Dick Morris has observed that President Obama’s tenure will be darkly remembered by our countrymen for his having “lost” Egypt. Since the effect of the Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak collapsing imminently and its replacement by one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood will likely be a terrible regional war, it would be bad enough if the Obama administration were simply culpable of the sort of malign neglect that contributed in the past to the toppling of other friends of the United States.
Unfortunately, the question to be pursued – presumably by the new Republican House of Representatives – is not “Who lost Egypt?” but rather “Who tossed Egypt?” as in, to the wolves.
To be sure, Wikileaks has recently published classified diplomatic cables from Embassy Cairo that exhibit the standard clientitis (a pathology common in State Department circles, in which Foreign Service types strive to protect bilateral relations by doing what the host government wants). For example, as the Wall Street Journal editorialized today:
“The Egyptians quickly responded [to President Obama’s explicit rejection of George W. Bush’s “Freedom Agenda”] by telling the new Administration to drop the Bush emphasis on political reform. ‘Wherever [Mr. Mubarak] has seen these U.S. efforts, he can point to the chaos and loss of stability that ensued,’ reported current U.S. ambassador to Cairo Margaret Scobey in a 2009 [message to Foggy Bottom].”
Still, it appears that the Obama Administration has been “reaching out” for some time to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt among other places, including here in the United States. Most obviously, as Sean Hannity noted on his program with me and Egyptian expatriate author and former Muslim Nonie Darwish last night, President Obama insisted that Muslim Brotherhood representatives be included in the audience for his speech in Cairo in June 2009.
In September 2009, the Obama administration co-sponsored with Egypt a deeply problematic resolution in the deeply problematic UN Human Rights Council. While it is technically true that the Mubarak regime was the lead sponsor, the real impetus behind this bid to have United Nations members take steps to sanction expression that offends Islam were actually fronting for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The OIC is a multinational Islamist entity whose views and policies closely correlate to the MB’s shariah-promoting agenda. (For more on the menace posed by OIC, see Shariah: The Threat to America).
Aaron Klein points out that:
This past weekend, the London Telegraph reported the U.S. embassy in Cairo in 2008 helped a young dissident attend a U.S.-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police. The Telegraph would not identify the dissident, but said he was involved in helping to stir the current protests. The report claimed the dissident told the U.S. embassy in Cairo that an alliance of opposition groups had a plan to topple Mubarak’s government.
Klein added that, “The disclosures, contained in U.S. diplomatic dispatches released by the WikiLeaks website, show American officials pressed the Egyptian government to release other dissidents who had been detained by the police.”
In the days since the “street” started erupting in Egypt, moreover, Team Obama has been ever more explicitly cozying up to the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, the President, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs have, in turn: pressed Mubarak publicly not to use violence against the demonstrators; then called on him to negotiate with them; then insisted that he make an orderly transition to democracy; then announced that “important non-secular actors” should be included in that successor government; and then, after the dictator announced he would not run for reelection, told him to leave office now.
And now we learn from Egyptian government sources, that Obama emissary and former U.S. ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner has met face-to-face in Embassy Cairo with Issam El-Erian, a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. What was said by the two has yet to be disclosed. But the message could not be more transparent: The Muslim Brotherhood is now deemed by Washington to be a legitimate interlocutor and welcome to exercise power in Cairo.
Based on this trajectory, it is predictable that, within days – if not hours, America will be formally endorsing a new MB-dominated government. This will be an unmitigated disaster, not just for our ally, Israel, but for U.S. security interests in the region and beyond.
At a minimum, how will the United States be able to oppose the Ikhwan‘s ascendancy in other states throughout the so-called “Muslim world”? And what are we going to do about the immense amounts of advanced military hardware successive administrations have foolishly sold or given to the governments we are now complicit in toppling, weapons that will almost surely be used against us?
Before this impending debacle eventuates, Congress should immediately launch investigations to determine exactly what President Obama and his subordinates have done to toss Egypt to the Islamist wolves – and what may yet be done to limit the damage done to our credibility as an ally and to our security interests.