Egypt: from the Mubarak rain to the El-Baradei gutter?

Muhammad ElBaradei, the toothless feckless nuclear watchpoodle that applied a “see no evil, hear no evil” policy to nuclear inspections on Iran, is now emerging as the opposition leader.And guess what? He’s been endorsed by the Muslim Brotherhood (simply called “al-Ikhwan”/”The Brotherhood” in the Arab street). Yesterday I quoted Barry Rubin as pointing out that “Muhammad el-Baradei, leader of the reformist movement, says that if he were to be president he would recognize Hamas as ruler of the Gaza Strip and end all sanctions against it. (See:,1518,705991,00.html)” Of course, Hamas is basically the Palestinian offshoot of the Ikhwan.

The Jerusalem Post also notes that the mood of the protests does turn anti-American and anti-Israeli of late. Jerusalem has wisely avoided commenting on events, but Fox News today interviewed former Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman, who basically expressed his support for the Mubarak regime as he fears that any replacement will be dominated by the Ikhwan.

El-Baradei is looking like the Egyptian version of Alexander Kerensky (“no enemies to the left!”) at best, and outright in bed with the Ikhwan at worst.

It is a measure of just how dysfunctional Arab autocracies are that Mubarak’s replacement by former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as an alternative strongman might be the least unpalatable of the actual alternatives. (Sure, a secular democratic regime would be the best for everybody, but this is looking like a longshot at this stage. I dearly hope events prove me wrong on this one.)



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