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.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?
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.
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.