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No doubt the brotherhood is organized, but its influence in Egyptian affairs is overblown for political purposes in the West. They do not enjoy popular support, metropolitan or rural (the traditional base of opposition in Egypt). I'd like to know what metrics you use to define 'most organized.' The Egyptian people are much more urbane and politically diverse than the image sold to us as a weak, poorly educated and poorly organized populace subservient only to autocrats or religious zealots. In the interest of brevity, I'd point you to an article by Juan Cole on the great disparities between Iran circa '79 and Egypt of today: One key point from that article: Labor in Egypt is back (over 3k labor actions since 2004). Their influence seems slightly more substantial than your characterization of 'no organization, no political power.' Remember, during Nasser's reign, real wages for Egyptians increased dramatically as land reform and nationalization of key industries such as concrete production occurred. During Mubarak's reign, and as a result of economic liberalization, the country has seen GDP growth of around 5% [World Bank LINK: ], yet the benefits have been accrued by an élite while average wages stay stagnant (hm, strangely like the United States.) The future of Egypt is unknown, but it seems that economic justice must figure prominently in any new government's agenda. Surely the brotherhood, if they are to feature in a new government, could not provide this on their own. (Sidenote: el-Ikhwan is not Al-Qaeda whom they hate or the Iranian shia clergy. They are not a boogy man.)
In response to JR's question: the protests will continue and Mubarak will likely be removed. Food shortages/price hikes, economic contraction, and the repression of communications are all verifying the calls of the protesters that Mubarak is corrupt, inept, and must leave. Another question: will the security apparatus built by Western powers stay intact, and will Egypt remain a key piece on the board? I'd bet yes, even with new leadership that is rhetorically independent of American, European or Israeli influence. Suez and oil price stability are far too important to those powers. edit: ie, 'Mubarak without Mubarak.'
You might want to be more specific when you use the word 'Islamist.' Are you talking about Islamic Group, the brotherhood, or something else entirely? As for 'playing into their hands,' I don't see it. Yes, the removal of the Mubarak regime will benefit the Muslim Brotherood, but that is obvious arithmetic: they are an outlawed yet tolerated group, and sans the Mubarak regime their open participation in politics is virtually guaranteed. They are the ONLY 'Islamist' group with a large-scale following, yet are still in the minority. Witness the fact that the Muslim brotherhood did not participate in the protests until FRIDAY, days after they had begun. Their leadership is understandably cautious, given the decades of repression they have experienced, long before Mubarak's time. Most Egyptians, especially the urban youth behind these protests, are not members or sympathetic towards the brotherhood. I point you to Brynjar Lia's book on the Muslim Brotherhood: [google books]
Where do you get the idea that Egypt would be more aggressive? Sadat is fondly remembered in Egypt because of the Camp David accords and what they brought to Egypt: peace and the dignity of having a security agreement on the Sinai and the Suez. There is absolutely no evidence that the protests against the Mubarak regime have an expansionist element. Your post is complete conjecture, likely based on snippets of ill informed Western press.
Membership list of the International Emissions Trading Association, the big 'non-profit' lobby pushing for a GHG market:
Yawn @ Chris. My 2 cents: Leave the preaching about justice for elsewhere. We should take what Sherman said to heart: "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it." You really want to get into a debate over "good guys and bad guys" when we're talking about the NIGER DELTA? Any human rights researcher would file a report condemning all parties (HRW has, in fact:, so let's just leave it at that. JR has been documenting the successes of Okah and his org for a long time on this website. It'll be great to read the minutes of their conversation, if they're made public. Cant wait!
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2009 on HENRY OKAH! at Global Guerrillas