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Kristol Caves Again, 'Optimistic' About Future of Egypt

Kristol Caves Again, 'Optimistic' About Future of Egypt


Tonight on Fox News’ Special Report With Bret Baier, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol kept up his recent pattern of spouting nonsense when he began complimenting the current Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt for its supposed moderation. Despite the fact that Egypt has sent its prime minister to the Gaza Strip, threatened war with Israel, and accused Israel of perpetrating a “massacre,” Kristol thinks Mohammed Morsi is doing a phenomenal job: “It’s amazing. If you predicted a month ago or three months ago that the Muslim Brotherhood would take over Egypt and has done nothing to help their alleged brothers in Gaza, they withdrew an ambassador and haven’t cut off relations, the peace treaty seems secure and there’s even talk of Egypt now enforcing the ban on weapons smuggling to Gaza more than in the past, that’s the big question. I’m actually a little more optimistic after this week about the future of Egypt than I was a week or two ago.”

This is asinine. Egypt was never going to declare war with Israel; right now, they’re attempting to unilaterally declare a ceasefire because Israel is pounding Hamas into the ground with its air assault. Egypt wants to maintain its foreign aid on the one hand and continue smuggling weapons into Gaza on the other. That’s their agenda. It was never about open warfare. Hamas forced Egypt into a corner; Egypt is attempting to wriggle its way out. That’s no cause for optimism on Egypt. Only myopia could explain just why Kristol would suddenly be optimistic about a regime whose very presence has emboldened Hamas to fire rockets on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Charles Krauthammer said as much in response to Kristol: “I’m not as optimistic as my colleagues are on the Egyptian role. Morsi has been inciting the people against israel — Morsi has been inciting people against Israel, and president of Turkey calling [Israel] a terrorist state, they are isolating israel rhetorically. The reason that Morsi at least is talking about working on his cease-fire, is because he is worried about the Congress and the United States cutting off aid, without which the government he leads will not do anything and might collapse. They’re in economic chaos in that country. So it’s our role, in fact, to keep him in line by threatening to withdraw our aid on which he lives. But I’m not sure how capable he is, even if he promises to monitor the smuggling of weapons and not allow it into Gaza, even if he says he won’t allow that and they will police the border between Egypt and the Gaza, I’m not sure he can or he will.”

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