Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Egypt Experts Sprout Like Weeds

I still don't really know how things are going in Egypt, and I don't think anyone else in this country has much of a clue either.  So it's interesting to me to see how many TV talkers, newspaper writers, talk show hosts etc. who never gave ten minutes' thought in a year to Egypt are suddenly endowed by their creator with infinite wisdom on the subject.  Too bad we can't get them all to just shut up until we know a little more.

I was particularly amused by David Gergen on CNN today, struggling to find a way to blame something, anything on Obama, and unable to find any kind of failure in what Obama has done, finally just stated that Obama should have said nothing at all- although we all know that if he had done that, the entire conservative world would have been all over him, unable to distinguish as usual between restraint and weakness, and preferring belligerent stupidity to either.

So, let me make this clear:  We don't know what is going to happen in Egypt.  Even if a popular coalition drives Mubarak from office, there is no guarantee that they can hold on to power.  Look at the precedents:  In Iran, the moderate popular government of Bani-Sadr and Bakhtiar was speedily dispatched by the mullahs.  Remember the Russian revolution, in which the Mensheviks held onto power for only months before being displaced by the far more radical Bolsheviks?  And let us not forget the French revolution, where a whole succession of governments were displaced in their turn by more radical forces:  The Girondists, the Jacobins, Danton, even Robespierre found themselves sucked under by the forces of the time, and replaced by ever more radical and irrational groups.  The results?  Iran ended up with a vicious, intolerant religious dictatorship, Russia ended up with a dysfunctional economic system, and within a few years a murderous tyrant.  France too ended up with a dictator- Napoleon, who in retrospect almost seems quaint.

History does not bode well for the Egyptians, I am afraid, and there is virtually not a single thing that our country can do to have any effect at this point. We could, however, if certain people get their way, make things a lot worse.  People in the Arab world have a two hundred year history to teach them not to trust Western interference in their affairs.  Maybe if we listen to the likes of Elliot Abrams and John Bolton, we can see to it that they hate us for eternity.

5 comments:

Shaw Kenawe said...

Yeah. I posted something on this from Juan Cole's blog (he, at least, knows the history of the ME, and I've been following Talking Points Memo.

I've also read the usual uninformed hysteria on the winger blogs criticizing Obama for not backing the dictator Mubarak.

Knee-jerk reaction as usual.

Anonymous said...

I've also read the usual uninformed hysteria on the winger blogs criticizing Obama for not backing the dictator Mubarak.


unlike the lefties who attack the peaceful tea party protestors.
You think if they started trhowing rock and starting fires that Obama wouldn't bring in the military? And you would be cheering him on for doing so.
Do you guys ever look in a mirror?

'Too bad we can't get them all to just shut up until we know a little more.'

like the media here did like 10 minutes after the Tuscon tragedy?

Green Eagle said...

Anonymous, what disturbs me about the uninformed, shoot-from-the-hip comment about Egypt is that our country has a history of belligerent overreaction to things occurring far away, and I am concerned that it could happen again. The sordid record of the troubles that we have created for ourselves in Central America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia should encourage all of us to restrain our reactions. People who are overly quick to decide what has happened with any tragedy rarely do the country any good, and that includes those on both sides who were so quick to see what they wanted to see in the Tucson shooting; however the consequences of inappropriate reaction here, as we saw in Vietnam or Iraq, are so much greater.

By the way, I hope you don't mind my saying that your comment was a reasonable one, and it deserves a reasonable response. I hope you will always find that to be true here, and that you will continue in this vein, which will make you a valued contributor rather than a troll.

Dave Dubya said...

I did not know of any "attack" on the tea cult. I am more than happy to mock them, but would never stomp someone's head to the curb like a certain Rand Paul supporting teabagger did.

But as Rush said, "She needed to be restrained."

She must have been a clear and present danger to the mob that took her down.

Anonymous said...

but would never stomp someone's head to the curb like a certain Rand Paul supporting teabagger did.


That woman ws there to agitate. She was arrested at the BP oil spill and was told to get away from Rand Paul but she didn't listen and hit him in the face with her sign.


Speaking of Tea Party Violence:

http://randysright.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/union-thugs-wearing-seiu-t-shirts-beat-black-conservative-activist/


http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/1833