Egypt: The Dark Side Of The Loons [Updated Below]
Some thoughts and such on the situation in the Land Of De Nile…
-Some of the best analysis of the situation in Egypt is coming from Stacy McCain. He has published three postings along with many updates on the evolving situation.
In his first post, he made this spot-on point and turned to, perhaps, the man with the best wisdom on the nature of revolutions:
Of course, we cannot automatically congratulate ourselves about what wonders “democracy” would bring to Egypt, as this revolutionary moment might lead to the empowerment of Islamist radicals. Mubarak is authoritarian, but I don’t know that the average Egyptian in 2011 is any more enlightened than the average Frenchman in 1789.
“The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints.”
– Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
I would submit that the average Egyptian is far less enlightened, even though Egypt has enjoyed [and I mean that word it’s most positive sense] the benefits of Western influence to a much greater extent than most of the Islamic nations of the World. Islam does not encourage creative thinking — in fact, it heavily frowns on it because imaginative reasoning breeds a belief in thinking for oneself and questioning existing norms. The Fascist regime in power certainly does not want the people it is trying to keep in chains from gaining enough knowledge to demand the removal of said manacles.
-This is certainly not a black hat/White hat situation – both sides are evil to some degree. There is no likely positive outcome for The West, only the lesser of evils. I say this because it is obvious that we have lacked the resolve to do what is right there for decades and I see no sign that most in The Western Nations understand what needs to be done – even on the Right.
-All of the evidence we have shows that the Muslim Brotherhood is the main group behind this insurrection. The intrepid Caroline Glick offers a succinct, bang-on primer for us on this scandelously-underreported organization [emphasis mine]:
…This group, which forms the largest and best organized opposition movement to the Mubarak regime is the progenitor of Hamas and al Qaida. It seeks Egypt’s transformation into an Islamic regime that will stand at the forefront of the global jihad. In recent years, the Muslim Brotherhood has been increasingly drawn into the Iranian nexus along with Hamas. Muslim Brotherhood attorneys represented Hizbullah terrorists arrested in Egypt in 2009 for plotting to conduct spectacular attacks aimed at destroying the regime.
-The only important question is: what is the outcome that will benefit The United States and it’s security. It should be noted that making this statement does not ignore the concern about protecting Israel. Whatever is best for us in this case, is best for Israel, thankfully. At least it seems that way, although Stacy does make this interesting point:
Israel reportedly is worried about “regime change” in Egypt, and I think rightly so. Yet what is better for Israel: A corrupt authoritarian regime in Egypt constantly struggling to suppress an outlaw terrorist subculture or that terrorist subculture seizing power in Egypt and declaring itself an open enemy of Israel? I trust if the latter scenario were to play out, the Israeli military would prove itself abundantly capable of meeting any attack that an Islamist Egyptian regime might make. So having the Egyptian radicals seize power might actually make matters simpler for Israel, militarily and diplomatically.
That brings to mind Chesty Puller’s famous statement that I have used to describe the attitude we Wolverines should adopt: ‘We’re surrounded; that simplifies the situation’.
-Many on the Left, as will not surprise you, are cheering the insurrectionists on, but so are some on the Right. In another posting Stacy makes this point:
…the question isn’t merely who is wielding batons, but against whom the batons are being wielded.
The Left supports revolution for the sake of revolution. After all, one of the cornerstones of their philosophy is that, before their schemes can be implemented, every cornerstone must be torn down. One expects more adult thinking from those on the Right. However, so infected have all of us become with the virus that is Leftist thinking, so deeply has it been absorbed, we Americans reflexively support any overthrow of tyrannical regimes. There’s a reason conservatives value the ancient wisdom, ‘be careful what you wish for…’: a conservative, by definition is someone who is very, very wary of sudden, dramatic change — let alone change accompanied by violence. Revolution, in and of itself, is a bad thing because it always involves tearing down and destruction. Take a deep breath.
-However this plays out, I think it safe to bet that The Administration will do the wrong thing. While I do not believe that Obama is a Muslim, I have no doubt that, as a committed Leftist, he is very sympathetic to the aspirations of the Mohammedins. As people like David Horowitz and others have pointed out for years: the Left and Islam have a lot in common in their thinking and methods [see: Big Lie, The]. But Obama has a problem, as David Graham* points out:
Despite the fact that he personally applauds what [the Muslim Brotherhood] is doing — and any mohammedans — he also doesn’t want to lose power to them and doesn’t know how to prevent that, just as he doesn’t know how to do anything else except loot, live high and squander. [The Muslim Brotherhood] is on to him, they’re forcing him where he doesn’t want to go (subservience to them), they have read his profile and figure they can roll over him. They’re right.
Indeed, Barack The Unready may not even understand that he’s being grifted — those who are convinced that they possess superior intelligence [and have had that notion reinforced by their friends are always easy marks. I share Stacy McCain’s pessimism:
…Even in a situation like this — where the U.S. seems confronted by a choice between “bad” and “worse” — my hunch is that whatever Obama does will turn out to be disastrous.
-If the Muslim Brotherhood or any other Jihadists take power in Egypt, we and Israel face a significantly enhanced military threat from the Mohammedins, as Mrs. Glick points out:
And of course, giving up the Sinai wasn’t the only sacrifice Israel made for that nearly defunct document. Israel also gave up its regional monopoly on US military platforms. Israel agreed that in exchange for signing the deal, the US would begin providing massive military aid to Egypt. Indeed, it agreed to link US aid to Israel with US aid to Egypt.
Owing to that US aid, the Egyptian military today makes the military Israel barely defeated in 1973 look like a gang of cavemen. Egypt has nearly 300 F-16s. Its main battle tank is the M1A1 which it produces in Egypt. Its navy is largest in the region. Its army is twice the size of the IDF. Its air defense force constitutes a massive threat to the IAF. And of course, the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons it has purchased from the likes of North Korea and China give it a significant stand-off mass destruction capability.
Here we have the unintended consequences of the horrible agreement Jimmy Carter brokered [and which I thought a good thing until only recently]. The majority of us praised this act of naiveté, we gave peace a chance. Live and learn — if we survive.
-There are two ‘positive’ things to remember if the MB triumphs, as David points out:
I wish the MB well in Egypt and elsewhere, even here, because, as the reports coming back from Iraq and AFPAK have long observed, once these bad actors — who BTW are not good fighters (the Arabs, Afghans are pretty good fighters but only at ambushes and against irresolution) — put up their heads, they get them blown off. I’m glad MB has decided now is the time to roll. It puts them in the open — see how the media, who doesn’t want to mention them for all the reasons you well know — is having to talk about them, describe them. That’s good, blows the cover off the media as well. And shows [the White House] and State Dept. caught by surprise, slackers, buffoons. Once MB are in the open, they are easy targets and get shot.
Perhaps, finally, the Western World will wake-up from it’s peacful, self-imposed oblivious slumber and see the true nature of Islam, that it’s goal is to utterly destroy us. Perhaps, finally, we will come to understand just how ill-suited and empty-suited Leftism is in practice in the Real World. Perhaps…before it is too late.
Luckily, as David points out, the Arabs are bad fighters in modern warfare…hey, that’s something.
-The Lonely Conservative has a good posting up on how the Iranians [surprise] are cheering on the insurrectionists and on the possible implications of the situation in the on-fire Middle East on our gas prices. Oh joy [and, hey, our food prices are rising, too].
-I can Feel The Fear In The Western World.
UPDATE at 1649…
Don’t forget how well entrenched the Muslim Brotherhood is here in the United States. They are the major source of power behind CAIR.
You’re right to question how freedom will be put to use by those fighting in the streets for it right now. When I first began visiting Egypt in 1986, I would have been hopeful that the average Egyptian, given liberty, would have looked to America as a model. In the last decade and a half though, Egypt has taken a dramatic turn toward repressive Islam, as evidenced by violence against Copts and open harassment of women who do not choose to veil themselves. I fear that liberty now, will be seen as an opportunity to impose an even more repressive regime upon Egyptians than that under which they have been suffering. For a glimpse of the future, they need only look to Iran.
It’s true that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt publicly relinquished its goal of instituting an Islamic state, but one needs only read Qutb’s “Milestones” to know that goals and doctrine are to be revealed in stages. We are most likely about to witness the emergence of a new stage of Muslim Brotherhood aspirations, wherein, having judged the time to be appropriate, they will make their move to take control.
It’s worth noticing also that, while al Qaeda has always considered Shia to be apostates, the Brotherhood has tried in the past to minimize the Sunni/Shia differences. They believe that they will be overcome in a truly Islamic state.
Since neither the Shia in Iran nor the Muslim Brotherhood (nor al Qaeda, for that matter) have ever managed to develop a truly workable method of * governance, though, it’s unlikely they’ll be proven right in that regard.
*No, I don’t consider the mess in Iran to be a workable method of governance.
Thank you, Steven.
UPDATE at 2351…
-Stacy has up another posting on the events in The Land Of The Pharaohs. Many of the Neo-Cons are optimistic. I share Stace’s disquiet and worry:
Donald Douglas is clearly in the neocon optimist camp and cites a Wall Street Journal editorial that I’m not sure makes his point:
Our stake in Egypt is not in any one ruler but in a transition from dictatorship to a more stable representative government that can better meet the aspirations of Egyptians.
See, my concern is that the “aspirations of Egyptians” might include such agenda items as “Death to the Zionist entity!” and “Down with the Great Satan!” Perhaps I remember 1979 too well.
I remember it very well — the phrase ‘seared into my memory’ comes to mind.
-If you need a break from following this story and you’re a gentleman, Dame Maggie has some Egyptian gals featured in her Rule 5 entry this week over at Maggie’s Notebook. I know many of you will join me in volunteering to personally see that they are.
UPDATED on 30JAN2011 at 1809…
-Stacy McCain has published another good aggregation posting along with his usual bang-on analysis. A highlight:
…We know that the Left’s guiding principle in foreign policy is to support our enemies and attack our allies, so perhaps Mubarak could save himself by striking a pose of anti-Americanism, maybe buddying up to Hugo Chavez or blaming the protests in Cairo on the Mossad and the CIA.
Hey, it’s worked for others. Why not? Barry won’t mind since he does it himself.
-Over at Pajamasmedia, Michael Ledeen pulls no punches:
And that’s the final similarity with 1979: the wrong American in the wrong job at a crucial time. Let’s hope that the Almighty truly does protect the blind, the drunk, and the United States of America.
It’s even better to be lucky than to be smart.
Luck be a Nancy-Boy tonight.
* David and I have been privately
corresponding on this situation and he
has been kind enough to allow me to
quote from his missives.