Monday, January 31, 2011

ElBaradei, Muslim Brotherhood rapproach in Egypt

Both the New York Times and Ha'aretz from Israel report that Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Muslim Brotherhood have reached rapproachment on forming a national unity government, broad based, to include everybody but current Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party.

From Ha'aretz:
"I have been authorized -- mandated -- by the people who organized these demonstrations and many other parties to agree on a national unity government," (ElBaradei) told CNN.
The NYT notes that ElBaradei is not afraid to call out the Obama Administration for continuing to prop up Mubarak.
“It’s better for President Obama not to appear that he is the last one to say to President Mubarak, it’s time for you to go,” Dr. ElBaradei said.
Given how he refused to sign off on BushCo bullshit in Iraq, while running the IAEA, this should be of no surprise.

It is seeming more and more clear that the police aren't strongly in Mubarak's corner. The military, with hardware largely paid for by the U.S., still seems strong for the moment. But, remember, Nicholas II lost the gendarmes first, then the military, in 1917.

So, too, did a certain Reza Pahlavi in 1979. Will Mubarak's path follow the late Shah of Iran's, who, ironically, lived his last days in Egypt, which led the Muslim Brotherhood to assassinate Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, which put Mubarak in power?

Former President Jimmy Carter, who is certainly in a position to remember Iran and the Shah's fall in 1979, agrees that Mubarak is eventually likely to go.

And, speaking of that, will ElBaradei pull this off? Or, will Mubarak try to co-opt him, to make him, in essence, Egypt's Shapour Bakhtiar? I doubt ElBaradei can be co-opted. If we were talking about former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, that would be different. Indeed, that might be Mubarak's next move.

And, Ross Douthat completes a circle of sorts by reminding us that the U.S.'s continued propping up of Mubarak was surely a major factor in 9/11. Remember, mastermind Mohamed Atta, among others, was Egyptian.

However, it is possible that ElBaradie could be undercut by the Brotherhood at some point, and become Egypt's equivalent of Abolhassan Banisadr.

Meanwhile, here's more on Omar Suleman, the thuggish CIA pal that Mjbarak has lined up to replace him, it seems.