William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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AND OBAMA'S NEW BEST FRIEND FOREVER – AT 9:46 A.M. ET:  You know, if we don't get our foreign policy straightened out, all this domestic stuff won't matter.  Obama's new BFF is the president of Egypt.  We're even shipping advanced fighter jets to Egypt, despite the anti-American tone of its new government.

The Washington Post, once again showing that a liberal paper can actually think critically, slams the new Egypt in an editorial, and gives us cause to wonder about Obama's embrace of the "Arab spring" regime.  From the Washington Post:

THE MOST important measure of Egypt’s Islamist government will not be how it manages the economy or even whether it maintains friendly relations with the United States and Israel; it will be whether it preserves the democratic norms that allowed its own rise to power. If Egyptians are able to freely criticize the government’s performance and can eventually vote it out of office if they are dissatisfied, the inevitable mistakes and occasional abuses of President Mohamed Morsi will be correctable.

Mr. Morsi and his Freedom and Justice party, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, insist that they are committed to the democratic system. They say that they will protect press freedom and allow all opposition parties to operate freely. After only a few months in office, however, there are disturbing signs that they may not stick to those promises.

Foremost among them is the increasing pressure being brought to bear on critical journalists. In recent months at least half a dozen prominent editors, writers and cartoonists have been the targets of criminal investigations, many of them launched by a prosecutor appointed by Mr. Morsi following complaints from the president’s office. The charges range from reporting false news to blasphemy; a cartoonist for the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper was accused of the latter after she published a cartoon depicting Adam and Eve.

One of Egypt’s most popular television personalities, Bassem Yousef, became the target of a criminal investigation last month after he displayed a pillow with Mr. Morsi’s image on it. Mr. Yousef, who models himself after American comedian Jon Stewart, was accused of denigrating the head of state.

COMMENT:  When will we learn that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood never reform themselves?  It's like asking to meet reformed Nazis.  They may change their public image to gain advantages, just as the Hitler government in 1936 tried to change its image temporarily when hosting the Olympics.  But the Brotherhood is a radical, bigoted, Islamist organization that has little use for democracy or the rights of women.   We embrace this crowd at our peril, but Obama is currently caught in the embrace. 

Morsi is expected to visit us soon.  Such anticipation.

January 15, 2013