We haven’t had the Arthur Carter Watch for quite a while but this is the ultimate Arthur Carter Moment.
You might recall Jimmy Carter and the transformation of Iran from a stable US ally to an Islamic state that has been the source trouble worldwide for decades.
Now in Egypt we have lets face it a Dictator albeit a friendly one to the US, that has repressed free speech to a degree, and played both ends against the middle.
If there was ever a test of this president, if he is going to be Jimmy Carter or Chester Arthur it is now.
If the Islamic Brotherhood ends up taking over it would be the final irony of Barack Obama the replacement of an American Ally with an Islamic state. It would be the ultimate Jimmy Carter moment. Some in government are already worrying along these lines.
Pam Geller notices one other oddity:
Interesting, too, how everyone, even Obama, is talking about Egypt’s uprising. And yet Iran experienced an even greater people’s movement and Ahmadinejad and the mullahs crushed it with a violence incomprensible to the West. And yet nobody was talking about it. Nobody. There are tens of thousands in the street of Egypt, there were millions in the streets of Iran and they were raped, tortured, publicly hanged, slaughtered because they marched for freedom.
Obama pretended it wasn’t happening. Media too.
Well after all Iran is on the other side and a revolt there affirms what GWB said for years. A revolt in Egypt doesn’t so a revolt is a good thing to the left. And by an odd coincidence there are now protests in Jordan too. What do these two countries have in common? Peace with Israel.
If you see protesters in the US supporting change in Egypt, change in Jordan, but no word about Lebanon where Iran and Hezbollah are calling the shot that will tell you everything about what is going on, it’s also noteworthy to note this via the Lonely Conservative:
Iranian leaders and their state-run media love instability in the Middle East as long as it’s not happening in Iran. They’re gleeful over the unrest in Egypt, according to CNS News.
The Tehran Times, Iran Daily and Resalat newspapers were among those that led their Thursday editions with the Egypt story, using headlines like “Spirit of Tunisia comes to Egypt,” “Egyptians demand end to Mubarak rule” and “Intensification of public protests against Mubarak regime.”
The Tehran Times describes itself as the mouthpiece of the Islamic revolution, Iran Daily is affiliated with the official state IRNA news agency, and Resalat is a conservative daily supportive of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
If Iran is backing revolution in Egypt that adds up to big trouble for the rest of us.
Of course the ideal is a democratic Egypt that is allied to the US and friendly to Israel. The odds of that are slim to impossible.
The disaster result is an Islamic state, run by the Muslim Brotherhood and ready to go to war with Israel. That is disaster and will mean more trouble than anyone can imagine.
Looking at the reaction of the protesters and their reactions, it appears that the military is a more respected than the police. Mubarek is in his 80’s he doesn’t have much more time in charge anyway, and yet you also don’t want to see a repressive government that abuses the Egyptian people. Threading the needle is to give a government that represent Egyptians without an unfriendly power.
For an experienced and strong leader with a discreet diplomatic corps and wise advisers it would be a tough spot requiring a delicate touch.
Unfortunately we have the Obama administration. I don’t envy them this problem. I would suggest a public statement opposing violence and the aspirations of the Egyptian people while privately doing working a deal to:
- Keep Iran and China out
- Keep Islamists down and out.
- Guarantee basic rights for Egyptians
- Maintain Peace with Israel
- Protect open access to the Suez canal
Remember its not the name of the guy or guys in charge that matters in Egypt, it’s the goals.
If there was ever a time for this president to be Arthur instead of Carter this is it. I wish the administration luck, they’ll need it.
Update: Stacy makes his case for targeted batons, I’m not buying that but I do buy the update:
A former adviser to the Obama administration argues that the Muslim Brotherhood “should not be seen as inevitably our enemy” — which is what you’d expect an Obama adviser to say, I suppose — but Thomas Joscelyn isn’t buying it:
Hosni Mubarak’s regime is no friend of freedom, even though it is certainly an ally against al Qaeda.
In all likelihood, an Egypt dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood (if that is how the turmoil plays out) would be neither.