MOHAMED ELBARADEI arrived in Tahrir Square say reporters on the ground. No signs that he will address the crowd yet (or that a public address system has been set up that would make that possible). I just filed a piece arguing that this could be a pivotal moment from the democracy protesters. But now I'm second guessing myself (there are unconfirmed rumors on twitter that he left already). ElBaradei is trying to emerge as the man to lead a transitional government towards elections -- and is getting the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood and secular democracy activists to do so. Meanwhile, Omar Suleiman, the intelligence chief who people have been talking about as a possible successor to Mubarak for a decade, remains the front runner to be the transitional man if Mubarak steps down or is pushed.Andy McCarthy at NRO writes that the only thing worse than ElBaradei is him being allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.
A few days ago, ElBaradei gave an interview to Der Spiegel — Aaron Klein reported on it at WND yesterday. As Klein noted, 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. According to ElBaradei, the Brothers “have not committed any acts of violence in five decades.” [ACM note: the Brotherhood killed Sadat in 1981; Hamas kills people everyday.] ElBaradei, who also admires President Obama ardently, said that the Brothers just “want change.” Thus, he concludes, “If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them.” [ACM: Yeah, just like we did with Hamas -- and how's that workin' out?]And since Egypt and Israel have had a shaky peace for the last 30 plus years, such a change might jeopardize the 1979 Camp David treaty (American Spectator).
For its part, the Obama administration — which has made outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood and its American affiliates a policy priority — reciprocates ElBaradei’s admiration. Robert Gibbs said Friday that the president knows ElBaradei well and has worked closely with him.
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.”
Makes you wonder how ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood managed to find each other — they’re so very different. Amazing to see the forces that “change” brings together.
Jay Nordinger also writes at NRO:
Mohamed ElBaradei’s tenure at the IAEA was disastrous. I could get into chapter and verse, as I have in the past. He spent much of his time protecting Iran from sanctions and, of course, military attack. He was reluctant — he was open about this — to report Iranian violations to the Security Council, because he knew such reporting would trigger sanctions. I believe that a serious case can be made that the 2005 Nobel peace prize to the IAEA and ElBaradei was the worst, most misguided ever given (in the 110-year history of the award).And the implications aren't going to be just with Israel, but the world's energy prices as well. This is a side effect of becoming dependent on this hostile region due to the radical treehuggers in this nation who want no more energy exploration within the US borders, or offshore.