On Friday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer predicted that if the Mohamed Morsi regime and the Muslim Brotherhood chose the route of going to war by creating its own military and fighting Egyptian forces instead of seeking a peaceful solution, the Muslim Brotherhood will lose.
“[The Muslim Brotherhood] is obviously the largest, the most organized and disciplined of all the elements, all the parties in Egypt,” Krauthammer said. “However, it is not a majority. It isn’t even close to a majority. And what was so remarkable about the demonstrations that led to the overthrow of the government and about the people standing behind the chief of staff when he announced the coup, where you had representatives of the Christians, of the largest and most respected Sunni Muslim mosque and university, where you had even a representative of a far more radical Islamist movement, a newer party. So you had all the elements of society lined up against the Brotherhood, each with their own grievances. So, if the Brotherhood decides that it’s going to turn to violence, it’s going to lose because you have a wall-to-wall coalition against it.”
“The irony here is that the two most disciplined institutions in the country are the ones who will decide where this goes,” Krauthammer continued. “The army has discipline, and the Brotherhood. And that’s why I think up until now the violence has been relatively restrained. The Brotherhood leadership, I think, understands that if it does an Algeria and decides it’s going to go and make war on the army, it’s going to lose and it will lose badly and be imprisoned and disperse or go back to the 1950s. If there is an outbreak, it’s going to come from a fringe of a fringe who are not under the discipline of the party. And that, I think, is possible. But that would be radical sort of al Qaida types who want to make this into a bloodbath. And they, if there are enough of them, it could actually provoke a bloodbath.”
Krauthammer’s co-panelist Charles Lane, editorial writer for The Washington Post, pointed out that under law the United States must suspend aid to Egypt, since its democratically-elected government was overthrown by a “coup.”
But that was irrelevant according to Krauthammer, who suggested the United States would have little say in the resolution of the Egyptian turmoil. He also said the argument within the U.S. government should be about what’s in the best interest of the United States and not legalese.
“They don’t have a deadline. It’s up to the events themselves,” Krauthammer said. “The Brotherhood has, you know, a few days or a week in which it can either reverse the revolution or decide it has to go either underground or an open opposition, but peacefully. And that will determine events. Nothing of the future of this revolution is going to depend on what happens in Washington. And I think [in] this argument, the word ‘coup’ is an example of how we are infected by legalism. The policy of the United States ought to be set by our national interests and not lawyers in the State Department.”