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The Voice of Reason: A Few Words of Caution About the Rebellions in Egypt

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Not much else can be said which already has not about the massive anti-government rebellions which are occurring across Egypt. Yes, much of the public there wants a new chief executive. Yes, they want increased participation in their country’s electoral process. Yes, they have good reason to desire these things. No, the United States should not support them.


Yes, you read that correctly.

Here is why; if President Hosni Mubarak is deposed, those who will replace him and his administration, in their own words, do not have the slightest of positive intentions for America or, perhaps more importantly, Israel. Considering that these people will have control of the Suez Canal, which, needless to say, is monumentally important to global trade, they will be in a prime position to wage economic warfare on their perceived enemies. Also, as if this were not bad enough, the pro-Jihad Muslim Brotherhood is a driving force behind much of the protests currently being reported by a great deal of the international media as being “pro-democracy”. If this organization is able to attain control of the Egyptian government, an almost probable development should the rebellions prove to be successful, then Iran will gain a powerful ally in its quest to drag human civilization back into the stone age.

Mubarak may be many things, but he is a strong ally of Western interests, as well as a proponent of fairly reliable stabilization policies in his always turbulent corner of the world, and, to top it all off, supportive of private sector economics. Losing his presence in Egypt would be something far too costly to the Free World, as well as the sizable contingents of Christians and Jews which currently enjoy relatively peaceful lives in his nation. In the event that a group of Jihadists were to replace him, then the bets would be off for all three.

Those in the United States or other free countries who support the rebellions would be wise to keep this in mind before initiating in yet another call for a “regime change” in Egypt. 

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Deano

    Not sure where you are pulling the claim that the “Muslim Brotherhood is a driving force behind much of the protests”, as the majority of the reports I have read indicate that they were not the instigators of the popular uprising nor are they that well positioned to control the events.

    The vast majority of the protesters are mainstream youth – not fundamentalists by any stretch of the imagination, often with a strong secular bent. Yes, the Muslim Brotherhood may yet rise to the forefront of the opposition but this isn’t an “Islamic” revolution akin to Iran’s, it is a totally different political and economic environment.

  • Baronius

    Deano, the Iranian revolution wasn’t an Islamic one at first. It was students too. Khomeni was billed as a moderate on his way in; he appealed to the secularists who were looking for an authentically Iranian identity.

    I don’t know if the Muslim Brotherhood is behind much of what’s happened so far, but next to the military they’re the strongest organization in the country. That would give them a big advantage if there are rushed elections.

  • Baronius

    I wouldn’t go so far as Joseph Cotto and endorse Mubarak, though. I don’t want that last comment to be read as an agreement with the article. I just think that it’s an accurate description of a bad scenario. Not even the worst-case scenario, either.

  • Deano


    There are fundamental (no pun intended) differences between the situation in Egypt and that of Iran on multiple levels, the most basic of which is no Ayatollahs.

    The Muslim Brotherhood are participating in the Egyptian political process already – they have apparently run several candidates in various local elections as independents, but everyone knows who they are and what they represent – and garnered no more than 20-25% of the vote.

    They are definitely a political force but it is highly doubtful that, barring a sigificant escalation in violence reprisal, they would end up being in the position to dictate the direction of either political / ecoonomic reform or of any new government. At most, they would be a part of a coalition of reformers.

    I think there too much speculation at this point to determine how this will shake out. I suspect, Mubarak will weather this immediate storm, but will agree to a gradual transfer of power and eventually step down and hopefully elections and a new, more democratic government may emerge.

    Whether this is good or bad for western interests in the region, or for the Middle east Peace process (such as it is…) is difficult to guess.

  • Much to Mr. Cotto’s credit, he hammers the fringes of GOP for their fanatical stance on some of the social issues – abortion, gay rights, etcetera. To his discredit, however, he’s much too overtaken by his myopic view of America’s interests and the Islamic fear factor.

    Baronius, something about your #3 doesn’t jibe.

  • Baronius

    Deano, there’s little to do but read and speculate. If we didn’t talk about Egypt, people would be calling us dumb Americans for ignoring world events.

    The Muslim Brotherhood has won sizable minorities when they were illegal, the country was stable, and extremists weren’t flooding in from all countries to try to establish the Caliphate. Under the current conditions, if they’re the only non-military group with a ready-made organization, and if they’re able to intimidate their opponents, maybe they could win a plurality. Coalitions dominated by one party can turn into dictatorships.

  • Baronius

    Roger, quick, let me change my beliefs to correspond with your caricature of a Western capitalist. Do you want me to wear a top hat?

  • That’s entirely up to you, Baronius. I suppose your idea of an “enlightened capitalist” makes better sense.

  • World Affairs 101, Lesson 1:

    “Not being allied with the US” =/= “dragged back to the Stone Age”.

  • Baronius

    Dread, that’s an unfair characterization. You know the kind of human rights violations that occur under sharia law.

  • Baron, the charge was that Iran is trying to drag the world back into the Stone Age. As grave a concern as the government’s human rights record is, I also don’t know of many Stone Age communities which possessed, let’s say, a nuclear programme, vast petroleum reserves, a vigorous (though tightly controlled) democracy and a thriving and award-winning film industry.

  • Baronius engages in his usual “Can’t you understand it?” routine.

    Quite rightly, he’s concerned with potential human rights violations under Sharia law in the event the Egyptian uprising becomes hijacked by the radical Islamist elements – the most probable outcome, by the way – while giving no thought whatever to the possibility the US foreign policy in the Middle East may have served as a direct or indirect cause. But then again, Baronious is famous for never connecting the dots, it’s his claim to the Hall of Fame.

    One thinks here of a drunk driver who, while charged with a manslaughter, refuses to take responsibility for the consequence, because causes and effects simply aren’t part of Baronius’ otherwise impressive lexicon.

    For an astute analysis of the most likely turn of events in Egypt, the reader is referred to Christopher Hodges’ lucid article, “What Corruption and Force Have Wrought in Egypt” in Truthdig.

  • Baronius

    Dread, I don’t think that Joseph believes that Iran is in a pre-Bronze Age technology. I dunno. Maybe he does. Maybe he’s the first person to use that expression in the past 20 years who really believes that.

    Roger, I’m not avoiding talking about US foreign policy; I just haven’t been talking about it. It doesn’t strike me as an interesting part of this story. It seems very provincial of you to be focused on it, when people are dying.

  • With all due respect, Baronius, mine was a direct response to your #10, and given that limited context, it was precisely on target.

    If you’re suggesting I’m being somewhat nonchalant or uncaring about the situation on the ground and the loss of human life, you’re wrong.

    Also must disagree with your assertion that US foreign policy is not an interesting part of the story. It’s what drives the story. There would be no story without it.

  • Boeke


    People call us dumb americans because we pay no attention to foreign affairs until there is a war or revolution. Then, we attempt to apply outmoded political prejudices to determine an instant solution. Rather what you are doing.

  • Clavos

    Americans aren’t so much dumb as they are ignorant; a state arrived at in large part because the American school system, once one of the world’s finest, has been in continual decline since the end of World War II.

    As a result, many Americans are completely ignorant of world geography, history, other lands’ customs and beliefs, and most Americans speak only one language, while the majority of Europeans and Asians speak two or three.

    The lack of interest in foreign affairs of which Boeke speaks stems from that ignorance of the world outside US borders.

  • American exceptionalism, perhaps?

  • It’s a symbiotic relationship. America being Utopia, Heaven on Earth, and all that, it follows that the other 5,700,000,000 people in the world spend their entire miserable lives thinking of nothing but ways of getting here. This in turn allows Americans to think of ways to stop them.

  • Ruvy

    Clavos’ comment #16 bears repeating. The ignorance most Americans show about the world is truly pathetic. It extends, unfortunately to the “Rockefeller Republican” writing this article.

    What created the Muslim Brotherhood in the first place was the activities of American businessmen investing in a savage dog, ibn Saud, in taking over Arabia for his family, and selling oil rights to the Americans – Rockefellers among them. The Wahhabi infiltrated the Muslim Brotherhood (or perhaps set it up) modelled on their sick beliefs. Put simply, this is just another case of short sighted American greed biting the Americans in the ass – again. So, now you have Saudi Arabia, Eurabia, Michiganistan, New Yorkistan, and soon you will have what amounts to Saudi Egypt. Mazel tov, chumps! That is what your greed has gotten you! Enjoy it!!

  • @18

    Shoot, the Romans were more sensible than that. Once they realized their own citizens weren’t worth a shit, they adopted a proactive immigration policy to replenish the depleted ranks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    If Roger is implying that “American exceptionalism” is what led to the present state of ignorance of the everyday American, I would agree. We sat on our laurels, figured that since we’re on top of the world that it would always be that way, that we had the best of everything and that would never change.

    But we’re being passed up in nearly every sector, from education to life expectancy to standard of living…

    …and it doesn’t help that we’ve got so many in power who want our schools to ‘question’ evolution, who want our people to deny climate change (it IS real, Clavos), who expect our people to somehow think that life is safer if everybody has guns…and who want our children to speak only ONE language.

    And all of these are from your side of the political aisle.

  • pablo


    According to Robert Dreyfuss in his book “Hostage to Khomeni”

    “The Muslim Brotherhood is a London creation, forged as the standard-bearer of an ancient, anti-religious (pagan) heresy that has plagued Islam since the establishment of the Islamic community (umma) by the Prophet Mohammed in the seventh century. Representing organized Islamic fundamentalism, the organization called the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimum in Arabic) was officially founded in Egypt, in 1929, by the British agent Hasan al-Banna, a Sufi mystic. Today, the Muslim Brotherhood is the umbrella under which a host of fundamentalist Sufi, Sunni, and radical Shiite brotherhoods and societies flourish.”
    Notice the phrase “Britsh agent” There is not nor has their ever been anything of an organic nature regardiing group. Hasan al-Banna was also a devout admirer of Adolph Hitler and indeed the Brotherhood was very involved in the promotion of fascism in that part of the world.

    From the Book “The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics” by Miles Copland a former CIA agent stationed in the Mideast:
    “Nor was that all. Sound beatings of the Moslem Brotherhood organizers who had been arrested revealed that the organization had been thoroughly penetrated, at the top, by the British, American, French and Soviet intelligence services, any one of which could either make active use of it or blow it up, whichever best suited its purposes. Important lesson: fanaticism is no insurance against corruption; indeed, the two are highly compatible.”
    Again notice the term “intelligence services”.
    For a more detailed analysis of the Moslem Brotherhood and its fascist roots, as well as its ties to western intelligence agencies for the past century I refer readers to the excellent book “Terrorism/Illuminati a Three Thousand Year History” by David Livingstone, I have cited his url below with his chapter on the Muslim Brotherhood.
    For those of you that like to portray the Muslim Broterhood as an organic movement of religiously motivated extremists, nothing could be furhter from the truth. It has been affiliated and controlled by western intelligence agencies for almost a century. The same is true for its offspring al-ciada.
    Terrorism/Illuminati a Three Thousand Year History-The Muslim Brotherhood

    Another excellent source about the Muslim Brotherhood is Dave Emory an anti-fascist researcher who has numerous online radio shows devoted to that subject. He will come up first on a google search for those that are interested.

  • Clavos


    There are only two reasons for the decline of American education over the past sixty-plus years:

    The NEA and the AFT.

  • pablo


    I was very very familiar with this lawsuit way before you wrote an article on it.I also read the judge’s decision in full. Have you?

  • Belongs to another thread, Pablo.

  • Baronius

    Boeke – The “dumb American” accusation just seems lazy. I doubt that many Croats were paying attention to Egypt before the protests, or that many Egyptians have strong feelings about Croatia. Most people pay attention to the problems that affect them; that’s not a uniquely American habit.

    Roger, I don’t think that you’re uncaring. I said that you were being provincial. You’re looking at this as an American (and yes, I’m aware of the irony that you’re looking at it from an anti-American-foreign-policy standpoint), considering only what the US role was in its development and what the outcome may mean for the US. You’re appraising the players solely on the basis of what they’ll mean for America, not considering what they’ll do for/to Egypt.

  • An odd way of putting it, Baronius, especially in light of my recently articulated thinking (“In Defense of Anarchism”) in increasingly global terms, beyond nation-states. In fact, I’d argue precisely the opposite: I’m singularly unconcerned about how the developments in the Middle East will affect America if for no other reason that I no longer regard America as the hub and therefore the proper object of what I believe out to be our ultimate concern. My causal analysis, which identifies our foreign policy as a major factor in accounting for the present state of affairs (again, see Chris Hedges’ article) shouldn’t be construed to that effect; in fact, I don’t see how it could.

    As to my “not considering,” as you say, how the present developments will immediately or eventually affect Egypt, I’m afraid we’ll all in the realm of speculation here. Generally speaking, however, I’m of the opinion that it’s best to let individual cultures develop on their own and go through the usual birth pains with as little as possible outside interference. A corollary here is that the West doesn’t hold a monopoly on wisdom as regards “nation-building,” and it’s highly presumptuous to think it does.

    You may call my view fatalistic, but I think it exhibits a more optimistic mindset than yours seems to be. Perhaps it is in this area that we really disagree.

  • Boeke

    We in the USA have another problem: what policies should we adopt now toward Egypt, since the old ones are being obviated.

    Will Egypt become an islamic state like Iran? We don’t need another one of those.

    Who are potential national leaders? And Parties?

    Will Egypt join an anti-American mideast? Fueled by constant stories of American atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan?


    It’s not a movie playing out in Egypt, it’s a real revolution, and that would be more evident except that the US Communications monopolists in combination with the suborned US government have succeeded in insulating the US public by censoring the news.

  • Surely what the Egyptian people decide to do is ultimately a matter for them?

    I’ve seen many hours of protest footage and dozens of interviews and nobody is calling for an Islamic revolution or anything like that.

    The only things that people there seem to want is freedom and democracy for all, Muslims, Jews and Christians included.

  • Boeke, I’m confused by your remarks; the USA doesn’t have to adopt any policy towards Egypt right now, simply wait for things to play out and then develop a relationship with the new government whatever it may be.

    Whether Egypt becomes more like Iran is extremely uncertain but, given that there isn’t anywhere else like Iran in the entire region, possibly unlikely, especially given the desires of the protesters for more freedom and democracy.

    I’m not in the USA but I would be amazed if US news is actually being censored. Ignoring the facts of the country’s admittedly strained commitment to freedom of expression of ideas and that non-US sourced news is readily available, how is that happening?

  • “BBC World Roundup,” carried by many radio and TV stations, certainly seems to present all points of view.

  • Boeke

    We DO need publicly discussed policy towards Egypt! Surely we have CIA agents all over this thing, and THEY at least believe they have some influence over events. We need PUBLIC discussion of what those cowboys are striving towards. We’ve had bad results everytime in the past when we DIDN’T discuss this stuff openly.

    We totally screwed up Iran by letting CIA cowboys loose, and the pattern goes on everywhere.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Americans aren’t so much dumb as they are ignorant; a state arrived at in large part because the American school system, once one of the world’s finest, has been in continual decline since the end of World War II.”

    actually, that’s not true. we may not have kept up with the pace of other countries, but they certainly had some catching up to do (and good for them that they did). but the straight up fact is that kids today have more knowledge than you (or i) did.

    besides, if you think the average kid in the 1930s had a better understanding of the world than the average kid of today does, with all the interconnectedness of the world via the ease of travel and the internet… well, i’d just have to say you’ve got some “good old days” to think about.

    it’s not all “jersey shore” and pokemon out there, clavos.

  • zingzing

    here’s another like for you to think about, although i don’t doubt you’ll scoff. a vast majority of students actually complete high school these days, as compared to a shockingly low number in your awesome pre-war era.

  • Clavos

    a vast majority of students actually complete high school these days, as compared to a shockingly low number in your awesome pre-war era.

    Of course they do, it’s easier than ever.

  • Clavos

    One other thing, zing (hey, that rhymes!):

    Since the DOE has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of government-controlled education, I take their “data” with a fairly substantial grain of salt.

    Your link is basically a “Hey, look how well we’re doing!” self-promotion.

    In my version of a better America, the DOE would be one of the first federal bureaucracies to go.

  • zingzing

    to 35–knew you’d scoff. but what do you mean by “it’s easier than ever?” that since the kids aren’t needed on the farm (where an education wasn’t all that important,) and it’s far easier to get a job in tech or financial industries (which are much larger these days…) with a degree, so the kids might as well stay? or that they’ve dumbed down education so much, even a fool could graduate high school? i’d bet it’s the second option that you have in mind…

    to 36–so the doe has managed to create a test where kids who can’t do math or read are suddenly able to do math and read… evil genius!

  • STM

    Zing: “we may not have kept up with the pace of other countries, but they certainly had some catching up to do”.

    Oh yeah? Enlighten me on that, can ya? Which other countries had all that catching up to do? Don’t kid yourself again, zing. Certainly not the English-speaking ones where I went to school (at opposite ends of the planet). We learned a lot about a lot of things, including serious geography and world history going right back to the Roman era as a standard subject in primary AND high school, and I know those things aren’t taught as standard subjects in American schools.

    Now, if you’re talking Somalia, Cuba, or Bhutan, in terms of catching up, I’d agree …

    As for kids having more knowledge today, well I’d dispute that too.

    It’s not that hard to send a text message saying, “Gr8” or knowing how to download from iTunes.

    Real knowledge and the willingness to pursue it are sadly lacking in Gen Y for starters.

    Plus, they all want to start at the top.

    The idea of starting at the bottom and working your way up once you actually know something apart from how to bullsh.t (and they’re not Gr8 at that either) is completely foreign to most of them in my experience.

    Oh yes, we’re failing our kids down this neck of the woods too. Worse, they’re failing themselves by their unwillingness to learn.

    All the kids st state schools in NSW have government-supplied laptop computers … but my daughter says everyone just pisses about on them, even though they’re meant to be for lessons.

    Whatever the case, I’d prefer she had her face stuck in a real book, instead of facebook.

  • Clavos

    or that they’ve dumbed down education so much, even a fool could graduate high school? i’d bet it’s the second option that you have in mind…

    Bingo, zing. The standards have been significantly lowered repeatedly over the years, in obeisance to the ideal of universal education — the lowest common denominator rules in government schools.

    to 36–so the doe has managed to create a test where kids who can’t do math or read are suddenly able to do math and read… evil genius!

    “Figures don’t lie — but liars figure.”

    Read Stan’s 38 carefully. He’s right.

  • zingzing

    clavos, i knew that’s how stm’d take that, but i think he knows that’s not exactly what i meant. his caveat is where the heart of that little quote he chose lies, and i admit i perhaps should have worded it a little better. as soon as i saw he’d commented, i knew the queen was coming out. but leave it to stan the man to protect her. and clearly, if you read between the lines a little bit, i’m not calling the education that americans received in the 1930s any gold standard. fact is, we left loads of our population in the dark, as it were, back then. our educational system is much more inclusive than it was back then.

    anyway, i think that if you actually wanted to take a look, “The standards have been significantly lowered repeatedly over the years” might not actually be true. stan speaks of facebook and twitter as if that was actually reality. but it’s not. these kids, given the reality that your generation and my generation have created, are still going to blow you out of the water. they’re going to push forward in science and math and art like you’ve never conceived. and they’re all much more socially adept then you ever are or will be.

    every generation thinks they’re the best, but then the next generation comes along and kicks their ass. and society moves forward. if you don’t like the way society is moving, too damn bad. you have nothing to do with it at that point.

  • Clavos

    our educational system is much more inclusive than it was back then…The standards have been significantly lowered repeatedly over the years” might not actually be true

    Well, zing, a recent study showed American students under-performing nearly fifty other countries in the world. I would say that datum alone means it is true.