The Muslim Brotherhood has enthusiastically accepted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s offer of official contacts with the Obama administration (about which I posted yesterday). Brotherhood spokesman Mohammed Ghozlan told the AP that the Islamist organization “welcome[s] dialogue with America to remove any misunderstandings and bridge gaps.” There should be no misunderstandings at this point — the Brotherhood has made clear that its goal is to destroy Israel and the West. And the gap has already been bridged: the Obama administration has decided that there’s no reason the Brotherhood’s goal should disqualify the organization from having a productive relationship with our government.
Secretary Clinton’s overture is having the predictable effect. Formal talks with the U.S. will cement the Brotherhood’s status as the power player in Egypt, signaling the public that there is no reason for concern about a negative American reaction to the Brothers’ ascendancy and thus increasing the likelihood that they will “take over power,” as Egyptian analyst Ammar Ali Hassan put it. It may not be change you can believe in, but it’s change you can take to the bank.