As a diverse, well-representative, pro-democracy movement representing unfolds in autocratic Egypt, few politicians in the U.S. have stood firmly to call for an end to the current regime controlled by Hosni Mubarak and his political party. Worse, a growing chorus of Republicans have voiced sympathy for the current autocratic government and are on the record opposed to a democratic transition in Egypt.
The Mubarak regime has maintained a grip over Egypt for 30 years using torture, child labor, censorship, violent political repression, and other brutal violations of human rights. Most recently, reports indicate that agents of Mubarak’s government have attacked journalists, killed 300 protesters, and are currently detaining and beating other people caught demonstrating against Mubarak.
Yesterday, at a Tea Party Express event at the Press Club, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) took questions from reporters. ThinkProgress asked Hatch about Glenn Beck’s latest absurd conspiracy theory that radical right-wing Muslim groups in Egypt are conspiring with left-wing progressives in America to create a “global caliphate.” Hatch dismissed the idea, telling us that he “hope[s] that’s not true.” However, he then told us that he has a personal relationship with Egypt’s autocratic leader, and that he “feel[s] sad that” Mubarak is “going through this”:
FANG: There’s been a theory that’s been out in Fox News and other places that the turmoil in Egypt has been planned by Islamists who are planning a global caliphate with Marxists in America and Western Europe. What do you think about that?
HATCH: We hope that’s not true. I know President Mubarak personally, he’s been a friend of America. I feel sad that he’s going through this. On the other hand, from what I see so far, the Muslim Brotherhood is not asking to be in the leadership in that country and they seem to be coming together under Suleiman and we’ll just have to see. We’re worried about it. And we should be worried about it because if the radical takes over, Egypt has been one of our best allies. It has helped maintain stability and peace in the Middle East. Mubarak deserves a lot of the credit for that. I’m not going to second guess the president or the current foreign policy establishment, but it does appear he can be a placeholder for the current position, but they’re going to move him out. That’s sad for America. I just the hope that the people who do take over keep relationship with America and maintain peace in the Middle East.
In our interview, Hatch ignored the Egyptian people being crushed under Mubarak’s boot and instead expressed remorse that Mubarak’s rule may have to end soon. However, Hatch did accurately repudiate fears that the Muslim Brotherhood will takeover Egypt. The Associated Press again confirmed today that the Muslim Brotherhood will not seek a leadership role in a post-Mubarak government.