Our author, Eric Trager, points out that working with the military (SCAF), and the other democratic coalitions are wise and necessary moves for the Brotherhood:
‘The Brotherhood’s arrangement with the SCAF is not surprising. It is consistent with the organization’s long-held strategy of avoiding confrontation with more powerful authorities by negotiating the extent of its political activities. In fact, Morsi was the Brotherhood’s point man in these negotiations during the last five years of Mubarak’s rule, using the dealings to coordinate the Brotherhood’s participation in parliamentary elections and limited interaction with various protest movements. As a cohesive, 84 year-old society, the Brotherhood typically places organizational goals, such as achieving power incrementally, over broader societal goals, such as ending autocratic rule more immediately. “Our program is a long-term one, not a short-term one,” Morsi told me in August 2010. “If we are rushing things, then I don’t think that this leads to a real stable position.”
The Brotherhood has stuck together for generations, and sometimes against very long odds. They aren’t necessarily friends to the West, and if they manage to manage the game well in Egypt right now, this will likely become a source of conflict with Israel, and also potentially with other U.S. and Western interests in the region.