Carter Redux?

For those who lived through the 1979 Iran revolution and the abandonment of the Shah of Iran by the Carter administration, there is a tangible sense of foreboding as to what form the outcome of the current upheaval in Egypt will take.

Like Carter, Obama has made overtures to the Islamists.  1n 1978 Jimmy Carter was on the side of "human rights" and eagerly embraced Ayatollah Khomeini.  Carter's UN Ambassador Andrew Young went so far as to call him "some kind of saint".

It now turns out that in 2009, the Egyptian daily Almasry Alyoum reported that President Obama secretly met with representatives of the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood, the Hamas and Al Qaeda ally that has been barred by the US and put on the terror watch list by the Bush administration.   By doing so and choosing Egypt as the locale for his Muslim outreach speech, in which he never once used the words "terrorism", "terrorist" or "war on terror,"  the question must be asked: Did or does the Obama administration realize the difference between freedom-based revolutions (which do not include jihadist elements) and violent overthrows orchestrated by the same jihadists.  Secretly meeting with the jihadist elements can only embolden them.

There are numerous reports out of Cairo that the islamist element has not only helped foment this uprising but is now taking control of it.

As an editorial at the Investor's Business Daily points out:

Bet the President didn't think he was planting the seeds of today's protests in Egypt.  But what does he expect when he goes to a country in a decades-long police-enforced state of emergency, with tens of thousands of political prisoners, and announces that "you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion."

He may have awakened a sleeping giant.  Too bad the Iranian people didn't receive the same favor a year and a half ago when they were protesting in the streets against a regime that makes Egypt look Jeffersonian by comparison.


Even so, should Mubarak fall, there is a real danger of the Islamic Brotherhood imperiling this US ally.  Barack Obama sure picked a foolish place to give a community organizing speech.

There is no question that Mubarak ran a quasi police state; but there were ways to force democratization on Egypt over the years without making overtures to radical elements and giving them an effective wink and a nod.  Is this 1979 all over again?  The world cannot afford another Iran on the shores of the Mediterranean thus in control of the Suez canal and completing an encirclement of Israel.  That will almost guarantee a Middle East War.
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