Sunday, August 18, 2013

Egypt's Lesson: Being Elected Doesn't Make Extremists Safer !

Egypt's army decided to strike now before the Muslim Brotherhood became too strong. I suspect they recognized that the longer they waited to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood encampments the better prepared the MB would be to resist. And they have resisted, and are still doing so. Several score policemen are dead among the 700 hundred of protestors in Cairo and around the country. So are hundreds of mostly innocent Copts, who have no recourse but to be on the wrong side of the Brotherhood's murderous intolerance. Indeed, spending energy and resources to kill Coptic civilians and burn down their churches while Muslim police are bearing down on you with shotguns furnishes about the best example there can be of how the Brotherhood's fanaticism completely swamps its capacity for rational planning of any kind. The army is, thankfully, about to ban this Islamic filth very soon.

The MB under Morsi found that democracy can be just another way of imposing authoritarian rule or in this case, even an utterly incompetent one. I think Washington's fascination with the Brotherhood is the product of a search for an Islamist organization that reflects the ''culture'' of the Middle East and isn't violent. There is a lack of appreciation from Team Obama for the fact that just because an organization doesn't lead with violence doesn't mean it's going to be moderate, secular-leaning, democratic or capable of governing. Far from finding an Islamic justification for democracy, they were simply redefining democracy in a way that wasn't democratic but sounded good to the West. After Obama's 2011 ''apology tour'' of the Middle East the extremists saw a weakness in America's thinking to be exploited.

By the time of Morsi's first anniversary as president we had a massive outpouring against Morsi due to his frankly undemocratic rule of the country and his bid to consolidate power for the Muslim Brotherhood. Secondly, Morsi completely lost control of the state. By the time the protests started on June 30, he didn't control anything. He didn't control the police and he obviously didn't control the military. He didn't control any of the institutions of government, and it made his presidency untenable. So the military under General Sisi stepped in. The military believes it not only had to removed Morsi, it has to decapitate the entire organization. Otherwise, the Brotherhood will re-emerge and perhaps kill the generals who removed it from power.

Over it's one year in power, the third-rate politician, Morsi, lost substantial public support. The young Egyptians could see their efforts to oust Mubarak for a change in a democratic direction begin to fade into another tin-pot dictator. Think back to the early presidential elections in 2012. Morsi only won 5 million votes, which was 25% of the votes cast. The Brotherhood's power is not derived from mass public support and it never has been. It is derived from its exceptional organization capabilities on one hand, and the fact that the rest of Egypt is deeply divided and highly disorganized on the other. The MB wants to consolidate power in Egypt and then create a global Islamic state, a Caliphate. It's a key part of their ideology and their rhetoric. They can't and won't share power with any faction.

Over the past few years there has been a gross naivety in Washington as a whole but especially the Islamist in anti-American clothing: Obama! Such is the absurdity of both parties' stance towards Egypt: the Egyptian military is doing America's dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as ''apes and pigs.''  It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets to support the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk. America's presence in the Middle East has imploded.

The Way I See It.....America's credibility in the Middle East, thanks to the delusions of its government, is broken, and it cannot be repaired within the time frame required to forestall the next stage  of violence. Egypt's military and its Saudi backers are aghast at American stupidity. Israel is frustrated by America's inability to understand that Egypt's military is committed to upholding the peace treaty with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood wants war. Both Israel and the Gulf States observe the utter fecklessness of Washington's efforts to contain Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Last night on an Australian television program The Project,  I listened to ABC Muslim presenter, Waleed Aly make an impassioned plea for sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood (as well as an attack on further attempts to stop what's in effect illegal immigration into Australia, predominantly by Muslims). He was given a supportive hearing by the rest of the other idiots on the panel. It was a chilling moment -- and it was not the only occasion when nice Mr Aly has sided with or run interference for Islamists.  He better get his priorities straight or he'll get a taste of deportation.

We can condemn the killings in Egypt and mourn the death there of democracy. But for Aly to present the events as simply a clash between a brutal military and their elected victims is a gross and deceptive simplification - a tale as fanciful as another Aly subscribes to, of Muhammad riding up to heaven on a winged horse to take dictation from God. As always the truth is more complex.

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