Happy, Clappy Democracy in Egypt

BY Herschel Smith
13 years ago

I warned you.  Now we learn that the Muslim Brotherhood plans on an official political party in Egypt, something that was never allowed under Mubarak.  For whatever else he did or didn’t do, he kept the likes of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sayyid Qutb in prison.  But there still seems to be some confusion out there in spite of the fact that things aren’t all peace, love and flower power in Egypt.

Seriously?  Is this what the liberal media and establishment thinks?  That anything Obama said had anything to do with anything regarding Egypt?  Does the liberal media really not understand the danger?  Is it that they won’t acknowledge it, or really and truly that they don’t know about it?  Are things that bad off in the liberal establishment?


  1. On February 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm, Burk said:

    Hi, Captain’s Journal-

    Is this what you view as expertise? A bile-filled blatherfest making two points- that Obama is not clairvoyant, and that Israel is worried?

    I think we can all stipulate that Obama is not clairvoyant. But note the importance that the speaker assigned to the Cairo speech- as causal of the revolution in Egypt. He only criticized the president for not planning for its outcome.

    Secondly, on Israel’s worries, the scare-mongering of the muslim brotherhood, etc. The Muslim Brotherhood is a regressive and minor element in Egyptian society. The outgoing government tried their best to raise the red flag by making the brotherhood their interlocutors, and showed all over again to Egyptians how coopted and passe the Brotherhood is. One obvious and major aim of the new army government is to prevent any undue advantage from accruing to the Brotherhood as they go about carrying out their promises for democracy, which they have been fulfilling to date. The Brotherhood may be one of the first parties, but surely will not be the last.

    The best way we have of derailing this process is to give any credence to Israel’s frankly racist worries about how Egyptians are not “ready” for democracy, will attack Israel for no good reason, etc. and so on. They completely and tragically misread the situation, and while the professor certainly has a point about the history of revolutions running amok, he seems stuck on far-past history, not recent history of, say, the Philippines, of South Korea, of Eastern Europe. Egypt has a rich template to work from.

    Lastly, in this connection, would you support a green revolution in Iran, or would you view it as too “risky” for them to succeed, and perhaps best for them to rot in autocracy/theocracy for a few more decades?

  2. On February 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    The only blatherfest is your own. You don’t study enough. The comments section here is FULL of both Glen and me supporting the Greens in Iran (I go further and support fomenting an insurgency inside of Iran, and even a campaign of targeted assassinations of senior Quds leaders as you would know if you read my stuff before dropping turds in the comments). You drop comments and one-line questions and hot brands, and then leave. You’re just being stupid now and not thinking before you write. This is becoming tiresome.

    The Muslim Brotherhood, which has tens of millions of followers throughout the Middle East, if far from a regressive group in Egypt or anywhere else in the M.E.

    We’ll see what ends up happening. I am neither a prophet nor a son of a prophet, so I don’t make many predictions, I only issues warnings. But you may do well to study this:


  3. On February 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Let’s go another round at this. I am opposing the possible imposition of a religious militancy into the framework of Egypt, while I advocate the overthrown of the same in Iran.

    Now. Come again on this. Tell me why your last question is banal? YOU explain it to ME.

  4. On February 16, 2011 at 1:12 am, Burk said:

    I think this article outlines pretty fully and explicitly the position of the Brotherhood- as part of, but by no means the majority of, or leader of, the new Egypt. They are taking pains to be well-behaved, and are clearly looking towards Turkey as a model of blending islam with a modern state. Indeed I agree with their position vs the Palestinians- to pressure Israel towards more humane treatment.


    So, oppose away.. you are pushing on an open door.

  5. On February 16, 2011 at 1:20 am, Herschel Smith said:

    I see. This Islam, you mean?


    I see. Blending it with a “modern” state. Okay. I see.

  6. On February 16, 2011 at 10:29 am, Warbucks said:


    Yes; things are that bad.

    We have commenced the “1984”- syndrome cycle of existence.

    Resist not evil,

    Winston Smith

  7. On February 16, 2011 at 10:55 am, Herschel Smith said:


    Burk, out atheist commenter above is an interesting study. I’m certain that he would fight tooth and nail against Christian influences in society, and especially in civil government and our system of law, regardless of what John Adams said (the singular father of our country) about our constitution being suited only for a religious people.

    Yet … he strongly advocates “blending” Islam with the “modern” state. Isn’t it interesting, and even fascinating, how ILLIBERAL some LIBERALS can be?

  8. On February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am, Warbucks said:

    The Captain’s Journal has influenced foreign policy….. on a related matter some while back.

    During a discussion of opening a supply route through the Caucasus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasus we drifted into a discussion of the strategic importance of enabling 24/7/365 communications for internet based (cell phones, photos, videos, internet, YouTube, etc.) communications of civilian populations in targeted countries of interest.

    There are airborne assets that can be deployed over international waters and allied boarder regions (and more) to provide back-up to government attempts to throw the off-switch to civilian communications during civil unrest.

    After some low grade activist lobbying by several of The Captain’s Journal readers at the White House level, it should be noted that Sec. of State, Hillary Clinton discussed yesterday, the adoption of that very strategy in particular with Iran.

    Which means, the same efforts were likely as not tested in the last round of Egyptian civil protests as a trial run to gain perspective on how it might work.

    It is perhaps a spiritual question as to what is the more powerful force in motion. In any event, your humble blog seems to be read in the policy forming offices of government.

  9. On February 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm, Burk said:

    Hi, Herschel-

    You get me wrong.. I am no more “for” Islam or sharia than I am for Christianity or Scientology. But one has to face reality, and the reality in the Muslim world is that the people are Muslim.

    So if one advocates democracy, as we do and should, one ends up with some compromise between the totalitarian claims of Islam, and the practical mechanics of democracy.

    Mubarak claimed the choice was between secular autocracy and Islamist takeover. The revolution was all about rejecting that false choice, as the people see that democracy can succeed in a Muslim country, with Turkey as a prime example, I think.

    Their success is not guaranteed, but one would think that Israel, as a putative “beacon” of democracy in the middle east, would not be so mean spirited as to deny them the opportunity. And part of that opportunity is resisting the impulse to ban and repress groups, but rather to let all comers into the new political system. It seems quite clear that Egypt is ready for a pluralistic, moderate democracy.

    Another fine template and example is.. Indonesia.

  10. On February 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm, RT said:

    Since this is a political discussion, I will state for the record that I am a centrist, independent voter in the USA.

    I’m actually not worried about the MB in it’s current form. It is true that they have changed to fit a mold of a party that could fit in a country like Turkey. Path of least resistance. (However, it is worth noting that Turkey has also taken some troubling steps backwards in recent years, especially after the EU snub)

    So what does the MB look like if/when they gain substantial power? All the polls coming out of Egypt show a highly conservative population who should easily support the MB. And as a result, support what is ultimately an Islamic theocracy in the end.

    Support among the population for Islamic justice, in all it’s backwards forms, is substantial. You are talking 80%. Stoning, etc.

    And the sad fact is, what happened to Lara Logan, while taken to extreme lengths, is a huge problem in Egypt. In coming days you will likely read more about the underlying, unseen issues during the protests, that exist everyday for every woman in Egypt, and any woman (and even men) who choose to visit Egypt. Ninety-eight percent of whom, when polled, have said they have been groped, or worse, on Egyptian streets. And the Egyptian government spends buku bucks on keeping a lid on tourism crime statistics overall.

    The only reason you can even begin to call the larger Egyptian population “progressive”, is due to the fact that they largely tolerate foreign tourism in the numbers they do. It creates an alternate reality from anyone on the outside looking in. But this is not a truly progressive, young population like in Iran, etc.

    Im not a huge believer in the “liberal media” thing, but this was in fact sold to the world, as were Egyptians, as being something other than they are.

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You are currently reading "Happy, Clappy Democracy in Egypt", entry #6330 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Egypt,Muslim Brotherhood and was published February 15th, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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