The Egyptian revolution is really separating Congress into those who at least make a nod to democracy and those who worship power. In the early days of this, I think the reactions are far more telling than they will be when Mubarak gets run out of the country and a new government takes over.
So you have the strange bedfellows of Dennis Kucinich and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on one side, stating support for the human rights of the protesters and against their repression, and then you have guys like Rep. Thaddeus McCotter:
“The Egyptian demonstrations are not the equivalent of Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution. The Egyptian demonstrations are the reprise of Iran’s 1979 radical revolution.
“Thus, America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrannical government capable of harm. [...]
“This is not a nostalgic “anti-colonial uprising” from within, of all places, the land of Nassar. Right now, freedom’s radicalized enemies are subverting Egypt and other our allies.
I mentioned on Twitter today that everyone on US news talking about the Muslim Brotherhood probably doesn’t know anything about them except the fact that “Muslim” is in the title. Bruce Reidel actually knows something, so I suspect we won’t hear from him. But as misinformed and provincial as those commentators are, at least they don’t come out and say something like this. Not even at the start of this crisis, before it was clear whether Mubarak would have to go, was anyone this brazen.
Sooner or later, I figured the authoritarian impulse would take over the “Arab spring” fap-fap for any uprising in the Muslim world. Not to mention the inchoate fear over the unknown other. Never mind the fact that the Presidential candidates being pushed by the Green Movement were actual Islamists, or that the Muslim Brotherhood is far more nuanced than this simplistic rendering from McCotter.
As Reidel says in his story, we don’t get to make this decision. Our propping up of autocrats who repress their people hasn’t worked and isn’t sustainable. The best thing we could do is allow countries like Egypt to find leaders who have the consent of the people, and see how or if we can work with them afterwards. Anything else breeds instability and hatred for the West. The US has this awful history of making alliances with individuals instead of a country’s people. This old style of Cold War-era thinking has to end.
UPDATE: See also Heather Hurlburt on why this “Islamist uprising” nonsense is overblown. The Muslim Brotherhood didn’t even initially join these protests for days; they organically sprung up among the young. I read a story yesterday where some MB members shouted “Allahu Akbar” at a rally, and the protesters shouted them down, saying “Muslim, Christian, we all have to work together!”