In a recent column, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol criticized "talk radio hosts" and conservatives for "sid[ing] with the dictator" Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, numerous conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh and Dick Morris, have argued that the United States should be supporting Mubarak.
Kristol Criticizes Conservative Support For Mubarak
Kristol: Conservative Support For Mubarak Is "A Sign Of Fearfulness...Short-Sightedness" And "Excuse Making." From Kristol's column:
[I]t's a sign of health that a political and intellectual movement does not respond to a complicated set of developments with one voice.
But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He's marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.
Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. Rather, it's a sign of fearfulness unworthy of Americans, of short-sightedness uncharacteristic of conservatives, of excuse-making for thuggery unworthy of the American conservative tradition.
It was not so long ago, after all, when conservatives understood that Middle Eastern dictatorships such as Mubarak's help spawn global terrorism. We needn't remind our readers that the most famous of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta, was an Egyptian, as is al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri. The idea that democracy produces radical Islam is false: Whether in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian territories, or Egypt, it is the dictatorships that have promoted and abetted Islamic radicalism. (Hamas, lest we forget, established its tyranny in Gaza through nondemocratic means.) Nor is it in any way "realist" to suggest that backing Mubarak during this crisis would promote "stability." To the contrary: The situation is growing more unstable because of Mubarak's unwillingness to abdicate. Helping him cling to power now would only pour fuel on the revolutionary fire, and push the Egyptian people in a more anti-American direction.
Let's hope that as talk radio hosts find time for reflection, and commentators step back to take a deep breath, they will recall that one of the most hopeful aspects of the current conservative revival is its reclamation of the American constitutionalist tradition. That tradition is anchored even beyond the Constitution, of course, in the Declaration of Independence. And that document, let's not forget, proclaims that, "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it." [Weekly Standard, 2/14]
Numerous Conservatives Have Argued That The U.S. Should Support Mubarak
Limbaugh: "If You Are Concerned About U.S. National Interests, Mubarak Seems To Be Who To Root For." On the February 4 edition of his syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh responded to a caller's question regarding which side of the Egyptian protests he should support by stating:
LIMBAUGH: Nobody knows who to root for right now. But I'm going to tell you something. I have, I have taken the counsel of people wiser than I who, scholars who have paid attention to this part of the world. And have studied our relationship with allies who are dictators. Allies who maybe not pass the moral smell test, but balanced out, and - I tell you, there are a lot of people who would think on this we need to be rooting for Mubarak.
CALLER: And I'm inclined to agree with you --
LIMBAUGH: We need to be rooting for --
LIMBAUGH: If you are concerned about U.S. national interests, Mubarak seems to be who to root for. And that's, I think that's why that you see so many people dumping on Mubarak. Both in the U.S. media. There's so many people. This is a -- portraying this is a big democracy movement, that's why we, the U.S., we stand for democracy. You know, we gotta behind -- the Muslim Brotherhood does not equal democracy to me, I'm sorry, I don't, it just, I don't get there. They want an Islamic state. Muslim Brotherhood wants an Islamic State. I don't -- Iran, half of Iran? I don't know. This is all aimed at Israel. Everybody's got their ammo aimed at Israel over there, that's what this is all about. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/4/11]
Morris: Mubarak, Obama Should Be "Aggressively Confronting" Egyptian Protesters. During Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Dick Morris stated:
MORRIS: I think it's an illusion to say that there's a secular liberal democratic faction that can be dominant in Egypt. I think that's a mirage and a camouflage being used -- a front man being used by the Muslim Brotherhood so that they can take power and essentially create an Egyptian-Iranian alliance that will control 45 percent of the population of North Africa and the Middle East in those two countries.
And I think that what Mubarak should be doing and what the Obama administration should be doing is aggressively confronting the demonstrators. I think that if we encourage the military to stand down, if we encourage the Mubarak supporters to refrain from controversy or even from violence, we really are opening the door to Islamic fundamentalist domination.
If Obama's so concerned about this, where was he when they were doing the same stuff in Iran? In Iran, he didn't lift a finger, and there were these massive street demonstrations. What, does he only oppose America's allies and not our enemies? [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/2/11]
Morris & McGann: "Obama should be backing Mubarak." In their February 3 column, Morris and Eileen McGann wrote:
By failing to back Mubarak, Obama is committing the same sin that Eisenhower did in Cuba and Carter did in Iran. He needs to understand that the radical Islamists mean us ill, and any effort to appease them is bound to fail.
If Egypt falls, Obama will have permanently damaged America's vital interests. Look at what Carter's abandonment of the shah has already cost the world and is likely to cost it in the future. We now face the possibility that a radicalized Egypt could be Obama's gift to the globe.
Remember that Iran has a population of 79 million and Egypt has 75 million. Together, their 154 million almost equal the combined population of all the other nations in North Africa and the Middle East. If Egypt and Iran were to work in tandem, they could control the region.
By failing to back Mubarak and telling the Egyptian military to pull its punches and let the demonstrators take over the streets, the Obama administration has come to own responsibility for the outcome of the Egyptian revolution. If it goes south and leads to a disastrous outcome, it will be his foreign policy that will rightly shoulder the blame.
Obama should be backing Mubarak. Remember that Egypt was the first Arab nation to sign a peace deal with Israel and the only one to work with the Jewish state. It was in pursuit of peace that Anwar Sadat, Mubarak's predecessor, gave his life. [Newsmax.com, 2/3/11]
Geller: "Mubarak Has Been A US Ally For Decades...Knowing Obama, He Will Throw Another Ally Under The Bus." From a January 28 post on Atlas Shrugs by conservative blogger Pamela Geller:
Mubarak has been a US ally for decades. We send three billion dollars a year to Egypt. And Egypt made a peace deal with Israel. But knowing Obama, he will throw another ally under the bus. Yes, Mubarak needs to institute democratic reform. I pray Mubarak doesn't brutally respond to the uprising like Iran did -- they slaughtered their people and crushed the Iranian revolution.
I am all for political freedom. Will Islamic jihad allow for anything but the sharia? Never. As bad as Mubarak was ......... Islamic law is far worse. May free men prevail. The battle is between the secularists and Islamic supremacists; they are united only in their hate for Israel, as mandated by the qur'an (sic):
And as we now see, all of its possible secular and Islamist successors either reject outright Egypt's peace treaty with Israel or will owe their political power to the support of those who reject the peace with the Jewish state. (Caroline Glick)
The cries of allahu akbar in the streets do not instill confidence in the outcome. All that military aid in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood would change everything. [Atlas Shrugs, 1/28/11]
Wash Times' Blankley: "Support Mr. Mubarak. Down with the revolution. Up With Orderly Progress." In a January 31 column, Washington Times columnist Tony Blankley wrote:
Whatever may happen in the hours after I write this column, two things are certain: The next chapter in the magnificent and ancient civilization of the Nile is yet to be known. The role that America plays in Egypt's great, unfolding story also remains in doubt.
Once in a while - as in our Revolution - the cry of the street slogans becomes the principle of the government that follows - but usually not.
If the revolution in Egypt results in the fall of the existing governmental order, what are the chances that the people will be governed subsequently by a more just system? And what are the chances that America's interests will be advanced by that result?
Will the Suez Canal no longer be open and safe for its vast commerce?
Will the Middle East tilt further in the evil direction of radical Islamist forces? Will our ally Israel be further isolated from its neighbors and its right to exist?
If the Suez Canal is threatened by an anti-Western regime, is it likely that we will find ourselves forced to occupy and protect the canal for world commerce?
Providing public and private support of President Hosni Mubarak and helping to keep some semblance of the status quo (perhaps in the form of an army-led regime) is likely to serve both our immediate geopolitical interests and our ability to shape that regime in the interest of the Egyptian people.
Mr. Obama had a chance in 2009 to respond with strong support for Iran's Green Revolution - but his near silence crushed the hope of many young Iranians and surely aided (inadvertently) the hated enemy Iranian regime.
Now the president risks getting it wrong in the other direction: undercutting a friendly regime by sincere but ill-considered support for a revolution that is more likely to result in a government adverse to our - and the Egyptian people's - interests
As Ari Shavit wrote in Israel's leading liberal paper, Haaretz, the failure to support Mr. Mubarak "symbolizes the betrayal of every strategic ally in the Third World. Throughout Asia, Africa and South America, leaders are now looking at what is going on between Washington and Cairo."
"Everyone grasps the message: America's word is worthless; an alliance with America is unreliable; American has lost it. A result of this understanding will be a turn toward China, Russia and regional powers such as Iran, Turkey and Brazil. The second result of this insight will be a series of international conflagrations that will result from the loss of America's deterrent power."
So, for both our reputation and our interests in the Middle East and beyond: Support Mr. Mubarak. Down with the revolution. Up with orderly progress. [The Washington Times, Tony Blankley, 1/31/11]
WND's Klayman: Obama "Regrettably" Supported The Protesters. From a February 5 column, headlined, "Oppose Obama's grand Islamic plan," by WorldNetDaily columnist Larry Klayman:
So, regrettably if not tragically, it came as no surprise when the "mullah in chief" wasted no time supporting the protesters in Egypt by literally throwing President Hosni Mubarak, a 30-year ally of the United States and Israel, under the proverbial bus. In the mold of former President Jimmy Carter's days of undermining the shah of Iran in the late 1970s, Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, attacked Mubarak for his attempts to allow for a smooth transition of power over the next months, branding attempts to deal with violence in Cairo "outrageous and deplorable." And, to top it all off, the administration not only demanded that Mubarak get out of "Dodge" immediately, but then effectively endorsed a new government with "non-secular" parties - meaning that the granddaddy of terrorist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, which includes al-Qaida as a subsidiary, should be included. For cover, Obama and company pushed European leaders - to use the term loosely - to heed his call; a feat which it does not take much to achieve, given their pacifist if now cowardly tendencies. [WorldNetDaily, 2/5/11]
Hoft: "Obama & Muslim Brotherhood Agree: Mubarak Must Begin To Transition Power Now." In a February 1 post, headlined, "Obama & Muslim Brotherhood Agree: Mubarak Must Begin To Transition Power Now," Jim Hoft equated the Obama administration's stance towards Mubarak with that of the Muslim Brotherhood. From the post:
Remember: The difference between a Democrat president and a Republican president is that when a Republican president is in charge, anti-American regimes are overthrown. When a Democrat president is in charge, pro-American regimes are overthrown....and anti-American regimes thrive.
The Muslim Brotherhood today announced that protests would continue until Mubarak has left office.
Barack Obama agreed.
The transition of power in Egypt must begin immediately.
The Atlantic reported:
We have spoken out on the need for change. After his speech tonight, I spoke directly to president Mubarak. He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place. Indeed all of us who are privileged to serve in political positions of power do so at the will of our people. Through thousands of years Egypt has known many moments of transformation. The voices of the Egyptian people tell us this is one of those moments; this is one of those times.
Now, it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt's leaders, only the Egyptian people can do that. What is clear and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.
Coincidence? [Gateway Pundit, 2/1/11]