The American response meanwhile, has been to dither as the White House has claimed to support the Democratic movement in Egypt while failing to pull funding from the regime. This despite a large percentage of Americans supporting Egyptians right to self-determination. This clinging to the old power order, represents the sort of cynical policy long-advanced by the likes of Henry Kissinger, and demonstrates, as Noam Chomsky notes not so much a fear of radical Islam, but a fear of independence for Egyptians, as doing so may undermine American hegemony. Indeed, as Chomsky notes, the United States has long backed some of the vilest regimes in region, and particularly those that have advanced Islamic fundamentalism in the region as a means of retaining American control:
A familiar example is Saudi Arabia, the ideological centre of radical Islam (and of Islamic terror). Another in a long list is Zia ul-Haq, the most brutal of Pakistan's dictators and President Reagan's favorite, who carried out a programme of radical Islamisation (with Saudi funding).
"If we can build a wide coalition instead, this would be good," Erian says. "This is our strategy for many reasons: not to frighten others, inside or outside, and also because this is a country destroyed, destroyed by Mubarak and his family – why would the rebuilding task be only for us? It's not our task alone, it's the job of all Egyptians." He adds: "The Muslim Brothers are a special case because we are not seeking power through violent or military means like other Islamic organisations that might be violent. We are a peaceful organisation; we work according to the constitution and the law."