The Conversation

No Sympathy for ElBaradei's 'Conscience'

Egypt's interim vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei, has garnered sympathy from the western media after he resigned in protest at his government's killing of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood protestors this week.

Oh, please. When you sign on to join a military coup--for good or ill--you are signing on for bloodshed, and if you are not willing to do whatever it takes to maintain the power you have seized, you should not bother.

ElBaradei has virtually no local support. His political constituency is the tiny international diplomatic elite and the media. He won the Nobel Peace Prize while he was turning a blind eye to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

The media is now making much of ElBaradei's troubled conscience. But his move is simple opportunism. The coup is revealing its true face more aggressively than he had hoped, and encountering new media criticism.

He's not concerned about controlling the violence. He wants to control the message. Egypt's new rulers have done things their way, as they were prepared to do. As was ElBaradei--with blood on his hands, regardless.


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