Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Egypt: Amazing! The Debate Turns Around

By Barry Rubin

Wow, when I started warning about the rush to judgment about events in Egypt I felt like the only person in the world. Now the entire debate is turned around. Sen Diane Feinstein (D-Ca) of the Intelligence Committee is talking about the Islamist threat and the need not to rush in a transition.

Of course, she says the concern is about "Islamic sects"--as if the Muslim Brotherhood was a separate religion--which makes her look silly (but apparently only to me). I won't hold it against her, though, since she is the only one to ever invite me to address the Senate Democratic caucus.

Naturally, everyone else will claim credit for having seen this danger and the need for a different policy from the beginning. But you who read this blog know better.

Yesterday a Washington Post news story actually covered the growing involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in the upheaval. Today it ran an article about how democracy may not come about overnight. The New York Times had an article about how allies have misgivings about the administration's efforts to force Mubarak out.

On the op-ed pages Richard Cohen yesterday sounded a cautionary note. Today George Will acknowledged that we really don't know how this will turn out. Today Jeff Jacoby, in the Boston Globe, wrote that the Muslim Brotherhood should have nothing to do with a future government. Even National Public Radio reported actual news: that Arab leaders were worried because the United States dumped Mubarak--and thus might some day dump them.

Now you will know things have really turned around if any of these places asks me to write an article! LOL

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