Meme Go Flippity-Flop

From, “Bill Kristol: Military May Be Preferable to Muslim Brotherhood Rule in Egypt”:

I think they prefer the military to rule [than] the Muslim Brotherhood ruling–I think an awful lot of people in the region prefer that. An awful lot of the Arab governments prefer it. And it’s not clear to me that we shouldn’t prefer it.

Most of my friends in the foreign policy world are for cutting off aid, [but] I’m much more uncertain at this point. This is a trigger [we] can only pull once–[we] can only cut off the aid once…and what better thing is going to happen in Egypt or in the region if tomorrow morning [President Obama] got on TV and said “we’re cutting off the aid”?

Apparently Bill Kristol has “evolved” on Egypt. Here’s what Kristol had to say in early 2011:

Now, people are more than entitled to their own opinions of how best to accomplish [a] democratic end [in Egypt]. And it’s a sign of health that a political and intellectual movement does not respond to a complicated set of developments with one voice.

But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.

Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. Rather, it’s a sign of fearfulness unworthy of Americans, of short-sightedness uncharacteristic of conservatives, of excuse-making for thuggery unworthy of the American conservative tradition.

Now why do you suppose that many Egyptians, and some Middle Eastern states, might prefer military rule in Egypt? Might it have something to do with exactly the sort of Islamist ambitions on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood that you ascribed to Glenn Beck’s paranoia a mere 2-1/2 years ago?

In related news, 80% of Egyptians polled (prior to Morsi’s ouster) said that the country had been better off under Mubarak.


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