Friday, March 30, 2007


The heterogenities of the Muslim Brotherhoods---many more than one.

A very good article on the history of the Brotherhood via RealClearPolitics. Not without criticisms, but overall echoes a view I find crucial. Some form of "moderate" Islamism is the only way forward in the Sunni world. It will be no doubt anti-American, and anti-Israeli to some degree or other. What is to be expected after the way the West (French, British, Americans, and Israelis) have treated the region and its citizens? But anti-American doesn't automatically equate with more planes into more US buildings. Russia's foreign policy is anti-American because American/EU and NATO since the fall of the Wall have been built to a large extent to keep Russia out of influence. But we aren't at war with Russia.

Similarly, US policy during the realism phase was to support dictators (Shah of Iran, Saudi Royals, even early support for Hussein) to exert pressure and open up oil lanes. Current US policy--in the failure of the democratic revolutions and Iraqi post-war conflict--seems to be without a vision or maybe simply to keep the arena as broken as possible. I really don't know.

As long as the only other choice are autocrats the re-entrenchment of which is in full flower right now---Hosni Mubarak following in the great lines of Egyptian Pharaohs is trying to pass power onto his son--then the response will be greater and greater lethality and radicalization outflanking groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood recall, for all their problems, publicly denounced the 9/11 attacks and al-Qaeda was formed in large part as a militant reaction against Muslim Brotherhood--thinking the Brotherhood was too weak for its promotion of democracy.

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