Free Markets, Free People

Egypt, predictably, begins to go the way of radical Islam

Damien McElroy in Cairo, reporting for the UK Telegraph, has the following observations:

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic movement and the founder of Hamas, has set up a network of political parties around the country that eclipse the following of the middle class activists that overthrew the regime. On the extreme fringe of the Brotherhood, Islamic groups linked to al-Qeada are organising from the mosques to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the dictatorship.

The military-led government already faces accusations that it is bowing to the surge in support for the Muslim movements, something that David Cameron warned of in February when he said Egyptian democracy would be strongly Islamic.

{feigned surprise} Oh, my, who’d have thought that could happen?  Only the terminally naïve or those with no understanding of the area or human nature would have figured otherwise. 

Power vacuums produce opportunities for others to fill them.  The US helped create that vacuum by insisting Hosni Mubarak must step down. 

Usually, as we’ve mentioned here any number of times, the most organized and ruthless succeed in filling such power vacuums.  And that’s precisely the case in Egypt where Islam in general is as pervasive as the air breathed there and the Muslim Brotherhood, while never allowed to be in power previously, was the most organized of the groups with the potential to fill the power vacuum.

And that is coming to fruition.  Not just in an Islamic sense, but in an Islamist sense as well.  The Muslim factions are poised to take over and control any government voted in by the public and do it in a big way:

Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, last week predicted the group’s candidates would win 75 per cent of the seats it contested.

Fundamentalist factions have also emerged as parties. Gamaa al-Islamiya, an al-Qaeda linked group that promotes Salafist traditions has used its mosques as a political base for the first time since the 1970s.

Egypt attempted in the past – however oppressive that effort was – to keep a largely secular government, at least by Middle Eastern standards.  And that was to our benefit and certainly to the benefit of the region.  It produced the peace treaty with Israel and ushered in a few decades of relatively peaceful times in the Middle East.  That’s pretty much likely to go by the wayside soon.  This next government will be steeped in Islam if not a good measure of Islamism.  That has been ordained by the first “democratic” vote in Egypt:

A scare campaign that a No vote in last months referendum would eliminate Islamic law from the Egyptian constitution ensured a 77 per cent Yes result.

As for those who participated in the April 6th movement and want a more secular and democratic Egypt?  Well, again, the best organized is the most likely to succeed, right?  And they have little or no organization:

But the April 6th movement that spearheaded protests has no clear plan for party politics. Diplomats have warned the demonstrators are not well prepared for elections.

"The leadership of the protests was so focused on the street-by-street detail of the revolution, they have no clue what to do in a national election," said a US official involved in the demonstrations. "Now at dinner the protesters can tell me every Cairo street that was important in the revolution but not how they will take power in Egypt."

Entirely predictable and clearly not in the best interest of the US – which calls into question the administration’s decision not to back Mubarak but call for his ouster.  The result is an unintended consequence one assumes – we backed a faction that we knew little about, which has had little impact since and now we’re going to see results that we don’t want and are not in the best interests of the US or peace in the region.  The same could be said about Libya.

Finally, don’t be fooled by the “independent” status of Egyptian political candidates for the Presidency there.  Their independence is in name only as they must court the factions that are likely to hold power in any legislature that forms.

Although the leading contenders for Egypt’s presidency are independents, many have begun wooing the Muslim blocs. Front-runner Amr Moussa, the Arab League president, has conceded that its inevitable that Islamic factions will be the bedrock of the political system.

Of course they will and that means, inevitably, that Egypt will eventually revoke its treaty with Israel thereby setting the peace process back to square one.

Yes, this has been beautifully played by the President and the State Department.  If naiveté in foreign affairs was ever more  evident than now, I’m having difficulty remembering it (Jimmy Carter is as close as it comes, and they’re making even him look competent).



14 Responses to Egypt, predictably, begins to go the way of radical Islam

  • Full agreement.
    I hasten to add, Libya, is about a year or so behind Egypt’s timeline.Again, lay this one at the feet of Obama.

  • As with the TEA Parties at home, there is a HUGE gulf between potential and power.
    The MB knows how power works, just as do the political class here in the U.S.
    Kids with Facebook are just potential.  The old bearded guys that have been doing this power game for decades…they are the power.

  • “Power vacuums produce opportunities for others to fill them.”

    I learned this during Hurricane Katrina as I watched the first 24 hours from my evacuated position.  When the storm rendered the NOPD nonexistent (not totally nonexistent, but largely), the thugs filled the vacuum instantly.

    One of my acquaintances gave me his biggest learning from the disaster: “You can’t have too much ammunition.”

    —Tom Nally, New Orleans

  • But I-phones, and Twitter!  Arab Spring, the masses yearning to be free and ….Oh my!!!!!!
    The youth will…uh….oh my!

  • That whole flower power facebook/twitter youth revolution thing was never more than a public relations mist, used to work on the eager-to-be-deceived Western media and sent around in the baskets of childish Leftist twits like Erb.

    It was the same sort of spin that elected and maintains Obama.

    And it’s not surprising that as recently as a few weeks ago Obama himself was still pushing the “Arab Spring” illusion.

    But you know how that works. When the reality hits home, oh, that’s old news. That’s so from the last news cycle. This news cycle right now is about Republicans stealing food from the mouths of seniors and infants. How about you keep up with it. Stop dwelling on old news from a month ago.

    You know, George Orwell did not make this stuff up. He saw it happening and fictionalized it.

  • In the same mold of … long hair, short hair, what’s the difference once the head’s blowed off … I’m not sure there will be an America that will be worth defending by the time these Arabs get their act together.
    S&P set their outlook for the US as … negative.   Your 401(k) is shrinking as you read this.

    • Oh, Obama says that’s just nonsense, and we’re in a recovery, every time a talking head from a Fed district speaks they tell us gas prices are up because the economy is in recovery.
      Did ya see the Saudi’s just said there was too much oil on the open market and they’re going to cut production?
      yeah, recovery, in the bag, happy days are here again.

  • Here’s hoping for a ruthless, SECULAR military dictatorship in Egypt.

    Jebus, how bad a situation are we in when a junta is the BEST probable outcome???

  • It should be interesting to see how it turns out. I imagine the Egyptian Army is mindful of what happened to the leadership of the Iranian Army 30 years ago. No doubt in the short term they will concoct some sort of modus vivendi along the lines of “you pretend to govern and we’ll pretend to obey you”. As long as the forces maintain their power in the civilian economy and the regime continues to arm and pay them, they will probably get along.
    Abrogating the peace treaty is a meaningless political gesture. No Egyptian general in his right mind would actually suggest attacking Israel. Some sort of propaganda phony war is more likely.
    The President’s foreign policy makes the Carter years look Bismarkian by comparison.

    • Maybe not attach Israel directly, but instead offer support and funding for proxies who will.

  • Wow…..the new “leadership” of a middle eastern nation turns out to not like Americans or Jews?  COLOR ME SHOCKED!!!

  • Why would the Muslims turn to democracy when Islam had governed their lives for over 1400 years. People tend to go back to where they are familiar with. This is natural. The Muslim Brotherhood is pretty much an organization that provide social programs the Egyptians where ex-President Hosni Mubarak failed to provide. No wonder he got overthrown.

  • Egypt is potentially Iran 2.0.  We are even making the same mistake with Mubarak that we made with the Shaw.  After throwing the Shaw under the bus, we protected him and even brought him the US for cancer treatment if I recall.  The reign of terror that was the new Iranian regime, had run out of people to kill, so they wanted the Shaw back badly despite a prior agreement.
    By first throwing him under the bus, then trying to protect him, we became a rallying point for all the hatred.  That’s when we turned any good will for allowing the Islamists to take over immediate to the US being the Great Satan and the focal point of Iran’s policies.  Not that wasn’t going to happen eventually, but its what lead to the hostage situation and us scrambling for a counter to Iran in the region which then lead to Saddam (another brilliant Jimmy move).
    So now there’s talk about us finding a safe haven for Mubarak.  Its the Jimmy Carter playbook.

    • A destabilized Libya right off Egypt border is a brilliant additional move though.
      You couldn’t give a newly radicalized Egypt a better opportunity.  Not only do we take away the option for rival to a radicalized Egypt to keep Egypt busy, Egypt could actually expand to the west.  Then Radicalized Islam will have most of Northern Africa.  The Radicalization of the old Caliphate(s) would be huge step closer to being complete.