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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Go to Gaza, Mr. Robinson, Then Lecture Conservatives About Freedom

In the aftermath of the overthrow of the Mubarak regime in Egypt, Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post penned a meme which has become common among the mainstream media and left-blogosphere, that The GOP loves freedom, but not for Egypt:
The conservative mantra has been: Obama Is Always Wrong. Therefore there must be something wrong with the way he handled Egypt - even if it appears, from what we've seen so far, that the result is a historic opening for democracy in the world's most troubled region.

The other possible explanation for the lukewarm conservative reaction is a lack of faith in our most cherished democratic values - at least where majority-Islam countries are concerned.

I'm not talking about Glenn Beck's paranoid fantasy of a vast leftist-Islamist conspiracy for world domination; that's a job for a licensed professional with a prescription pad. I'm talking about people such as former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, who told CPAC that "democracy as we see it" in Egypt would be all right but grumbled that "a democratic election can produce illiberal results."

In other words, some Egyptians might vote for candidates put forth by the Muslim Brotherhood. It is unlikely that the group would win a majority in free and fair elections - or even that a government headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, if it came to that, would necessarily be more dangerous or hostile than the Mubarak regime. But Bolton and some others seem to believe that only political parties of which the United States approves should be allowed to participate in Egyptian elections....
These conservatives are arguing that the world's 1.2 billion Muslims cannot be trusted to govern themselves. That's not what I call loving freedom.
Robinson confuses a conservative desire not to have an Islamist regime in Egypt with opposition to freedom.  There are reasons to be concerned, and to have hoped for a more staged transition in Egypt, having nothing to do with support for Mubarak.  

Iran is the example of the worst nightmare come true, when a shift to democracy in a previously totalitarian state ends in generations of brutal Islamist rule.
 
But there is a more recent example which weighed heavily on the minds of conservatives, the Hamas takeover of Gaza.  Hamas won local elections in Gaza in 2005 and parliamentary elections in 2006, and used that power to evict rival (and non-Islamist) Palestinian Authority forces in 2007.
 
Since this takeover, which started with democratic elections, Hamas not only has turned Gaza into one large rocket-launching pad leading to war with Israel in 2008-2009, but also haso suffocated all non-Islamist elements in society.
 
As reported today by The Telegraph, Gaza's elected Islamist rulers crack down on secular community;
After nearly four years of Hamas rule, the Gaza Strip's small secular community is in tatters, decimated by the militant group's campaign to impose its strict version of Islam in the coastal territory.
Hamas has bullied men and women to dress modestly, tried to keep the sexes from mingling in public and sparked a flight of secular university students and educated professionals. Most recently, it has confiscated novels it deems offensive to Islam from a bookshop and banned Gaza's handful of male hairdressers from styling women's hair.

Some argue that the case of Gaza could also be a warning sign for those pushing for quick democratic reforms in the region. Hamas rose to power in part by winning internationally backed parliamentary elections held in 2006.
You see, Mr. Robinson, it doesn't necessarily start this way, but it always ends this way where Islamist fundamentalists like the Muslim Brotherhood, which created Hamas, are involved.  More from The Telegraph article:
After winning the 2006 election, Hamas vowed it wouldn't impose Islamic law. But within two years, bureaucrats began ordering changes that targeted secular Gaza residents.

Today, plainclothes officers sometimes halt couples in the streets, demanding to see marriage licenses. Last year, the Interior Ministry banned women from smoking water pipes in public. Islamic faith does not ban women from smoking, but it is considered taboo in Gaza society.

"In the end, the people who think differently are leaving," said Rami, a 32-year-old activist in one of Gaza's few secular groups. He refused to give his last name, fearing retribution.
We already see the early warning signs in Egypt, as I pointed out in my prior post The Yuppie Revolution In Egypt Is Over, The Islamist Revolution Has Begun.  Unless the military handles the transition very, very well, the secular forces in Egypt will not stand a chance when hard line, anti-Semitic clerics can turn out a million protesters in Cairo who chant "To Jerusalem We go, for us to be the Martyrs of the Millions."

The concern expressed by conservatives was that generations of Egyptians would suffer the same fate as generations of Iranians.

It was a love of freedom which fueled concerns among conservatives over the creation of a power vacuum in Egypt, not a love of tyranny.

Go to Gaza, Mr. Robinson, then lecture conservatives about freedom.

Update:  Thanks to reader James for a link to this interview with Islamic historian Bernard Lewis who sounds a cautionary alarm:
Yet in Egypt now, for example, the assumption is that we’re proceeding toward elections in September and that seems to be what the West is inclined to encourage.

I would view that with mistrust and apprehension. If there’s a genuinely free election – assuming that such a thing could happen – the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.

In genuinely fair and free elections, [the Muslim parties] are very likely to win and I think that would be a disaster. A much better course would be a gradual development of democracy, not through general elections, but rather through local self-governing institutions. For that, there is a real tradition in the region.
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14 comments:

  1. Robinson can't resist an opportunity to paint Conservatives as racist, freedom-haters who want only White rule.

    The "licensed professional with a prescription pad" is what Robinson needs, not Beck.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There's Gaza in the stranglehold of Hamas killer thug throwbacks.

    And then there's Lebanon, a country that had been dominated by Sunni and Christian leaders somewhat favorably disposed towards the West and a liberal secular society, now in the grip of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed fundamentalist Shiite "Party of (a genocidal/ oppressive/ superstitious/ woman-hating/ Jew-hating/ racist/ petty partisan) God."

    That would be demo-crazy in action, Mr. Robinson, and not the way of enduring pluralistic republicanism.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr. Robinson is suffering from "global citizenship syndrome". It is not in America's interests for our enemies to be "free" to become a growing threat to our own freedom.

    I know, it's too simple a concept for leftists who require byzantine constitutions laden with convoluted concepts that only people as "smart" as they are can understand.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The crowd assaulting Lara Logan chanted, "Jew! Jew!" and although you wouldn't know it from the msm, anti-Semitic images and chants were very common during the uprising. But of course that's just all that colorful Arab rhetoric. They don't mean it and even if they do, leftists--and I specifically include Jewish leftists--have always been pretty broad-minded about Jew-hatred if it's in a good cause.

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  5. "It is unlikely that the group would win a majority in free and fair elections - or even that a government headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, if it came to that, would necessarily be more dangerous or hostile than the Mubarak regime."

    I'm guessing that he's guessing here. Actually, I'm sure he's guessing. Muslim Brotherhood support may be a minority of the population, I don't know, but I'll bet Mr. Robinson it's far and away the most intense and ruthless support. That's what counts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glenn Beck's "conspiracy" about collusion between leftists and Islamists for the mutual goal of destabilizing the West shouldn't been thought of as wacked-out by any devotee of reality shows like Survivor or Big Brother, in which participants form alliances in order to knock off strong mutual enemies until it all comes down to a battle between the individual conspirators. They are well aware eventually it will come down to battling among themselves, and each is confident that they will eventually emerge victorious.

    I invite anyone to explain the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  7. People like Mr. Robinson will never leave their fantasy world. They cannot handle reality because it is generally the total opposite of what they believe the world and it's people to be.

    Life goes on, for now.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Being liberal means not having to concern yourself with history. After all, didn't the Nazi party receive around 30% of the German vote in 1933?

    ReplyDelete
  9. And here's to you, Mr. Robinson

    Jihad loves you more than you will know, woo woo woo ...

    What's that you say, Mr. Robinson?

    The UN has turned it's Israel-condemning eyes away from Gaddafi-Duck's atrocities in Libya? (Okay ... admittedly a little clunky ... but I'm going for the William Shatner "Rocket Man" vibe)

    Coo Coo Ca-choo Mr. Robinson

    Every way you look at it we lose

    That's enough artistic work for one day ... broke my brain.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Responding to Robinson is defense, kicking against the goad. He's a hand driving a rig and goading his team, his readers. He doesn't own the rig he's driving or the team he's goading. He's a muleteer working for an owner.

    (The image is of a driven animal kicking at the wooden shaft used to poke its hind legs, to keep it moving. Kicking the goad drives it deeper into the animal's flesh.)

    Someone with investigative skills and resources could initiate this offense: why do chaotics (leftists, such as Benjamin Barber and the crowd packing the US Executive) shield a Khamene’i and a Gaddafi but not a Mubarack, a Hashemite, a Ben Ali, an al Kalifa or a Saud? What's the common cause between utopians/collectivists and some Mohammedan dictators, both Sunni and Shiite, but not others?

    Or put another way: why do public union chaotics in WI correlate themselves with chaotics in Egyptian streets but not with chaotics in Libyan streets? Why do leftists/chaotics go with Gaddafi but not Mubarak? They consistently go that one way and not that other way, and they get that message efficiently from the top of their organization to the bottom almost instantly. Seemingly they don't even need net-based assets to know which side of a fight they support. What is so common to them as to render them needing not, seemingly, even formal communication to resolve a target, or not, and a plan of attack, or not?

    Or another investigative offense: how is it that armies of Semites, both Jew and Arab, gaily, from their shared boardrooms at Wall Street, Washington and other cities, and along with armies of non-Semites, fleece and enslave individuals, corporations and nations ... the while, and for public consumption, hurling upsetting words and lethal projectiles at one another?

    Or another investigative offense: who got all this upset going so widely and simultaneously? Whose operation is this? People don't come out into the streets and riot, police and other governmental facilities aren't torched at precisely the same time, without planning on an impressive scale. Popular revolt? Nonsense. Not on this scale. This is nation states' SOF units and very capable ones at that. Whose? With who else's support? To what end?

    Muslim Brotherhood is in the mix, surely, but not to this level of effectiveness.

    And why haven't we been anticipating this for the last several decades, discussing it openly, preparing for it, at least as people, even if leadership cadre won't, rather than responding to daily goads employed by leadership cadre to divert attention from essentials?

    Why isn't the American intellectual, such as myself, anticipating events and saying so frankly to benefit the nation rather than manipulating events in camera and/or wringing hands over them in public?

    Globalists have made a mess. They say utopia, they do chaos. Even Gaddafi's collectivist utopia is hated by its "beneficiaries." And Saud's going to succeed now with a one-time distribution of oil revenue? I know, ill-tempered rhetorical question.

    I will say this as a warning: that American collectivists' support of Gaddafi and Khamene’i shows what they, too, are willing to do against an uprising to throw off their tyranny. Union violence of recent days, as everyone feels in their bones, foreshadows the far greater violence American collectivists are just as prone to summon forth as Gaddafi their brother has. Collectivists/chaotics have the world's bloodiest, least morality-inhibited record.

    When chaotics seek to express themselves so, at that point, the difference between an Army loyal to a nation (Egypt) and an Army loyal to an individual (Libya) will be evident in the USA, whose Army is loyal to the nation.

    In any case, in a fluid battlespace, of more benefit than a defensive is an offensive posture. Note to myself.

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  11. Luke, that's funny.......although I can't imagine ever reading anything by Eugene Robinson.

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  12. Amazing since the left wing talking point used to be " Obama, Mubarak Meet To Repair Relations After Bush

    Photo of Obama and Mubarak included . Just last year Obama was propping up the Mubarak regime

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/18/obama-mubarak-meet-to-rep_n_262194.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Glenn Beck's "conspiracy" about collusion between leftists and Islamists for the mutual goal of destabilizing the West shouldn't been thought of as wacked-out by any devotee of reality shows like Survivor or Big Brother

    ...or by students of history who know about the Molotov-von Ribbentrop Pact, or other cooperation between the left-wing Communists and so-called "right wing" Fascists and Nazis.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm one to favor Hanlon's Razor when it comes to those who seem to have an agenda - Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    Mr. Robinson presupposes that elections in Egypt will be free and fair. This supposition is doubtful given an election can only be free and fair IF there are no outside influences and everyone plays by the same rules. The Muslim Brotherhood doesn't play by the rules, they make their own. Ask the families of all the murdered Egyptian officials and also the families of the tourists.

    Mr. Robinson suffers from the same ailment as Obama, rigid political views of the world which blind them to reality. The Muslim Brotherhood's stated goal is domination of the Arab world and those who aspire to that goal, lie, cheat and murder to achieve it. Under those conditions, free and fair elections are impossible.

    ReplyDelete