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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Two Cheers for the Brotherhood

Can the Muslim Brotherhood be a partner in a democratic Egypt? Not according to neoconservatives and other Middle East hawks. But the trajectory and recent history of the organization tell a more nuanced tale.

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Foreign Policy in Focus

President-for-life Hosni Mubarak is doing what he can to maintain his perch. He has named a new cabinet, deployed more troops in the cities, blocked al-Jazeera broadcasts, and promised not to run for reelection. The opposition, meanwhile, has other plans. Former International Atomic Energy Agency chief and Nobel laureate Mohamed elBaradei has emerged as the leading candidate to manage the transition to democratic rule. In an important political coup, he has obtained the support of Egypt's main opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Those two words strike fear into the hearts of many in the West. The “Muslim Brotherhood” conjures up images of radical Islamists turning Egypt into Iran or Afghanistan. As the ever-predictable John Bolton told Fox News, "The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't care about democracy, if they get into power you're not going to have free and fair elections either." Andrew McCarthy agrees over at The National Review, "our see-no-Islamic-evil foreign-policy establishment blathers on about the Brotherhood’s purported renunciation of violence — and never you mind that, with or without violence, its commitment is…to 'conquer America' and ‘conquer Europe.’”

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Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), a stalwart advocate of Pentagon spending now based at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, says he would have voted for the Iraq War even if he had known the Bush administration’s claims about WMDs were false.


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A self-styled terrorism “expert” who claims that the killing of Osama bin Laden strengthened Al Qaeda, former right-wing Lebanese militia member Walid Phares wildly claims that the Obama administration gave the Muslim Brotherhood “the green light” to sideline secular Egyptians.


Weekly Standard editor and PNAC cofounder Bill Kristol is a longtime neoconservative activist and Washington political operative.


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