McCotter’s comments come as the Obama administration and many U.S. lawmakers have tried to find a balance between supporting demonstrators seen as battling a repressive regime, versus offering support for a government that has been an important U.S. ally for decades. Egypt is one of two Arab governments that have a peace deal with Israel.
At the same time, both the Obama administration and former President George W. Bush’s office have urged the Mubarak government to offer Democratic reforms.
McCotter warned that no reforms will be brought about if Egypt is radicalized. He also said democratic movements across the region would be co-opted and radicalized, and the free access to the Suez Canal could be cut off.
“Though many will be tempted to superficially interpret the Egyptian demonstrations as an uprising for populist democracy, they must recall how much similar initial views of the 1979 Iranian Revolution were belied by the mullah’s radical jackbooted murderers, who remain bent upon grasping regional hegemony and nuclear weaponry,” McCotter said.
Some observers have worried that that Mubarak’s government could be replaced with an Islamic government if the president falls, but commentators have noted the demonstrations against Mubarak have been mostly secular in nature, and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic group that is Egypt’s dominant minority party, has not played a dominant role in the uprising.
“I stand ready to assist President Obama in the pursuit of a policy that defends our invaluable ally and advances Egyptians' inalienable, peaceful aspirations,” McCotter concluded.
Under the "emergency law" policy which Mubarak has used to govern Egypt outside the rule of law for 30 years, Egyptian security forces have suppressed freedom of expression, arrested and tortured journalists and bloggers, and illegally detained more than 17,000 persons.
Here’s McCotter’s full statement:
“The Egyptian demonstrations are not the equivalent of Iran's 2009 Green Revolution. The Egyptian demonstrations are the reprise of Iran's 1979 radical revolution.
“Thus, America must stand with her ally Egypt to preserve an imperfect government capable of reform; and prevent a tyrannical government capable of harm.
“For if Egypt is radicalized, all of the reforms sought by the Egyptian people and supported by the United States with them - including consensual and constitutional government; free elections; open and unbridled media; and Egyptian control of their natural resources - will be lost. Nascent democratic movements in the region will be co-opted and radicalized. The world's free and open access to the Suez Canal's vital commercial shipping lanes will be choked. And the Sinai Accord between Egypt and Israel - which must be protected as the foundation and principal example for Mideast peace - will be shredded.
“Though many will be tempted to superficially interpret the Egyptian demonstrations as an uprising for populist democracy, they must recall how such similar initial views of the 1979 Iranian Revolution were belied by the mullahs' radical jackbooted murderers, who remain bent upon grasping regional hegemony and nuclear weaponry.
“In this crisis, the American people deserve candor and action from President Obama, and President Hosni Mubarak and General Tantwai.
“This is not a nostalgic 'anti-colonial uprising' from within, of all places, the land of Nassar. Right now, freedom's radicalized enemies are subverting Egypt and our other allies.
“Inexcusably, this crisis has been hastened and exacerbated by the U.S. Administration's refusal to whole-heartedly embrace Iran's truly democratic 2009 Green Revolution. Make no mistake: strategically and cynically, freedom's radicalized enemy is exploiting a real religion to undermine liberty and true reform just as Soviet communism posed as a secular creed to obtain the same illegitimate ends.
“If we fail to meet today's enemy on the same determined, principled terms, we will too late awake in a nightmare world. But, if today's enemy is steadfastly met and bested, liberty and the rule of law will be unleashed for millions throughout the world.
“This is the crisis; such are the stakes; and I stand ready to assist President Obama in the pursuit of a policy that defends our invaluable ally; and advances Egyptians' inalienable, peaceful aspirations.”
This story was updated at 3:02 p.m.