After the U.S.-backed Arab Spring toppled the government of the moderately secular, moderately pro-West, moderately authoritarian, and decades-long ally of the United States in favor of open democratic elections, the Muslim Brotherhood was voted into the office of the Egyptian Presidency. After about a year of turmoil and sectarian conflict over the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to install Sharia law in Egypt, a military coup toppled that government in turn about a month ago, once again supported by the U.S. government, and the country has been on the brink of civil war ever since. Now that the U.S. government has at times backed all sides in this conflict, it is even more universally hated than before. The situation has escalated today, with the Egyptian military going into and breaking up pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest camps, killing at least 150 unarmed protesters in the process. This story is continuing to develop and it is extremely unlikely that this will be the end of this saga.
If only someone had been able to foresee this situation back when that moderately secular, moderately pro-West, moderately authoritarian, and decades-long ally of the United States government was still in power, like in January 2011,
These [democratic] concepts are completely alien to people-groups who are used to tribal rule or more collectivist societies. The voting usually falls down to tribal lines or popularity contests rather than policy at best, or simply being for show at worst. This is especially true in those countries whose political lines don’t reflect ethnic or religious boundaries.
The current situation in Egypt is a perfect example of this. The U.S. government has been pushing the Egyptian government to become more “democratic” for decades. Well, “democracy” has finally come to Egypt. Mr. Obama is now faced with the difficult decision of (1) going back on his encouragement for democratic reforms and supporting the current authoritarian Egyptian government, which is moderately pro-U.S. and moderately secular, and which has been the recipient of millions in our military aid; or (2) supporting the rioters and running the real risk of a hard-line, militant Muslim Sharia law regime taking its place, similar to what happened with Hamas in the Gaza Strip elections. This is a classic post-WWII U.S. predicament. On the one hand, they are committed to their god Democracy, but on the other, when they attempt to force this god on others, the people often vote in leaders whom the U.S. government dislikes.
Or in March 2011, before the NATO intervention in Libya resulted in the destabilization and a resurgence of hardline Islamists in central north Africa,
The liberal western media has been touting the current uprisings in the Middle East as a sign that “democracy” is finally coming to the Middle East and continually labels the protests as “democratic.” They are — in a sense. When a true conservative westerner speaks of democracy, he is speaking of liberty and the check on government power; when a faux conservative or liberal westerner speaks of democracy, he is speaking of degenerate and decadent freedom and “equality”; but when a Muslim speaks of democracy, he is doing so either as a smoke screen to gain sympathy or a foothold in a western country, or as a generic “will of the people” idea. It is in the latter sense that the current unrest is “democratic.” A true Christian will seek to live in a Christian society, and a true Muslim will seek to live under Sharia law, but a Christian society is one of liberty while Sharia law breeds repression. The liberal western media is getting all misty-eyed with the thought that these protests will bring western consumerism, freedom of speech, goodwill towards the US, betterment of women’s status, and the like; but they will get none of those. Instead, they will get a resurgent, hardline Islam bent on imposing Sharia law, not only in their own countries, but over the entire world — and with a grudge against the US for arming and propping up their former oppressors.
Called it. Amazing what a proper view of human nature and reality can do for your predictions, huh? To the NSA agents reading this post, would you please forward this to the State Department? I’m available for geo-political consulting – for a fee, of course. Although a lot of my work will simply be slapping the U.S. government’s hand and saying sternly, “don’t touch that situation,” I think that that will still be an invaluable service. You can contact me via the email address in my bio.