ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood

Posted: Jan 31, 2011 8:35 AM
Former federal prosecutor and terrorism expert Andy McCarthy is raising red flags about the man who may assume control in Egypt, should the current unrest topple Hosni Mubarak.  Writing at NRO, McCarthy offers a string of warnings about Mohammad ElBaradei -- focusing on (1) his enabling of Iran's nuclear program during his disastrous IAEA tenure:

Mohammed ElBaradei is a menace. He is more responsible than any non-Iranian for the progress the mullahs have made on their nuke program (with dishonorable mention to China and Russia) — although I think another Egyptian, Yasser Arafat, may have been a worse Nobel choice.

(2) His vocal support of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose virulent Islamist ideology laid the radical theological groundwork for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups (also see Sayyid Qutb and The Looming Tower):

We are beginning to see take shape, though, the something that could be worse than ElBaradei: ElBaradei in collusion with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Assuming the ouster of Mubarak, the Brotherhood has just announced its official support for the establishment of a transitional government under the direction of ElBaradei. In hearing Fox News report this, I was astonished to hear a correspondent opine that just because the Brotherhood is offering its support does not mean ElBaradei would want it. 

A few days ago, ElBaradei gave an interview to Der Spiegel ... ElBaradei is widely seen as a staunch ally of the Brotherhood (surprise!) and gave a spirited defense of them that was about as honest as his disclosures about the Iranian nuclear program used to be: “We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood,” he insisted.

and (3) his oft-professed anti-Israel posture:

By the way, ElBaradei also says “Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East,” and has expressed strong support for the Palestinian “resistance,” particularly in Hamas-controlled Gaza (which he calls “the world’s largest prison”), because, in his opinion, “the Israeli occupation only understands the language of violence.”

Even despite these glaring flaws, McCarthy concedes that considering the circumstances the alternatives, Egyptians "could do worse than having ElBaradei running its government."  Given the other contents of McCarthy's essay, that's a distressing conclusion, indeed.

UPDATE:  McCarthy has authored an additional post pushing back against a "don't worry about the Muslim Brotherhood" piece by Brookings scholar Bruce Riedel.  As usual, McCarthy's insights are invaluable:

One might wonder how an organization can be thought to have renounced violence when it has inspired more jihadists than any other, and when its Palestinian branch, the Islamic Resistance Movement, is probably more familiar to you by the name Hamas — a terrorist organization committed by charter to the violent destruction of Israel. Indeed, in recent years, the Brotherhood (a.k.a., the Ikhwan) has enthusiastically praised jihad and even applauded — albeit in more muted tones — Osama bin Laden. None of that, though, is an obstacle for Mr. Riedel, a former CIA officer who is now a Brookings scholar and Obama administration national-security adviser. Following the template the progressive (and bipartisan) foreign-policy establishment has been sculpting for years, his “no worries” conclusion is woven from a laughably incomplete history of the Ikhwan.