February 17, 2011

Jimmy Carter not concerned about Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

By David Paulin

Former President Jimmy Carter, whose foreign policy naivety and weakness facilitated the rise of Islamofacism in Iran, is confident Egypt has a promising future: The Muslim Brotherhood will be overwhelmed by Jeffersonian Democrats -- and the formerly pro-Mubarak military will bow to the will of the people and welcome free elections, he says.

Carter, during his first public comments about Egypt's so-called "revolution," told an audience
at the University of Texas on Tuesday that he's not concerned by the Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt's most well-organized and virulently anti-Western political group.

"I think the Muslim Brotherhood is not anything to be afraid of in the upcoming (Egyptian) political situation and the evolution I see as most likely. They will be subsumed in the overwhelming demonstration of desire for freedom and true democracy,” Carter told 1,000 people packed into the LBJ Library in Austin.

Carter's audience was reportedly receptive and friendly. Nobody apparently asked a simple question: Do most Egyptians define "freedom" and "true democracy" as most Americans and Westerners do?

Carter's optimism aside, things in Egypt may not be quite as simple as he suggests -- at least not if a survey in Egypt by the Pew Research Center
is anything to go by. It indicates that concepts like “freedom” and “democracy” may not be quite the same to most Egyptians as to Americans and Westerners. Among other things: 85 percent of Egyptians consider Islamic influence over political life to be a positive thing for their country. And 20 percent have a positive view of al Qaeda. The Pew survey on what Egyptians really think underscores why Israel has been so concerned about what the mainstream media has portrayed as Egypt's “democratic revolution.”

Carter also was upbeat, if not somewhat ambiguous, about the role Egypt's military would play in an election expected this September. "My guess is the military leaders don't want to give up their political influence or power,” he said. “But the military has seen what the demonstrators have done and will most likely submit to their demands."

What might those demands be? Carter apparently didn't provide any answers, according to the Austin American-Statesman's account of his lecture. But pehaps the Pew survey can provide some hints along these lines.

To ensure a free-and-fair election, Carter said he and members of the Carter Center will be as "involved as possible" in voting. "The demonstrators will not accept anything less than honest, fair and open elections."

Let's hope Carter and his team does a better job of certifying the winner in Egypt's presidential election (if one takes place) than he did during a Venezuela election in 2004. There, Carter turned a blind eye
to voting irregularities, belittled anti-Chavez Venezuelans, and gave his blessing to strongman Chavez's election victory. "Carter has a long history of coddling dictators and blessing their elections, and among his complex motivations is his determination to override American foreign policy when it suits him," writes Steven F. Hayward, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

All of which underscores that Carter has invariably been on the wrong side of history. Given his optimism on Egypt, people who care about Egypt's future may have much to worry about.
--Originally published at The American Thinker.

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