Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Neocons' Smear Campaign Against El-Baradei

The neocons are sharpening their knives. They are after Mohamed El-Baradei, the Egyptian leader that many Egyptians (and foreign observers) would like to see lead Egypt in the post-Mubarak era.

The reason for the neocons' hostility towards El-Baradei is that he was the Director General of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency during the days that led to the Iraq War. El-Baradei, along with Hans Blix, his predecessor at the IAEA, stated that IAEA inspectors had not found any evidence of WMDs in Iraq. Remember that the danger of WMDs was cited by the Bush Administration as the original pretext for the invasion of Iraq. The IAEA, of course, was right and, the neocons never forgave the agency for interfering with the U.S. criminal war plans on Iraq.

To make matters worse, El-Baradei wrote this in an op-ed published by the New York Times in February 2004:
We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security -- and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use.

In other words, if the U.S., Russia, Israel, France, etc., all have nukes, it is harder to tell Iran or North Korea, or other countries that are considered dangerous by the international community, to discontinue their nuclear weapon programs. Seems reasonable to me.

In 2005, El-Baradei and the IAEA were the joint recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, for their "efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes, is used in the safest possible way". As El-Baradei's entry in Wikipedia says, ElBaradei donated all his winnings to building orphanages in his home city of Cairo. How dangerous.

The shameful thing about the attacks on El-Baradei is that even conservatives who cannot strictly be labeled as neocons are joining in the bashing. As Think Progress reports, Sen. McCain and former House Speaker Gingrich have respectively accused El-Baradei of not being a friend of the United States and of being a figurehead for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Both accusations are unfounded. As Think Progress points out, to say that he is not a friend of the United States ignores the fact that El-Baradei has lived and taught in the United States (at New York University) and that he has no history of anti-American rhetoric. But I guess that what Sen. McCain is saying about El-Baradei's not being a friend of the U.S. is true, if you live under the assumption that a friend should never tell you that you made up the reasons to launch a war on another country, and that true friends should go along with your criminal plans instead.

As for Gingrich's accusation that El-Baradei as president of Egypt would be a "disaster", I guess what he is saying is that it'd be better to have a ruthless dictator in charge for U.S. interests in the region. However, that doesn't make his prediction that El-Baradei would be a disaster any more true than my prediction that Gingrich will turn into a pillar of salt if he does not stop making unfounded statements.

Lastly, the frenzy to condemn the Muslim Brootherhood as a dangerous Islamist organization is ludicrous. In fact, after the recent bombing of a church in Alexandria, Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood condemned the terrorist act as an attack on all Egyptians. Why, they even offered to stand in front of churches to protect them against further attacks. Dangerous, eh?

Of course, that won't keep Christian fundamentalists in this country, and the neocons who pander to them, from painting them as the most dangerous enemy of the United States, one so powerful that the group it has infiltrated the U.S. government, presumably with the goal of bringing Sharia Law to our shores. I guess I side with Gov. Howard Dean on the subject of dangerous radicalism. Dean rejects the right-wing's attempts to single out "radical Islam" as a threat, and reminds us instead that "radical anything is what's bad". And that, my friends, includes Christians, politicians, and all of those who are quick to exploit falsehoods for their cause.


arabianhorse said...

I like your post, Fabrizio. It is sound and to the point. Neocons should stop stereotyping Muslim brotherhood as a radical movement. Maybe, at a point in the history, there was a small group of this big movement that tend to violence, but this has been changed long years ago. Now, the Egyptian government itself is killing their own people. This is people revolution now. No one single political party cannot claim that they are responsible for these big demonstrations. People are fed up and they want their pride and dignity back. Egypt's police treat people like animals. Emergency law gives those officers to arrest you even without charges. They can get into your house without arrest warrant. Egyptian people have been humiliated for 30 years now and all what they are looking for now is freedom, dignity and democracy. US and Europe should stop dealing with such ruthless government and they should stop their double standard. What happened in Ukraine and Georgia was welcomed by both and they should stand up to their ethics when it comes to oppressed people in Arab countries. It is to the best interests of USA and Europe to have democracies in the Arab world and at least this is what they are calling for on TV screens. Please USA and Europe stop being hypocrite. I also would like to say that Muslim brotherhood will never get to power in Egypt because the majority of Egyptian people do not support them.

Sirfab said...

Thanks, arabianhorse.

I am grateful that you took the time to post your perspective and first-hand knowledge of the situation.

Of course, not everybody in the United States wants to see democracy rise in the Middle-East, only a certain kind of democracy.

When, as in Palestine, a force rises to power through democratic elections that is unfriendly to the United States policies and interests in the region, some Americans are quick to condemn that force as a friend of terrorism.

When democratically elected leaders have come to be considered hostile to American interests, they have been overthrown (see what happened in Iran, Nicaragua, Chile, etc.)

Let Egyptians pick what is good for Egypt. Let all people be free to choose their democratic leader and revolt against tyrants, and help them when help is sought. And do not meddle with affairs that are not yours to meddle with. American standing in the world might benefit, and the fertile soil for recruiting of terrorists might desertify.

If America wants to defend freedom, it should do so, but it should refrain from imposing its idea of freedom over people who are smart enough to know the difference between freedom and just another form of tyranny by government.

arabianhorse said...

"Terrorism" is a word that keeps surfacing up all the time here on the news and nobody asks why there is terrorism in the first place.

As an Arab and Muslim, I can tell you that the number one reason for 'terrorism' is the Palestinian cause. If Palestinian have their own country and they can live in peace, this will end the whole terrorism issue or at least 90% of it.

I agree that a person holding a gun and killing innocent people, is a terrorist, but what about a country or a regime killing tens and hundreds of innocent people everyday. Is this national security or is it also terrorism?

Blair's comments are silly and unethical, but what you would expect from Blair who launched an unjustified war and falsified facts to justify his war.

We need to address the root cause of the problem.

Here is a story:

A sick man got many pimples on his face. He went to see a doctor. The doctor prescribed a cream or ointment. The sick man kept putting it for many days and still pimples and pustules were there and got more. Sick man decided to see another doctor, a smart one this time. The doctor told him that the pimples and pustules on your face are just the visible signs and indications of a deeper problem which is your stomach. The doctor prescribed another medication that targeted the root cause of his sickness and the guy was healed.

We need to address the root cause of the problem and enough with cosmetic solutions.

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