Egypt goes the way of Turkey, while the administration is asleep even as it keeps switching positions.
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Egypt is on the path that Turkey has followed since the advent of the Erdogan government. We should expect that a transitional government will be more Islamist and will — like Erdogan’s — gradually become an Islamist government. But Egypt will be worse, and far more radical. It will — unless the military prevents it — become a sponsor of terrorism.
Egypt’s military, even after three decades of U.S. military aid and training, is not Americanized. The Egyptian Arab culture is strong within it, and the military’s primary goal will be to remain powerful. That will require it to accommodate the increasing radicalism of the government, just as Turkey’s military did. The Egyptian military, like the rest in that culture, is susceptible of bribery. Money and power are the key.
The Muslim Brotherhood, and its international sponsors, are savvy enough to understand that. They are well aware of how successfully the once-westernized nation of Turkey has been turned into an Islamic state, though it is not — at least yet — an identifiable sponsor of terrorism. The Turkish flotilla incident, in which a ship tried to penetrate the Israeli blockade of Gaza and Israeli forces were attacked with loss of life when they stopped the ship, was a lesson learned in Turkey. Islamic terrorism doesn’t always, as in Tehran in 1979, take over a nation suddenly. It can, as it has in Turkey, take root and grow slowly.
In a Meet the Press interview yesterday, Mohamed ElBaradei said he wanted Mubarak to suspend parliament and make way for a transitional regime to take over until an election is held. He quite apparently wants to run that transitional regime and remain in power after an election.
If ElBaradei has his wish, Egypt will be on Turkey’s path. And there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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