Thursday, December 6, 2012

Armored vehicles roll into Cairo as Egypt’s army moves to restore order

Mike L. 
CAIRO (AP) — The Egyptian army sealed off the presidential palace with barbed wire and armored vehicles Thursday as protesters defied a deadline to vacate the area, pressing forward with demands that Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi rescind decrees giving himself near-absolute power and withdraw a disputed draft constitution.

Inside the palace gates, Morsi met with members of his Cabinet and military leaders to discuss the expanding crisis after fierce street battles in an upscale residential suburb of Cairo killed five people and left more than 600 injured in the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since the Islamist leader’s election.

The intensity of the overnight violence, with Morsi’s Islamist backers and largely secular protesters lobbing firebombs and rocks at each other, raised the specter that the 2-week-old crisis that has left the country sharply divided would grow more polarized and violent.
It's possible that Morsi moved too quickly to consolidate power for the purpose of introducing the Sharia.  For people who claimed that the Brotherhood was largely secular or who, like Barack Obama, supported their coming to power in Egypt, I have to wonder just what they thought political Islam is?

Did Barack Obama simply not understand that the Muslim Brotherhood is the foremost organization in the world today devoted to the advancement of political Islam and the caliphate?  Or is it that he simply doesn't care?  Or is it that he thought that the Brotherhood was "moderate"?

Whatever delusions Barack Obama, and his administration, were laboring under when they told the rest of us how wonderful the "Arab Spring" is, they are now beginning to see the truth of the matter.  Or, are they?  I am finding more and more that ideas in the head do not necessarily reflect facts on the ground among those committed to political partisanship and ideological dogmatics.  If one is a political partisan, convinced that your team is both right and good and the other team is both wrong and bad, then you are trying to think about politics with half your brain tied behind your head.  The only way to think about politics, if one is interested in anything that begins to resemble the truth, is to be non-partisan and to see others as they see themselves, at least as much as one can, anyway.  (Easier said than done, I know.)

In any case, there is no dishonor in admitting a mistake.  Those "liberals" or "progressives" who thought that the rise of political Islam, under the misnamed "Arab Spring," was just dandy made a fundamental mistake.  The Arab Spring is / was the rise of political Islam in the Middle East and political Islam is the most reactionary, conservative political movement in the world today.  So, if you supported the Arab Spring because you thought it was something else, at least in part because Barack Obama told you it was something else, there is nothing wrong with simply admitting that just as Obama had it wrong, so you had it wrong, as well.

I make mistakes... in fact, I feel reasonably certain that Stuart would be more than pleased to point out any number of them... but if it is clear that I have made a mistake I can admit it and move on.  For example, I made the mistake of supporting Barack Obama in his run for the presidency in 2008.


I have absolutely no problem in admitting that I was wrong to do so.  I wonder how many supporters of the president, particularly those who were also enthusiastic about the Arab Spring, can bring themselves to admit that they made a mistake?

My suspicion, unfortunately, is not too many.  And a big part of the reason for that is because political partisanship tends to have a highly coercive social dimension, as anyone who reads Daily Kos should know very well.


  1. By the way, this is a terrific comment from an entirely unrelated article:

    11. the worst crisis in the world

    Egypt is imploding. Syria now on the verge of using chemical weapons to kill anyone still breathing there. Iran pushing ahead to build nuclear weapons, Riots in Tunisia and rebel armies in Lybia using American arms sold to Qatar. Unrest in Yemen, killing in Sudan, and Jordan a tinderbox about to set this whole area afire... And what interests the world is the worst crisis of all - Israel holding on to Jerusalem and its building plans there. Without a sense of humor it would be impossible to get through the day.

    Arn, Yehud, Israel (12.06.12)

    Ain't that the truth!

    1. LOL Sultan Knish has a post up on this topic where he talks about "The deadly Israeli House!"

      "There are few weapons as deadly as the Israeli house. When its bricks and mortar are combined together, the house, whether it is one of those modest one story hilltop affairs or a five floor apartment building complete with hot and cold running water, becomes far more dangerous than anything green and glowing that comes out of the Iranian centrifuges."


      His latest post is "Obama and Mursi- Separated at Birth." The guy is great.

  2. It will be interesting to see where his overreach leads. Maybe for the better. One can always dream. Many of those who have voiced misgivings actually want to be mistaken.

    1. Y'know, I was at a meeting of the Commonwealth Club's Mid East discussion forum around the time that this all broke out and people were quite enthusiastic.

      About half of us were of Arab extraction and maybe half of Jewish, with a few others sprinkled in, but I was one of the few... sourpuss that I am... who withheld judgment at the time.

      I just didn't know for sure.

      Now we know.

  3. CAIR seems to support the guy:

    "CAIR-Los Angeles boss Hussam Ayloush praised Morsi for assuming more power in order to prevent “corrupt judges” from the “undermining and undoing of every democratic step.”

    In a Facebook post, Ayloush blamed Egypt’s internal strife on the secular opposition: “Much of the Egyptian opposition seem to be more interested in opposing Morsi and the MB than actually helping Egypt become a stable and institutional democracy,”

    CAIR-New York’s Cyrus McGoldrick disparaged criticism of Morsi as “a last stand by old pro-West/Mubarak/Israel crowd to keep power in judiciary.”

    CAIR-San Francisco chief Zahra Billoo dismissed American concerns that the Islamist-backed draft constitution wouldn’t protect human rights. “Why do we care about what the Egyptian Constitution says about indefinite detention, when it is being practiced by the U.S. government?” she wrote in a Twitter post Monday."