Filed under: Politics
The Demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square continue, growing ever more bloody. In the face of advancing totalitarianism in the Middle East, American foreign policy has been a dramatic failure. The United States has from the beginning completely misunderstood what is going on, and our actions have done more damage than help. Morsi supporters have been throwing people off roofs to their death, the Army has opened fire on rioting Morsi supporters. Egyptians seem united only in their anger at America and Barack Obama, and the American Ambassador as a proxy.
We got all excited about the “Arab Spring.” They were rioting for freedom and democracy, popular elections, weren’t they? “Democratic processes —elections, referenda, constitution-drafting—must be conditioned on a preexisting democratic culture. Otherwise, in a majority-Muslim country like Egypt, you end up giving totalitarianism the patina of democratic legitimacy. Quite predictably, when Morsi put the draft constitution to a countrywide democratic vote, the vast majority of Egyptians used their self-determining liberty to enshrine liberty-devouring sharia as their fundamental law.”
Here is the hard truth: that the world contains many cultures inured to tyranny from time out of mind. These are peoples who may long for freedom, but have no practical idea how it can be got and maintained; or if they know, no energy for the task. (David Warren)
Egypt cannot afford to feed its own people. For the past several months, the bottom half of Egypt’s population has had little to eat besides government subsidized bread, and the bread supply is threatened by a shortage of imported wheat. Some neighboring nations help, but Egypt is struggling to meet a financing gap of perhaps $20 billion a year. Malnutrition is epidemic as is protein deficiency, where 40% of the population is stunted by poor diet.
Nearly half of Egyptians are illiterate. Seventy percent live on the land, yet the country imports half its food. It has two cash earners: the Suez Canal and the tourist industry, which dries up completely when the population is rioting and foreigners are attacked. Qatar has sent $2 billion, and the Emir is an enthusiastic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis hate, fear and oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to overthrow the Saudi monarchy.
The Obama administration has called on Egyptian leaders to pursue “a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups” and ” avoiding any arbitrary arrests of Morsi and his supporters.”
According to Bloomberg News: (The following is quoted by Barry Rubin in an important article)
Two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified commenting on [Obama’s] private communications said the administration is concerned that some in the military may want to provoke the violence and provide a rationale for crushing the movement once and for all.
Then the two National Security Council senior staff members offered this critical statement that explains Obama’s Middle East policy. We need pay close attention.
Such a move would fail and probably prompt a shift to al-Qaeda-type terrorist tactics by extremists in the Islamist movement in Egypt and elsewhere, the U.S. officials said.
The White House believes that if the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists are denied power in Muslim-majority countries, they cannot be defeated, and further, will be radicalized to pursue September 11-style attacks on America. The United States must surrender and betray its allies or else it faces disaster.
This is why, for example, Obama wants the Turkish and Egyptian armies to accept an Islamist regime, why he is for Syria getting one too, and why he wants Israel to accept whatever risks and to make whatever concessions are required to end the conflict right away no matter what the consequences. (Though American officials say that the demographic issue — which is simply nonsense — means that Israel better make the best deal possible now.)
The Obama administration, on the basis of the John Brennan Doctrine — the current CIA director — has given up the battle. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are holding the United States for ransom. The demand for not attacking the United States is — the Middle East. (Barry Rubin’s article is here. Do read the whole thing).
Is this preemptive surrender the source of all the condemnation of “Islamophobia,” the insistence that our Constitutional freedom of religion must give our Muslim immigrants whatever they desire in the name of sharia? There is a very powerful voice in contemporary America that says we must not speak unkindly, or object in any way to Muslim demands. Such speech would be “hate speech” and could subject us to condemnation or even prison. The definitions of free speech are shrinking rapidly.
We live in an age of inversely proportional deterrence; the more militarily powerful a civilized nation is, the less its enemies have to fear the full force of that power ever being unleashed. They know America and other Western powers fight under the most stringent self-imposed etiquette. Overwhelming force is one thing, overwhelming force behaving underwhelmingly as a matter of policy is quite another.
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