The Corner

In Egypt, It’s Not About “Hillary Clinton’s Age” But the Age of Hillary Clinton

Ramesh, I don’t know about “Hillary Clinton’s Age.” But I do know, when I look at what’s happening in Egypt, that we are living in the Age of Hillary Clinton.

As I observed in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy:

Transnational progressives may not seem particularly impressed by the democratic value of self-determination when, say, the state of Texas upholds its death penalty provisions against the caterwauling of human rights activists. In those instances, we are lectured about the need to yield to enlightened international consensus. But when self-determination involves a country’s choosing to be run by Islamic supremacists, then the Tranzies become champions of popular sovereignty: Islamic supremacists it must be. Indeed, after the Muslim Brotherhood began winning elections in Egypt, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decreed that it was “imperative” for the armed forces to “turn power over to the legitimate winner.”

I elaborated on Mrs. Clinton’s pronouncement in a Corner post a little over a year ago, citing to what Madame Secretary was telling the Arabic press (al-Ahram reporting) and tying it into the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood implementation of Erdogan’s strategy in Turkey: gradually impose sharia by exploiting Western progressives’ hostility to military governance – which is the only kind of governance in which Western liberalism has a chance to take root in a majority Islamic-supremacist society: 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is doing her part to help the Muslim Brotherhood implement the Turkey Strategy in Egypt. As I’ve pointed out before, if you want to see what’s going to happen in Egypt, look at Turkey, where the military was Atatürk’s bulwark against what would otherwise be the certainty that Islamists would overwhelm the pro-Western civil society the Kemalists labored against Islamic norms to build. (Caroline Glick makes a similar argument in a characteristically sharp post.)

It has taken Turkey’s Islamic supremacist prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a decade of meticulous, determined gradualism to return Turkey to the Islamist camp. Things will go downhill much faster in Egypt, especially with the U.S. government suicidally siding with the America-hating Brotherhood. In Egypt, they have not had a nine-decade secularization project and the military, far from being committed to Western democracy, has always been rife with Islamic supremacists — several of whom went on to iconic careers in al-Qaeda and other jihadist organizations (after getting their start, of course, in the Muslim Brotherhood).

Here’s what Mrs. Clinton is telling the Arabic press

Egyptian military authorities must cede power to the winner of the country’s first post-Mubarak presidential elections, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted Wednesday.

“We think that it is imperative that the military fulfill its promise to the Egyptian people to turn power over to the legitimate winner,” Clinton said in a discussion hosted at the State Department.

Some of the actions by the military leadership in past days were “clearly troubling,” Clinton said, sitting with former secretary of state James Baker at the event to support the creation of the first US museum for diplomacy. ”The military has to assume an appropriate role which is not to interfere with, dominate or try to subvert the constitutional authority,” she warned.

That’s the Turkey strategy in small compass. Erdogan exploited the bleating of American and European progressives to weaken Turkey’s pro-Western military — transferring control to the Islamist civilian government he controls, and installing Islamists loyal to him in place of the Kemalist military officers he has sacked. Interestingly, Mrs. Clinton does not have much to say about “subvert[ing] the constitutional authority” when Erdogan — who Obama hails as his closest regional ally — jails political opponents, military officers, and journalists.

The secretary of state paid lip-service to the need for the Brotherhood’s New Egypt to support “an inclusive democratic process, the rights of all Egyptians, women and men, Muslims and Christians, everyone has to be respected.” I’m sure Coptic Christians are very impressed, as are the smattering of authentic democrats whom the administration helped the Brotherhood steamroll.

A real opportunity here for Mitt Romney — but is he listening so much to the Brotherhood-friendly counsel of the GOP’s McCain wing that he’ll blow it?

Alas, we have the answer to that last question now. Republican foreign policy resides comfortably in the Age of Hillary Clinton, too.

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