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There are minor variations in this form of government. In Iran the oligarchy that runs the country and robs it blind is explicitly Islamic. In Egypt it’s military. In Turkey it’s a group of Islamist tycoons. In Afghanistan it’s a bunch of warlords. The details don’t matter that much, except that the Islamists use some of that money they steal to finance terrorism against us and they’re usually more repressive than the secular or semi-secular alternative.
There is no option on the list that turns Egypt into a secular state with respect for human rights. It was never going to happen. It’s not going to happen now. If the Muslim Brotherhood does put the military in its place and takes complete control, then it will just be one oligarchy replacing another. And the oligarchy will have a short distance to go because it already exists. Either way protesters will be beaten bloody and the secret police, most of the same secret police, will be out there dealing with dissidents.
Option 3 is the only real option and it isn’t a promising one. The Brotherhood genie is out of the bottle and the Egyptian military is not the secular force that the Turkish military was. It has no real interest in restraining the Brotherhood which is its leverage against us and any of our democracy projects. Nevertheless it’s the only option on the table because the Obama alternative is to continue pushing for Egyptian democracy which feeds power directly to the Brotherhood, as opposed to backing the military which feeds power to the Brotherhood indirectly.
When things have been screwed up enough there are no longer any good options. There is only a list of lesser evils. To true believers in the universally salvific powers of democracy, allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to claim power is a lesser evil to admitting that maybe the ballot box reflects the will of the people, not some spiritual power that grants human rights and freedom for all. They are all for giving the process more time to work. Which it will. It will go on working the same way.
Whatever veneer of law and secularism that Egypt had was not innate, it was carried over from its colonial period. The Egyptian military and some of Cairo’s wealthy families and intellectuals were somewhat more modern because they were Western influenced, not because they represented some indigenous wellspring of modernity. Democracy brought out the will of the people for Islam. More democracy means more Islam.
Given democracy the Palestinian Arabs chose Hamas. Given democracy the Tunisians chose the Islamist Ennahda thugs. Given democracy the Egyptians chose the Salafists and the Brotherhood. The pattern is not hard to make out. The process can continue with the same exact results over and over again until we get it. Not until they do. We will run out of skyscrapers and children before they realize that Islam isn’t the answer to all their problems and ours.
As long as most Muslims go on believing that their rights and societies are best safeguarded by Islam rather than by a system that protects individual rights without prejudice than this process will repeat itself endlessly. And that is their problem, our problem is keeping ourselves safe while they experiment with using texts written by mass murdering bigoted rapists as the basis for a civil society.
The Bush era idea that doing what is best for them will also be best for us is wrong on multiple levels. Our first duty is to do what is best for us, which is truer than ever because there is nothing really that we can do which is best for them. Only they can make those choices which will uplift them. And until they make those choices and are ready to join the community of civilized peoples, then our only task is to do what is best for our peoples and our nations.
There is nothing wrong with supporting tyranny in Egypt, if the alternative is an even worse tyranny briefly sanctified by the ballot box. There is nothing wrong with shutting down a process which will see Egypt’s remaining Christians purged and its women locked away. There is nothing wrong with slamming the door on those who would kill us because their holy book tells them it is their path to paradise. There is nothing wrong with supporting a regime that will not make war against us, no matter how undemocratic it might be. Our first duty is not to alien democracies of terror, it is to our own lives and freedoms.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.
To get the whole story on why the Left empowers Islamists, read Jamie Glazov’s book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
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