And now z’King returns to talk of the politics
February 11, 2011 Leave a comment
I haven’t been in a political mood lately, but since the KBL is only a wing of The House of Dope, this is no major loss. Regardless, for those of you who enjoy the occasional OC here at KBL, the time to lap it up is now.
Egypt has pretty much ruined my enjoyment of the news cycle for awhile now, and even I can’t blame that on Fred-6, and I can blame almost everything on Fred-6. Variety may be the spice of life, but Fred-6 screwing up everything he touches is the gravy to my morning waffles.
Or biscuits, if that’s your thing.
I’m not an Egypt guy, though, not even in that cool Egyptology kind of way. This story has confounded most people I’ve read because there is not an A-B answer – the solutions are all bad, and from The Administration down, the plan seems to be hope for the best. As I ineloquently closed a recent letter to an old acquaintance, hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster.
Actually, I said wish instead of hope, but the saying still stands.
There is a tiny problem with all the wishful-hoping I’ve seen coming from z’Media the last week or so regarding these valiant protests coming from mobs who crave democracy: unlike the Iranian protests during the summer of ’09 – protests that offered a greater opportunity for America, protests that went completely ignored by z’Media and pretty much the same by The Administration – these mobs are not protesting for violence, and there is very little sense of democracy-craving about them.
I get the very distinct feeling that they crave Democracy one time, and one time only. After that, well, is it caliphate time? Who knows, but I don’t see Egypt blossoming before our eyes.
As a bit of ‘here’s what I’ve seen’ speculation, my flimsy evidence is that this is a protest of primarily young, Egyptian, Muslim men. Although all elements of this demographic are important, I would point out that by far the most important aspect of this is the men part. I assume there are still women in Egypt – where are they?
The easily obvious (and obviously easy) answer is that I don’t know – maybe they’re working, maybe they’re happily satisfied with a regime that is now out-going, or maybe they don’t like the young, Egyptian Muslim male notion of Democracy the way, well, all those men do. Canary in the coal mine? Perhaps – maybe they realize what is coming, for the sake of this discussion a hard-line, secular-hating old-school Muslim-led government whereby women return to the burqa, the stoning and the wonderful rite of passage known as the clitorectomy.
There is much to rue about what is happening in Egypt, and the breathless, amazing coverage it is getting is so far removed from reality I marvel at how I marvel at said coverage. Going with my gut, I now and forever state there is nothing good that come of getting a mass of fired-up, disgruntled, unemployed young men together in front of TV cameras; add their oh-so popular religious heritage in the mix, and you have…
…Iran in 1979, which is where this is leading.
In his much-balleyhood, boring as to defy all odds interview with Fred-6 before the Bowl to End All Bowls, Bill O’Reilly asked Fred-6 several questions about Egypt, and I’m still not sure if the President gave a coherent answer to any of them. It’s hard to blame the man, considering everyone – from his Secretary of State on down – on his FoPo team is so in over their heads that the few who aren’t in over their heads have gone rogue. However, one thing Fred-6 said that caught my attention was his downplay of The Muslim Brotherhood – I want to say he downplayed the brothas twice, but it doesn’t matter.
As it’s popular to talk about German Nazis when talking politics in America these days, I think a quick recap of Nazis and, specifically, how long they took to get power once their foot was in the door, is in order. My main reference for my talk of Nazis is William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, not exactly a discount version of history. Like The Muslim Brotherhood, leaders around the world discounted German National Socialists and the kook leading them. When Hitler got his foot into the door of the German parliament after a nation-turning election, it took him about a week to consolidate power and take the Nazis from being a minority party to being the ruling party, and his being named Chancellor.
[I’m sure I missed a few details in there, but the overriding point is that once Hitler got his foot in the door, it took about a week to gain unified control of the country. That’s the point.]
These are two different situations, obviously – so far as I know or have heard, TMB does not have a charismatic leader set to pounce. My point is that when revolution occurs, Democracy is rarely in order, and the idea of underplaying something as disturbing as a Hamas-supporting outfit called The Muslim Brotherhood should alarm anyone, regardless of politics. Furthermore, as The Administration has shown in its dealings with our enemies and our allies (and its reaction to the Iranian grassroots revolt in ’09), it is not comfortable supporting democracy abroad, nor is it particularly impressed with nations or regimes friendly to Israel. This is important if for no other reason than Israel is our ally, Murbarak tolerated Israel and TMB and other splinter groups in Egypt want Israel wiped off the face of the Earth.
Also, since I’ve seen no one else bringing it up, the President loves Islam and is loathe to say anything perceptibly bad about it, so The Muslim Brotherhood should be downplayed rather than denounced. If only it were The Christian Brotherhood – or, funnier still, The Zionist Brotherhood – then we’d get a whole lotta speechifyin’ about danger and warning and Code Red and such. But TBD, not so much.
I don’t know what will happen in Egypt in the coming days, but I do know our reaction to it has been amateur hour and the rest of the Persian and Arab world has taken notice. We have a weakling at the top, and America’s interests and opinion now amount to zero influence. Wherever this is going, it’s to a destination we will regret, probably sooner rather than later.