to express such sentiments in order to curry favor with the Arab Street. He is not exactly a Muslim version of Lech Walesa toiling with the masses. In fact, he has been living in Vienna while democratic forces organized within Egypt. But if this is any indication of how ElBaradei would govern Egypt, we could end up with the worst situation in Egypt since before Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel.
I sympathize with the protesters in Egypt. They want democracy and freedom. But if Mubarak is replaced by ElBaradei in a government that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, the solution is worse than the problem. That won’t be good for the cause of democracy in the Middle East, the United States, and certainly not Israel.
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