Do what is necessary

Isn't it interesting that the MB, in an editorial on its English-language website, appeals to the Bush administration to do something about a group of senior members being sent to a military tribunal:

In astonishing step that reflects the ruthless nature of the Egyptian regime; the Military ruler of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, ordered Khayrat el Shater, Second Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a number of its leaders to be tried by a military tribunal!

It is a sad day for freedom and human rights when patriotic civilians who did not commit any crimes are being tried in a military tribunal only because of their political views and for daring to oppose a corrupt government.

It is time now for President Bush to decide either to go with freedom and democracy as a principle claimed by his administration and lectured to the egyptians by Mrs. Rice, his Secretary of state, or to continue supporting despotic regimes by turning a blind eye to their oppressive actions. In either case the consequences are expected to go beyond Egypt leaving ample room for all extremists to reinforce their claims against democratic reformers who renounce violence like MB.
They've been reading the Washington Post too much. Also checked the Arabic site, no similar argument that I can see. (And by the way, when will people stop reporting that the Ikhwan sites have been shut down? It's just not true.)

More seriously, MEMRI / FrontPageMag (my Ziotrolls' favorite publication, as we've established) has a media analysis of the regime vs. the ikhwan that's actually fairly thorough in covering the mainstream media debate, albeit with the usual slant. And this Jerusalem Post writer really, really cares about Egypt:

Egypt's security is Israel's security.

If the Brotherhood does come to power, it might spell disaster for all progressive-minded Egyptians, for Egypt's allies, and for Israel. In spite of the regrettable but inevitable restrictions on human rights that Mubarak's crackdown entails, perhaps the West would be wise to let the Egyptian rais do what is necessary, without undue criticism.

The article is titled "Long live Egypt's 'rais'." Nice to see Israelis care so much about "progressive-minded Egyptians."
Back to the issue of the MB: if Khairat al-Shatir (#3 of the group, alleged key financier) and his pals are sent to a military court, they are going to be convicted. Military courts don't find people not guilty. And we already know from past experience that putting mid-level and senior cadres in jail might be a setback, it won't shut down the organization, which has plenty of able and willing people who can step in.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.