When an American says "Muslim Brotherhood" he or she means politically organized anti-Zionism. The US only cares about one aspect of policy in the Middle East which is groups' and countries' orientations for or against Zionism. The Muslim Brotherhood, and politically mobilized Islam-focused organizations more generally, are for historic reasons the most prominent, effective and influential anti-Zionist organizations in the Middle East.
This week we are seeing, or we have reason to hope we are seeing, an important surrender of US efforts to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from gaining power in Egypt's government. US Senators McCain and Kerry went to Egypt and seem to have come back without any confidence that they had convinced Egypt's military tribunal to delay the elections or to undertake other measures to limit the Muslim Brotherhood. Possibly the Obama administration sees that there is no available policy option that would work to keep the Muslim Brotherhood out of government.
"We are ready for dialogue with the U.S. administration, if it so decides, within a framework of mutual respect," Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said in an e-mailed statement today. "The Muslim Brotherhood hopes that the U.S. administration has revised its previous policies and decided to side with the rights of the people and their demands and to stop supporting the corrupt and tyrannical regimes, backing the Zionist occupation and using double standards."Again the Muslim Brotherhood means more than that single organization. It represents in the US mind organized opposition to Zionism. The US publicly being willing to engage the Muslim Brotherhood is a new small step in the direction of the US asserting its direct interests rather than being guided in the Middle East primarily by Israel's long-term strategic needs.
The U.S. is loosening the criteria for interaction with the Brotherhood, allowing diplomats to deal directly with low-level officials of the organization, Clinton said on June 30 in Budapest. That marks a shift away from a previous policy that restricted U.S. officials to communicating with members of the Brotherhood who also sit in parliament.
I expect to see this process repeated in small and large ways over the next decade or two. The US would love to keep anti-Zionists away from political power in Egypt, but it just has no options that would work. So it can't and admits so publicly.
There is currently a US/Zionist colonial structure that includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and others without which Zionist Israel could not stave off the fate of Apartheid South Africa. Egypt may be leaving that colonial structure now which would leave the US to process the fact that despite its wishes and intentions, it just was not able to hold Egypt under its control.
When it becomes a reality that Iraq, Yemen and later even what we call Saudi Arabia itself just cannot be kept in their current status as US dependencies, the US will adjust to that reality just as it may now be adjusting to the reality that anti-Zionists will have influence in Egypt's government. Eventually it will be a reality that Zionism just is not viable in the Middle East. When that is a reality, the US will, despite its wishes and intentions, adjust to that reality.
Immediately, I am more confident than I was before reading these stories that elections are actually going to happen in September and that political power in Egypt will reflect the values of the median Egyptian in the medium-term. I can't be fully relieved until power has transferred due to an election, but I am even more optimistic than I was last month at this time.
For the long term, I feel like we're seeing the ground that supports Zionism slowly being weathered away. But there will be good days and there will be bad days along that long-term path.