As we have been commenting for the past several days, “ace” BBC correspondent Jeremy Bowen has been going out of his way to allay any fears the British public may have concerning the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood should Mubarak fall in Egypt. The question is – WHY would Bowen (and his employer) seek to convey this impression? Well, here is one suggestion..
“The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main reasons why official Israel seems to support Mubarak so keenly. It is considered the most popular political movement in Egypt, and its position regarding the peace treaty with Israel is clear: They want it revoked immediately. “Democracy is something beautiful,” said Eli Shaked, who was Israel’s ambassador to Cairo from 2003 to 2005 “Nevertheless, it is very much in the interests of Israel, the United States and Europe that Mubarak remains in power.”
“If regime change occurs in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood would take the helm, and that would have incalculable consequences for the region,” says Shaked. What Israel fears more than a — somewhat unlikely — armed conflict with Egypt is an alliance between an Islamist regime in Cairo and Hamas, which considers itself an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. An Egyptian regime that opened the border with Gaza for arms deliveries would pose a serious danger to Israel. Shaked considers the West’s demands for more openness and democracy in Egypt to be a fatal mistake. “It is an illusion to believe that the dictator Mubarak could be replaced by a democracy,” he says. “Egypt is still not capable of democracy,” he adds, pointing out that the illiteracy rate is over 20 percent, to give just one example. The Muslim Brotherhood is the only real alternative, he opines, which would have devastating consequences for the West. “They will not change their anti-Western attitude when they come to power. That has not happened (with Islamist movements) anywhere: neither in Sudan, Iran nor Afghanistan.”
Israel’s threat is Al Bowen’s opportunity? Surely not….
Surely no one wants another iran? Maybe the best we in the West could hope for is that there is a protracted and bloody war between muslim countries; much like the iran-iraq war? maybe win-win for everyone?
John, your point is one I made in my opposition to the Iraq war of 2003. Saddam might have been a nutter, but he was great for keeping Iran under control.
Now Iran hasn’t got Iraq to worry about and Barry is too busy on his ‘Muslim outreach’ crap, the Iranians can develop their nukes safe in the knowledge that only Israel can stop them and as each day passes that looks less and less likely.
Stuxnet (next generation) and a couple Israeli bombing runs (which we know Iran can’t stop any better than Syria did) will hopefully deal with Iran’s nuclear blood lust. Thankfully the people in charge of that stuff don’t take orders from The Obamessiah.
One of professors at uni and now National Security Advisor to the Israeli Government, Uzi Arad, was asked this question in class. His reply was that Iran had learnt well from Iraq’s mistakes and that Israel could take out 5 of the 40 ‘known’ sites it would need to.
Well, sort of, john. I see what you mean, but actually I can’t think a Muslim Brotherhood/El-Baradei Egypt woudl attack any Muslim country. There’s nobody interesting near them in that category. Unless they go after Hamas, which would be really, really funny, just to watch a few Beeboids scrape themselves off the ceiling.
Instead, I’d say that another failed Mad Mullah state would be a win-win for everyone. I realize that sounds horribly calllous like I’m accepting a few more years of Egyptians being oppressed and not having the freedoms we’re told they want today. But history hasn’t made so naive as to dismiss that though.
Looks like Jeremy Bowen lacks strategic foresight.
From an Israeli perspective, one of the most striking elements of the evolving revolution in Egypt, Tunisia and other parts of the Arab world is the degree to which all of this is not about Israel.
For the tens of thousands of protesters who took to Egypt’s streets over the weekend, defying the curfew and calling for the departure of President Hosni Mubarak, Israel and the Palestinians were simply not on the agenda.
Israeli concerns regarding Egypt relate to several issues but focus on the long-term strategic effect Mubarak’s downfall would have on the country and the Muslim Brotherhood’s potential to take over the country. The Brotherhood has said that one of the first things it would do would be to rip up the peace treaty.
Has Bowens thought about this?
I’m sure he has. He’s keeping his fingers crossed it happens.
There’s plenty blaming Israel, the USA and the West for the unfolding chaos in Egypt – just have a look at some of the comments in the Daily Telegraph over the past couple of days. I used to there (the DT) for some respite, but now its infested with leftists.
What I want to know is why the egomniacal and no doubt overpaid Bowen failed to report ONCE from Tunisia in the 23 years of the oppressive, corrupt, torturing Ben Ali government.
Well Bowen, why not? Where were you and all your mediocre colleagues? Bashing Israel, of course.
Likewise when did the BBC ever comment on the nastiness of the Mubarek regime? 30+ years in dictatorial power in Egypt but the BBC were only interested in attacking Israel.
It’s vitally important to remember that the BBC censored all mention of Egypt’s border with Gaza – and complicity in the horrible blockade – until last year. They always referred to the “Israeli blockade” until they were finally busted on it by someone, or some other reason. Editorial policy clearly changed at some point in the last year. Lots of comments on this site discussing it in the past.
I really can’t remember but what was the BBC’s position on Saddam before the Gulf War ?
Once he became anti-USA he was a bit of a poster boy for them.
Israel is a first world country which no matter what lies a journalist writes about it has never done anything more than withdraw press passes. In two hours or less a Jerusalem based journalist can don flack jacket and helmet and report on Egypt, Jordan, the Territories and Gaza and be back to hot water, alcohol, technology and sex partners.
Who in their right mind would work from Tunisia?
A real journalist, you say? Please this is the BBC.
One thing that seems to come across about the BBC’s coverage of both Egypt and Tunisia is that they endorse it. There has been no hint of what could be in place after the dust settles and certainly no mention of the words Islamic extremist. Muslim Brotherhood or Wahhabism. They seem to live in a parallel universe where all these Arab and Muslim countries embrace democracy and live in peace with the West. I for one would love it if this was remotely possible but history so far says it’s not very likely at all. As for Israel, It seems that they long for its destruction.
There has been, apparently, a take-over of British Broadcasting Corporation News by Egyptian Broadcasting Corporation News, which is currently being sponsored by the BBC’s political associate, The Muslim Brotherhood.
”Jihadwatch’ headline on Egypt:
“Muslim Brotherhood, ElBaradei in talks to form post-Mubarak govt in Egypt”
Islam Not BBC (INBBC) misses the point, and headlines El Baradei, and NOT the Muslim Brotherhood:
“Egypt protests: ElBaradei tells crowd ‘change coming'”
Between them, INBBC’s massive influx of staff in Egypt, inc J.Muir, J. Bowen, Y. Knell, J. Simpson, W. Davies, etc., etc, can only manage a brief mention of the Muslim Brotherhood, three-quarters down the page.
For INBBC staff in Egypt, apparently seeing the Muslim Brotherhood as some utopian socialists, rather like themselves, here is a little more necessary reading:
“The Muslim Brotherhood is the Enemy”
(by Frank Gaffney)
The Muslim Brotherhood and El Baradei. Sounds like an Egyptian nuclear weapons programme in the offing. They’re going to have to make those tunnels to Gaza a wee bit bigger ..
I watched the News today for the first time since the events in Egypt kicked off. Sky/ITV gave what I would expect from a news organisation. The bBC however spent a lot of time and effort not only taking sides with the protesters (had to be seen) but also appeared to take a very negative view of the UK government. After interviewing Hague, they then interviewed people who were complaining about hearing nothing from the Government. They had a woman on who having finished a cruise of the Nile was waiting in her Hotel 3 miles from the airport bitching that the government isn’t doing enough and she hadn’t heard from them. Then she let drop that her flight is on Wednesday and that the roadblocks on the streets (which prevented her going shopping for gfts) were local residents protecting their turf. Then they had a British expat who lives in Egypt who missed her flight out to Dubai saying this was now her country and here she will stay and that actually she feels safer at home than at the airport. The bBC trout in the red dress wasn’t happy at that answer and kept asking questions if the Government had done enough, was she scared and what would she like the government (British) to do. The same questions were asked to the first woman (Angela) All i got was the bBC was trying to whip up a negative view of the British government.
But I have to admit one bit did draw a smile from my face, when two fighter jets flew over Cairo, the bBC were quick to point out those jets, Yet for some strange reason the same News agency which reports whenever an Israel F16 flies over Gaza (Which is why to the left the F16 is evil incarnate) couldn’t recognise that the jets in queestion were…F16s..
Don’t you just love the world renowned bBC defense and security experts who know SFA about the subjects they are meant to be experts on.
As I have said before, BBC defence correspondent, Caroline Wyatt, formerly Paris correspondent. One thing the BBC can never be accused of – professionalism.
Oh dear, I’ve found a video report sorry did I say report I meant a pile of crap from the bBCs Abu Bowen. In this report he talks abouyt a dozen big old tanks which he thinks are from the Vietnam era. Err no Abu those are M60A3 as purchased by Egypt from the US in 1981. The M60 never went to Vietnam, oh a couple of unarmed variants did but the US stuck with the M48 during the Vietnam war, he then parrots on about those two jets flying over (F16s) which he presumes are…F15. No Abu the only air-forces int he region which use the F15 are..Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Now before anybody points out Abu isn’t a defense expert. I know but he should know better as he wrote a crap book on the six day war where he claims that the IS 3M tanks as used by Eygpt were of WW2 vintage and not as modern as Israels Centurions. Where actually the Cent was older than the IS3M. The prat even left out how the one tank the iDF was really worried about was..the IS3M. But not to worry as when the Israelis went through Gaza they came across over 60 IS3M tanks with their engines running but the crews having run away. In Bowens book he writes that the Arabs fought like tigers. Yeah paper Tigers.
What an excellent post. Facts before Beeboids — pearls before swine.
Don’t the Egyptians in fact make those themselves under license? Or is it just the A1M1? Too late and too many Bear Republic Racer 5 IPAs to bother looking it up myself. Sorry.
“Don’t the Egyptians in fact make those themselves under license? Or is it just the A1M1? “
Yes the Egyptians make and made the MIA1 but they aren’t fully made in Egypt but rather put together in kit form(minus the DU Armour as fitted on US tanks) However the M1A! is old hat and thus all the tanks have getting upgraded to M1A2 status. There is talk of upgrading the fleet further to take into account the TUSK upgrades as found in all US tanks in Iraq. They did issue a request last year in which to be able to build more and sell them on, but i think that request was refused. (Actually haven’t heard any more on the story) In light of your question and the aftereffects of a few beers you may like this I knocked up yesterday.
Thanks for that, pounce. Very sobering indeed.
Good with wine though.
That’s what happens when Bowen doesn’t consult the BBC’s Defence Correspondent, Caroline Wyatt.
The BBC is incredible. It doesn’t matter what they do , they always get it wrong !
Egyptian protesters prayed Saturday in front of a military vehicles in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on Saturday.
This picture in the link
says it all.
So all talk of democratic reformers bringing about freedom etc has turned out as predicted by skeptics, to be BS of the first water. Oh yes democracy but democracy to bring sharia as wished for by 70 to 80% of Egyptians. If one takes out 10% of Copts, this figure increases 80-90% for Sharia.
Its Carter and Iran all over again.
One good thing about skeptics – we are usually right.
Interesting how neat and orderly are the lines of Muslims in prayer. Also interesting is the fact that they are outnumbered by those not praying.
Hopefully, despite “God” on ther side, the Muslim Brotherhood will not prevail here. However, having said that there is no guarantee a secular government will be any better.
I’m speaking as if Mubarak is already toast. Perhaps that is a bit premature.
“Its Carter and Iran all over again. ”
Absolutely, and I’m making that very point on the Telegraph blog pages, but the anti-US/Israel comments on there from the Islamo supporters are right off the chart.
We have bad times ahead, and can rely on the BBC to spin it the worst way possible.
BBC live news from Egypt:
1107: Professor Rosemary Hollis of City University, London tells the BBC that the Muslim Brotherhood are not “extremist Islamists”. “In a way it has suited Mubarak to try and paint to the US the idea that other than him you only have Muslim extremists. It’s not true. There’s a broad spectrum of opposition to the continuation of his rule.”
I’ve heard quite a few people saying that, including some of the protesters who’ve been interviewed. They say they regard the Muslim Brotherhood as ‘unifying,’ and that Mubarek has exaggerated their extremism as a scare tactic to stay in office.
I notice that many people, including talking heads on the BBC, are talking as though Tunisia is the role model they should aspire to as if toppling a dictatorship is the goal, period. They all gloss over Rachid Ghannouchi’s comeback, or whatever is about to happen next.
Sky is just as bad as the BBC.
The BBC keeps telling me women are equal parts of these protests, and saying that there’s a cross-representation of all walks of life, etc. Yet the only women I’ve seen today are either wearing the hijab or the full-on body bag and veil. This is not a good sign for either the BBC’s honesty or the actual desires of the protesters.
Last Friday when this all kicked off, the only actualy Egyptians the BBC allowed on air said that this was not a religious movement, and that nobody was chanting religious slogans. Yet footage from everywhere else (even their own, occasionally), shows otherwise.
Egypt has become far, far more fundamentalist in the last thirty years, yet the BBC keeps pretending these protesters are mainly Thoroughly Modern Muslims.