Aug 20, 2013

Is the U.S. on the Side of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Joel RosenbergBy Joel C. Rosenberg

Twitter Facebook RSS Contact Amazon

(Washington, D.C.)—The violence in Egypt is horrific, heart-breaking and painful to watch. The question is: What do we do about it?

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens writes a thought-provoking column today that I commend to your attention. The former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post raises a very important question. He argues it is time for the U.S. government to be crystal clear: Is the U.S. on the side of the Egyptian military to defeat Radical Islam, restore some sense of law and order, and protect minority groups (like the Coptic Christians), or is the U.S. on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood which seeks to impose Radical Islam, establish Sharia law and spread the Islamic revolution?

Stephens argues that Senators and Congressmen—and administration officials—who call for cutting off U.S. aid to the Egyptian military are effectively supporting the Brotherhood. Is that really the right policy?


The Daily Alert website (tracking key stories in the Middle East) sums up Stephens’ argument as follows.

  • A policy is a set of pragmatic choices between unpalatable alternatives designed to achieve the most desirable realistic result.
  • Restoring the dictatorship-in-the-making that was Morsi's elected government is neither desirable nor realistic.
  • Bringing the Brotherhood into some kind of inclusive coalition government in which it accepts a reduced political role in exchange for calling off its sit-ins and demonstrations is not realistic.
  • What is realistic and desirable is for the military to succeed in its confrontation with the Brotherhood as quickly and convincingly as possible. And it beats the alternatives of outright civil war or victory by a vengeful Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Politics in Egypt today is a zero-sum game: Either the military wins, or the Brotherhood does. If the U.S. wants influence, it needs to hold its nose and take a side.

To read Stephens’ full column—which I recommend—please click here.

Is Stephens right? What do you think?