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Talking with the Muslim Brotherhood

12:21 PM, Jul 15, 2011 • By LEE SMITH
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Recently the Obama administration confirmed that it intends to resume official contact with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Middle East's first, and foremost, Islamist organization. A few days ago, Michael Totten sat down with Brotherhood official Esam El-Erian in Cairo for a long interview. Totten tries to wrestle the conversation back into the realm of reason, but that's obviously not where Erian wants to go.

Muslim Brotherhood

"You said that Qaddafi is our man because we restored relations with Libya," says Totten "Is that all it takes for a dictator to be ‘our man’? That we have diplomatic relations?"

Erian answers: "Sir. Who protected Qaddafi’s military coup d’etat? Who protected him? You had all this military power. You could have stopped him." That's right, Qaddafi was America's "man" as far back as 1969 simply because we didn't intervene.

If this is the kind of paranoid potted history that passes for serious political critique among the Brotherhood's cadres, good luck to the White House's policy of engagement. "I hope they yell at Obama's people the way Erian yelled at me," Totten wrote in an email. Bet on it.

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