Mohamed ElBaradei’s Democratic Revolution in Egypt v. George Bush’s in Iraq

Fox Noisers seem to be directing a lot of cynicism and vehemence toward Egypt’s democracy movement leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, and when I first noticed it, I was a bit stunned. Mohamed ElBaradei, after all, is not an Islamist, but a secular person—and a Nobel Prize winner to boot.

And he’s not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Honestly.

Given this, you would think that the right, terrified (or at least suspicious) of Muslims generally, would be relieved.

But no. America’s Herderian propaganda machine is determined to make Mohamed ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood indistinguishable in the minds of conservatives (obviously with the purpose of inflicting domestic political damage on President Obama, as in “Barack Obama lost Egypt”).

But the reality is that Egypt is moving in a positive democratic direction—a direction that can only be good for humanity (and the United States) over the long run.

There is danger in the change, obviously. And that’s why thoughtful conservatives ought to be cheering Mohamed ElBaradei (and not jeering him in an attempt to score political points against President Obama). Egypt needn’t evolve into an Islamic Republic dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and it needn’t do this because of Egyptians like Mohamed ElBaradei.


About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Mohamed ElBaradei’s Democratic Revolution in Egypt v. George Bush’s in Iraq

  1. TomH says:

    It’s too soon to tell whether Elbaradei is a mask for the Muslim Brotherhood. He has made problematic statements in the past advocating violence against Israel and describing the Muslim Brotherhood as peaceful. He seems to be cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood’s “moderate” wing, which aims to bring Egypt under religious control, though without violent tactics against Egyptians. Al Qaeda came from the Muslim Brotherhood, as did Hamas, via Sayyid Qutb. Sayyid Qutb is one of the MB’s more problematic faces. There’s no question that the MB is pursuing global sharia law. (Note that this isn’t from Fox News, but from a major Middle East think tank.)

    (I’ve been unable to verify the claim in the Jerusalem Post that Ghannem was inciting Egyptians against Israel, supposedly sourcing Calcalist, which supposedly sourced Al Aram TV.)

    Wiki is unreliable on this topic, as they usually are on anything controversial.

    • santitafarella says:


      I share your concern about the Muslim Brotherhood, but not ElBaradei.

      And any secular democracy leader who comes into a position of transitional power before full elections, as ElBaradei may, will have to bring the Muslim Brotherhood into a coalition government. It’s just the reality of countries in which the majority of the populace is Muslim. In Egypt, conservative Muslims expect to be part of politics (as conservative Christians in the United States do). You can make alliances for pragmatic purposes without giving such groups control.

      I wish that conservatives would make these distinctions and not paint complex situations with so broad a brush. It’s in America’s interest to have a good relationship with Egypt after their transition to democracy.

      The tragedy for Egypt is if the Muslim Brotherhood achieved power, abolished independent courts for Sharia, etc.

      I don’t think that any of this has to happen, and very likely won’t happen, and this is because of people like ElBaradei.


  2. santitafarella says:

    One more thought: this boil had to be popped sooner or later, and it’s good for the United States to get it popped. It is simply intolerable that we should be propping up anti-democratic regimes. It undermines our relations and credibility. The sooner the Middle East democratizes, as it surely must, the better. It’s part of the evolution of contemporary Islamic societies into a less paranoid and more pragmatic relationship with the rest of the world.


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