Free Markets, Free People

A little history lesson–Egypt and Iran

This, from Austin Bay, does an excellent job of making the point about Egypt that I have been trying to get across in a meta sense. He does it with a look back at the Iranian revolution. It, in many ways, mirrors what is happening in Egypt today. Bay makes the point that in all such revolutions, the key is organization. And unfortunately authoritarians usually do a better job of organizing than do democrats.

A democratic movement will never march in lockstep, but common principles — such as dedication to individual rights — must translate into a common spine to resist, with armed force when necessary, inevitable manipulation, threat and attack by tyrants, terrorists and their vicious partisans.

Recent history bears tragic witness. In the aftermath of their popular rebellion of 1979, the hodgepodge collection of Iranian liberals and nationalists fragmented. The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s radical Islamic totalitarians divided the democratic coalition and attacked them individually. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, Iran’s first president after the 1979 revolt, identifies the failure to form a unified democratic front as the Iranians greatest strategic error.

In an essay published in the Christian Science Monitor last month, Bani-Sadr said most Iranian political organizations "did not commit themselves to democracy. Lacking the unity of a democratic front, one by one they became targets of power-seeking clergy in the form of the Islamic Republic Party … ."

I remember the Iranian revolution vividly. I remember Bani-Sadr and the hopes he had for a free and democratic Iran. And I also remember the relentless Ayatollahs and their eventual success at the "divide and conquer" strategy they used. Iran has never gotten off the mat since.

Bay is much more optimistic about the outcome in Egypt than I obviously am.  I think it is much to early to determine that they are headed in the right direction.  Bay says there are hopeful signs.  Good.  But … and there’s always one of those when talking about an authoritarian regime willingly handing over power … we’re so early in the process it’s impossible to tell if the military is really serious about the handover or whether nationalists, secularists, “moderate” Islamists and activists can indeed form a united front or will instead fracture at various points. 

History says “fracture”.

Bay puts the “key” to success in his conclusion:

How the military receives the counter-proposal is crucial. Rejection or ambivalent delay sends the ominous message that there is at least one strong faction of military Bonapartists who prefer pharaoh to freedom. The give and take of sincere negotiations among revolutionary factions and the military, ending in authentic compromise, however, will not only forward the process of building a democratic front but signal the emergence of genuine democratic politics.

You can be guaranteed there are what Bay calls “Bonapartists” within the military.  And in Egyptian history it isn’t unheard of for more junior level officers to resort to violence to take over (Gamal Nasser anyone?).  In the sort of revolutionary atmosphere now prevalent in Egypt it should be remembered that not all revolutionaries want democracy or freedom.  You can rest assured there are power struggles going on within a great number of these factions both within and outside the military.

Given Bay’s quoting of recent history, I’m not sure how he is so optimistic at this early date in the process, but he does seem to think that a united Egyptian democratic front may emerge from all this turmoil.  I remain skeptical and doubtful (even if I’d love to be proven wrong).  And … I have history on my side.



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113 Responses to A little history lesson–Egypt and Iran

  • That is a pattern one sees over and over in revolutions.  The faction that is most dedicated to an idea…and ruthless in trying to realize it…WILL consolidate power in themselves.  Former comrades in the revolt become their most bitter foes.
    It happened in Germany with the Nazis, in Russia with their revolution, France, and in Iran (along with lots of other places).

  • Austin Bay link:

    Austin Bay is a real go-to guy for insights on the military and history. He doesn’t sound optimistic, so much as cognizant that Egypt is at a crossroads. They could successfully make the choice for democracy. Then again, they might fail.

    I’d be curious to see a comparison of Egypt with Ataturk’s reform of Turkey to a secular democracy. As I recall, Ataturk had to crack heads pretty hard to make that happen. Is there a leader like Ataturk available in Egypt now? It’s not encouraging that today we see Turkey sliding towards Islamism.

    Erb keeps bringing up young secularized Arab youth without presenting any data aside from his impressions from watching Al-Jazeera. I’m sure that some such youth exist — as they did and do in Iran — but how many are they and how much difference can they make?

    As to his dismissal of the Iraq War as a democratizing agent, I remember the plaintive writing of a young Iranian woman in 2003 who blogged by the handle “Irangirl” and cheered when coalition forces invaded Iraq and deposed Hussein. Then she said how she envied the Iraqis and wished our armies would turn around and invade Iran. Here’s hoping Irangirl is still alive.

    • You are exactly right, Attaturk was one of those figures that comes around once in a generation or so, a real leader, absent another Attaturk, we have no idea what will happen.

  • Now is the hard part for Egypt, but besides the obvious difference between Arabs and Persians, Egypt is not Iran, the contexts are much, much different:
    Egypt is not going to have a flowering democracy over night.  Like Turkey, it may need an active military to help protect and guide it.  But it’s clear the youth of the country (and across the Arab world) are of a new generation and a very different mindset than their elders.  This is a new era for the Arab world, and I suspect both dictators and Islamic extremists are going to be left in the dust.  There is no guarantee about the future, but it’s good that the youth are not satisfied with dictatorship, and are better informed and connected than ever before.
    But hey, it seems I’m agreeing more with the neo-cons on Egypt than I’ve agreed with them on anything else (most of them seem to also see hope with the Arab youth and the desire for democracy).   I think they had a lot right, they just didn’t get how military power would breed resentment and weaken the US.   But now that we learned that lesson, maybe right and left can come together and think of how to promote democratic change.

    • As another commenter pointed out, you keep repeating the “never trust anyone over 30” and “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” type arguments.  They’re starting to stink up the joint.
      Got any evidence that Islamic extremists are shrinking in number?  How about the figures on female genital mutilation?  What’s the rate of decline?
      Now, show quantitatively how the rights of women in Islamic countries and enclaves have increased.
      For all the youth running around that part of the globe, women still seem to be treated like dirt.

      • I’ve asked what the normative age for suicide murderers is repeatedly.  The only answer Erp has contrived to give is that…if those damned towers hadn’t jumped in their way…the 9/11 guys would be in their 30s now.
        Sort of ignores the obvious you see in the photos of the killers and would-be (if their ordinance was better) killers.  All of them are young, with VERY few exceptions.

        • Silly Rags, the number of suicide bombers is so minuscule compared to the population that their age doesn’t mean anything.  But if you want to make them an issue, you have to provide the evidence.  But if out of 100 million youth there are 20 suicide bombers, well, do the math.  It ain’t a very high percentage!

          • I did provide the evidence, putz.  It is common knowledge among those who can read and view a photograph.  Leaving you on the sidelines…again.
            Gawd, what an idiot.

          • The suicide bombers are for special circumstances, Scott. You know that. Like a line applicants outside an Iraqi police department, or a popular cafe in Israel.

            But those car bombers, oh those car bombers, Scott. Your favorites. You must have been impressed because that’s the side you took in Iraq, and you’re still taking it.

      • It’s his latest fixation Eliot, it’s what he uses to justify whatever fantasy he’s currently peddling on why it’s all good, why he’s enlightened, but we’re merely frightened.
        Note he has studiously ignored any of the questions about the treatment of women in Islam, other than to point out that the US had slavery 150 years ago.  I gather what he really means is we need to shut up about rights because once upon a time, we had slavery here in the US and women couldn’t vote.  It’s not clear how 150 years ago applies to today, considering his little sojourns into how our thought processes are 20th century and we’ve now rolled the calendar forward to 21st century thinking which makes us outmoded.
        I will say this, it’s at least a consistently asinine stream of thought.

        • I remember Milton Friedman saying that consistency was a grossly over-rated virtue…

        • Wow, now you’re on about the treatment of women?  LOL!  You know the answer, you try to defend it against it in your post.  But clearly the transition to modernism takes time.  This is a transition that’s beginning.  It will be difficult, often violent, and at this point there is still a long ways to go.  Things don’t change overnight.
          But they are changing.  And that’s good.  After all, it’s not like you can eliminate Islam.  Demonizing it only plays into the hands of the extremists.  The US can’t control how events are unfolding, but we can get on the right side of the change and support democracy.

          • Wow, now you’re on about the treatment of women?  LOL!

            It’s laugh out loud funny when hundreds of millions of women are denied basic rights.  Oh yeah, and the cutting of the genitals to steal a lifetime of being able to have sexual pleasure is a real chuckle, too.  (Luckily that horrible practice is only common in a few regions, as opposed to burqas.)

            But clearly the transition to modernism takes time.

            Yeah, all those hundreds of millions of women, the non-Muslims, the people wanting to do things we take for granted…they all just have to have faith that in a few decades or centuries, other people might not be treated so badly.
            There you go, a nice big fake smiley-faced mask over the whole thing.  Unfounded optimism.  What a concept.
            It is, after all, much easier to be optimistic when you’re not the one sweltering in a burqa, safely across oceans from the mess.

            This is a transition that’s beginning.

            Is it?  Where’s the evidence?  Afghanistan and Iran used to be more Western.  Women had more rights and didn’t have to dress so conservatively.  Some people drank alcohol, people enjoyed music, magazines, and other things which are now outlawed.  They went backwards.
            Other people in these comments have mentioned Turkey, how the government there is becoming more theocratic and moving away from modernism.  I haven’t followed that in the news (other than generally knowing about party shifts a few years ago), but if it is the case, it is just another example of the reversal of any “transition to modernism.”
            Where are the countries where the reverse is substantively happening?  Simply because they have cell phones and airplanes doesn’t mean they’ve abandoned backwards, cruel ideas about women or other centuries-old nonsense.  In Pakistan, they sacrifice goats on the tarmac to help ensure that planes don’t crash.  Saudis walk around with cell phones, but they still have morality police who beat people with sticks if they’re caught being “immodest” in public.
            The existence of technology (invented in other countries) doesn’t mean that people who use the gadgets think more rationally, adopting modern civilized ways.

            After all, it’s not like you can eliminate Islam.  Demonizing it only plays into the hands of the extremists.

            The fact that Islam is increasing in influence and not going away means it’s not time to put the big old fake smiley-face mask of foolish optimism.
            And, the fanatical Islamists are always going to look for reasons to be angry at things which challenge their agenda.  They’ll be angry if you criticize their ideas.  They’ll be angry if the locals adopt modern (Western) ideas.  They’ll be angry if you ignore them.  They’ll be angry if it rains or if it shines.
            That’s what they do.

          • Riiiiiiight, we’re back to your slavery defense.   A more childish answer would have required you to merely call me a stupid head.

            As it is, your response, I can only say, Wow, admirable.   

          • After all, it’s not like you can eliminate Islam.  Demonizing it only plays into the hands of the extremists.

            And NORMALIZING its demonic factions is WORSE, you putz.  There is a “middle way”, and that is to DEAL WITH FLUCKING REALITY.  That only pertained to people other than Erp, since he long ago released his grip on real for the warm haze of the faculty lounge.

      • Why do you think there are a lot of Islamic extremists?  What evidence do you have for that?

        • Why do you think there are a lot of Islamic extremists?

          You said you “suspect both dictators and Islamic extremists are going to be left in the dust.”  The question isn’t whether the fanatical Islamists are x% or y% of the population, it’s that the percentage in 2011 is greater than the percentage in 1991 or 1911.  As the numbers increase, the Pollyanaish notion that they will be “left in the dust” just doesn’t jibe with reality.

          What evidence do you have for that?

          I’d love nothing better than to see dictators strung up and for people in Islamic countries to be able to exercise their basic rights more.  I just don’t see the point of the big ol’ fake smiley-face mask of false optimism you keep trying to put over things.

    • Have you taken a look a Turkey lately ?   They are slowly slipping into the fundamentalist Islam camp.

      • That would be my counter argument, too.  As the Islamists gain more control of the Turkish government, they are working hard to defang the army.  After 50 officers were arrested last February, we get at least 133 more arrested this February.

    • Scott, can you name one time in all of human history when the “youth” were anything but a bunch of self indulgent and easily misled dumbasses? 

      It is not without cause that tyrants like Chairman Mao used young people in campaigns against his opponents.  The only good thing I can say about them is that their youthful energy and animal spirits can sometimes cause change. History shows that the change is almost always for the worse.

      • Kyle, your criticism of youth is silly and ridiculous.  It’s also unsubstantiated.  Yes, Mao manipulated the youth, but in the Arab world it’s the youth rising up against the dictators.  Why do you want to reject that.  And if change is almost always for the worse, then life now must be the worst ever.  I tend to think there is progress in history, meaning change ultimately is for the better.  Do you really want to embrace dictatorships?

        • I didn’t say all change was for the worse and you did not answer my question, when did youth inspied rebellion ever come out good?

        • Scott has never heard of the Khmer Rouge or seen any of the abundant footage from various African civil wars and insurgencies. Besides, all those Africans look the same age! Where’s the evidence that those are really teenagers?

          Paris and Berkeley in ’68 are probably heroic moments for Scott, even though it was just a bunch of self-indulgent kids listening to red diaper babies with bull horns. (“Oh, the sight of a bull horn just….”)

          And what’s the matter with a little jubilant gang rape in the streets? Don’t you remember what it was like to be young? Silly and ridiculous criticism of youth. We want youth to rule us because they are the future! Besides, those people over thirty smell funny.

    • Looks like Erp is easing off a bit. Building a bit of space so that when it doesn’t work out he can still say “I was right”:

      “Now is the hard part for Egypt”

      “Egypt is not going to have a flowering democracy over night. ”

      “Like Turkey, it may need an active military to help protect and guide it.”

      “There is no guarantee about the future”

      • Noted that, too, Don.  Still, he’s hammer down and southbound on the hiway to hell with his young male Egyptian good buddies.  Hmmm…  Could be a theme there.  NTTAWWT…

  • Oh, yeah, those “new age” yowts gang raped Lara Logan…repeatedly…while chanting “Jew, Jew”.
    But that was purely secular.

    • I’m sure that was ‘old guys’ caught up in the old peaceful Islam.  The young guys would never do that you know, we’d have Scott’s assurances on it, were he not ignoring it’s occurrence.

    • You really have got to wonder what Logan was thinking.  Her South African background should have prepared her better.

      • From what I’ve read, she had a pretty good security force.  They just got separated, apparently.  Although there could be more to it than that.
        I don’t fault her.  She is a young western woman, and a member of the press, so I’m sure she did not expect to be treated the way she was…kind of like an Egyptian girl who stepped out of her place.

        • I would agree, she probably didn’t anticipate being treated that way.  I admit, even I found it surprising, and I have a pretty low opinion of your average Middle Eastern mob.  By all accounts however, there was quite a bit of that sort of behavior going on in the square that day.
          Again, thank God for decent Egyptian soldiers and Egyptian women.
          Ah, the wonders of the desire for democracy, coupled with the peaceful, democratically inclined religion of Islam.

        • Seems now they were reportedly yelling “jew jew” while this went on (she’s not Jewish).
          But, it’s the Jews who need to make peace.

  • There is a very efficient pathway to the New Egypt where all the serious players get what they want.

    First, there is no “modernizing youth” faction, as in “gosh, we’re just in favor of, you know, free stuff and porn and, oh, that rights thing.” That’s nonsense. The “modernizing youth,” such as they are, are socialists. So let’s hold them to the side for a moment.

    Next, the military can just agree, “Hey, we’re all Muslims, right? No problem.” The military affirms the “deep Muslim heritage of Egypt.”

    Next, the military puts together a “guardian council” of clerics, including some ‘Brothers,’ who will oversee the hegemony of sharia in Egyptian culture. And, of course, the military says to the clerics, “you understand that we’re all Muslims, especially the military, right?”

    Next, democratic elections for a parliament that will be overssen by the military, to a great extent through the guardian council of clerics (which knows how to keep a population in line), and the parliament and whatever poor sap becomes the president will take the heat for food prices and anything else that goes wrong. The net effect of democratization will be more frequent changes in the president. No more of those 30-year reigns. See, it’s democracy!

    Also important, be more hostile to the United States, but not so hostile that they stop sending money, at least until someone else picks up the slack, like China, which is known to have a propensity for investment. Perhaps the Chinese can help run the Suez!

    Then there’s Israel: Attack Israel, but not openly. Outsource terrorism instead, like the brillian Iranians do.

    As for the any leftover “youth movement” types who have the itch for “more democracy,” help them immigrate to Europe, where they can be properly trained by the really radical mullahs. Plus, the welfare benefits are better there.

    • Except theres a money problem. Egypt is poor, juntas are greedy.

      Egypt has got big revenue streams independent of tax revenue, streams that are open to easy hi-jacking. Having any poor sap who is independent is very problematic when the junta wants to steal any revenue. The poor sap will be in nominal control of huge revenue streams, so if the poor sap is corrupt they’d quickly become an extremely rich sap. Rich people in extremely powerful positions are difficult to blame for anything.

      For “democracy” to flourish in Egypt it would be much better if two extremely corrupt political parties were to form. Parties that would have no difficulty in making sure that their dear and welcome high ranking friends in the military are adequately compensated for defending the borders.

      • I think that even in relatively corrupt regimes there are a lot of both formal and informal agreements about how things roll. Mubarek obviously wore well with the military as their front man, but I don’t think that he could be precisely called a strong man, in the political sense that he accounted to no one. He probably overasserted his actual value as the years wore on and also got old. Time for a change, but maybe this time the military is more reluctant to return to a face that wants its own postage stamp or coin. Maybe some poor, forgetable saps.

      • Thank you for using the term junta. I was listening to NPR and they referred to a “military council” ruling Egypt. I was quite upset, because we have perfectly good word for that and its called a junta. Military council seems so much more dignified than what it really will be, i.e. a junta.

        • Yeah, but NPR has a very selective “book” on the use of terms.
          If it is a friendly-to-us military “clump”, THOSE are a junta.  That sounds so South American and dictatorial…  You can practically see the twirled greasy mustaches.
          Otherwise, they are a “military council”.
          Really very simple.

    • Martin McPhillips[B]e more hostile to the United States, but not so hostile that they stop sending money, at least until someone else picks up the slack, like China, which is known to have a propensity for investment. Perhaps the Chinese can help run the Suez!

      Oh, great.  I hadn’t considered how countries outside the ME might look at this.  Cackling in Beijing, no doubt.  At least the Red Chinese don’t seem to be very interested in spreading communism these days: they just want money.  Not a bad attitude, really…

  • Aww…look at those modern, secular yowths….

    A coordinator of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement told USA Today on Wednesday that if the group’s demands “are not met, we’ll be on the street again.”

    Among the group’s demands – one that breaks with the stated policy of the military government – was the halting of natural gas shipments to Israel, citing what it called Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians, according to the report.

    SUCH a break from that old “stagnant” thinking of last year…
    Pardon me will I get a little teary…

  • Nuts…
    Egypt’s April 6th Youth Movement is saying it will hit the streets again if the Army doesn’t cut off Israel’s natural gas.
    Very modern and secular, no???

    • I guess there’s still time time for the ‘whiff of grapeshot’ after all, assuming the Army doesn’t want to tangle with the IDF at this time.  It won’t do to let them get too far ahead of themselves and acting like the military is not really in charge you know.
      I wonder if the Army will deliver each “grape” to the leaders of the movement personally, or if it will do it enmass.
      Meanwhile, I read the Israeli’s are going hell bent for leather on an internal source to circumvent this.

  • The U.S. informed Arab governments Friday that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity

    >>>> SCUM.  Everyone involved is scum.

    • Israel had better make peace or its existence is in question.  Luckily Netanyahu has the credibility to alter policy (sort of like how only Nixon could go to China).

      • That goes down as one…of a GREAT many…colossally STOoooooopid statements you have made.  The levels of stupid are legion…in just the first sentence.

      • “Israel had better make peace or its existence is in question.”

        What are you proposing, Scott? More “peace” like the kind Hamas runs in Gaza?

        How about a right of return to Israel for Palestinians?

        Maybe Israeli disarmement would do it.

        Or perhaps the Helen Thomas solution: Go back to Poland and Germany. Or maybe just Poland, cause Scott hangs in Germany.

        • I’m sure its the kind of peace they can achieve, as I said, by walking west from Haifa to ‘freedom’.

          After all, it’s all theory to our little professor, just an interesting interaction between brown peoples with funny accents and quaint ways.

          • No, it’s theory to you guys.  Or a game.  You’ve chosen a side.  You’ve chosen to see everything from the perspective of that one side, and then see the other side as bad.  It’s like the super bowl to you, or a film, where the good guys and the bad guys are clearly discernible.  You interpret everything through that lens, and ridicule anyone who points out the complexities and mutual blame that reality entails.  You are out of touch with reality, but you can be on blogs with other “fans” of your “side,” attacking anyone who disagrees with your point of view just like Green Bay Packer fans might attack Chicago Bears fans on Packer based websites.   You’re bluster and bravado, but don’t really understand the complexities.  Oh well, I guess it’s harmless, I doubt you’re impacting the opinions of others.   By your logic, Sadat could never have been a partner for peace because he launched a war to eliminate Israel.  By your logic Israel should never have embraced land for peace with Sadat, because he really was dedicated to their elimination.  You have chosen a point of view that defines conflict as inevitable, and it fits your desire for the emotion of being a true fan.

          • Nah, not so much.  I like peace, peace is good with me.  I really DO want all of us to sit down at a big table, hold hands, sing whatever song floats your boat, pass the food around, talk about our kids, our pets, our lives.

            But I’m what you call an adult, look it up.  I know that there are people out there who don’t want those things, because they’re angry, or mad, or insane and they’d prefer to sit down ON the bodies of ‘their enemies’ once the slaughter is over.  THEN they’ll sing the songs, pass the food around and talk about the kids.

            I don’t get up every morning thinking the world is my enemy.    It’s not a football game to me, I like justice, if there are things the Israelis can do that would correct things they’ve done wrong, I agree they should do them.  HOWEVER, I perceive, from statements of powers that be around them, that the only ‘justice’ they seek is the elimination of the Jewish state. 

            I’ll even give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume once they’ve occupied Israel they won’t act like the animals running lose a few days ago in Tahiri square. 

          • ” By your logic, Sadat could never have been a partner for peace because he launched a war to eliminate Israel.  By your logic Israel should never have embraced land for peace with Sadat, because he really was dedicated to their elimination.  ”

            And by YOUR logic, asswipe, we don’t get to comment on the treatment of women under Sharia, because we had slavery 150 years go in the US.

            Stick that in your hypocritical complexities pipe and smoke it.

      • It’s not Israel who has to “make peace” pally.  Israel is quite willing to make peace but you see, it’s the other people in the region who don’t want any peace.

        How do you make peace with enemies who’s sole term is your destruction?  And make no mistake, that is the stated goal of israel’s enemies.

        Israel can and will defend itself, if things ever hit rock bottom.  Change in the mid east is SOLELY and squarely the burden of the muslims.  They’re the ones who have to make the effort.

        • You can always tell an irrational extremist; they are the ones who blame only one side and hold the other side as blameless.   You are the moral equivalent of an anti-Israeli extremist who blames Israel for everything.  You are cut from the same cloth, you simply have chosen a different side to emotionally connect with.  “Four legs good, two legs bad.”  I could list a series of things Israel has done to avoid peace — it’s a subject I cover every semester, after all — alongside a series of things the Palestinians and Arabs have done.   Both sides share blame.  Both sides have their destinies linked, both sides will either find a way to live together, or they’ll die together.

          • Let’s see. What’s wrong with this picture. “I teach a course…” About how both sides are to blame.

            Well, did the Israelis, in helping set up the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, elect Hamas, the terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel as the government? Hamas is, is…the local branch office of Muslim Brotherhood!

            The issues for Israel are existential. In other words, Hamas and Hezbollah will make peace if Israel negotiates away its existence.

            The Left knows that this is the game, and the pretense that it is otherwise is only meant to hide reality. The fact is that the Palestinians could have had peace decades ago, had they not fallen under the wing of the KGB, which never wanted peace. Now it’s ritual, still fueled by the Left in the West and the radical Islamists and in some cases the former commies from PLO.

            I’m sure Scott teaches all this, because he wants to be fair to Israel. He loves Israel. In fact, he knows Jewish people!

      • Israel has made peace, but likely that will be thrown out the window by Egypt.

      • You’ve chosen a side.

        >>>> So have you.

        The wrong one.

  • “Israel had better make peace or its existence is in question.”

    Do you even read what you write?  How do you make peace with Nations and organizations whose prime purpose is your complete elimination.  And by elimination, I mean death!  With the exception of Jordan and a Mubarrak led Egypt, Israel is surrounded by nations who are dominated by organizations whose basic charter includes the elimination of Israel as a nation and death to all jews – Hamas, Fatah, Hezbulla.  Pray tell me, there Erb, how do you make peace with people like that or are you really suggesting that Israel bow to the inevitable and just surrender themselves for slaughter?

    • What frightened folk you guys are.  Slaughter?  You reek of fear.  Don’t worry, there are tough negotiations ahead, but the Muslims aren’t a bunch of fanatics wanting to destroy Israel and the West.  Sadat was dedicated to wiping out Israel too, and look what happened?  Arafat as well.  Most Arabs just want there to be peace and a Palestinian state.  You let yourself get tricked into FEAR by a few pictures of dancing Palestinians or radical Arabs, fantasizing that the whole region is that way.  The reason for Israel to find a way to make peace is to end the threat.  They can never eliminate the Palestinians (do you think they should embrace a ‘final solution’?)

      • Factless and stupid, for starters. The only question I have: Scott, is your self-deception greater or lesser than your need to deceive others.

        For you, there are these nebulous “Muslims” out there, somewhere. But Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Jihad, and probably even al Qaeda (who worries about those silly extremists anymore!) don’t exist. Only the new cloud of “Muslims,” peace-loving, modernizing, open, tolerant, with their women on pedastals, only that cloud exists.

        You are an idiot, Scott. The students in your classes must know that.

      • Hey dipstick, I’m not afraid for me, funny though, I must have grown up in the late 20th century watching too many Superman, Captain America, good guy movies.   Somewhere along the line I got this crazy idea that genocide is wrong.

        “but the Muslims aren’t a bunch of fanatics wanting to destroy Israel and the West.  ”

        just enough of them to make a difference.  Did ALL of us want to invade Iraq Scott?  

      • Once again, do you even read what you write?  Or is your knowledge of history so deficient?  Your comments belie completely any understanding of the history of the the middle east.

        First of all you ignored my comment, “How do you make peace with Nations and organizations whose prime purpose is your complete elimination.”

        Second, ” . .  but the Muslims aren’t a bunch of fanatics wanting to destroy Israel . . “  That’s funny because that is what they say and the charter for their organizations.  Hamas’ equivilent to Sesame Street daily teaches muslim young people the joys of hating Israel and the jews and the glory of being a suicide bomber.  How do you refute that?

        Third:   “Sadat was dedicated to wiping out Israel too, and look what happened?”  Sadat was tired of getting his ass kicked on the battlefield and of his relationship with the Soviets.  Politically and Fiscally the conflicts with israel weres getting him nowhere and in order to resolve the issue and gain complete Western support, he had to rid himself of soviet influence.  He did the one thing that would garuntee US diplomatic and monetary support – he made peace with Israel.  His so-called muslim brothers slaughtered him it.

        Third:  “Arafat as well.”  Arafat signed but then reneged on every peacemaking action he ever made with Israel.  Had he done as Sadat, he too would have been slaughtered long before his own inglorious end.

        Fourth:  “Most Arabs just want there to be peace and a Palestinian state.”  Here let me fix that quote for you, “Most Arabs just want there to be peace and a single Palestinian state.”  Now it complies with polls throughout the region.  Most muslims in the region do not recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

        Fifth: “The reason for Israel to find a way to make peace is to end the threat.”  Now pray tell us the following: 1) Define the Threat? and 2) How do you then end that threat?

        And lastly: “. . do you think they should embrace a ‘final solution’?”  No but the muslims of the middle east have.

        • IF ANY flucking Arab state wanted a Palestinian state, they could assure it INSTANTLY by providing them a little of the VAST territory they control.
          But HISTORY tells us they will slaughter Palestinians in VAST numbers to keep that from happening.
          Right, Erp…???

          • I spent a week in the Middle East last year, and found out that they tell Palestinian jokes the way we told Pollack jokes when I was a kid in the sixties. Palestinians may be co-religionists, but there’s no respect for them among other Arabs.

          • They are preserved in their status as cannon fodder…or suicide vest delivery systems.  Their “brothers” have them EXACTLY where they want them.

        • Erb,
          Sadat did lead the 1973 war, but was that war designed to wipe out Israel, or just to take back territory taken by the Israelis and take full control of the Suez? There is a big difference between that and Hamas that wants to wipe Israel of the face of the map…you may also notice that people aren’t talking about Fatah as they are willing to negotiate.

          • Golda Meir was once asked how Israel could win all of their wars.  Her response, “Do we have any choice?”  Egypt controlled the suez in ’73 nad even controlled the Sinai.  Had Egypt won the ’73 war, what do you think would have become of Israel and the Jews?

            Willingness to negotiate?  Fatah’s charter mimics that of Hamas and Hezbollah – the elimination of the state of Israel and the destruction of all jews.  Have they indicated thier willingness to change their charter?

            Didn’t think so.

      • Sadat was dedicated to wiping out Israel too, and look what happened?

        What happened was Isreali tanks made it to about 10 miles or so from Cairo in 1973.  And the Russians did not replenish the lost equipment of his Armed Forces.  That’s what happend.

        And then he made peace, and was killed by his own countrymen for it.

        That’s ‘what happend.’

        • Yep. Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Jordan and elsewhere have been places where the leadership has been pragmatic but the people–the “street”–has been moving towards radical Islam and the 6th century.

          Erp talks of the young Arabs, but then he turn to Sadat, an old, dead Arab nationalist. Whatever else you can say about Sadat, he made peace on pragmatic grounds. The 23 year old Arab street is anything but pragmatic.
          Note also how Erp tacks; Israel is under threat, but it isn’t the fault of those who would destroy it. Erp is prepping his wiggle room.

          • Erp talks of the young Arabs, but then he turn to Sadat, an old, dead Arab nationalist.

            Murdered by a YOUNG officer…at the behest of those famous pluralists, the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD…for the crime of making peace with Israel.

          • Yep. The Arab street today is much more in tune with the young officier than the older Sadat. Erp is denying it because that’s the current meme of the left, because it fits in as a defense of The Won’s actions.

            Several years ago, Erp was saying something different, because the domestic political goals of the Democrats were different. The other side was in charge, and pushing democracy in the ME.

            Erp switches with the wind. He has no shame. He will completly embarass himself for The Won.

      • Time for Scott to stop commenting on THIS line of the thread – he will open another front somewhere else.   Perhaps there are some 12 years olds who need his gift for education.

      • What frightened folk you guys are.  Slaughter?  You reek of fear.

        >>>  I agree!  Why would jews EVER be afraid of being slaughtered!

        • Yeah, there’s no history for that at all…….
          Said Professor Ahmydinnerjacket

        • The fact that BOZO lives in Maine, affords him the ability to indulge in his various ignorant fantasies ignoring polls like this

          • I’ll say it again: Scott has embroidered “KICK ME” on the back of his shirt every time he parades in here saying things which are utterly false, while ridiculing everyone else (mostly via strawmen, haughty appeals to his self-proclaimed expertise, and a limited supply of canned quips).
            What can you say to a guy who declares that the people living in Muslim countries are becoming more enlightened and more able to exercise their rights (“modernization”) and that only people who are “frightened folk” could be concerned that Israel might be in danger from people who daily beat the drum of “Death to Israel”, following a history of attempted invasions of Israel by neighboring countries and decades of terrorist attacks?  And, not only are you all “frightened folk” to think that, but according to Scott, you’re “taking sides” with Israel, as if there’s no other explanation (false dichotomy).
            There is simply no way to reason with someone so arrogant, stubborn, stupid, irrational, and just plain wrong.

          • There is simply no way to reason with someone so arrogant, stubborn, stupid, irrational, and just plain wrong.

             You left off “so psychologically sick that he gets pleasure out of irritating other people”.

      • Erb, there have been decades of negotiations. The Palestinians never seem to be willing to make the final commitment to peace.
        They seem to think that maybe next year the US will pressure Israel, or that the suicide bombings are working, or whatever. (The US really has very little leverage over Israel now.)
        Every year Israel gets stronger, builds better walls, and can ignore the Palestinians. They won’t get a better deal than they did before and you think peace is possible. Not until the Palestinians figure out how to control the use of force on their side and realize they can’t get everything they want.

        • The Palestinians are pawns.  First, they were the pawns of Israelis who displaced them, sometimes just showing up at villages with trucks and hauling everyone away.  Since then, they are pawns of Arab countries which could have resettled the refugees, but made the cynical calculation that dangling these people out there as permanent victims was better for them (the outside Arabs) as a political ploy to make Israel look like the eternal villain.  And, they are pawns of their so-called leaders, who are willing to use them as fodder to maintain their own power.
          Back when Arafat was doing his little dance, I figured out that it didn’t matter what the Israelis did.  It was like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, each time they went to bargain for peace.

  • are you really suggesting that Israel bow to the inevitable and just surrender themselves for slaughter?
    >>>  He’ll never outright suggest it…..

    • Right, he’ll just continue to say “Israel is the problem” – he’ll just continue to say they need to stop doing whatever it is that upsets their Arab neighbors, without ever recognizing that in their case Jews “breathing” really hacks them off.

      As a grown up leftist @hole his job is to pretend those organizations never actually SAID those things, that they really meant something different, and that we shouldn’t take their words at face value, we should look for hidden peaceful meanings when they use words like “destroy”, “eliminate”, etc.

  • I’m thinking that this has been a very revealing round of comments with respect to Prof. Goofyclown and the status of Left academentia. After days of factless assertions, he demands facts. Pressed, nervous, something slips out that smells funny, about Israel. The celebration of glorious Egyptian military rule as a revolution of democracy is briefly halted, to warn the Jews, who have an actual democracy, that they flirt with annihilation unless they provide “peace.”

  • I think its quite simple, if there is no blood spilled by the democratic peoples, there will be no democratic peoples, the other side is always willing and able to spill it, either secretly or in the open. To believe that you can actually create a democratic society through facebook is a moon pony dream. To those who think this they have most likely already forgotten about Egypt, believing their work to be done.

  • You are an idiot, Scott. The students in your classes must know that.

    DING, DING, DING…!!!
    That is the money quote, right there.  I have to think Erp knows it, too.

    • I disagree. I don’t think he has a clue what his students really think.

      I think his students have absolutely bamboozled him. They know exactly what he is and what they have to do to manipulate him to get a good grade. He eats it up (it feeds his narcissism), and beams about how they’ve understood his nuanced moral equivalence. Then they go laugh around the table in the cafeteria.

      You think we are hard on him? I bet we don’t hold a candle to the bright students who have to listen to him expose his ignorance for hours every week.

      I have a son in college and another in high school. They and their buddies are comfortable enough around me (it’s amazing what being a respectable Halo player buys you) to say what they really think about their teachers. The good ones get praise. The pretentious frauds like Scott get derision. They have a thousand stories of how they indulged their teachers’ ignorant prejudices to get a good grade and then laughed about it back in the dorm room.

      • But, Billy, imagine those times…and they have to be frequent…when he has his back turned to the class and says something as STOOOOOOooooooopid as he writes here, and he feels the derision.
        I KNOW he has some of those poor idiot kids enthralled, and he can carry his delusion that he is their guru.  But like your guys in the “education” process, there are others who can actually read, think, and synthesize.  Too DAMN few…especially at the age most of them are…but still a few.
        The contempt sometimes HAS to be palpable…as here.

    I got you “modernity” hanging, Erp…  What must it be like to INVERT reality the way you do?

    • It must be nice, in a way, to be him though.  Sort of like it was when you were 5, and the world was pretty simple, and Santa still existed.

      • Except Santa is benign…if not totally benevolent.  The 12th Immam is pure evil in the modern world, and Ayatollah-Claus is absolute death to our culture.
        This idiot poo-poos the idea of SLAUGHTER, in a time when MILLIONS of people have been hacked to death with machetes, or suffocated by people with plastic bags LOOKING their victims in the eyes…
        for a LOT less than the Muslims feel like they have against the Jews.

        • or suffocated by people with plastic bags LOOKING their victims in the eyes…

          What? I’ve heard of quite a bit, including the Red Army behavior when they first entered Germany (much worse than the rape and murder they comitted in Berlin), and Japanese canabalism (including keeping the victims alive to preserve the meat, read FlyBoys for more). I’ve read about Nanking, I’ve read about Chinese in the PRC trading their children for food (eat the neighbor’s kid while he eats yours), and a lot else. But the plastic bag thing is new to me.

      • Oh, I was thinking of the twitted professor’s view of reality.   Good lord man, what would it be like to be in a continuous opium dream achieved WITHOUT the opium?  The wonderous childlike view of the world where mommy and daddy made sure you never heard of the boggeyman, or the wicked witch or the devil and you knew the worst thing there was to fear was conservatives clinging to the past and saying mean things to you.
        And the missing imam?  heh, his authorityship assures us that is some fervid nightmare hysteria dream WE have, not any REAL belief by anyone in the Islamic world.  He ignores all those sordid things that happen in Africa as unlikely, you know, it’s the 21st century and the youth of Arabia have cell phones and, well, we’re just silly.  It’s axiomatic that only conservative Christians can take real world action based on their religious beliefs, modern secular Muslims would never do such things (secular Muslims, don’t ya love it?)

        • Has nothing to do with it. He’s carrying Obama’s water, and furthering a leftist meme.

          Do you think Carter loses any sleep over Mugambe? No, he doesn’t, and he won’t lose any over Hugo Chavez either. Erp’s the same type of animal.

  • “Just ponder how a third-rate community organizer — from the most incestuously corrupt political region in the U.S.; with a record of participation in the most vulgar gathering of Jeremiah Wright posing as a reverend, spouting Fanonian rhetoric and bigotry; with mentors such as the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; channelling the teachings of Saul Alinsky and Rashid Khalidi of the Chomsky school of self-loathing and sophistry — could advance through the ranks of American politics at an astounding speed, with little or no record of experience in government, to become the 44th president. In one of my columns from 2008 for the Sun Media in Canada, I had written in disbelief, as I watched the primaries unfold, of how American voters could be so beguiled by a charlatan of the Harold Hill type from The Music Man and vote for Obama. I was wrong in my overestimation of reason and experience among American voters as a check on the naivete of the university crowd and the duplicity of Lenin’s “useful idiots” in free societies. One of the lessons from 2008, for me, is this: how can I now scold Egyptians for wanting freedom and democracy behind the banners of the Muslim Brotherhood when their experience with electoral politics is negligible, and their history of 7,000 years offer little guidance for what freedom requires — respect for the other and not mistaking freedom for licentiousness?”
    Well, that was GOOD…!!!

  • So, I don’t want to get too far ahead here, but might I be allowed to assume that the thesis proposed by Prof. Goofyclown, that an Arab television station, cell phones, and social media have overturned reality in the Middle East on the back of a new demographic age of flower power, has been rejected?

    And Dr. Goofyclown’s secondary thesis, that longstanding democracy in Israel, faced with this new dawn of democratic, modern, evolving Arab tolerance had better get busy appeasing it or be annihilated, has that also been rejected?

    Also, would it be impertinent of me to note the odd, ah, discrepency between these two theses?

    But in all cases, as the thousand flowers of the Arab renaissance bloom, they have blossomed from Barack Obama’s plentiful and rich ordure, but every car bombing is blowback from George Bush.

  • Hey Erb…..just how should Israel “make peace”??

    This answer will be an all-time classic

  • I am glad the US didn’t intervene in the conflict because any possible complications or imperfections on the road to democracy could give a reason to the Egyptian people to make accusations of the Western world.