Egypt is looking more like post-1979 Iran every day.
Cairo has issued international arrest warrants for eight Americans—seven of them Coptic Christians from Egypt—who are allegedly involved with the anti-Mohammad video everyone’s rioting over. The prosecutor’s office also issued a warrant for Terry Jones, the Koran-burning nutjob in Florida, just because, and says if convicted the defendants may get the death penalty.
Mahmoud Salem (aka “Sandmonkey”) was interviewed on CNN yesterday. He says the new Muslim Brotherhood government is much more oppressive than the Mubarak regime. That should have been obvious to everyone in advance, though astonishingly it was not. And Mahmoud is hardly a Mubarak apologist. He was one of the most outspoken critics of the ancien régime in the world, and he was arrested and beaten for it.
He also says explicitly that Egypt’s government isn’t an ally and that “if the United States wants to cut the aid [money], please, do it…The majority of the aid goes to the military anyway. We don’t see it.”
Egypt’s threat is most likely an empty one, but don’t be so sure. Anti-Islamic blasphemers in the West have been hunted or even killed a number of times. Salman Rushdie and Theo Van Gogh are just the most famous cases. Just yesterday Iran upped the bounty on Rushdie’s head to 3.3 million dollars.
Either way, how long is the United States going to pretend that Egypt is still friendly? The government just threatened individual American citizens by name with arrest and execution. Will the Muslim Brotherhood regime have to take hostile action against American citizens before something changes?
Perhaps. But even Barack Obama has figured out that Egypt is no longer an ally. He said so on television. He’s having a hard time standing by that statement because he’s Obama, but he knows. He knows. We’re bound to break off with Cairo at some point whether we like it or not.