2011: Muslim Brotherhood protestors confront Egyptian state police.
1981: Muslim Brotherhood gunmen assassinate Anwar Sadat.
Is Obama Losing Egypt?
Ominous signs suggest that the Muslim Brotherhood's influence in Egypt is on the rise in the post-Mubarak era. Thirty years after assassinating President Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel, they are emerging as a potent force in post-Mubarak Egypt.
The conservative and liberal elite in this country, including President Obama, assured the American people when the 2011 Egyptian riots began that they represented an historic eruption of democracy.
President Obama's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, actually claimed at a public hearing that the Muslim Brotherhood was primarily a secular group.
Now the New York Times belatedly stumbles on the truth:
"In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.
Can this news come as a surprise to anyone with a speck of common sense? Representative government has a brutally tough road ahead of it in the Middle East. In fact, things are getting arguably tougher, not easier. That ivory tower prognosticators could think otherwise beggars belief.
To make matters worse, it is being reported that the Muslim Brotherhood is working closely with the Egyptian military. Writes the Times:
"As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it."
It would have come as no surprise to anyone who remembers the assassination of Anwar Sadat at a military parade review by an army unit infiltrated by Muslim Brotherhood agents in 1981. They were Islamists then, and they're Islamists now. Again from the Times:
"'There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,' said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. 'It makes sense if you are the military -- you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.'"
Surely President Obama was in possession of this intelligence at the start of the riots. Yet he strove to put himself in front of the mobs metaphorically in a brazen bid to exploit them for political gain.
Now comes the fallout, and Obama's attempt to cover himself in glory may net him only another radioactive political debt.
Incidentally, the Islamists subjected women protesters to virginity tests in Tahrir Square, according to Amnesty International.