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.