White House aides sit down with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
They didn't make a big todo about it. The White House issued no statement that I can find, although they issued press releases about the president's calls to the NCAA basketball national champion coaches.
But sometime during the last few days, representatives of the Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood sat down with some low level White House national security staffers.
White House officials held talks with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington this week, as the Islamist group threw itself into the fray in Egypt's presidential election.
The meeting on Tuesday with low-level National Security Council staff was part of a series of US efforts to broaden engagement with new and emerging political parties following Egypt's revolution last year, a US official said.
The White House pointed out that Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, and other US lawmakers and officials had also met with Brotherhood representatives in Egypt and elsewhere in recent months.
"We believe that it is in the interest of the United States to engage with all parties that are committed to democratic principles, especially nonviolence," said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.
"In all our conversations with these groups, we emphasize the importance of respect for minority rights, the full inclusion of women, and our regional security concerns."
The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said on Saturday it would nominate Khairat al-Shater, a professor of engineering and business tycoon, to contest Egypt's first presidential election since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak last year.
Yes, its true that congressmen and senators routinely meet with the thugs and dictators of the world. But they usually don't invite them into their offices in Washington for a chit chat.
And I'm very happy that the administration emphasizes "the importance of respect for minority rights, the full inclusion of women, and our regional security concerns" in their talks. It's too bad they didn't read the MB's founding principles which are grounded in Sharia law. This makes a cruel joke of the administration's concern about the "inclusion of women" in a society run by the Brotherhood, not to mention the non-recognition of minority rights (as we are seeing in Egypt with the panel empowered to write the new constitution which is 70% Islamist).
But it is the MB's odious belief that Israel must be destroyed that makes a mockery of any claim they have to legitimacy. And until they give up on their quest to kill the Jews, they shouldn't even be allowed on the White House tour, let alone a sit down with administration officials.