Meet the Press | July 07, 2013
>> tom friedman , you wrote this morning, can e egypt pull together anyone who has followed these politics knows this is a region where extremists tend to go all the way and moderates tend to just go away.
>> yeah, david. i put this in the context of several such surges by moderates over the years. uprising, the revolution in lebanon. they take it, take it, take it, and finally push back. i was in egypt a few weeks ago and that's what i saw happening. the ambassador alluded to it, can you get a national unity government ? if you look across all these arab awakenings, there is one principle that has to be applied -- no victor, no vanquish. anyone who thinks you can rule egypt alone, syria, lebanon, the list is so heavy. they are in such a deep hole that unless they can mobilize their populations together to lift them out of this hole, they're all heading for human development disasters.
>> jeffrey, you wrote morsi was freely elected, that these demonstrators could have exercised their right at the ballot box but they didn't want to wait. ultimately, it was the military that intervened.
>> right. look, the simple truth of the matter is is that this was a -- the events of last week are a victory for progressivism in a kind of way and a defeat for democracy.
>> what do you mean by that? you wrote that.
>> obviously the muslim brotherhood is a totalitarian party fundamentalist party, anti-christian, misogynistic party. let's not kid oufrss about what they are. their removal from power is good in that country for christians and other minorities, but it also reflects a defeat for democracy in the following sense. we know that this is not going to be the last time the military intervenes in this process. and if there had just been some level of patience on the part of liberals, the muslim brotherhood might have imploded on its own accord. now they're put in a position to be martyrs and move more radically and possibly get involved in terrorism like we see in egypt .
>> that's the big question. if you look at the history of the muslim brotherhood , the intellectual fathers coming out of the brotherhood with al qaeda , what does this por tend that democracy is not for them?
>> this is a big challenge. what happens in egypt has an enormous impact on what happens across the region. this big question of whether islam and democracy are compatible. the lessons for some of those who are taking to the streets in support of the muslim brotherhood and the only civilian democratically elected president in egypt 's 5000-year history, is is there a place for them? can they be part of the process ? a coup is a coup is a coup. the military acted in a way that sends a strong signal that if they don't like who's in power then they're going to move in. that's not a good precedent for egypt .
>> look, they took over but they gave power back right away, the ambassador said. that's hardly comfortable for democrats.
>> one of the big lessons here is that free and fair elections, as this was deemed by all outside observers, including the united states , does not mean democracy. what morsi was running was not a democratic system . it was majoritarian, not inclusive. and that was eating away at the core of what we call democracy. it's a lesson we've seen before. we've seen it with hamas in gaza, that elections are one thing, but that does not mean a democratic