The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the situation in Egypt with the military in charge:

Well, I think it [the army] has always been the power in the country. If it gets the demonstrators to go home with a promise of a transition, there will be a return to normalcy and you’ll get police doing the normal un-political functions. I think that can happen — probably will happen.

I think what’s really interesting here is how the army acted. From day one, it was obvious that it would be the arbiter of where this would go. And I think what happened last night was that after that weird speech by Mubarak in which he was hanging on and the crowds were enraged and we all knew the crowds would swell this morning with the prayer day and the emptying of the mosques, it [the military] had a choice.

As I said last night, it was a choice either to fire on the crowds who would have marched on the palace and would have attacked a lot of institutions — if it had done that, it would have lost everything — or, its only other choice was a quiet coup, which it did. You notice it wasn’t Mubarak himself who showed up and resigned. He’s nowhere to be seen. He got a knock on the door this morning. He didn’t wake up this morning and say: I think I changed my mind, I think I made a lousy speech last night. He got a knock on the door and he got an invitation to go on a plane to Sharm el-Sheikh on vacation and he accepted it.

So this is a coup, the army’s in charge.

On President Obama’s speech after Hosni Mubarak’s resignation:

It was an impressive speech about the glories of democracy, dignity, freedom, etc, a speech you wonder why he hadn’t given it in the last two years. He had half a line in the Cairo address about consent — government should probably [have popular] consent and he coupled it saying however, America doesn’t want to impose itself [on other countries]. He dissed the Iraq war and made it clear he was not interested in the Bush freedom agenda …

So this is a speech that is two years late. Where was the speech in the Iranian revolution [of 2009]? Nowhere to be seen. It shows how much the administration changed. It reflects a recognition they were on the wrong path. The only answer in that region ultimately is democratization.

On Director of National Intelligence James Clapper:

Dumbest statement of the week: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who said in congressional hearings that the Muslim Brotherhood is a mostly secular organization which renounced violence. For a secular organization it chose an odd name — [odd, too] for an organization that says a Christian or woman cannot be president of Egypt. He made it sound as if the Brotherhood is sort of the Salvation Army without the militancy.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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